DMSA For Detoxing Lead and Mercury
Everyday our bodies are constantly exposed to an onslaught of various environmental toxins, including lead and mercury, which do not naturally occur in the body and are highly toxic. Lead and mercury, known as heavy metals, interfere with how your nerves communicate and are the two most common toxic heavy metals found in people. Mercury is considered to be the second most toxin substance on the planet (uranium is #1) and the negative effects of lead exposure are well documented.
Meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is a compound that was approved by the FDA in the 1960’s to remove (kelation) heavy metals from the body, and is the preferred agent for the kelation of heavy metals in both adults and children. It is also known as succimer and is sold as a prescription drug under the trade name Chemet. It should be noted that Chemet contains sucralose, a known neuro-toxin, and something you probably don’t want to give your child. DMSA, which has a somewhat strong sulfur smell, is a chemical that is particularly suited to kelate (remove or excrete) mercury and lead from the human body, as well as over 15 other heavy metals.
There are several other kelation agents but DMSA has so far as been proven to be the safest and most effective.
How Did I Get Heavy Metals (Mercury and Lead) In My Body?
There are several possible ways that heavy metals got into your body, the more common exposures discussed below. Please note that there is no safe levels for heavy metals in your body.
There are 4 main sources of mercury poisoning:
- In Vitro, passed from mother to baby. The level of mercury in the tissue of the fetus, newborn, and young children is directly proportional to the number of silver fillings in the mother’s mouth.
- Vaccinations are the #1 source of mercury exposure in infants, and the #2 source in adults. Mercury is used as a preservative in vaccinations to extend shelf life, and is currently a hot topic of debate with possible links to Autism.
- 25% of vaccines today still contain mercury despite it’s known toxicity.
- Flu Shots still contain mercury, also used as a preservative. According to the EPA, the average child can tolerate 0.3 micrograms of mercury. A 2 month old infant that receives all 4 scheduled vaccinations (DtaP, Polio, Hib, Hepatitus B) will have a mercury level of 62.5 micrograms, 125 times higher than the EPA ’safe’ level!
- When mercury is removed from flu shots, it is replaced with other heavy metals such as aluminum and formaldehyde.
- Dental Amalgams or ‘Silver Fillings.’ Amalgam fillings leech methyl-mercury into your body, and is particularly dangerous because it is attracted to tissues and organs and can cross the blood brain barrier.
Fact: Most major countries (other than the U.S.) have extensive bans and health warnings regarding the use of amalgam fillings. This includes Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Fact: In 1988 scrap dental amalgam material was declared a hazardous waste by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
- Contraception Pills and Contact Lense Solution. In the 1980’s Mercury was used in both of these products. Although it has since been discontinued, any women who may have used these products would have passed the mercury to their children if they’ve conceived since then.
The following is a quick, informative video explaining how mercury from dental fillings gets out of the filling and into your body:
As the movie clearly shows, common activities such as brushing your teeth and drinking hot liquids can increase your exposure to methyl-mercury (mercury vapor) from 10 to 100 times.
What about fish? There is inorganic mercury in fish but the amount that actually ends up in the human body from fish consumption is very low and has been blown out of proportion by the media.
Our parents were part of the “Lead Generation.” We call it the “Lead Generation” because lead was found in many everyday items such as:
- toys from China
- candy from Mexico
- children’s jewelry
- canned food
Important Lead Facts
- Lead is one of the most prominent metals found in our bodies.
- It takes 4 generations to eliminate the exposure of Lead that is passed down through In Vitro (passed from mother to baby).
- Lead is particularly toxic to children. Chronic and acute lead exposure negatively impacts their growing nervous systems and is linked to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Hyperactive Disorders.
- If Lead is in your body (and it is), you need to get it out. DMSA is able to effectively and safely kelate lead from the human body.
DMSA has been shown to be safe for use in children. It is recommended that the 24 hour urine challenge should be done before and after a DMSA kelation program. During the Urine Challenge, DMSA is used as the provoking agent to measure the level of lead in the body.
The chemical process behind how DMSA works to kelate heavy metals such as mercury and lead from the body is somewhat technical and beyond the scope of this article. The basic mechanism is that DMSA has receptor sites that the heavy metals bind to. New research suggests the following:
- Heavy metals reside inside the body’s cell but DMSA cannot enter the cells.
- Glutathione (the body’s natural kelator) which resides inside the cell, pushes the metals out, which then is picked up by DMSA and excreted.
- Naturally occurring glutathione levels are 100 higher inside the cell than outside, but glutathione supplements only circulate around the outside of the cell and are not effective in increasing heavy metal kelation. N-AcetylCysteine (NAC) is a chemical that allows your body to produce it’s own glutathione, which is why it’s found in the DMSA Synergy product.
DMSA should be taken in “on again” and “off again” cycles, ideally 3 days on and 11 days off, so the body can regenerate it’s glutathione levels. The fastest and safest way to use DMSA to kelate heavy metals from your body is three days on and 11 days off.
DMSA and breaking the Blood Brain Barrier
As previously stated, unlike heavy metals, DMSA can NOT cross the blood brain barrier. While one study exists with lab rats wherein the DMSA did cross the blood brain barrier, the animals were so toxic that their normal functioning were greatly impaired and the results have never been duplicated. Repeated tests have shown that DMSA must be taken in conjunction with alpha-lipoic acid to cross the blood brain barrier. Once you have kelated the heavy metals from your body (know as ‘lowering your body burden’) you should then add alpha-lipoic acid with your DMSA to pull the mercury and other metals from your brain.
DMSA is taken in capsule form. Other competing forms of kelation, namely ETDA (suppositories) and DMPS (intraveniously) are more dangerous and less effective. DMSA is thought to remove small amounts of beneficial minerals, therefore a vitamin and mineral supplement such as a high quality multi-vitamin should be taken in conjunction with DMSA.