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From the Townsend Letter
July 2007


Chelation, Heavy Metals, Heart Disease, and Health: An Oral Detoxification Program That Is Now Essential for Optimal Health and Longevity (Part Two)
by Garry F. Gordon MD, DO, MD (H)

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Online publication only
Part One appeared in the June 2007 print version of the magazine.

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Nutritional Chelators: Supporting Nutrition While Removing Toxic Metals
The need for improved nutrition is just the one side of the coin in bettering health. We get more benefits from nutritional support, however, when we also deal with heavy metal toxicity. Since we now know we cannot hope to get all the toxic metals out in less than a few years, we should always be concurrently improving total nutritional intake. This approach permits the body to function better during the many months and years needed to lower the levels of toxic metals. Fortunately, we do not need to remove all heavy metals to function much better; the correct combinations of natural nutritional chelators can bind toxic metals so that their adverse effects on health is almost eliminated – temporarily, that is, as long as nutritional chelators are continued and practitioners start to learn the whole story on metal-binding and treat patients for the long term, not just the short term.

The Oral Detoxification Program: A Wide-Spectrum Protocol
Certain natural chelators can also be powerful antioxidants, but there is no single chelator that can meet all the needs of various tissues to bind different metals with different valences under different conditions of oxygen availability and differing pH levels. That is why I like my broadly based new program, the Oral Detoxification Protocol (ODP), which I am using on my patients and my horses. [See Part One of this article in the June issue of Townsend Letter for a complete introduction to my ODP.] With ODP, I am not relying on just one substance to lower the activity of metal-induced free radical mediated reactions.

It's important that patients always take the ODP with its high-potency supplements. To make that unavoidable, I have had the basic program that started all this, the Beyond Chelation Improved, combined into a nine-pill packet. This means that every one of my patients always receives Omega 3 supplementation and primrose oil and a high-potency multiple. I cannot risk anyone ever becoming mineral-depleted with my long-term ODP, although the evidence is that some of the so-called chelators employed may actually enhance the availability of some minerals, such as cobalt, rather than always depleting them, contrary to popular belief about long-term ingestion of metal-binding agents. For the past 20 years, I haven't gone anywhere without my total ODP. Lately, I have begun to eat more fish, so I also take a nightly DMSA capsule with selenium (and other synergistic factors) to further enhance my own ODP-based mercury detoxification program.

Recent research supports the increased benefits from using both EDTA and DMSA, possibly even exceeding certain DMPS effects, without the associated costs and risks. EDTA is only five-to-eighteen percent absorbed, yet even the non-absorbed portion can help save your life. It will increases fecal levels of toxic metals pulling out the metals we are ingesting and also lower the level of free radical reactions going on in the intestines, decreasing the levels of mutagen and carcinogens in feces, and thus reducing the potential for colon cancer, while also decreasing the potential for entero-hepatic re-uptake of toxic metals. The absorbed portion of oral EDTA seems to activate many useful functions, such as a weak heparin-like effect from a mucopolysaccaride synergy, and never fails to consistently lower lead levels.

There is no single chelator that is ideal to detox all of the different tissues in our body, as some need fat-soluble and some need water-soluble metal chelators, and some are more alkaline or acid, etc. Thus truly effective detoxification requires the use of newly developing combinations of highly effective detoxifying nutrients and or drugs. These may include many of the substances I consider to be potential ancillary nutrients in my ODP: taurine, lipoic acid, stabilized fiber, stabilized ascorbic acid, rutosid. Silybin, a new iron chelating agent, stabilizes the unstable molecule formed by ascorbate in the presence of iron (III). Scintilla Asiatica improves the effects of DMSA. Curcumin is an effective iron chelator. Thiol compounds work better when concurrently administered with thiamine. There is an ongoing need for magnesium supplementation. All these are useful nutritional therapies to synergistically enhance the benefits from any other chelation program.

One example of an important nutritional chelator is an iron chelator from China – called rutosid in the original German Wobenzym formula – which is now being made in Arizona. This iron chelator prevents bruising after major trauma or surgery if taken in adequate quantities – up to ten tablets q.i.d. – away from food, and long enough for healing to occur. They give 50 of these at once in emergency rooms in Germany where the product originally was perfected. Now, finally, we are able to produce it here in Arizona in a specialized plant designed for the complex task of making a natural non-toxic product that in expensive controlled studies competes head to head with Celebrex.

The iron chelation effect from Wobenzym is due to the rutosid content. This effect is vital for the antioxidant and other well-documented benefits of Wobenzym. In the body, iron chelation is primarily handled by transferrin and ferritin. Free iron is extremely toxic and therefore must be bound (chelated) at all times, or it accelerates free radical damage and lipid peroxidation. Since we cannot increase the levels of these natural chelators – ferritin or transferrin – which the body uses to sequester free iron overnight, I use my ODP. For acute trauma following surgery, I also incorporate nutritional chelators with extra iron-binding effects, like Wobenzym. Its special form of rutosid sequesters the iron released by the surgery or injury with an appropriately charged "companion" so that the released iron molecules from the injury or surgery are no longer free metals. Thus, I can help prevent the iron from catalyzing free radicals.

A High-Value Vitamin C
The world today seems to be in a useless "horsepower race" to claim the latest and greatest high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value antioxidant from the latest new multi-level company. Most of this is hype, and high ORAC values alone are not enough to let us live a long life on a toxic planet. Fortunately, most of us take vitamin C supplements, but we know that they are not always providing the antioxidant effects we desire, unless concurrently ingested with some metal-binding agents such as are present in Bio En'R-G'y C, my new vitamin C product. Vitamin C generally appears to do many vital things, such as supporting collagen synthesis, so it is always helpful. However, the non-stabilized forms of vitamin C on the market today do not appear to offer significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) inhibition, and therefore it is not surprising that, to date, no vitamin C study has shown significant long-term protection against developing cancer.

I wanted my daily oral vitamin C supplement to provide maximum antioxidant activity. I had little confidence in the widely used ORAC testing unless it is done with more testing to document the actual inhibition of ROS in biological tissues. This is much more expensive testing, of course, but vital if we are to develop the advanced nutritional formula we need now if we are to finally enjoy the true benefits that the right formula of oral vitamin C can provide. I believe we now have developed that formula with Bio En'R-G'y C with G.M.S–Ribose, etc., that can work optimally in our toxic bodies and still provide meaningful – and provable – daily antioxidant activity in all the tissues where vitamin C is so vital.

I believe that combining ODP, with its metal-binding effects, with the new forms of vitamin C and fiber, a formula I have helped develop, may change that. In any event, most patients who want to may now take eight to16 grams a day orally without suffering gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, or bowel irritation, thus providing one more important tool in my ODP: a well-tolerated, well-absorbed, high-dose, oral ascorbic acid without side effects. This, taken in conjunction with the stabilized rice bran in Beyond Fiber, rounds out my total ODP program.

This actually is another aspect of metal-binding in medicine, since I have found that by combining the new form of oral vitamin C with certain other natural chelators, vitamin C can provide these remarkable antioxidant effects at very low concentrations in tissue. Using tests that are more sophisticated than simple ORAC values, we have been able to document highly significant inhibiting of ROS in a biological study using human neutrophils even at parts-per-billion levels. No other vitamin C preparation comes close to delivering these effects. The chelators can help further stabilize this special form of vitamin C, and that may explain the almost complete lack of GI irritation seen with this new form of Vitamin C, even when ingesting doses of 20 Gm a day, as Linus Pauling recommended. Some report taking this dosage along with large doses of ODP products. Occasionally, some patients are even taking this form of vitamin C in drinks, like the Penta water I recommend for detoxification, and some also use Bio En'R'G'y with 2-3 gm of oral Calcium EDTA. Some have reported gratifying improvement in cardiovascular function, even regaining the ability to exercise vigorously. We are just beginning to learn how to maximize pro-oxidant and antioxidant therapies with metal-binding and/or chelating agents and various nutrients.

Other Additions to the ODP
My research convinces me that there are only minimal risks when consuming low levels of garlic, malic acid (apple acid), EDTA, and DMSA. This was documented in the case of EDTA by the FDA studies before they allowed EDTA to be added to any food, as a preservative, where interestingly EDTA was found to also lower free radical damage of the foods, just as I believe it is doing in our patients who are on my ODP.

We have documented hundreds of studies regarding the benefits of lower levels of toxic metals like lead and mercury, and since the risks with ODP are minimal, you can see why after using the basic program on my body for over 20 years without fail, I now think it is safe enough to give it in this new improved form as ODP to anyone, even our pets and horses. (In the future, farm animals may routinely be needed to start receiving some forms of ODP in their food and water, as there is no question that lowering toxins reduces all causes of morbidity and mortality, which is a large problem with turkey and chicken growers.) Using ODP means that all of us with lower toxic metals can live longer before diseases like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or cancer develop, the appearance of illness will be delayed, and the severity will be less by lowering toxins.

Safety & New Products
Since the components of my ODP include numerous ingredients with extensive documentation pointing to their safety, I am comfortable proposing the radical idea of life-long continued detoxification, as long as patients always take the best possible high-potency mineral replacement product concurrently. With so many studies documenting safe substances available to help detox – from garlic and malic acid to ascorbic acid and stabilized rice bran and oral EDTA, etc. – I am not enthusiastic about any new "chelator of the month," although I do carefully evaluate each, as we always need better therapies. Most new chelators that I look into turn out to be overly hyped and poorly studied with new cure-all claims.

I review all new information about detoxification products that come out. I always want to simplify and lower price, and I am always open to looking for better answers. Unfortunately, when I look at some products whose proponents claim 100% absorption, I find that the data falls apart on closer analysis. I have nothing against rectal applications but most medicines administered rectally are not better absorbed. Contrary to claims, such application really only avoids first pass metabolism by the liver. Considering the need for long-term detoxification, such nightly applications would soon irritate the tissues. And by not taking the oral program I am suggestion, patients miss some important opportunities to decrease free radicals in the intestine, which should somewhat lower colon cancer incidence. I prefer having some antioxidant metal-binding going on in my intestine all the time, if just to diminish enterohepatic reuptake of heavy metals.

I have spent over two million dollars over the past 20 years on my post-graduate studies, and Part One of this article lists discoveries and studies that I have found that will deliver the punch we need to help patients facing increasingly serious diseases at younger and younger ages whose only hope often is an extremely toxic, often unaffordable drug that might help them live three more months. I hope to empower all Townsend Letter readers to make use of my experience – to visit my website and perhaps join the FACT discussion group. I hope to empower you to provide meaningful interventions for thousands of patients. You may not have a cure for their condition, but if you study this detoxification concept, there will be no patients to whom you cannot offer meaningful intervention. Although there is no guarantee about overcoming the primary diagnosis, realistic detoxification can help when no other approach is available.

It seems that some see an effective oral detoxification program such as my ODP as a threat rather than a way to help thousands of additional patients. I do not find that there is a magic wand available anywhere. However, I challenge anyone to review and argue against the documentation supporting what I am saying here. You can view much of it conveniently for no charge on my website anytime. A group of chelating doctors wanted me to debate them about the value of oral Chelation over IV Chelation. They all saw IV as essential to the economic well being of their practices, so the moderator said it would be unfair for me to pass out anything that had all the references supporting my case.

My ODP is more accepting of patient needs. For example, type in the word Coumadin on my website to review my position and see how I let patients decide for themselves whether to combine my oral programs (with things like Boluoke added to the oral chelation where warranted) or to replace Coumadin entirely. Coumadin is one of the most dangerous drugs prescribed, and responsible prescribers today should do genetic testing to determine the rate of metabolism of Coumadin to help avoid the all-too-frequent bleeding episodes that kill patients and put so many in the hospital for little long-term benefit. I find its effects to be weak compared to those of the ODP.

I have never encountered a bleeding episode at any time with the safe, gentle, heparin-like activity produced by EDTA, which requires the presence of the correct form of mucopolysaccaride. Note: Heparin has a strong negative charge, and there are other substances with that charge. EDTA helps those other substances work orally. I also support other nutrients to increase this heparin-like effect, and the literature support this idea of oral heparin. Other additions, like Wobenzym with its papain and bromelain components will also enhance oral heparin absorption, while Wobenzym's overall anti-inflammatory effect helps to lower the viscosity that inflammation increases.

Once you understand that substantially increasing your patient's life span generally cannot be accomplished with any intervention that is followed for only a few weeks or even months, then you may decide to use some substances for many years. And when you do so, it would be prudent to have those substances already proven safe by years of documented safe use. There are nearly 50 years of reported experience around the substances I am discussing here like EDTA, garlic, malic acid, ascorbic acid, fiber, etc.

We know that DMSA is normally found in the body; it too is quite safe when used appropriately. Malic acid (apple acid) is amazingly useful for multipurpose detoxifying, almost working on aluminum as well as desferoxamine. This leaves us with many safe, synergistic, metal-binding substances like garlic, vitamin C, and fiber, all of which I believe should be part of any long-term successful ODP. I am convinced such a program will add years to your lives and life to those years.

I first worked with Dr. Lester Morrison over 20 years ago. We came out with earlier versions of the basic ODP program, based on his three textbooks and his two documented studies showing a 91% reduction in fatal heart attacks in patients on his Institute Formula. We later determined EDTA dramatically enhanced the formula's effects, so that the product could be taken in the three capsules of Essential Daily Defense we now use twice daily as part of the basic nine-tablet package of pills. The EDTA permitted the desired effects to be achieved with a far lower dose and still provide the desired anti-clotting protection. I routinely encourage symptomatic patients to initially concurrently take 30 or more of the older three-hour IV chelation or the new painless Calcium EDTA, the new short chelation sweeping the world today.

I have also helped to develop EDTA-containing gum, called EZ Defense, which I feel at least minimizes some of the toxic exposure from amalgam fillings if used immediately after each meal, since chewing releases mercury from amalgam.

This gum approach is an addition to the life-long oral chelation program that I know will keep my patient alive and healthy even with a mouthful of amalgam fillings. I am confident that even with ten amalgam fillings, my patients on such a program will outlive those who spend the money to remove their dental mercury, This is because those patients spend so much time and money on just dealing with mercury removal, which is only one source of their total body burden, so they cannot conceive that they still they still must spend still more money every month and stay on a lifetime ODP program. I believe this is essential if we are to help them achieve their maximum intended useful lifespan enjoying anything like the optimal health I have been fortunate enough to enjoy since learning all this years ago.

If your patient can remove their amalgam fillings and stay on the totally ODP program for life, well and good. However, I still prefer to postpone the dental work until my patients have begun to show real signs of recovery. This is because no matter how careful the dentist is, there is always a strong likelihood of a short-term significantly increased mercury exposure for a time with any amalgam removal.

If due to finances I have to recommend an even simpler, less comprehensive basic program for detoxification I use just stabilized Vitamin C, EDTA and the special stabilized rice bran in combination with a special source of Inulin, as my vital FIBER contribution to detoxification everyday of life, as well as for the probiotic effects. Those three items comprise an affordable program that can dramatically reduce all causes of morbidity and mortality. This may seem expensive but we all know the costs of a single emergency visit for chest pain or one hospitalization. It is sad fact that over 50% of the money spent on health care for the average person is spent in the final year of life. That money does very little to change the final outcome. I recommend spending some money every month now for my ODP program to significantly improve the quality and quantity of life.

Dealing with Causes of Toxicity
I never recommend any form of ODP for long-term use without concurrent aggressive nutritional supplementation. As mentioned above, many people experience the effects of mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings. Today's levels of environmental toxicity also increase the need for most nutrients. Thus the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) have no real applicability when we design programs to treat toxic people. And who today is not toxic? The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) corroborates what the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported when they found that everyone from all walks of life have 40-plus neurotoxins in the blood at all times. The EWG studies were done at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. The study measured up to 240 chemicals for $4900 per patient. And in Plague Time, author Paul Ewald documents that virtually everyone today has some CMV, Chlamydia, herpes, SV40 or even cell wall infections. Clearly, we all possess numerous neurotoxins and carcinogens, and NO ONE tested is free of significant numbers of such toxins, even if you live an all-organic life, since you are still living on our toxic planet.

Birds in remote mountain areas of the United States have been found to have frighteningly high levels of mercury. Researchers have proven that mercury and other heavy metals in these birds at high elevations are proven to be coming from coal-burning power plants from as far away as China. In fact, radio isotope analysis of the mercury proves we too are consuming mercury coming from the burning of coal in far off China China and India are slated to bring online hundred of new coal burning power plants over the next few years. There is a report that as little as ONE new coal burning plant in Texas seemed to increase the incidence of autism there by 17%. These new plants will dump tons of mercury into the environment.

This information makes me considerably less aggressive about removing just one source of the pollution. I do not focus excessively on just one source of toxicity, whether it be vaccines or fillings or fish. Our genetics, environment, and diet are the interplay that largely determines the outcome from our ongoing continuous heavy metal exposures, which are all cumulative.


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