July 15, 2009

Sweep lead out of your brain with a powerful one-two punch

Lead has been in the news a lot lately. It used to be a common ingredient in paint. And now the Chinese have used it in their toy products. The problem with lead is that it's toxic. In fact, it can cause major problems for your brain.

For years, integrative physicians have used chelation therapy to get rid of the lead. But IV chelation is expensive. One cheaper alternative is oral chelation, but some complain it's not effective enough.

Well, some researchers have found a way to make it work even better. They discovered that you can combine a powerful herb with a certain type of oral chelation and the two together can sweep lead out of your brain and significantly boost your brain function and energy levels.

In this study, the researchers gave mice small amounts of lead in their feed. As the lead levels in their blood and brain increased, here's what happened to their biochemistry:

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  • A key blood and brain enzyme called delta aminolevulinic acid dehydratase plummeted. It's responsible for heme synthesis, a key component of hemoglobin.

  • Glutathione dropped. It's the all-important detoxifier of your body.

  • Reactive oxygen species — you know them as free radicals - rose.

  • Brain neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, 5-HT, dopamine, and acetylcholinesterase, also dropped. Alzheimer's brains have great problems with acetylcholine. They also had significant collapse in brain glutathione-handling enzymes, which would hamper detoxification.

  • Monoamine oxidase activity dropped. It's an enzyme that detoxes stimulant neurotransmitters.

  • Finally, the key antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase dropped. It is crucial in quenching dangerous free radicals.

Once the researchers measured these biochemistry markers, they gave the animals a combination of DMSA and Centella asiatica either alone or in combination. You probably know the latter as gotu kola. DMSA is a popular easy-to-get molecule that grabs (chelates) and removes heavy metals. The two together pulled out lead better than alone.

After treating the animals with the combination, the researchers measured the biochemistry again. In all cases, it improved.

Gotu Kola is a popular herb used to improve overall performance and as a cerebral "tonic." I've used it for years. Now we see one mechanism of action. It may help remove lead from the body, which activates enzymes. Or it just might do the latter on its own.

DMSA is available by prescription, but it's very expensive. Fortunately, it's also available as a nutritional supplement. Longevity Plus sells Heavy Detox (800-580-7587) and Thorne Research sells Captomer through many pharmacies (not directly to the public) — but you can get it without a prescription. One pharmacy that sells it is Nutri Pharmacy (212-983-8291). You can find others on the Internet. DMSA is a particularly good chelator of lead. Most importantly, it can cross the blood brain barrier, so it's great for chelating heavy metals from your brain. Take 100-300 mg daily.

Heavy metal poisoning has been a problem for generations — and it just won't go away. But you can make it go away in your own body. I believe in some type of chelation for everyone, and I take it myself. It keeps my metal load very low. You have so many choices, from expensive IV chelation therapy, to inexpensive oral chelation with EDTA, to mid-priced Detoxamin rectal suppositories. Now you also know about DMSA with gotu kola. For the latter, I would follow the recommendations on the bottles — up to 500 mg daily.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: J Pharm Pharmacol. 2006 Apr;58(4):547-59.

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