Heavy metal detoxification, aka. heavy metals detox is a method of removing toxic metal from the body. There are many different remedies which have different binding capacities to certain metals and are used in the process of heavy metals detox. Heavy metals like aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury all carry a certain level of toxicity and depending on the exposure amount, the rate of exposure, and the accumulative effect of exposure these metals can have serious negative consequences on health.
Heavy Metals Detox and DMSA
One of the most common remedies used for heavy metal detox for metals like lead and mercury is called Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). DMSA has been around for decades and primarily is recognized by traditional medicine practitioners for acute lead poisoning. It has a strong binding capacity to lead, but is also useful for arsenic and mercury, and a host of other metals. DMSA, as a heavy metals detox remedy, is widely used as oral capsules multiple times throughout the day. Traditional medicine prescribing for DMSA calls for a short duration of treatment, i.e. 5 to 10 days, but in many cases DMSA may need to be used for much longer periods of time, especially when heavy metals like lead have accumulated overtime. In the heavy metals detox regimens for DMSA it is not uncommon to use this remedy for many, many months at a time. Ideally, in these situations DMSA is dosed in small amount which makes it more tolerated.
Heavy Metals Detox and DMPS
DMPS (2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid) is another popular heavy metals detox remedy used widely to help reduce the toxic burden of heavy metal poisoning. DMPS has long been a favorite of many integrative medicine practitioners, especially for mercury toxicity, because it is felt to have better absorption from the digestive system when taken orally compared to DMSA, and has more binding affinity for mercury as well. DMPS can be administered in many different ways. A popular form of DMPS used for heavy metals detox is through an intravenous (IV) infusion. DMPS has strong affinity for mercury and when giving through an IV and is felt to have a greater potential to remove toxic mercury more efficiently. However, like DMSA, DMPS can also be taken orally and does have a greater percentage of absorption compared to DMSA. The biggest challenge with DMPS is cost making DMSA a more attractive remedy overall in the process of heavy metals detox.
Heavy Metals Detox and EDTA
EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is another popular remedy for the use in heavy metals detox. EDTA, like DMSA, has a strong affinity for lead, and can remove mercury too – although DMSA and DMPS seem better for this. EDTA is especially useful for aluminum toxicity and is often used to remove aluminum through various routes of administration. EDTA is commonly used in intravenous heavy metals detox programs sometime alone or in conjunction with DMPS. When combined with DMPS it is felt to have a more wide range effect of complete heavy metal removal than just by itself. The downside to EDTA is its absorption from the digestive tract compared to DMPS and DMSA. It just doesn’t have significant oral absorption so in many circumstances DMSA and DMPS are used preferentially over EDTA.
Summary of Heavy Metals Detox
There are other remedies available for heavy metals detox such as cilantro, chlorella, and a host of other natural agents, but the primary medications with a good track record of success, positive safety profile, and known mechanisms of action are EDTA, DMSA, and DMPS. EDTA can be obtained orally as a supplement, but DMSA and DMPS are prescription only items. DMSA is available as a prescription medication from most pharmacies, but DMPS needs to be obtained from specialty compounding pharmacies who purchase DMPS in bulk, and dispense it accordingly through oral capsules or intravenous bottles. All of these remedies are quite useful for heavy metals detox depending on which metal needs to be removed and which route of administration is preferred.
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