Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Here is Episode Two of “The Chelation Wars.” In Episode One I talked about the interview between Chris Shade of Quicksilver Scientific and Becky Davila that appeared on YouTube recently. I wrote that we Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) people were “not amused,” (as Queen Victoria would famously remark) by what Dr. Shade had to say.

In the interview Shade is asked his opinions about “what are the flaws he sees in ACC.” In the process of going on and on about his opinions and how wonderful his products are, he makes many false statements about ACC. It would have been closer to the truth if he had simply stated that he “is not familiar with ACC” because he obviously isn’t.

In this episode, we confine ourselves to a few aspects of Shade’s misunderstanding of the protocol: calling adherents a cult, calling it unrealistic for a lot of people, saying it mostly uses DMSA, that night doses are unnecessary, that the protocol is untested, and that glutathione is a chelator. We have a lot more to say but we will do that in episode 3. Two of my colleagues, who are more scientifically inclined than myself have helped me with this article.

At about 1.07 minutes into the interview Chris Shade calls Cutler followers a cult because we think that frequent low dose oral chelation is the only safe way to get mercury out of the body. “At that point you are a devotee and not a seeker and you just believe into the cult” is what he has to say.

Many of us regressed using methods that Andy advised against and then recovered on ACC and we are grateful to Andy and for the protocol he developed. That does not in any way qualify us as a “cult”. Andy literally saved many of our lives.

Andy claimed that frequent, low dose, oral chelation was the best and safest way to detox mercury. He recognized that a few did OK with other methods but made the analogy of Russian roulette. The next dose might be the one that gives the person a terrible reaction, from which It may take years to recover, if they recover at all. In The Mercury Detoxification Manual there are ten pages in the chapter, “What Not to Do.” That chapter is there because of the bitter experience of those of us who made these mistakes ourselves and witnessed others doing the same. It is possible for people to get so sick and mentally ill from the mercury redistribution caused by the things we warn against, that they commit suicide. We have seen it happen several times.

At about 18.56 in the interview, Becky Davila makes the statement that ACC is “just not realistic for a lot of people.” It is hard to understand how someone who admits that her child has recovered completely from autism using ACC would say this. I assume that what makes it unrealistic for a lot of people is that they have to get up at night.

The big danger with any system for detoxifying mercury is redistribution. Infrequent and/or too high doses of chelators will exceed the liver and kidney’s ability to clear the mercury. The mercury that is not excreted will get redistributed making the person more toxic. In fact, Infrequent, high dose use of alpha lipoic acid (ALA), which is fat soluble, can cause redistribution and move mercury into sensitive parts of the brain. This will lead to long term worsening of CNS (central nervous system) symptoms.

Redistribution is discussed in The Mercury Detoxification Manual, p.45:

"The Andy Cutler protocol solves this problem (of redistribution) by dosing the chelators on their half-lives. That way, when a chelator loses its grip on a metal ion, there is a fresh dose right behind ready to pick up what has been dropped off. You need to have a constant blood level of chelator to keep redistribution from happening too much. This keeps the mercury moving out rather than around."

Until better, non-toxic, chelators are found, there is no way of getting around the night time doses. Shade ridicules the idea that missing a dose in the middle of the night will cause symptoms-but unfortunately, that is what does happen. The author and editors have experienced this first-hand.

Missing a night time dose is not “always the excuse for why something has gone wrong,” as Shade and Davila claim. There are numerous other problems that individuals must address in order to maximize comfort and safety while chelating. In his books and posts Andy talked about the importance of eliminating sources of exposure to heavy metals, avoiding harmful interventions, and using diet, supplements and medication to address individual issues.

At about 2.01 in the interview, Shade states that Andy’s protocol is mostly the use of the pharmaceutical DMSA. In fact, Andy referred to DMPS and DMSA as “accessory chelators.” The main chelator, and the only one you really need, is ALA because it (or strictly speaking its metabolites) is a fat-soluble, dithiol chelator.

Below is an explanation of what a chelator is from The Mercury Detoxification Manual, p 45:

"The word chelation comes from the Greek word for claw. A true chelator molecule for mercury has two thiol (sulfur) groups, which are spaced an appropriate distance apart so they can fit around the mercury ion. Mercury is particularly attracted to thiol sulfur, which is found in every cell in the body."

DMSA and DMPS are water soluble and as such can only chelate in the extracellular spaces. ALA is fat soluble and can cross the blood/brain barrier and go into the brain. Shade does not accept that ALA is a chelator at all. But we will discuss that mammoth issue in episode 3.

Unlike Shade, Andy did a lot of first-hand evaluation before discovering that pharmaceutical norms are to dose on or before the half-life of a drug. This is how Andy put it (from page ix of The Mercury Detoxification Manual):