Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is the physician who has pioneered the use of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet for helping children with intractable digestive issues. She and one of her practitioners, Becky Plotner, asked me to do an online presentation about ACC chelation for GAPS practitioners all over the world. The following is what I had to say.
Good day to you all , wherever you are in the world. My name is Rebecca Lee and I am, along with Andy Cutler, Phd., the coauthor of the recently published book, The Mercury Detoxification Manual. Andy also published 2 other books: Amalgam Illness, Diagnosis and Treatment and Hairtest Interpretation, Finding Hidden Toxicities about chronic mercury poisoning and how to interpret hair tests.
When Amalgam Illness was written 20 years ago, Andy calculated that between 1 to 6% of the population had enough mercury in them to disrupt their body’s biochemistry and make them sick. Before he died two years ago, I asked him what he thought that number was now and he answered, closer to 30 to 50%. That means that since you are practitioners of one kind or another and deal with sick people, probably all of your patients have this issue.
For me, mercury is “the unified field theory” toxin behind this holocaust of idiopathic chronic illness in the world today. Digestive issues, neurological issues, autoimmune diseases and on and on. Chronic diseases that, in conventional medicine, nobody knows what causes and for which there are only powerful pharmaceutical drugs to control symptoms.
Andy Cutler, who came up with the protocol which we have described in the new book, was a chemistry PhD with his degree from Princeton University. He got involved with this issue because he became poisoned himself from some amalgam dental work that was placed below his gum line, with access to his blood system. He developed allergies and food sensitivities, but for him the worst thing was that his intellect stopped working. And he was a person with a Mensa Society level IQ.
Like most of us who got poisoned this way, he spent a few years going from doctor to doctor. Finally, what he affectionately referred to as a “voodoo doctor” took the risk of telling him what was wrong. I say “took the risk,” because that practitioner subsequently got into trouble with his medical board.
Andy explained to me that fortuitously, he had just the right kind of technical background to realize that what he was being told to do to detox made no sense. The PhD he was working on involved studying the kinetics of chemicals and it was no big leap to understanding pharmacokinetics, which is the way chemicals move around and react in the human body. He had the training to be able to read and understand medical textbooks, scientific and medical papers….He would even reanalyze the raw data used in studies to make sure that the conclusions reached by the scientists in question were correct.
The protocol Andy figured out in order to detox himself is called the Andy Cutler protocol, ACC, or frequent low dose oral chelation….which distinguishes it from any other chelation method out there.
Chelation is a well understood chemical process. A chelator is a molecule which in the case of mercury chelation, has two thiol groups (which are a certain kind of sulfur molecule) spaced an appropriate distance apart. This molecule latches on to the mercury ion and tears it away from where it is lodged in the body. Andy identified two chelators that were already in use for chelating mercury and lead and which he considered safe to use. But neither of these were fat soluble so he needed to find a chelator that was fat soluble and could cross the lipid barriers of the cell walls and organs and the blood brain barrier into the brain. He finally found the information he needed in a Russian study that he was able to translate and understand. This study led him to discover that alpha lipoic acid, an over-the-counter antioxidant, is at the same time a fat soluble, dithiol chelator.
The big problem with all the mercury chelation protocols until Andy’s is that mercury easily gets dropped by the chelators and redistributed into sensitive parts of the body. Mercury is extremely nasty and toxic, but in some locations in the body it can’t do much harm. But if you move it around it can relocate to some place where it can do a whole lot of harm. It doesn’t matter how much you are able to excrete, if while doing so you inadvertently move the poison from someplace where it is not hurting you to your brain or hormone producing glands. Andy’s protocol solves this problem by dosing the chelators on their half-life. Every time a chelator starts to dissipate and is ready to drop off the mercury to which it has bonded, there is another dose of chelator coming in behind ready to pick up what has been dropped. That is why the Andy Cutler protocol involves setting alarms and taking the chelators every three or four hours all day and all night for minimum three days and the two intervening nights. This “round” sets up a little assembly line for excreting the mercury, The minimum round time ensures that the net amount of mercury excreted is greater than the amount that gets redistributed at the end of the round.
I came across Andy’s work after I got a mercury diagnosis from a chiropractic neurologist about 8 or 9 years ago. I had been suffering from anxiety and depression, chronic fatigue, aches and pains that moved from place to place, insomnia and digestive issues. The doctor gave me a chelation protocol to follow but told me that it was okay to do it without removing my amalgam fillings. Unfortunately, unlike Andy, I had no way to evaluate what I was being told to do. This regime had me weeping all day and I was smart enough to stop. The chelators had been picking up mercury from the gigantic reservoir in my teeth and redistributing it God knows where. After that I started poking around on the internet and came across Andy’s work. I ordered both Amalgam Illness and the Hairtest Interpretation and devoured them, although I had hardly any capacity to concentrate and had a hard time understanding what I was reading. I had to go out and spend over $3000 dollars on my teeth. Unfortunately, when I started chelating with the lipoic acid I got horribly sick and my liver enzymes skyrocketed into the triple digits. I had to spend another $3000 to get 4 crowns removed and checked under. Two of them hid mercury fillings. After that chelation went very smoothly and I have since regained my good health.
I would like to give you a little run down of what is in the book which I hope will make you consider using ACC in your practice. There is a chapter where we discuss how people get exposed and how easy it is for this to happen. Mercury has been used extensively in manufacturing and technology so it is pretty much everywhere. It is used in thermostats and tilt switches, it is in energy saving light bulbs and on and on. It is also used medicinally in dentistry and as a preservative in vaccines. Mercury vaporizes at room temperature and mercury vapor is easily absorbed and can cross all the lipid barriers in the body…including the blood brain barrier. Once it is established in the organs, it does not come out on its own.
Mercury interferes with the body’s chemical systems in many different places. It is also outright oxidative and does damage by burning the crap out of things. It causes hundreds of different symptoms. These range from anxiety and depression to full blown psychosis; from gut dysbiosis and candida to Crohn’s disease. It is probably behind the entire holocaust of autoimmune disease that society now experiences: MS, ALS, Lupus, Parkinson’s and so forth. Neurological disorders are a common problem and they range from what looks like plain eccentricity up past Asperger’s through ADD and ADHD into full blown autism. This information is well documented in the scientific and medical literature, starting back centuries ago when the men in the hatting profession were studied and their shyness and weirdness was given a name: “erethism mercurialis” or “mad hatters’ disease”. If no doctor ever diagnoses it nowadays it is because the sheer range of symptoms is confusing, because it is hard to test for and because it is a political no-go zone.
One objection I hear to my “unified field theory” for idiopathic chronic disease, is, “well, all these different symptoms can be caused by many other things”. Anxiety, for instance, or Lyme disease, or chronic mold and so forth and so on. But mercury causes anxiety and depression. Mercury compromises the immune system so that Lyme or candida or whatever get a chance to go berserk. A lot of people spend years rushing down rabbit holes chasing Lyme disease or mold exposure and so forth. But we have found that mercury is the underlying cause of these problems. If you chelate enough, your immune system will start working properly and your infections will disappear, or the antibiotics will be able to do their work, or you will stop being so reactive to chemicals or mold. I agree with the chiropractors, that the body’s default is health. If there is nothing interfering then the body will reside in a state of health. People recover their health by treating their symptoms, but if you are constantly dealing with new conditions coming back, or only maintaining homeostasis by taking boatloads of supplement or having to stay permanently on a specia