Updated: Nov 20, 2020

In past articles, I wrote about the YouTube interview of Chris Shade by Becky Davila. Number one is about the chronic illness epidemic in children and what might be causing it and the disagreement between Christopher Shade, PhD, owner of Quicksilver Scientific and my teacher, Andrew Hall Cutler, PhD about the cause and remedy for the situation. Number two is about some of the more inflammatory and irritating things Shade had to say about Andy… the fact that he called us a cult and said that the Cutler protocol is made up out of whole cloth….compared to his company, Quicksilver Scientific's products which are so marvelous, all natural and effective.

The most important difference in this controversy is whether alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is or is not a chelator. Is ALA just an agent that encourages the body to make glutathione, or is it (or its metabolites) an actual dithiol, fat and water-soluble chelator of mercury? A fat-soluble chelator can move metals in and out of body compartments. If ALA is just an agent that encourages the body to produce glutathione, you can take any form of it and as much of it as you want at any old time. If it is a chelator, it needs to be taken on a strict half-life schedule or else it will move mercury from some place harmless in the body to some place where great harm can occur….like the brain. This even more so if the person taking the ALA has amalgams in their mouth. In this case the ALA will allow the lipid barriers to “open” and the body’s natural tendency to seek equilibrium across the formerly impermeable membranes will force the metals INTO the cells rather than the way we want them to go, which is OUT.

The study Gregus Z, et al. 1992. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 114,88-96 discusses how ALA works. Shade read this study and concluded that ALA is an NRF2 upregulator and any detoxing ability it has is because it makes the body produce more glutathione which leads the body to detox in a “natural” way.

Andy Cutler came to a very different conclusion from reading this study.

I spent a lot of time with it. It is really a good interesting paper. My reading of it was that it was conclusive proof of the chelating ability of ALA, and also was very useful in establishing the pharmacokinetics especially as excretion rates from the paper matched those in the Leskova study to the extent they can be compared by appropriate calculations.

So who is more qualified to evaluate this scientific study, Shade or Andy Cutler? This is what Andy said about his own qualifications as a chemist.

(There are) distinctions within the very general field of chemistry as to what specialized knowledge we have. Most people are aware that chemistry breaks down into organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, etc. There are finer subdivisions and I happened to be the guy with exactly the right specialized knowledge who had to figure it out right for my own sake, and who could read (with great difficulty) Russian language papers, and who was very used to actually looking up and reading and interpreting journal papers for whether they were actually correct (which is almost never done in academic situations, I learned this as an industrial consultant).
Kinetics is not a common thing for chemists to know and the relevant part of kinetics here actually is considered chemical engineering - but a chemical engineer would never have known enough descriptive chemistry to