540 – Chelation
Excerpted from Business Week – Jan 19th 2004
Dr. Richard Horowitz, an internist in Hyde Park, N.Y., says mercury can be stored in body tissue, including the brain. Dr. Horowitz, who treats many Lyme disease patients, says the symptoms of chronic Lyme disease mirror those for metal toxicity. He suspects some Lyme patients’ continuing problems, such as fatigue, are linked to metals in their bodies. If so, that may explain why they don’t get better when they take the antibiotics used to treat Lyme.
Dr. Horowitz does not rely on the standard blood test to diagnose the presence of mercury because it measures only recent exposure. Instead, he gives patients a chelating agent — a chemical that binds to and pulls metals from tissues. He then measures the amount of mercury excreted in the urine. He also uses three-month regimens of alternating chelation, vitamins, and minerals to remove stored metals. He has seen symptoms ease in about 10% of those treated.
Such routine use of chelating agents is controversial. “Chelators are not benign drugs,” points out Dr. Michael Shannon, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. They can cause kidney and liver damage as well as allergic reactions.
Chelation might be an answer in extreme cases. For most of us, the remedy is simple. As one doctor advises: “Eat the little fish.” How complicated is that?