Promising New Treatments for Detoxification

by Editors of New Developments

DDR consistently promotes treatments for the whole child. Yet, occasionally options appear that dramatically affect one discrete aspect of function. Here are some exciting new choices for heavy metal detox, which are presently being used by practicioners concerned about methylation issues in our children. Please work with a nutritionist or medical professional to integrate them into a whole treatment plan, rather than using them as "treatments du jour."

Vitamin B12 injections

Chronic gut inflammation, toxicity, and vegetarian diets can be factors in low levels of Vitamin B12. DDR member, Dr. James Neubrander in Edison, NJ, recommends injections of concentrated vitamin B12 in the form of pure methlycobalamin, instead of oral B12, to children with developmental delays. Injections bypass the impaired gut and directly feed the nervous system.

Who is a candidate? Developmentally delayed children with a history of thimerosal in vaccines, autistic enterocolitis and chronic loose stools. Others have lab values showing anemia, positive myelin basic protein (MBP) antibodies and/or elevated methylmalonate (MMA) on the urinary organic acid test.

What does it do? Vitamin B12 is tricky to absorb from food, and requires an "usher" molecule in the stomach to lead it to the same part of the small intestine where Andy Wakefield found lymphoid hyperplasia. Together with folic acid, B12 participates in the complicated detoxification process by facilitating methylation processes important for creating optimum metabolic balance. Then, the body can eventually detoxify itself.

Transdermal thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide (TTFD)

TTFD is a synthetic version of allithaimine, a naturally occurring substance found in garlic. Dr. Derrick Lonsdale believes that TTFD has three sulfur-related mechanisms that benefit children with autism spectrum disorders (see below).

Who is a candidate? Some children experience a proliferation of "gut-bugs" and yeast as a result of chelation treatments. When gut ecology becomes imbalanced, stop chelation immediately and add necessary nutrients, probiotics, digestive enzymes and dietary restrictions to correct the problem and heal the leaky gut. In some children, TTFD appears to alleviate the negative side effects of yeast die- off.

What does it do? TTFD allegedly enhances sulphur’s energy metabolism in the central nervous system, functions as a chelating agent, and alleviates intracellular thiamine deficiency. Dr. Lonsdale cautions practitioners to assure that B6, magnesium, vitamin C and taurine are in place before starting TTFD, because TTFD requires a balanced nutritional environment for optimal functioning. TTFD is a prescription item. Call Ty Smith at Coastal Compounding Pharmacy (912-354-5188).

Transdermal or intravenous glutathione (GSH)

Glutathione protects the body against toxic agents, such as heavy metals. It is made in the body from the three amino acids, systeine, glycine and glutamine. The level of glutathione (GSH) in the body determines how much toxin is absorbed. If the glutathione levels are low, the body accepts more heavy metals. As glutathione levels rise, the body is better able to excrete poisons.

Adequate levels of GSH are also needed for many aspects of immune function. Low levels impair immune system function, which leads to frequent infection. The body’s poor response to infection causes inflammation and oxidative stress, which, in turn, lowers glutathione. A vicious cycle perpetuates when there is inadequate glutathione to offset oxidative stress, further reducing immunity, and allowing opportunistic infections (like yeasts and parasites) to proliferate.

Who is a candidate? Children with suspected immunization damage and heavy metal exposure. Some children with colitis also have impaired GSH function. Bill Walsh found that children with atypical Cu/Zn ratios and thus Metallothionein (MT) errors, have inappropriate GSH. Children may have MT errors because they have low glutathione, or vice versa. Infants and toddlers with colic, diarrhea or constipation are more likely to have low GSH, and thus be at risk to environmental exposures.

What does it do? GSH acts as a powerful antioxidant that prevents the formation of free radicals and inhibits cellular damage. Medical professionals prescribe Transdermal and IV GSH along with oral glutathione, because the latter is poorly absorbed. To be absorbed the cream must be water soluble, not petroleum-based. Parents report that combining GSH with TTFD increases the benefit of both. The only negative side effects are the unpleasant odor of the TTFD cream and increased hyperactivity and "stimming" in a small percentage of the children. Adding taurine reduces occasional pale stools and constipation. Please let us know of your experiences.

The The Natural Medicine Guide to Autism (The Healthy Mind Guides)Natural Medicine Guide to AUTISM is "An excellent compiliation of natural, non-drug treatment possibilities," says Bernie Rimland. Includes nutrition, detox, NAET, homeopathy, cranial osteopathy, metallothionein (MT) promoter, Tomatis, Klinghardt, and others.

This article is excerpted from Children with Starving Brains: A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum DisorderChildren with Starving Brains, second edition, by Jaquelyn McCandless, MD. DDR thanks her for her valuable contributions. Kelly Dorfman helped with clarification.

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 8, Number 3 - Spring, 2003]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.

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