DetoxThe answer to this question is, it DEPENDS.

It depends on if you are healthy, and a good detoxifier — meaning your Liver, Kidneys and Gut can detoxify adequately and you have daily bowel movements. There are a myriad of detoxifying medical food powered drink, detoxify kits and accompanying supplements on the market today to choose from. However which one is the best one depends on what your goals are for detoxification.

Generally most people do well on detoxification programs with very positive results. However there are several instances where one has to BE CAUTIOUS. The first is if you know you are not a genetically good detoxifier and previous juice fasts have created many symptoms like headache, joint ache and nausea. Also if you have recently lost a lot of weight 30-100 lbs., your body already is going through a detoxification because toxins area stored in fat and released with weight loss. Another is if you have multiple chemical sensitivities or a high heavy metals burden in your body. For example having numerous metal fillings in your mouth, cracked fillings or environmental heavy metal exposure.

In the December issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine I wrote an article BEST PROTOCOLS FOR MERCURY DETOXIFICATION. This article was preceded in the two previous months by articles in Natural Awakening Magazine titled SAFE REMOVAL OF SILVER MERCURY FILLINGS and SILVER COLORED DENTAL FILLINGS CONTAIN HALF MERCURY.

Having had a Clinical Nutrition practice for over 20 years I can honestly say that each and every one of my patient’s personal accounts with their own detoxification experience has been an educational experience. To truly understand how different and bizarre symptoms can be, I decided with permission to share a few patients’ personal accounts of what it is like to have heavy metal toxicity and implement a detoxification program. The following are three accounts from three different patients:

The Long Journey Towards Healing: David Leighton

Early in 1985 I was relatively healthy and robust. I was running several miles each day and was a tennis player. Then something hit me like a brick wall. Suddenly I became chronically fatigued, had multiple chemical sensitivities, and lost so much weight that I was embarrassed to be seen in public in a bathing suit. Tap water made me ill and the only water I was able to drink was distilled. Suddenly my whole life was turned upside down. Although I can’t be sure, I believe the “trigger” for this sudden onset was the stress of a job situation. The underlying cause for this illness was heavy metal toxicity.

One of the chronic conditions that presented itself because of my toxicity was chronic systemic candidiasis, which brought about various mental and emotional issues. My initial frustration with the medical help I sought was that doctors did not know at this time what to do with a person that presented such symptoms. I was considered a pariah. Some thought it was all in my head and others just told me to get lots of bed rest. Over the next twenty years help began to emerge as others began to have similar problems and the medical community began to trace the problems to heavy metal toxicity.

Eventually I had all my mercury fillings removed by a biologic dentist trained to properly remove them and replace them with bio-compatible composites. That was a huge step forward, but it did not immediately make me well. The next step was a search for the right detox protocol to remove the toxic mercury from my organs and brain since it had been accumulating in my system for over thirty years. Over the next two decades I tried many different protocols, and most made me feel so awful that I could not tolerate them, however, I was making progress detoxing and gradually my energy level improved and the chemical sensitivities gradually decreased. It was not until 2012 when I began using a special form of  GLUTHIATHIONE along with INTESTINAL METAL DETOX that I really started making progress in removing metals. According to two OLIGO SCANS given by Dr. Sherie Viencek six months apart, there was an appreciable decrease in mercury and other heavy metals using this protocol. Since then I have found another protocol which appears to be even more efficacious. It will be interesting to see what the results are on the next OLIGO SCAN. If you have been diagnosed with heavy metal toxicity, be encouraged. The tools are now available to safely remove those metals and bring you back to health. I am now sixty- five and my energy level is better than it was when I was forty.

Dani D.

When a person receives a diagnosis, they usually think back t0 the odd unexplained symptoms and wonder if there could have been an early sign that something was wrong. My answer would be, yes, always. But why don’t we give much thought to the “signs” as they occur? Because, typically they are not life-stopping, but minor annoyances. This is how it was for me. Minor annoyances that would come and go with no explanation, and never concerning to the doctor. Signs like joint pain, stiffness, heart palpation, thyroid pains, random sharp pains, light -headedness, migraines, etc. Then, immediately after having braces put on my teeth, I began to have more vague symptoms, fatigue, and pain in my feet at night, and postural imbalance. Also I began to have flu like symptoms after a wire change with the braces. Then came an anxiety attack which triggered a full body neurological breakdown. Symptoms were cold and burning sensations, tingling, creepy crawly sensations and chills. I opted to have the braces removed only 5 months after they were put on and I knew I was on the right track when I immediately experienced a visual clarity and relief of several symptoms.

I began to see Dr. Viencek at the recommendation of my dentist Dr. Michael McGrath and she never doubted my accounts. She began to help me detoxify the metals and piece together deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It has opened my eyes, as to how what we put into our bodies, directly effects how we feel. I look back at my early “signs” and realize that if I had just been more persistent, if my symptoms hadn’t been dismissed by doctors, if I had known then what I know now, I would have likely been able to prevent that horrible experience. Because those symptoms were warning signals. If I could make just one impression on people, it would be that “Symptoms are warning signs of what’s to come.” Take each and every one seriously!

Maureen E.

Having a myriad of symptoms (dizziness, headaches, vertigo), I decided to undergo a “heavy-metal detox” to help rid myself of these sometimes debilitating symptoms…

Of course, I was hoping for a “quick fix” as I had suffered long enough, and decided to have all of my mercury fillings removed–6 in all, plus an old root canal. Before I could begin the filling removal process, I had to beef up my immune system while supplementing with various herbs and detoxification concoctions. After several months of supplementation and regular check-ups with my nutritionist, I started the mercury filling removal process…and it was a PROCESS…

Again, my idea was I would get them all removed in one shot, replaced with material that agreed with my body, and I would feel all better immediately…well, not quite…The removal process was a little intense at times, and once everything was removed, I had to prepare myself for the fact that I still had to work diligently at getting all of the mercury and other heavy metals out of my body for good. I was thinking that all of my symptoms were going to disappear overnight now that I had all of my fillings removed. My headaches almost completely disappeared after about 3 months of starting the process, but the dizziness lingered for quite some time, and I also suffered from stomach pain and constipation for almost 6 months after getting all of the fillings removed. My Holistic Dentist commented that it can sometimes take up to 2 years to rid your body of heavy metals after starting a detoxification program. The process was hard work at times and frustrating. Commitment, determination, and perseverance were key to getting through the process—as well as the guidance of an experienced Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Best Protocols for Mercury Detoxification

Liver DetoxDETOXIFICATION or “DETOX” the now popular self-help concept has swept the media by storm in the last few years. While popular detox programs have increased the overall health of the public, removal of heavy metals and chemicals are a more challenging endeavor. To ensure a safe detoxification a medically supervised detoxification protocol in a clinical setting is recommended.

HEAVY METALS are ubiquitous to our modern environment. While MERCURY, SILVER, LEAD, CADMIUM, ARSENIC and ALUMINUM are commonly found in the environment this article will focus on MERCURY. Due to off gassing of the earth’s crust, the combustion of fossil fuels and mining we are constantly exposed to mercury. This mercury enters our waterways and is introduced into the food chain (fish and shellfish) and eventually humans via consumption. Commonly consumed fish now contain methyl mercury with tuna, shark, swordfish and mackerel being some of the highest. In the Survey FDA’s Total Diet Study mercury was found in 100% of canned tuna.

Another source of MERCURY comes from the OUTGASSING OF SILVER FILLINGS that are routinely used in dentistry. In a test of total blood and inorganic mercury run by the NHANES in 2003-2004 (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) it measured positive for both total and inorganic in all participants aged I year and older.

Mercury linkMercury is a persistent toxin and is able to cross the blood brain barrier and placenta. In utero is the first of a child’s exposure followed by the normal environmental exposures, vaccines and flu shots ( While mercury can be found in the blood, urine and living tissues it sequesters itself in fat and deposits in organs, glands and the brain.

MERCURY IS A NEUROTOXIN. The greatest storage of mercury is found in the LIVER, KIDNEYS, GUT and BRAIN. Common symptoms of mercury poisoning are fatigue, headaches, tingling, numbness, and vertigo, ringing in the ear, sensory disturbances, muscular weakness and cramping. Psychological symptoms include irritability excitability, restlessness, insomnia and depression. Immune symptoms include autoimmune disorders, low thyroid and infertility.

PREPARATION FOR DETOX.  The most effective detox program needs to be well thought out with the patient’s total toxic burden and underlying health taken into consideration. Very often people take it upon themselves to begin some detox program they saw on the internet and detox too quickly resulting in a barrage of complicated symptoms. The number one recommendation for detoxification of heavy metals is to proceed in a slow and methodical manner. Support of the key eliminative organs, targeted supplement, medical foods, botanicals and exercise can gradually reduce the total body burden.

Using the model of a sink and garbage disposal, the sink is all incoming toxins and the liver is the garbage disposal in which the waste enters and must be broken down before it can properly enter the drainage system for final exit into the sewage system. This is analogous to the liver, kidney and gut. When toxins enter the liver they go through two distinct phases called PHASE 1 and PHASE 2 LIVER DETOXIFICATION. Both phases require specific nutrients and specific chemical reactions to occur in a sequential manner. If not the system can back up and toxins can reenter causing even more oxidative damage. If all goes well and the disposal works the pipes still have to be clean in order to drain properly. At this juncture the gall bladder must secrete bile in order to flush the toxins into the upper small intestines. Here the good flora of the intestines helps to metabolize byproducts and maintain homeostasis. In the gut Candida Albicans and certain intestinal flora can methylate elemental mercury which means they can help recycle it back into the system. This leads to higher methyl mercury levels in the body.

Therefore healthy elimination is key for detoxification. In addition the KIDNEYS must filter the blood to decide what is kept and what goes on as waste in the urine. Chronic health conditions that weaken the kidney have an impact on microcirculation and waste removal. Both the gut and the brain have built in barrier systems. The gut has the MICROVILLI and TIGHT JUNCTIONS and the brain has the BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER. Unfortunately both systems can be breeched. Healing gut and brain permeability is an important component to prevent further autointoxication. The brain’s half-life of mercury is 20 years. Also mercury has been shown to selectively concentrate in several areas of the brain (amygdala and hippocampus) that are involved with memory and it is also taken up by the retina.

While there are many detoxification protocols and products there are some specific substances for heavy metals. Modified citrus pectin with alginates from kelp are an excellent binding medium that pulls out heavy metals and radioactive particles from the environment without pulling out minerals. Zeolite also works as a binder for metals. Gluathatione is one of the most important antioxidants necessary for detoxification and helps to prevent neurodegeneration. Its production peaks at about age 50 but mercury depletes GLUTATHIONE which then predispose cells to oxidative damage. An absolutely amazing ‘You Tube Video” is that of Dr. David Perlmutter using a single Glutathione IV with a Parkinson’s patient and watching his neurodegenerative state change. Also amino acids like N-acetylcystine (NAC) help the body to recycle and make more Gluthatione. Other necessary nutraceuticals are Selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, Garlic, Chlorella, and Whey Protein.

LIVER DETOXIFICATION uses many vitamins, especially B vitamins, minerals, branch chained amino acids, with Sulphur, Methy and Gluathatione donors to name a few. Methy donors can be had from methylated B12 and Folate. Sulphur donors can be obtained from Organic Sulpher, MSM and foods high in Sulphur like cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, and peppers. Herbs like dandelion, milk thistle, turmeric and all green food high in chlorophyll function as liver aids.

GASTROINTESTINAL DETOXIFICATION may need nutrients like L-Glutamine, Aloe Vera and Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice to aid in repair of a leaky gut. The intestinal tract will benefit from both pre- and probiotics and good plant fiber to enhance elimination. Sometimes charcoal and bentonite clay can be beneficial for absorptions of toxins.

KIDNEY DETOXIFICATION needs proper hydration, macro and mico minerals, ginger, Curcumin, Reishi mushroom and warming foods to the augment circulation. Remember the skin is also an eliminative organ so sweating, Epsom salt baths, infrared saunas, hot and cold showers will help eliminate toxins through the skin.

TESTING of HEAVY METALS can be done with blood, urine, and spectrophotometry of the living tissues. There are base line tests and challenge/provocative tests with DMSA, EDTA and IV chelation. In addition there is genetic testing to identify certain subsets of the population that do not possess the enzymes (P450 cytochrome) to properly detoxify and or have a genetic defects with methylation. An example is the Detoxigenomic panel from Genova labs, which identifies the genetic predispositions and detoxification functions to aid and support clinical guidance.

IN SUMMARY the therapeutic interventions for detoxification is an extremely important component of ridding the body of heavy metals. IDENTIFYING, AVOIDING and ELIMINATING the sources is vital. smoking teeth linkRemoval of mercury laden dental fillings is a must to lessen the body’s burden and neurotoxic effects of mercury ( Nutritional protocols to reduce the body’s burden along with diet and lifestyle changes also need to be implemented.

ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC THERAPEUTIC AIDS can augment detoxification: Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Lymphatic Massage, Yoga. Qi Gong and Breathing Exercises can enhance overall heath and circulation. Detoxification of heavy metals is a complex undertaking. A structured medically supported detox program takes time and mindfulness for a safe and symptomless journey.  ~ Dr. Sherie Viencek, D.C., CBNS