Mineral Toxicity and Chelation
There are many toxic minerals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, copper, andarsenic that can cause very severe damage to the body or brain. To prevent this, thereis a sort of "brain blood barrier" that doesn't allow these toxic minerals to pass to thebrain unless the liver is overloaded and the toxins overcome this "barrier". Usually, theliver removes these toxic minerals and stores them temporarily in itself, and thengradually allows releasing them out into the bloodstream in small amounts to be storedin other areas, or chelated and excreted.If a chelating agent is present in the blood, then it combines with all the minerals in theblood and is thus able to be excreted, usually thru the kidney/urine passageway. Also,small amounts of all minerals carried in the blood are excreted thru the skin(Perspiration), and stored in the hair cells, and fingernails, etc.Here's the problem! If the blood is very low on chelation material such as vitamin C or glutathione, then the liver cannot release much toxic material due to the possibility of brain damage. This means that all mineral measurements, blood, urine, or hair, mayshow very low "relative" readings as compared to nutritional minerals present normally.Since the toxicity is determined by the ratios of toxic minerals to "normal" nutritionalones in that individual.It is literally impossible to measure the amount of minerals directly. We would have tobiopsy the liver and all the other storage places in the body to do this - expensive,painful, and inaccurate at best.So, we measure indirectly by three basic methods, blood, urine, and hair. Blood onlymeasures what is there at the time of measurement, and this changes fairly fast. Urine(best done with a 24 hour collection) is better and more accurate. Hair analysis isusually most accurate as it measures the average over weeks or even months andcompares to the overall minerals in the body that are excreted or stored naturally.However, to complicate further a complicated procedure, some problems such asautism result in a lowering of natural chelation materials, like vitamin C and glutathione.This deficiency distorts the toxic measurement simply because the liver won't releasethe toxins to the bloodstream if it can't be combined with a chelate for excretion. Thus,ANY measurements are distorted or meaningless. If vitamin C is given for a week or soprior to any mineral test, the results will be much more reliable.The above information can be very confusing to a layperson (and even some MD's). It'simportant to understand how mineral toxicity and excretion works in order to understandhow chelation works.The word "chelate" means to "grab onto", or "claw onto". There are some chemicalsthat are attracted to minerals in the blood. These chemicals attach themselves to allminerals in the bloodstream, and take the combination out of the body, usually by thekidney/urine excretion route.