Tag Archives: Doty Murphy

Metal Urgency — effects, avoidance, and treatment for heavy metals – Winter 2008-2009 Catalog

By Doty Murphy, M.D.

Part 2 of a 2-part series

In the first article in this series (see Beeyoutiful’s Fall 2008 Catalog- Facing a Heavy Situation), I explained some of the insidious problems related to heavy metal contamination. To a disturbing degree, these problems affect many aspects of life, health, and well-being.  People affected by metal toxicity frequently have no idea as to the root cause-and their physicians often investigate, diagnose, and prescribe in ignorance.

Toxic Effects

One area significantly affected by heavy metals is the immune system-that part of the human organism that resists, blunts, and hopefully overcomes the ever-present attacks of microbes, chemicals, and toxins.  When heavy metals enter the immune system, the inevitable result is damage, interference, and-in the case of prolonged or excessive exposure-malfunction or destruction of individual components of that system.

A person’s immune response normally identifies invaders and/or potentially hazardous substances which enter the body. But if a heavy metal has damaged the immunities’ intricate abilities, the immune system does not and cannot respond normally. In some cases, an immune “under-response” may result, allowing invaders or toxins to wreak havoc. Damage, however, can also cause an over-reaction in which case an individual’s body actually attacks itself. The cause may remain hidden as medical personnel focus only on these outward effects of the auto-immune processes.

Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has experienced a veritable explosion of several perplexing conditions, including “chronic fatigue syndrome” and “fibromyalgia.” Indeed for several decades, most allopathic physicians (primarily MD’s and DO’s of recent graduation) scoffed at the reality of both conditions. Fortunately,
medical leaders, researchers, and clinicians now acknowledge that these diseases do exist, yet they have not approached them from the standpoint of cause and effect.

One possible cause of these health issues lies with the interplay between damage from heavy metals (and other toxic materials) and the increasing prevalence of cryptic infections. Organisms including Chlamydia pneumonia (a respiratory germ-not the sexually-transmitted organism), Mycoplasma pneumonia, and the causative agents for Lyme disease all thrive in circumstances where the immune response has been inhibited or compromised-potentially due to heavy metals.

Since my graduation in 1967 until my semi-retirement in 2002, I have cared for individuals with clinical diagnoses including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and lupus. In many of them, the underlying cause involved mercury-related immune dysfunction. In addition, evidence sometimes suggested or confirmed a chronic, cryptic infection. While not everyone with such diagnoses was documented to have either problem, I found that neither had the possibilities been routinely considered or investigated.

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid

Considering the substantial danger to us humans from heavy metals, a reasonable question involves: What should you be doing to protect yourself and your family?

Recognize that few physicians know much about metal toxicity- including diagnosis and a logical approach to the problem in general. Consequently, you must take primary responsibility to inform yourself and then take steps to protect and strengthen your immune system.

For heavy metals, the primary protection starts with avoidance. YOU SHOULD AVOID ALL EXPOSURE TO HEAVY METALS. This is so incredibly important that if you remember nothing else from this article, please remember that statement: AVOID ALL HEAVY METALS. Become aware of and stay away from industrial dumps and dangerous workplaces. Wisdom would suggest that you seek a job other than working in a battery factory, for instance. Or don’t take up a hobby in which you use lead solder.

Since contaminated water sources can cause problems, drink only safe water and drink adequate amounts. (To determine the right amount for you, apply this formula: For a healthy adult who does not sweat excessively, take your body weight in pounds and divide it by 2- that will give you the ounces of water that you should drink each day.)

Become aware of possible toxic exposure of our food chain. Prodigious amounts of heavy metals are dumped in the ocean. Large fish (tuna, swordfish, etc.) reside at the end of the oceanic food chain, and they have been found consistently to have more mercury than smaller fish like mackerel, sardines, and cod. So eat small.

Refuse the placement of heavy metals (nickel, tin, and especially mercury-the latter often referred to as “amalgam”) in your mouth. If you already have such materials in dental fillings or crowns, you should consider having them removed and replaced. You might have to get away from heavy metals before you can stay away from them.

Toxicity Treatment Options

Avoiding heavy metals from now on only helps with future exposure. But what can you do about past contact and the present health difficulties it is causing? The answer involves a two-pronged approach:

1.  Maximize your immune system’s effectiveness and your health in general;

2.  Maintain a healthy suspicion regarding the possible involvement of heavy metals in any condition which defies easy diagnosis or management.

The first is up to you. For #2, you may be able to find a qualified health practitioner to help.

What can be involved in improving your immune system? Besides water, as I mentioned earlier, pursue a good diet. The old “balanced diet” and “food pyramids” never were adequate for optimal health.  These traditions allowed too much room for options such as highly processed foods. A wise nutritionist once opined, “Eat only food that will rot-try to eat it before it does.” In addition, emphasize veggies and fruits, but do not neglect protein or fats.

Moderation and variety remain excellent watchwords for eating. Eat foods grown in mineral-rich soils (ideal locations include the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys in California-yes, California carrots from those valleys really are better than those grown in the Rio Grande basin or in Florida). You can enhance the mineral content (and thereby the taste) of your homegrown foods by using soft-rock phosphate (50 pounds per 1000 square feet of garden) and lime (preferably after you’ve done soil testing). Organic fertilizers generally are best (beware, though, that some chicken litter contains contaminants such as arsenic).

Diet supplementation remains a necessity for most families and should include a multi-vitamin & mineral (MVM) daily. Beeyoutiful’s natural SuperMom, SuperDad, and SuperKids are ideal. From other sources, be careful to read the list of ingredients. Some vitamins actually contain small amounts of nickel and tin-two heavy metals that do not need to be part of your supplementation program.supers_together

In addition to a good MVM, several products warrant special mention related to heavy metal removal:

Vit_CVitamin C. Th is wonder vitamin wears many hats, but functions wonderfully in our bodies as a low-key but eff- ective heavy metal chelator. It has particular affinity for each toxic metal and a special ability to bind to it. Once a metal is bound, the body can transport and excrete it, allowing for repair of any damage and/or restoration of function. For adults interested in optimal health, take 2000 to 3000 mg per day. If this amount causes diarrhea, decrease to 1000 mg per day and increase slowly (buffered vitamin C may be more readily tolerated).

— Alpha-lipoic Acid. Since toxins may be either water or fat soluble, this amazing product can handle either kind. It really is “good for what ails you.” Try taking 500 mg once or twice daily, and if indicated, this can be increased to 1000 mg once or twice a day.

Trace Minerals, Magnesium, and Calcium. The proper functioning of many chemical reactions in the body depends on minerals. Adequate trace mineral supplementation needs to be augmented by daily magnesium and calcium. Since the latter two compete for absorption in the same areas of the gut, it is my recommendation that they be taken at different times of the day-e.g., calcium at breakfast and supper, magnesium at lunch and bedtime.*

Chlorella and Spirulina. Studies have shown both to have a chelating effect on heavy metals while offering other benefits of increased energy and immune enhancement. Again, Beeyoutiful is an excellent source of these fantastic one-cell creatures.   And did I mention the best time to start your metal de-toxing?  That would be now!chlorella_spirulina

* Editor’s note: For normal supplementation, many experts recommend calcium and magnesium taken together in a 2:1 ratio. Taking calcium and magnesium separately is usually reserved for correcting an imbalance or meeting some other specifi c need.

Beeyoutiful Products Mentioned In This Article:

Facing a Heavy Situation – Fall 2008 Catalog

Dealing with Toxic Metals in Your Environment

This article is part 1 of Beeyoutiful’s 2-part series on heavy metal toxicity Part Two: Metal Urgency.

by Dr. Doty Murphy

Sheep fascinate me. But then, so do horses, cows, dogs, goats, and of course, people. Each living member of the animal kingdom represents a remarkable collection of miracles at work. A flock of lazy sheep grazing on a verdant meadow are there because the soft, green grass grew initially from countless hard, brown seeds. Inside the sheep, the grass becomes white bones, red blood, white, brown, black, or gray wool, green bile, and yellow fat. The amazing substances responsible for the orderly progression of these processes-from grass to wool-include enzymes.

Enzymes are delicate molecules designed to work optimally at a temperature (in humans) of 98.6° F. Without enzymes, plant and animal life cannot be maintained. Yet with normal operation of these molecules, life, health, reproduction, movement-even your thoughts-can occur. Your reading these words, your choosing and digesting foods, your moving or thinking or laughing all depend on critical enzymatic functions throughout your body. This proper functioning requires cofactors-minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, or lipids-or enzymatic function will be inhibited. In addition, if an enzyme encounters certain noxious or toxic materials, it may be damaged, destroyed, or inactivated. Such damage and destruction usually results in malfunction of the operating systems within cells, potentially causing cell death, premature aging, susceptibility to diseases, and ultimately, death of the organism. Among the toxic materials that can harm enzymes are what we call heavy metals.blossoms_2

Too Many Heavy Metals

With such high stakes, the presence of heavy metals in our environment poses a grave risk. Heavy metals include lead, mercury, cadmium, antimony, and aluminum. These substances threaten our enzymes- and as a result, life and optimal health. They exist throughout our environment. Wherever we live and breathe, drink or ingest them, heavy metals guarantee a negative impact on our individual and community well-being.

Historically, several heavy metals have impacted people, nations, and empires (through their damaged or destroyed enzymes). Much like us, the ancient Romans delighted in “progress” and comfort. They enjoyed piped-in water for their homes. Using lead for pipes, easy to form and connect, they achieved monumental advances in plumbing (not coincidentally, the atomic symbol for lead is Pb, based on the Latin word for lead). Unfortunately, this handy piping material insidiously released small but cumulative doses of lead each day. Through years of ingestion, lead impaired and even destroyed many of Rome’s political leaders, intelligentsia, and most grievously, the children of Rome. All these acquired enough lead to affect health and life, thinking and drive. Some historians suggest that lead pipes contributed significantly to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

In modern times, lead found use in paints. Around the world, homeowners and landlords welcomed the beauty of lead-based paints. Sadly, children who innocently chewed on any lead-containing paint-whether on walls, baseboards, or sills-developed chronic lead poisoning with devastating long-term consequences: diminished intelligence, poor health, and even death.

Today, most governments ban lead-based paints for interior use. Unfortunately, some still allow (or ignore) the use of paint containing lead for toys and other objects. Playthings produced in China, for instance, heavily contaminated with lead, have damaged some of our children. Fortunately, the federal government has banned further importing of these products. Nevertheless, we may continue to be exposed to lead in other ways: automobile batteries, chemical and industrial waste, solder, and lead-based paint in older homes. Any lead exposure contributes to a toxic load for the exposed individual, making optimal health much more difficult to achieve and maintain. So, being aware of the sources of lead is a crucial first step in avoiding it debilitating effects.

The Special Threat from Mercury

Mercury, an extraordinary but dangerous metal, exists as a liquid rather than a solid at ambient temperatures. But mercury vapor (unseen and odorless) can enter the body through the lungs. Although the immune system quickly eliminates this toxin from the bloodstream, it is deposited in nerve tissue, bones, glandular organs, skin, and kidneys. Mercury retention in these areas damages many enzymes, and the effect is compounded with each additional exposure. Our bodies attempt to excrete the noxious mercury, but frequently the toxin inhibits or overwhelms the body’s defenses, thus preventing elimination. Scientists estimate that the half-life of mercury in humans from a single exposure is greater than 25 years! (“Half-life” is the time required to eliminate one-half of the mercury in that single exposure.)

A famous case from history, Sir Isaac Newton (of gravity fame) experimented with mercury substances. These experiments resulted in toxicity for him and caused not only his premature graying but also an extended period of unproductive mental illness. His illness finally resolved because the sickness required that he discontinue the experiments and hence, the exposure to mercury.

Researchers, physicians, and public health officials long failed to understand the full danger of mercury even though it had been known to damage kidney cells and impair proper functioning of that organ. For example, injecting a water-soluble form of mercury into the body provokes a significant increase in the volume of urine. This loss of body water produces a timely decrease in high blood pressure-a perceived benefit. Unfortunately, repeated use can also produce significant kidney damage, sometimes resulting in irreversible, permanent effects. Though no longer allowed in America today, mercury diuretics represented an important and integral part of a physician’s arsenal against hypertension as recently as the 1970’s.

Even until early in this century, mercury (in the form of Thimerasol, another water-soluble form of the metal) was the most commonly used preservative in childhood vaccines. Through multiple injections of mercury-containing vaccines, infants and children routinely received more mercury in 18 months than the Environmental Protection Agency allowed for adults working in factories or shops-and these vaccines were mainlined into infants and toddlers by injection! Such exposure had never been documented to be safe, and it likely produced damage to many developing organs and tissues. Great controversy still exists as to whether the spike in autism in the late 20th century resulted from this widespread, unwise use of mercury, particularly in toddlers who received the recommended multiple vaccines at age 15 to 18 months. It has been reported that our government actually permitted vaccine companies to deliver their already-produced, mercury-containing vaccines after the regulation forbidding use had been posted! What’s more, influenza vaccine, aimed primarily at adults, continued to contain Thimerasol for several years after mercury had been forbidden in pediatric vaccines.

A Deadly Mix

One significant source of continued mercury exposure in the United States involves the use of dental “amalgam” materials for fillings. Used in dentistry, an amalgam (mixture) involves silver, tin, mercury, and occasionally other metals, but mercury generally represents more than 50% of each. What makes this so serious is that no chemical reaction occurs when these amalgams are assembled. As a result, the toxic effects of mercury exposure are not minimized or eliminated.

Significant toxic effects have been documented from the mercury in dental amalgams. (Tin also has unwanted toxic effects that are not eliminated by its inclusion in amalgams.) Each time someone with mercury-containing fillings chews his or her food, grinds teeth, drinks hot or cold liquids, chews gum, etc., mercury vapor is released and absorbed into the body. Scandinavian studies have documented that the more numerous the amalgam surfaces in a mouth, the greater release and accumulation of mercury into the body. Such accumulation increases the risk for significant toxicity.

This health threat, long recognized and prohibited in some European countries and Japan, remains very real in the United States. Most dentists deny any risk, and many continue to place amalgams. But in so doing, they ignore the very real threat to their patients and to themselves! Dentists typically have higher levels of mercury in their organs at autopsy than the general population, and dentists have higher levels of mental illness, suicide, and psychiatric disease than other health professionals.

I’ve shared here just a few examples of heavy metal toxicity. Other significant exposures include cadmium in cigarette smoke, antimony as a flame retardant in children’s sleeping clothes, as well as bismuth, manganese, iron, copper, and aluminum.

Researchers have suggested that aluminum aggravates cross connections in the brain, perhaps inducing or worsening Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, aluminum, existing in abundance on planet earth, has found widespread use in everything from cans to foil, from antiperspirants to antacids. There are ways around this dismal situation, and Beeyoutiful offers many products that can help. I’ll talk more about heavy metal avoidance and toxicity treatment next time.

Dr. Murphy, a third generation medical doctor, hails from El Dorado, AR. He attended RiceUniversity in Houston and received his MD from the University of Arkansas. His medical training includes a Pediatrics residency and two years in the US Public Health service. He has spent 35 years in practice, with emphasis on nutrition and complementary medicine, including heavy metal toxicity and cardiovascular disease. His wife Phyllis and he, have 6 children and 7 grandchildren. The Murphys live in Springdale, AR, where Dr. Murphy now ministers as a Biblical counselor.