Using Culter’s Frequent-Low-Dose Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) Protocol To Remove Mercury From The Brain

Part 1: Aiming For Euphoria With ALA Chelation

If you’ve read my other writings, you know I am detoxing heavy metals post-holistic amalgam removal with saunas, rebounding, nutrient dense food, supplementation & other natural remedies like herbal cleanses.

After over a year of detoxing, I feel better than I have in years. This in large part is because mercury is not flooding in from the “silver” fillings that I had safely removed. My heavy metal tests confirm that mercury is not flooding in and that my body is eliminating mercury from extracellular areas.

However, there are still numerous brain, tissue, and central nervous system related symptoms:

  • Mild brain-fog, anxiety, fatigue, mild tinnitus, and less mental sharpness
  • Head pressure / pain, like a constant tight band around my head
  • Over-taxed organs (liver, spleen, gall bladder, uterus, gut)
  • Cellulite (the body safely tucks away toxins in fat)
  • Nutrient malabsorption (e.g. low ferritin levels)
  • Seasonal allergies

I believe these symptoms are in part due to the fact that mercury wreaks havoc all over the body. Mercury hides away in bones, fatty tissue, and organs, and crosses the blood brain barrier (BBB) where it binds with the fatty organ known as the brain and disrupts numerous biological processes. [*Update – I have since learned, that mercury and electromagnetic field radiation (EMR) have a synergistic negative effect causing many of the symptoms. I share more below.]

To my knowledge, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) may be the only way to move mercury out of the brain. So I planned to move from detoxing to chelating with frequent, low-doses of ALA around my one year amalgam-free anniversary and set out to learn as much as I possibly could.

What follows are my notes on ALA chelation from reading Cutler’s book on amalgam illness, forum posts, asking questions, doctor visits, etc. It is a long post because it is where I keep all of the key info I refer back to personally. If it seems like too much (I get it, reading with a mercurial mind or brain fog is rough), just read one section at a time:

  • Who Is Cutler & Why The Controversy?
  • What Is Chelation?
  • What Is ALA?
  • The AC ALA Chelation Protocol: Half-Life, & Mercury Redistribution, Rounds, Dosing and Supplements
  • When Not To Chelate
  • My Trial Week Journal (Dosing, Scheduling, & Lessons Learned)
  • Appendix: Resources, DMSA & DMPS

Q: What could someone expect as side effects [of ALA]?

A: “The symptoms due to heavy metals can get worse while you are giving the LA. Other random new symptoms can appear, too, like obsessiveness or depression or euphoria.” Culter

Who Is Cutler & Why The Controversy?

Dr. Andrew Hall Cutler (AC), Princeton chemistry PhD, came up with a protocol to heal himself from amalgam mercury toxicity. He wrote books about heavy metal poisoning, hair testing, and chelation. He explains:

“I wrote this book because I became seriously ill while most doctors told me there was nothing wrong. After an “environmental medicine” doctor suggested I had amalgam illness I had to read lots of medical literature to figure out what was going on and what to do about it. I got better after having my fillings replaced and taking appropriate chelating agents.” (Cutler)

Finding out that the AC ALA Chelation Protocol even existed was a blessing. It was not mainstream when I was researching it and may never be. The protocol has helped many and also hurt some. There are a lot of reasons why I believe this could be the case. Since this protocol can be done without a practitioner, and is often done by patients who are mercury poisoned, many things can go wrong. Here are a few examples:

  1. The protocol needs to be followed VERY carefully — not always easy with a mercurial brain or when sleep-deprived.
  2. It is easy to miss a dose, especially in the middle of the night or on a busy day, or any day when one has brain fog. If a dose is missed by more than an hour, you MUST STOP the round. However, stopping a round early means there will be too much mercury redistribution.
  3. Some try to chelate while still having amalgams or other mercury exposure.
  4. Some start the doses too high. In fact, the original high-end of Cutler’s dose range may have been too high. He has since addressed this.
  5. Some try to raise the doses too quickly — it is tempting to think increasing the dose will get more mercury out but this is not true! This may be because the body can only handle chelating what it is able to eliminate without getting backed up.
  6. Elimination pathways need to be working well to get rid of all of the heavy metals that are mobilized, adrenals need to be healthy, the body needs to have the right co-factors which are often lacking, and adequate hydration is imperative.
  7. Some want to chelate non-stop to get more mercury out. However, down-time must be taken between rounds to give the body a break. Otherwise, adrenal fatigue and other problems may arise.
  8. A smaller number of people have allergic reactions to ALA, DMSA, or DMPS or have sulphur issues.
  9. Some health practitioners will insist ALA is bad and suggest taking R-lipoic acid. R-lipoic acid is not the same as using ALA for chelation. Cutler covers this in his book.
  10. Cutler’s book is difficult to read. Lots of science! Understanding the science or biology can be confusing (e.g. see half-life below). But the science is why I trust this protocol.

Given all that, if you can follow rules and are okay with being more like a tortoise than a hare (i.e. slow and steady wins the race), The AC ALA Chelation Protocol might be the appropriate choice.


From what I understand, chelation is the process of binding an organic compound (e.g. a dithiol agent like ALA) to a metal ion (like mercury) to pull it from the body. The word is derived from the Greek work “chele” meaning claw.

To chelate mercury, Cutler recommends avoiding thiol binders and using at least one of three dithiol binders:

Thiols, like chlorella and cilantro, are natural detoxifiers that only have one binding claw. They are more likely to grab hold of heavy metals with one claw and easily release the metals at random places in the body. That can lead to redistribution.

Dithiols — ALA, DMSA, and DPMS — are chelators with two binding claws (hence “di” meaning two) that more efficiently grab mercury, hold on to it, and drop it off at the correct place for detoxing and elimination. This is different from detoxification with thiol binders. e.g. A crab grabbing hold with one vs. two claws
e.g. A football receiver catching a football with one hand vs. two and then getting tackled. A two-handed catch is more likely to result in a completed pass

In Cutler’s book, forums, and interviews he said only the anti-oxidant ALA is necessary for chelation and that the other two synthetic (not made in the body) chelators, DMSA & DPMS, are optional for mercury chelation. [Outstanding question: is ALA synthetic if in supplement form made in a lab…]

Because my body reacts easily to chemicals I believed that DMSA & DMPS were not a good choice for me. While they may expedite mercury chelation and chelate lead and arsenic, I met with a mercury support group as part of my research and the people using DMSA and DMPS were having a difficult time.  So I mostly cover ALA in this post but have written a few notes about DMSA&DMPS in the appendix below.

(Update: I tried to incorporate a very low amount of DMSA from LivingSupplements and did not do well with it at all.)

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Lipoic acid (LA), also known as α-lipoic acid[2], alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and thioctic acid[3] is an organosulfur compound derived from octanoic acid. LA contains two sulfur atoms (at C6 and C8) connected by a disulfide bond and is thus considered to be oxidized although either sulfur atom can exist in higher oxidation states. (Wikipedia)

ALA is an anti-oxidant manufactured in the body. However, ALA is often not made in the body in the amounts necessary for metabolic processes, including glucose metabolism, energy production, and supporting the nervous system and liver function. (ALA tested low on my Genova NutrEval Test so I believe this was true for my body).

Because ALA is water and fat soluble, it can cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), and according to Cutler’s theory, latch on to mercury and pull it out of the brain! I once heard ALA described as an elite military operator — when it is in the body, it neutralizes harmful free radicals and chelates both intracellular and extracellular mercury (and arsenic) from the brain and nervous system.

So how did Cutler know once ALA crosses the BBB that it can chelate mercury out of the brain?

While a hair test can indicate heavy metal burden in an individual, there is no true way to measure the amount of mercury in the brain and how much is eliminated unless an autopsy is performed.  So how did Cutler arrive at his conclusion? Here are a few of his words I found helpful:

So we have journal papers that say lipoic acid crosses the BBB, lipoic acid chelates mercury (and tons of other stuff), lipoic acid increases urinary and fecal excretion of mercury, lipoic acid is effective for treating mercury poisoning in a variety of mammals, lipoic acid prevents the pathological brain changes characteristic of mercury poisoning, and we have a bunch of adults who tried it and have had their neurological and centrally mediated endocrine symptoms cured. This set of facts leads me to conclude lipoic acid effectively chelates mercury out of the human brain. It is up to you what you make of it. Andy Cutler

The 1979 Gigiena Truda paper by Leskova is the best journal article on the subject. Of course the more definitive proof is all the formerly mercury toxic people around who got that way using lipoic acid, including by now a few formerly autistic kids. Andy

To be honest, I am not 100% sure what I “make of it”. The 1979 Gigiena Truda paper by Leskova is a Russian study based on rats so Cutler did have to extrapolate. (Why there is so little research available, especially with the rise of Alzheimer’s and other diseases is another topic for another day!)

I eventually landed here: If Cutler is correct about ALA chelating mercury out of the brain, that would be amazing! And if Cutler is not correct, ALA does chelate mercury from the body. I have plenty of mercury stored in my organs and fat cells that needs to be eliminated so following the protocol is still relevant in my healing journey. I also had a feeling that I would have to try the protocol to know how it affected me to validate what other formerly mercury toxic people felt so definitive about.

So the more important question for me was – how to use ALA safely in order to prevent mercury from repeatedly settling in the brain and organs and causing more damage.

The AC ALA Chelation Protocol

Half-life & Mercury Redistribution: Half-life, in short, is the time it takes to break down and eliminate a substance from the body. Medication is often dosed in this way to provide a steady level of the chemical in the blood over a given period of time.

Cutler says ALA’s half-life is 3 hours. That means it takes 3 hours for the body to break down ALA and eliminate it from the body. Thus, the protocol requires chelation with ALA frequently, i.e. at its half-life every 3 hours, to ensure that ALA is constantly in the body to escort mercury out and prevent redistribution into tissue and organs for each round.

Breaking down ALA chelation further:

  • A low dose of ALA is taken e.g. 1-50mg.
  • That ALA goes around the body in search of mercury.
  • When the ALA finds mercury, it grabs it and takes it to the correct elimination facility where it is removed from the body through urine, feces, and sweat.
    • This is why elimination pathways should be working well and hydration is extremely important. “72% leaves in feces, 28% in urine. If you sweat you get rid of extra. DMSA and DMPS make more come out in urine. You excrete lots on your ow[n] without chelators.” Cutler
    • To minimizes elimination pathway bottle-necks and prevent damaging organs, the ALA dose should be low enough so that it is not more than the body and organs can efficiently clear.
    • From a timing perspective, some of the ALA crosses the blood brain barrier and supposedly binds to mercury in the brain. This new compound passes through the liver (it takes a day to be moved out in the bile) and into the gastrointestinal tract and the kidneys. Two days after an ALA round begins, mercury is then excreted in the stool. “It also does clear some in urine, and once in the blood mercury comes out in urine and stool on its own as well.” Cutler.
  • At ALA’s half-life of 3 hours, ALA expires or starts go away. Any mercury that had been picked up (a.k.a mobilized) by the expiring ALA, and not yet eliminated, can then be released and redistribute back into the brain, organs, tissues, etc. and cause harm all over again.
  • Replenishing ALA at its half-life means new ALA is continuously available to pick up mobilized mercury and escort it out through the elimination pathways. I think of it as a hand-off from one employee leaving a job and another seamlessly taking its place.
  • Bound mercury is continually excreted until the end of each round.
  • At the end of the round, the last ALA half-life, there will be a small amount of mercury left that does get redistributed. In a perfect world this is not ideal. But, according to Cutler’s science, taking ALA every 3 hours for a 72 hour round means that there will be a net movement of mercury out of the body and only a small amount left to redistribute after the last dose of ALA. The body supposedly can heal from this small amount.
  • There is an exception to this rule. Some people will need to take the ALA even more frequently if their body metabolizes it faster. As this is not my case, I did not document that info here.

Is a round 64, 72 hours, or longer? 

  • In Cutler’s book, a round is 72 hours. Typically 3 day on / 4 day off.
  • Online Cutler says “The correct interpretation is from arising on day 1 to bedtime on day 3. This typically is 64 hours for those who sleep 8 hours a night.”
  • From my research, 72 hours is optimal to chelate unless you are a child in school chelating over the weekend and can only do 64 hours.
  • Taking ALA every three hours over the minimum time needed to have a net movement of mercury out of the body that exceeds the amount redistributed (64+ hours) ensures that there is a net removal of mercury.
  • Rounds can be longer than 3 days, but there should be an equal amount of time off round as spent on. For example, a 7 day round requires a 7 day break. This may be harder on the adrenals but I believe it mean less mercury redistribution.
  • ALA causes less copper to be released during rounds causing problems in the long-term (especially for copper toxic people) so the off-days are important to allow balance to return to the body.

What is the correct dose?

  • Start with a low dose and see if there are any side effects (e.g. adrenal fatigue, allergic reactions, headaches, etc.)
  • Being too aggressive with dosing sizes may lead to painful side-effects.
  • The body does not release mercury consistently, so dosages should be increased after using the same dose for many rounds with diminished or no side effects.
  • If no symptoms after several rounds, increase the dose by no more than 50% e.g. 1%, 5% or 10% are all less than 50%. Start low until you have completed a lot of rounds.
  • If too many symptoms cut back the dose the next round but try not to stop the round early. At least try to make it to 64 hours.
  • Do not expect symptom-free rounds. The most common side-effect is fatigue.

How long does one chelate?

  • In his book, Cutler estimated that ALA + DMSA “removes about 1/2 to 1% of the mercury in the brain every day that you chelate” p 90. Cutler likely determined this from the Russian rat study (100mg of ALA + DMSA…)
  • Frequent-low-dose chelation can take anywhere from 70-300 rounds to recover (1 – 3 years) with 70 rounds chelating out 50% of total mercury from the brain.
  • Cutler advises to continue chelation for another 6 months to a year AFTER you think you’re well. Wait a few months, and start another round at a lower dose, just to make sure.
    • Cutler allegedly followed his protocol for around 9 months and did not finish chelating although he planned to start again.
  • Mercury has been removed when one can take high doses of the chelators with no side-effects. (e.g. 200 mg.) I read that it can take years to get to the maximum dose of ALA per day of about 1200 mg over twenty-four hours without causing bad or intolerable side effects (1). I personally do not plan to go that high.

Supplements According To Cutler

  • Dithiols pull on both mercury AND essential minerals so supplementing is critical.
  • Antioxidant vitamins C, B, & E and zinc & magnesium should be taken while chelating on and off rounds to support detox pathways and minimize symptoms.
    • ALA enhances the activity of vitamins C and E.
  • Many are deficient in specific micronutrients due to genetics or lack of minerals in modern industrialized food so those should be tested and supplemented.
  • In addition, hair tests using Cutler’s counting rules may show deranged mineral transport.
  • Mercury often interferes with the metabolism of sulphur foods. According to Cutler a “high sulphur” person may need to limit the ALA dose amount and/or limit sulphur foods (like dairy, eggs, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower with free thiols.) To figure this out, test plasma cysteine – if high, avoid, if low, continue eating. (Read molybdenum info in Part 2.)
  • It took a lot of time for me to research and purchase ALA and the support supplements that I was not already taking. And then more time to trial the new support supplements to make sure they didn’t cause any negative reactions. If interested in more info, please read: Part 2: Chelating ALA: Procuring Supplies & Resources.

When Not To Chelate

According to Cutler, a recent mercury exposure means one needs to wait at least 3 months before chelating. In other words, only chelate if ALL of the amalgam fillings metal is removed from the mouth (including under crowns) and there has been no recent exposure to mercury from the amalgam removal, flu shots, broken compact fluorescent lightbulb or thermometer exposure, high mercury fish consumption or other sources like some broken cell phones.

Cutler’s reasoning: The amount of mercury in the body needs to be less than the amount in the brain to prevent ALA from redistributing mercury from the body to the brain via the path of least resistance vs. out the elimination pathways.

Unfortunately, while attempting to remove my lighting kit with 18 CFL’s, I was exposed to mercury from a broken CFL. I do not know why I did not wear protective gloves, clothing, and a mask as a precaution. That was my first experience with acute mercury poisoning (i.e. not chronic like from amalgams). As I carefully discarded the broken CFL bulb, I hoped that it had broken months prior and the mercury had maybe settled and was not airborne. However, that night I experienced fever sweats, joint and muscle aches, brain inflammation, headaches, etc. Regardless of what government organizations say, no amount of mercury is “safe”.

I explained what happened to Cutler on a Facebook group and asked if it was safe to start ALA. He said yes, so I decided to do a trial week of ALA chelation. After that week, I decided it would be better for my brain to postpone chelation for three months and switched gears to parasite cleansing. Two noteworthy lessons: one, radiation from a nearby cell tower was a major reason why chelating then resulted in painful symptoms and two, I maybe would have taken DMSA to mop up the CFL mercury as it can be taken after 4 days of exposure (or four days after amalgam restoration is completed).

My Trial ALA Week Following The AC ALA Chelation Protocol

Because of the broken CFL mercury exposure, I started ALA at a lower dose of 12 mg instead of Cutler’s recommendation of 1/8 mg per pound of body weight up to 1/2 mg per lb. (In my case that would have been 17 mg to 68 mg.)

I started my round on Monday at 11am, taking 12 mg of ALA every 3 hours for 72 hours around the clock without missing a dose. Major symptoms: fever sweat, fatigue, neck pinch.

Lessons Learned

  • With a mercurial brain, I made preparing for ALA chelation more complicated than necessary.
  • I am so glad I did a trial run of ALA chelation and no longer have fear of the unknown. Three days and three nights answered so many questions without feeling like I was signing up for a two to three-year-long sleep deprivation sentence.
  • I need to get in a good sleep pattern even with mercury messing up melatonin production. My optimal number of hours sleeping is somewhere between 9 and 10 hours, so waking up 3 times by alarm at night for three nights kinda sucks to put it nicely. Having to wake up in the middle of a deep REM cycle is even more disruptive.
  • Stretching out the night doses to every four hours twice during the night is ok so I do. However, this means each day the dosing time changes by and hour and can impact having a consistent bed time.
  • Having a good alarm system in place so I didn’t miss a dose was extremely important! I use two alarms so I have a fail-safe in case I do not hear one of the alarms or accidentally set one alarm incorrectly (which I surprisingly do more than I would think).
    • 1. An itouch (on airplane mode) – set the alarm for 24 hours before the round. Because I switch to dosing every four hours at night I have to shift the alarms each day.
    • 2. A four event timer – set the 4 alarms to go off 5 minutes after the itouch alarms. I was surprised how I could not remember if I took the ALA or not moments later so I only turn off this timer after I physically take the ALA. At night, I sometimes need this loud buzzing alarm after sleeping through the itouch music alarm.
  • After the last ALA half-life wears off I took a sauna (three hours after the last dose of ALA) to help excrete mercury. I experienced no noticeable symptoms or side-effects when I did this.
  • Keep a journal, number each round, and document symptoms in case you need to look back. Honestly, I cannot remember one round from the next most days unless I look back at my notes.


I chelated full-time with higher doses of ALA. I did not have major symptoms on or off round from chelating and had less brain fog and more mental sharpness with each passing round. However, I felt what I call a burn on the back of my neck on day one of each round and stopped chelating  until I was able to be in a home environment with very minimal EMF.

Sadly, I learned most of the symptoms I mentioned at the start of this post were from cell tower radiation. A cell tower with four powerful antennas was placed less than 200 feet from my apartment. Did you know that Radio Frequency (RF) radiation from cell towers and wireless devices accelerates the release of mercury from amalgams? From a recent Iran study:

Effect of radio frequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations (Source: Study published on

In a vicious cycle, mercury released from the amalgams into the body and brain then acts as an antenna attracting more radiation.

The most painful part of this is that the high levels of mercury in the body combined with too much radiation can cause a physical impairment to all wireless devices and electricity. This would not be that big of a problem if wireless communication devices were not so ubiquitous. The EMF impairment is commonly referred to as electro-sensitivity and it is on the rise.

So if I had anything of value to add to the AC ALA Chelation Protocol it would be this: DO NOT CHELATE IF EXPOSED TO HIGH LEVELS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION! (This includes cell phones, tablets, wireless routers and other devices that are in your homes and in closest proximity to you.)

On the 29th of July 2017 Cutler passed away. I feel fortunate to have been able to have had the opportunity to ask him personal questions on several different occasions. His passing did give me pause for thought.

I no longer use Cutler’s ALA chelation protocol. I switched to a food-based protocol which is less complicated and resonates with my body, mind and soul. I drink a delicious heavy metal detox smoothie daily and detox my liver by eating a low-fat plant-based diet, taking clean supplements, and reducing adrenal stress when possible. It is a bit time-consuming shopping for groceries, cooking, and cleaning but it is completely natural and I don’t have to wake up every 3-4 hours in the night to take ALA. My impairment to EMF for the first time is decreasing and my health is improving. That is how I know what I am doing is actually working for me.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! I am completing a book that follows where this blog leaves off and hope by the time I finish I will have a success story worth sharing. For now, you can read how to eliminate or reduce radiation by clicking here and leave a comment below if you found any of this helpful. Best wishes on your healing journey!

 Be Gutsy!



There is plenty of info on how to chelate online without spending upwards of $80 on Cutler’s books. However, I will not expose my body to anything without educating myself as much as possible and have referenced the following repeatedly:

  1. Books
  • Both of Cutler’s paper-bound books are well researched and worth the investment — though difficult to grasp with a mercurial brain. I use Cutler’s second book to interpret heavy metal hair tests and research all of the other modern-day heavy metal toxins we are exposed to like Thallium, Arsenic, Nickel, and Cadmium.
  • Many parent’s with autistic children use the protocol to heal their children with the help of a book called Fight Autism And Win. It is only 100 pages and when I received it I thought it was on the pricey side for such a short book. But it the book is concise, well-written, and covers how to do the protocol in a much more user-friendly form. I think of it as the cliff notes version of Cutler’s book. It is helpful regardless if one is chelating an autistic child or themselves.

2. Online Forums

  • If you have a child that needs chelation, you can join the Fight Autism And Win Facebook Group. Jan, co-author of the book of the same name above, moderates and should win an award for supporting members with such grace, generosity, and knowledge.
  • Cutler used to comment on a private Facebook Group and the community is actively moderated by people who use the protocol. It is difficult to search the FB page for info and a lot of newbies who have not read Cutler’s book ask basic questions there. There are a a handful of moderators who interacted quite a bit with Cutler and work hard to maintain his legacy as best they can. They are extremely strict and might I say a few are quite rude in their attempt to be ACC purists.
  • Prior to Facebook, Cutler posted in the Yahoo Group Frequent Dose ChelationAdult Metal Chelation. Both groups were still active at the time I wrote this post but Yahoo Groups changed. (There was one specific moderator who knew a lot of history and Cutler-isms. Grateful for his input! I believe he is now a moderator on the Facebook Group)
  • Onibasu Forum is the forum that preceded the Yahoo Groups. It is read only but has a lot of Cutler’s original answers to questions about his protocol. (I actually prefer using this resource to hear words directly from the source.)

3. Service Providers

  • There is a nurse who live in Seattle and worked with client’s chelating using the protocol. will work with patient’s over the phone, but was booked several months out when I called. In lieu of postponing chelation, I learned as much as I could from Cutler’s book and online resources. I was comfortable moving forward with a trial week knowing that I could stop future rounds and meet with the nurse. One person online even shared that it is more cost-effective to do a trial first so I could share those notes with the nurse. Good tip!
    • Update: Nurse Julie is semi-retired in Arizona and may stop taking patients in the near future. Her rates may be on the higher-end for some. I did not end up working with her for chelation but I found her to be kind and well-versed in health from a holistic perspective.

A Few Notes On DMPS & DMSA

“DMPS and DMSA do not remove mercury from the nervous system and can redistribute mercury to it. It is necessary to use a protocol specifically designed to minimize this… Lipoic acid DOES remove mercury from the nervous system and DOES substantially accelerate mercury clearance. Using DMPS and DMSA with it reduces its side effects, and I speculate that it synergistically accelerates mercury clearance much more than using the agents separately” Cutler p. 202

DPMS (Dimercaptol-propanesulfonic acid)

  • According to Doctor’s Data, taking DMPS results in marked increases in copper excretion.
  • May be beneficial if cannot use DMSA, and of not lead toxic
  • May reduce redistribution when ALA round ends
  • 2.5mg taken every 8 hours ongoing unless deciding to take a break
  • DMPS is easier all around to start with

DMSA (Dimercaptosuccinic acid)

  • May get mercury out of the body around 30% faster than if taking ALA alone according to Culter.
  • Water soluble chelator
  • Removes mercury and other metals like lead from the body
  • Lead protocol: 8 rounds of DMSA then once monthly (not sure how long)
  • Can be used several days after an exposure
  • Can reduce spaciness and adrenal symptoms from taking ALA alone
  • Lowers neutrophils so yeast might become a problem
    • “Neutrophils are in charge of killing off extra yeast. Mercury is known to inhibit some of the specific chemistry neutrophils use to kill yeast.” (2).
    • “Arginine increases neutrophil production of NO, which neutrophils use to kill yeast. If take too much arginine without lysine may increase susceptibility to certain viral infections.”
    • “Taurine increases neutrophil ability to withstand their own OCl- (bleach) which they also use to kill yeast.”
  • Also skin reactions for some
  • Has sulfury smell when fresh
  • DMPS does not need to be increased above 25-50 mg max

Finally, DO NOT DO A PROVOCATIVE URINE CHALLENGE TEST! This is often recommended by some Naturopaths, to determine the amount of metals in the body. A hair testing is a safer and less expensive way to test metals in the body for the majority of people without redistributing metals to the brain and other organs. (The challenge test uses high amounts of a chelator like DMPS or DMSA that mobilize high amounts of heavy metals from tissues and organs in the body. Once the high dose of DMSA half-life of three hours passes, the mobilized mercury left in the body will redistribute into the blood and then back into the tissues and organs. I think it is equivalent to getting acute poisoning all over again and can make one more sick. is often referenced as a placed where people who were harmed by the Provocative tests document their experience.

Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out

Frequent-Low-Dose Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) Supplements To Take While Chelate Mercury

Do not reproduce without written permission.Part 2 – Supplements For The Cutler ALA Chelation Protocol

As I wrote in Part 1, chelating mercury with ALA burns through vitamins, minerals, and other co-factors as it works to remove mercury from the body and brain. This is why supplementing is necessary when using this protocol.

Understanding and purchasing the supplements has been time-consuming — finding cleaner supplements and ALA in low doses is challenging. However, I believe understanding supplementation is important for health in general for everyone. So I am grateful I had a compelling reason to invest my time and resources into this endeavor.

In this post:

  • Avoiding Excipients, Binders, & Fillers
  • Vitamins & Minerals To Support The AC ALA Chelation Protocol
  • Where To Buy ALA

Avoiding Excipients, Binders, & Fillers

Supplement manufacturers often add excipients (binders, fillers, etc.) to make production quicker / cheaper, coatings to make supplements easier to swallow, or colors to make them look nice. In small doses, they say it is “safe”, but I’m not convinced that taking numerous capsules a day for an extended period of time is okay for my body. This may be a controversial statement, but here is one  example:

“previous research has shown that stearic acid suppresses T cells—your natural killer cells—which are a key component of your immune system. According to that study, stearic acid causes the collapse of cell membrane integrity—an effect that was found to be time and dose dependent—which, ultimately, can destroy cell function.” Dr. Mercola

When I first started this process, part of me wished Cutler had recommended supplements online to make his protocol easier. I read on an archived forum that Cutler suggested using supplements in the citrate form but he no longer shares / endorses brands online. However, even if Cutler had recommend brands I would have probably had to search on my own — I asked Cutler on Facebook about excipients and he did not think they were concerning.

When purchasing supplements, I look for:

  • Physician / high-quality
  • Natural food-based
  • Well-absorbed
  • No additives (like artificial colors)
  • No binders (like hydrogenated soybean oil or gluten)
  • No fillers (like magnesium stearate as a lubricant that may suppress the immune system & titanium dioxide that can lead to problems with the immune function.)
  • No toxins (like GMO corn or heavy metals, GMO gelatin capsules, or Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)
  • Not grown with genetically modified yeast
  • No common allergens (like wheat, dairy, soy, etc.)
  • Manufactured in the US (not China, however this is usually not an option so at least make sure highest quality of testing and certification are in place.)
  • Not from the local drugstore (quality concerns), local health store (too many excipients), or Amazon (unknown sellers, possible knock-offs)

Vitamins & Minerals To Support ALA Chelation

For dosing supplements, I find serum testing and symptom tracking to be helpful in deciding what my body needs. And to know if what I am taking is absorbing. I also used Fight Autism & Win and AC’s book / AFC yahoo group doses listed below as starting points.

Please note that all humans are unique and react to supplements in different ways. I share my notes on supplements and brand I have tried below, but none of this is advice, an endorsement or recommendation, and all of it is subject to change.

1. Essential Supplements – For simplicity, I initially purchased the Basic Four from Everything Spectrum. One capsule taken four times a day with Vitamin C, E, magnesium and zinc in the forms helpful for chelation. (Note: They are not inexpensive and I still need to research if there are any GMOs, heavy metals, or quality concerns from this company —  the owner made these for her kin, my hope is that they are legit!)

I also purchased these supplements in individual forms:

    • Vitamin C “Buffered” form
    • Dose: 125-200 mg (4x/day, total 500-800 mg) [adult: 1/2 to 2 grams 4x/day].
    • Brand: Now Foods Magnesium Ascorbate. (GMO corn?)
    • Brand: Lypo-Spheric C (Expensive so I take on special occasions, like amalgam removal, traveling, cold/flu. I take half the packet in the am and half in the afternoon. I put a gulp of water in my mouth, tilt my head back, and then squeeze the contents directly into the water in my mouth and swallow. Some like the taste, me not so much. I used to put water in a small cup and put the C in the water but the contents are wasted and stick to the container.)
    • Brand: Calcium Ascorbate Nutribiology (I rotated this in only once in a while as I don’t want to do too much calcium in this form).
    • Notes:
      • AC: “Sodium ascorbate form is good if taking large amount bc it will not make the body acidic like the more common ascorbic acid forms”. On Onibasu Cutler mentioned some are made from beets instead of corn…
      • What does buffered mean…”Mineral salts of ascorbic acid (mineral ascorbates) are less acidic, and therefore, considered “buffered.”” (3)
        • Potassium ascorbate: “The minimal requirement for potassium is thought to be between 1.6 and 2.0 g/day. Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of potassium, and a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may provide as much as 8 to 11 g/day. Acute and potentially fatal potassium toxicity (hyperkalemia) is thought to occur at a daily intake of about 18 g/day of potassium in adults. …The purest form of commercially available potassium ascorbate contains 0.175 grams (175 mg) of potassium per gram of ascorbate.”
        • Magnesium ascorbate: “(RDA) for magnesium is 400-420 mg/day for adult men and 310-320 mg/day for adult women….(UL)…should not exceed 350 mg/day”
    • Vitamin E
    • Dose: 400-800 iu (1 dose or multi) [adult: 1000-3000 IU daily].
    • Brand: Unique E d-alpha tocopherol 400 IU 1333 % (Has glycerin but no soy, if purchasing others look for non-GMO soy). Hurts my chest when I take it orally.
    • Notes: AC: take d-alpha form (NOT dl-alpha form).
    • Magnesium.
    • Dose: 73-150 mg (4x/day, total 300-600 mg) [adult: 500-1000 mg in divided doses]
    • Brand: Pure Encapsulation Magnesium Glycenate 120 mg 30% (PE purchased by Nestle in 2018)
    • Notes: I take one to three of these every night in addition to the multi-vitamin.
    • AC: Not oxide form. Mercury blocks the body from utilizing magnesium.
    • Zinc
    • 1 mg per pound of wt + 20 mg (1 dose or multi) [adult: 50-100 mg daily]
    • Brand: Metabolic Maintenance Zinc Picolinate 30 mg 200%
    • Notes: When I supplement extra zinc, I take it with evening primrose oil or black currant seed oil (GLA’s) to help with absorption. (See anxiety supplement post for detailed notes). Nausea if taken on empty stomach or wrong form for individual.

2. Optional Supplements – Many of the optional supplements are in the multivitamins I take so I do not supplement them individually: ANRC (this is the brand I use the most), EverythingSpectrum children’s multi-vitamin, and Klaire Labs Vitaspectrum powder (no longer manufactured).

  • Vitamin A
    • Dose: 5,000-10,000 iu / day.
    • Brand: May purchase Rosita Real Foods Norway extra virgin cod liver oil.
    • Notes: Currently not supplementing vitamin A individually.
  • B complex (methylated)
    • Dose: 12-25 mg /day (divided into 3 doses) [adult: equivalent to “b25” or “b50” 4x/day].
    • Brand: Thorne Research Basic B Complex Vegetarian Capsules (has Additives).
    • Brand: Pure Encapsulation B Complex Plus – 120 VegiCaps (has Asc. palmitate).
    • Notes: Currently not taking either. When I did take them, I rotated and split caps into four smaller capsules. I learned the hard way that I have to be careful with some B vitamins even though they are considered water-soluble because it is possible to overdose on them. (Read more on my other supplements here).
  • Calcium
    • Dose: 5-20 mg / lb (divided into 4 doses).
    • Food source: Vegetables and Strauss full fat Greek yogurt sometimes.
    • Notes: Supplementing calcium is controversial so I’m not taking it except a small amount in a multi-vitamin. Prefer food source. Dr. Huggin’s thought calcium does the most damage in excess.
  • Chromium
    • Dose: 100-200 mCg / day or w/every meal if blood sugar issues
    • Brand: Innate Response, 100 mCg (-silica)
    • Notes: I take this ~2/month when I eat something that gives me GI discomfort. May try picolinate form that I can take more often. Chromium can help with sugar levels.
  • Vitamin D3
    • Dose:1000 – 2000 iu / day.
    • Brand: Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte Vitamin D — 2000 IU – 1 fl oz as cholecalciferol 1 drop = 1,000 IU 500% (sesame).
    • Brand: Rx Vitamins Physician Formulated Liqui-D3 (evoo base).
    • Brand: Thorne Research Vitamin D3 1000iu / K2 (menatetrenone) 200mcgs per 2 drops
    • Notes: I take this in the morning as it can keep me up at night if I take it too late in the day. I like liquid forms — put it right under the tongue and it absorbs into the body without having to go through the digestive tract. I also try to get in the sun for 20-30 minutes mid-day in non-winter months without sunblock. Sunshine is the best way of getting this “hormone” but I need to supplement on top of that until my tests show otherwise, especially if looking at genes. I’ve heard repeatedly that vitamin D levels should be on the upper range, like 80, for a healing crisis.
  • Vitamin K1 or K2
    • Dose: 500-1000 mCg / day.
    • Brand: Thorne Research K2 liquid 15 drops = 15 mg, 18,750%
    • Notes: I take only 1 drop of this K2 daily with 1 drop of vitamin D in the morning if not taking the combined Thorne version above. Vitamin K helps prevent calcification, especially if supplementing calcium.
  • Molybdenum
    • Dose: 5-20 mCg / lb (divided into 4 doses) [adults: ~1000 mcg/day].
    • Notes: High dose warning if chelating lead. Need to find and take? ALA is sulfury. I am still trying to understand sulphur, sulfate, sulfur

Part of sulphur metabolism produces poisonous sulphites [R-SO3] further down the chain. Sulphites are also found in many foods e.g. white wine. These must quickly be converted to non-toxic sulphates [R-SO4] by the liver. This process uses an enzyme called sulphite oxidase (SO) which requires molybdenum in its core. Often mercury substitutes itself for molybdenum rendering the enzyme useless. This is why molybdenum is one the important minerals to take while chelating, especially those with high copper as molybdenum reduces copper absorption. ALA tends to increase copper retention and molybdenum will help a lot when ALA is being used. (1)

  • Selenium
    • Rec. Dose: 1-2 mcg / lb (divided into 3 doses) [adult: 200 mcg as selenomethionine].
    • Food source: Brazil nuts.
    • Notes: Taking in multi-vitamin. Prefer food source. Started consuming one brazil nut one to a few times a week after testing indicated low-ish. Chew well until paste. I plan to soak and dehydrate them in the future to get rid of anti-nutrients.
    • AC: selenium “binds very tightly to mercury and passivates it so I did not supplement any selenium when I had amalgams and avoided it initially for approx 6 months after.
    • AC:Taking more selenium: 1. Reduces the level of “free” mercury that is bouncing around doing damage. 2. Since mercury binds very tightly to selenium it interferes with the enzyme creation (e.g. glutathione peroxidase and the enzyme which converts the thyroid hormone T4 to the more active form T3.) . Taking more selenium lets the body make more of the enzymes that require selenium.

3. Additional Supplements Based On Bio-Individual Needs

  • Adrenal Support – common for chelation to tax the adrenal glands. Not currently taking any.
  • Antifungals (See Parasite post)
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
    • Dose: Adults: 100-400 mg
    • Notes: NutrEval test showed my body had good amounts without any supplementation. Will re-test when chelating full-time.
  • Essential Fatty Acids
    • Dose: 1-3 TBS / day via fish oil, flax, [1-2 2/3 TBSP = 15-50 g] and borage oil [1-4 g].
    • Brand: Barlean’s flax oil with lignans. Looking for good quality borage oil.
    • Notes: Make sure flax oil is high quality refrigerated / not rancid. Taking first 2 weeks out of monthly cycle. Avoiding fish oil for now (See Anxiety post.) Need to understand EFA breakdown from my NutrEval test – need more DHA and EPA.
  • Herbs – like Swedish Bitters, organic herbs & greens for liver and kidney support. Never found a good brand for bitters but I eat a lot more greens and herbs
  • Milk Thistle
    • Dose: 20-80 mg (3-4 times/day) [250-750 mg silymarin 4x/day pref w/meals].
    • Notes: Supplemented split Pure Encapsulation capsules only on days when chelating.
  • Mixed carotenes, lycopene, etc.:
    • Food source: Organic fruits & vegetables?
    • Notes: Need to research
  • Hydergine
    • Dose: 10-20 mg / day
    • Notes: Need to figure out need?
  • Lithium Orotate
    • Brand: Priority One Vitamins Lithium Organic 5 mg.
    • Notes: Taking in one multivitamin and also when chelating full-time.
    • COMT (+/-) VDR Taq (-/-) individuals will be susceptible to iodine and lithium depletion as they detoxify. No dopamine precursors such as quercetin or herb macuna puriens. Diet low in tyrosine, the amino acid precursor of dopamine. (2)
    • AC: “mercury toxic people need it during chelation, especially when the hair test shows it to be low.”
  • Probiotics
  • Sulphate – Epsom salt baths – make sure sans heavy metals!

4. Supplement I take occasionally:

  • Digestive Enzymes took Integrative Therapeutics Similase on as needed basis. (The company recently added magnesium stearate so switched to a different brand.)
  • Potassium – Currently taking in my multi-vitamin. Potassium is regulated in larger doses and needs a prescription so I get it from food sources like Bieler’s Broth / Potassium Broth.
  • Riboflavin – My B complex that I used to take has vitamin B2 as Ribolfavin 5′-Phosphate Sodium 10 mg 588%. Not supplementing in capsules individually. B2 is hard to find without excipients. I would have supplemented it individually because it tested very low in my body after thallium toxicity.
  • Thiamin – currently getting in a multivitamin (B1 110 mg 7,333%). Tested very low in my body after thallium / arsenic poisoning. Hard to find individually without excipients.
  • Iodine – take food source Dulse when craving it and Kelp supplements. A lot of good info on taking Lugol’s iodine, but I have not had the time yet.
  • Bentonite Clay – binds with mercury but can dehydrate and build up in the gut. I took it on occasion with fiber like organic psyllium husk to help with motility but now just use it for face masks.

5. Supplements I avoid:

  • No Copper (see anxiety posts for more on copper toxicity)
  • No Iron (too much oxidative stress in supplement form, focusing on food forms for now).
  • No Liquid Trace Minerals (contain heavy metals. It is sometimes added to reverse osmosis water. Same with a lot of salt products.)
  • No Amino Acid Supplementation
    • Notes: Genova NutrEval test indicated my body was low in quite a few amino acids. I supplemented once but did not like how it made my head feel. Amino acids like tryptophan, 5HTP GABA help make neurotransmitters, but I think it is complex and try to give my body the food sources to work it out on its own. e.g. GABA is known to cross the blood-brain-barrier and mine is compromised by mercury toxicity.

Sourcing Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Synthetic ALA, aka thiotic acid, is available OTC, without a prescription in the U.S. However, it is mostly sold in large doses e.g. 100-600 mg capsules.

I was advised to buy the larger capsules and split them as equally as possible by eyesight or buy ALA in bulk powder form (to avoid excipients) and a microscale or micro-scoops, size 4 (smallest) to save money over the long-run.

I purchased measuring tools and a small bag of bulk ALA — ALA looses its potency over time so not good to stock up. But it was too much work to figure out how to use the scale or trust the micro-scoops for my first few ALA rounds. Plus I could only find red micro-scoops sold in 5 packs, blue micro-scoops in a 100 pack and could not find yellow or green ones.

I continued to look and found smaller ALA capsules (5mg, 12mg, and 25mg) made without excipients from a small independent company called EverythingSpectrumA grandmother of an autistic child figured out how to do this! I found it convenient and helpful for the first few rounds of chelation in spite of the price and manufacturing origin.


  • Size / Price: 5 mg 60 caps $13.75, 12 mg 60 caps $14.25, 25 mg 60 caps $14.75.
  • Country origin: China, though high level of testing.
  • Other ingredients: Vegetarian capsule (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, water) cellulose and l-leucine.
  • Notes: There was no website security so I used PayPal. Also, many supplements are often out of stock.

Two other ALA brands I may try:


  • Size / Price: 300 mg 150 caps $13.99 (250 g powder $32.99)
  • Country origin: US NutraBio FDA registered & inspected facility.
  • Other ingredients: None.


  • Size / Price: 100mg 60 caps from local health food store. (300 mg has fillers).
  • Country origin: ? sent email?
  • Other ingredients: Rice flour (arsenic?). Capsule made of plant cellulose.

ALA options I researched but chose not to purchase:

1. Size / Price: 1 mg, 3 mg, 5 mg, 6.25 mg, 12.5 mg and up. Country origin: Manufactured in a GMP-certified facility using USP-grade raw materials only. Ships from South Africa, takes a few weeks. Other ingredients: 5 mg Microcrystalline cellulose (no MCC!), vegi-caps, all others have MCC, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate & vegi-caps. This is where I would have to buy DMSA or DMPS that also have these other ingredients.
2. Kirkman Labs Size / Price: 25 mg 90 capsules $18.25 and 50 mg 90 capsules $22.25. However, Additives: Sorbitol, Natural Tropical Punch Flavoring, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Citric Acid, Natural Menthol Flavoring, Silicon Dioxide, Sucralose, Plant Cellulose Caps.
3. – Country origin: China.
4. Pure Encapsulation – Country origin: China.
5. Local Compounding Pharmacy – Resells Pure Encapsulation.

 Be Gutsy!

Healing = Nutrients In + Toxins Out

1. Nutrients In

2. Toxins Out