The following interview is a record of a conversation between Garry Gordon, M.D., and Phil Micans PharmB, Vice President of IAS.
Phil: “Thank you “Dr. Gordon for speaking to the Antiaging Magazine today about the need for chelation in our modern world. But just before we get started, would you like to give a little background about yourself and your credentials, and could you also explain why you are described as the father of chelation?”
Dr. Gordon: “Certainly, Phil, I am considered by many to be the father of chelation therapy. This is because I wasted thirty years of my life with extremely poor health and had disabling angina by age 29, forcing me to close my medical practice and go into radiology because I was too sick to stand. I had by that time studied at the Chicago College of Osteopathy and received my D.O. degree. Then in 1964, I studied radiology for a year at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco. After one year at Mt. Zion, I became totally disillusioned with mainstream medicine’s ability to deal with heart disease. They were at that time doing a surgery called Vineburg procedure, and this was absolutely leading to the death of a tremendously high percentage of patients coming in with the same symptoms I was having and I was not ready to die! Furthermore, the benefits of the operation were later proven to be entirely non-existent. Therefore, I have spent my formative years studying chelation in great depth, because after approximately the 8th intravenous feeding of this remarkable compound called EDTA, I was suddenly able to ‘leap over tall buildings in a single bound.’ I knew immediately this was a therapy that deserved a lot of attention. There was no remaining possibility to patent anything, so it was going to have to be studied by physicians. Therefore, I took it on myself to bring some of my close colleagues together and we formed what is now called; The American College for Advancement in Medicine. I have trained thousands of physicians around the world and collectively it is now estimated that these physicians have treated over 10,000,000 patients successfully, plus with not a single known death directly attributable to the therapy. In subsequent years, I received an Honorary M.D. degree in the State of California from what is now called the University of California at Irvine. Later, I moved to Arizona because of the tremendous medical freedom offered there and having been interested in all forms of alternative therapy for over thirty years, I was pleased to obtain my homeopathic medical license in Arizona. I subsequently have been invited to serve on the Board of Homeopathic Medicine in Arizona and I am now starting my 3rd term having successfully concluded two 3-year terms in that capacity. I have served during those years as Chairman of the Peer Review Committee for Chelation Therapy in Arizona.
“But I think the reason I am called the father of chelation is because, since chelation had such a profound benefit in helping my own health, I wanted to find out how it could do this. Furthermore, since we have been able to help approximately 10 million patients who have followed the protocol that I initially wrote and has been officially adopted by what is now ACAM, I have had to remain abreast of all developments in the area of metal binding in medicine. Actually, now that we know many of the benefits of chelation are really because it eliminates the burden of toxic heavy metals- that we can provably find are excessively present in every human we test on earth today. As a result of this new understanding of what chelation therapy is doing, we have now changed the name of the Board, that I initially formed to train and certify physicians who wish to specialize in this exciting and very helpful new field of medicine from; The American Board of Chelation Therapy to what has now become; The American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology.”
Phil: “So in essence Dr. Gordon, can you explain the principles behind chelation?”
Dr. Gordon: “We now recognize there are components of toxic metals – be they lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, tin, etc. – in virtually every illness. Even patients whose illness is primarily believed to be genetic, will nonetheless be improved when we lower their total body burden of the toxic metals- metals that we all have elevated in our bones and tissues because of the excessive pollution of the earth. The principle behind chelation is simply that of binding metals – the word chelation came from the Greek word ‘chele‘ which means claw, as in a lobster claw. The idea being that when the chelating or metal binding agent is introduced into the body, it would have a particular attraction or affinity to those toxic metals that otherwise may remain trapped in your body for years and possibility most of your life. The principle, then, is that an exchange of electrons occurs between the electrons in the outer orbit of the metal binding agent and the electrons in the target metal to be removed. No one chelating agent can remove all toxic metals from our body. There are different chelating agents that may have better affinity for mercury; i.e., those that contain SH groups. The lead chelators seem to do better with the COO groups; namely, the carboxyl groups. This is why in the Essential Daily Defense ® oral chelation we have both SH groups coming from garlic, and we have special affinity to excessive levels of iron and/or aluminum with Malic Acid, while we are using the EDTA to get at the lead and for its beneficial induction of heparin-like activity from the sulfated polysaccharide coming from the red algae, which is also a component in this oral chelator called Essential Daily Defense ®. This is the business chelation end of the oral chelation that I have spent the last 17 years researching, improving and working on.”
Phil: “I suppose the obvious next question would be – is chelation only a matter for those who have been poisoned by heavy metals?”
Dr. Gordon: “Doctors are most comfortable using chelation for patients who have clearly documented increased body burden of heavy metals. Technically, my research has been corroborated now by the; New England Journal of Medicine which concluded in May of 2003, based on research on I.Q. in children, that there is no safe level of lead. Because the average bone today carries nearly 1,000 times more lead than any bones in any people on earth a short four hundred years ago, it is my professional opinion that everyone would have improved health if they could receive chelation therapy regularly, even while they are en-utero. Why en-utero? Because unfortunately, rapidly growing tissues are seen by the body as a waste basket or dump site and, therefore, all the mercury in the mother’s body from excessive number of fillings in her teeth, to the consumption of fish she might eat, and we all need fish, or children will have an essential fatty acid deficiency unless, of course, they take Omega 3 supplements. But, we must realize that at all ages, everyone will have a higher level of health, if we can do something about keeping our body’s burden of these toxic metals lower, in spite of the continued contribution that we cannot avoid on a daily basis from our water, food, and air. It is now recognized by Archives of Internal Medicine, an official journal of the AMA, in 2002 in an article entitled; All” Cause Morbidity that mortality is lowered by lowering blood lead. This is the key then to anyone interested in the anti-aging implications of chelating or metal” agents. They have done our research for us. They state ‘morbidity and mortality is going to be lower, the lower you can keep your blood lead levels throughout your entire lifetime.’ Thus, en-utero is a good time to start chelation and never stop it until you take your last breath. The reason I say this is because the moment you stop chelating, the heavy level of lead in the dust, air, food, and water is going to be greater than what you want to have in your bones and tissues; and therefore, you always need to be excreting and removing more of the toxic metals than are coming into your body, and we live on a toxic and polluted earth. Since we all know today we will be living longer, it becomes extremely important to understand then- that chelation is necessary for those of us who want to be alive at 80 or 90, especially if we want to retain our mental faculties.
“There is so much research now that is documenting that inflammation is a part of all of the neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and heart disease. Most people have no appreciation of the fact that the oral chelating agents are also some of the strongest antioxidants known to man. In fact, this is why governments approved the addition of these agents like EDTA to our food supply. This is because by the gentle binding of transition and other metals, we are preventing their normal catalytic action on free radicals. In other words, we all have free radical activity going on in our body at all times, but the free metals make those free radical reactions markedly accelerated. Thus, the taking of a chelating agent such as EDTA and garlic, and even Vitamin C, as well as Malic acid, et cetera, on a daily basis is going to have documentable benefits on slowing our aging process. Furthermore, by lowering inflammation, we are going to have less neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, et cetera.”
Phil: “I think it is an easy step for everyone to imagine that each of us have toxins in us, even without a specific blood test- after all, we all realise that the modern world exposes us to the effects of industrialization, freeway smog, pollution of air and water, and that the simple fact of generating electric by burning fossil fuels means that the pollutants are everywhere. Is there any specific heavy metal that stands out as being a major culprit to affect our health?”
Dr. Gordon: “Your question is, what is the major culprit to affect our health? It is really important to know, that we now know that all of these toxic metals have a synergistic effect that becomes exponential in its toxicity. In other words, some research indicates that lead can make mercury, under certain circumstances, 100 times more toxic to our body. Therefore, when people are concerned about rare metal toxicity issues they may be confronted with, I always explain to them they can never go wrong taking the simple oral chelation product called Essential Daily Defense ®. Because by getting rid of the lead, mercury, and elevated levels of cadmium, as well as antimony, tin, arsenic, et cetera, that these chelating agents can help deal with, all toxicity from all metals is greatly reduced. What is so important to realize about chelation is the fact that your bones actually are gradually replaced, if you’re a child to it may take 7 years to totally replace all of the nutrients that have lead to the production of your bone, and if you’re an older individual this is more like 15 or more years. This means if your doctor only treats you for a month or two and you feel remarkably improved, your memory has come back, your energy level is up, your angina is gone, he should never stop treating you! This is because the bones are turning over so slowly that they will have only reduced maybe a couple percentage of their total lead content which is, I repeat, an average of 1,000 times higher on every human being we have tested from any part of the planet. This means that the high level of lead is what is contributing to your death when you have an accident and you are in the hospital unable to move. If you cannot move, bones tend to go into negative balance and release the lead, as they do in women going through the ‘change-of- life.’ This is now recognized to be a major contributor to the increasing blood pressure in women going through the change-of-life. It is lead. It is also this same lead that is responsible for all of these so-called patients dying after an injury from what they call septic shock, infection, or pneumonia. After all, no one ever bothers to say; ‘Oh, while he was in the hospital unable to move, the lead in his bones was being released into his systemic circulation and going into the tissues, including his immune system which, therefore was no longer able to handle his infections’ and we merely write these patients off as having died because of an infection when, in fact, if they had been on long-term chelation therapy, they could have sustained an extended period of immobilization of a week or a month, due to a fracture or auto injury without the danger of the doctor never recognizing, that because you are immobilized that you are now releasing toxic dangerous levels of lead, that had been somewhat safely kept in your bones, but are always able to start poisoning your kidneys, brain, heart and blood vessels at any time bones are not staying in positive balance. Of course, we know that all the tissues of the body are showing too much lead; in fact, to do a lead-free experiment is more expensive than it is to do a germ-free experiment. This is because a single flake of dead skin which is falling off people at all times, and is in fact is the major cause of dust in your house, is so loaded with lead as to wreck any lead free type of experiment that we might wish to do. Therefore, since our body is always loaded with lead, it is our job to recognize that lead is having an adverse affect on how healthy we are, how much energy we have, how long we live, and what the illness is that we finally succumb to. That is the total morbidity and mortality that the archives in Internal Medicine in 2002 addressed. What is interesting and not widely appreciated, however, is that we do know a lot of research is going on about growth hormone. This is because the pituitary is a unique tissue in our body that happens to concentrate a great deal of lead and other toxic metals in it. Therefore, we are losing the ability of our pituitary to make and release our own growth hormone. Therefore, those individuals who have been lucky enough to be on adequate, broad-spectrum metal-binding agents, such as Essential Daily Defense ® that will deal with lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, et cetera, will have better levels of growth hormone on testing, than people who have not been so treated.”
Phil: “Fascinating, but of course I appreciate that lead is only one factor, after all cadmium, mercury, aluminium and arsenic are all additional toxins that accumulate in us from everyday contact with air, food and water etc. Would you like to comment on these types of heavy metals and others?”
Dr. Gordon: “When we talk about other heavy metals, it is really sad to realize that most smokers’ pets die of cancer. This is because the cigarette is a major contributor to our cadmium and anyone who does smoke has four times the level of cadmium in their tissues, as those who don’t live with a smoker, and those who have to live with a smoker, including their children, have twice the levels of cadmium of those who are not repeatedly exposed. However, it is impossible to appreciate or believe that we put so many tons of mercury into the air each year because of the burning of coal for power, that there is no escape on the planet today. All things in the ocean are loaded and the plankton are eaten be the smaller fish and the bigger fish eat these fish, until finally we get to the disaster story of tuna that is absolutely so unhealthy to eat, that we have to warn pregnant mothers never to touch it and, in fact, it is not safe for any of us to eat, unless you are really knowledgeable in taking levels of oral chelation daily throughout your life. What is surprising is the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States actually reported that 600,000 newborn children each year, when tested on blood, show elevated levels of mercury when they are born. This is setting the stage for the epidemic of neuro behavioral problems we’re seeing in these children. In America, 1 out of 4 children has some neurological or psychological diagnosis from obsessive/compulsive behavior, to depression, to increased aggression, to learning disorders, or ADD/ADHD. Thus, it has been my conclusion it is too late for any of the ecological movements to really save us. We have already polluted our nest. Therefore, I have focused on saving my patients and the patients of the doctors who I work with and train. For that reason, we entirely support everyone seeking out a doctor knowledgeable in clinical metal toxicology. The average person tested in America who receives the provocative test of a 5 to 10 minute injection of the same EDTA that we have in the oral tablets, will see an increase of excretion in their urine averaging 147 times more lead than was seen before we gave them the chelating agent. Children with nothing but the oral program will see a 5 to 10 fold increase above baseline. It is these increases in what we call ‘provoked’ specimens of urine, which means we have helped the body remove some of its burden of toxic metals by adding an oral or intravenous chelating or metal binding agent, so that the body is finally able to get rid of some of these toxic metals. It is these provoked specimens that permit doctors to become more knowledgeable about the extent of your individual degree of toxicity. But suffice to say, without doing any tests, we have yet to find any person who we have ever checked, who had anything like ideal levels of blood or urine lead, mercury, cadmium, et cetera. All of us fail these tests when they are correctly and accurately done by reputable and reliable laboratories specializing in this complex and expensive laboratory procedure; expensive for the laboratory in that good equipment can cost $500,000 and laboratories specializing in this need several of these devices.”
Phil: “So the $64,000 question is- how can we help to remove these toxins from our system?”
Dr. Gordon: “We all need to be on garlic, we all need 4 molecules of a vinegar called Tetra Acidic Acid- which is the end two initials of the EDTA, that is Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acidic Acid. Garlic is an incredible agent and we all need to be on a high-quality organic garlic because, after all, since garlic is such a chelator, but you cannot use it from most garden locations on the planet- because we are all today finding too much lead in our soil. In fact, even Italy is afraid that their balsamic vinegar is not going to be safe to use on salads because there is so much lead in their soil. Selenium is in all cases a major protector and we have increased the level in the multiple that I recommend to 300 micrograms if you take the full six a day of the Beyond Any Multiple ® [Ed.- Contained in the Beyond Chelation Improved ®]. For a short time, patients who have known health problems can benefit from significantly higher levels, if their selenium intake is monitored by a knowledgeable physician, so that once the body’s stores of selenium are at optimal level, you don’t go into selenium excess or toxicity. The Dimethyl Succinic Acid is an amazing program and we have added Glucurolactone for its assistance to our detoxification and we really like and insist on having several forms of selenium in our protection programs; and they are all contained in our product called Heavy Detox ®. We all have so much heavy metal today that it is not possible for Essential Daily Defense ® [Ed.- note this is also contained in Beyond Chelation Improved ®] to get all of us into the optimal state we should be in without adults taking 1 capsule per 50 pounds of body weight for one month, then 1 capsule per 75 to one 100 pounds of body weight for an additional month, and then 1 capsule for two-to-three months per one 150 pounds. So Heavy Detox ® provides selenocysteine, a very unique form of selenium with a high affinity to mercury; whereas the Beyond Any Multiple ® has the two forms of selenium, selenium amino acid complex and selenium selenite. But, because we are so toxic, I always have my patients looking for a real change in their overall energy and health, take Alpha Lipoic Acid, 100 to 200 milligrams once or twice a day and the value of this is enhanced by having 70 micrograms of Seleno Methione, as well as some Silymarin to support liver as we’re doing the detoxification on our patients. The ALA is particularly important for patients having a history of liver problems or diabetic issues.”
Phil: “As you know only too well Dr. Gordon, there are hundreds of physicians offices across the world who are offering chelation by intravenous therapy, but is i.v. the only way that chelation can be administered?”
Dr. Gordon: “We often have questions regarding the validity of oral chelation and for that reason, I have put 500 references on my website to show that mainstream industrial physicians throughout the world from every country have published, for almost 40 plus years now, the favorable results in every single case and there has been nothing but positive documentation with, again I repeat, over 500 individual references. Thus, any doctors stating that they don’t believe in oral, may have a vested interest in trying to provide their services. I respect need, and send my patients who can afford it to receive the benefits of parenterally administered agents because it is true, oral is not going to work as fast. But, since it is a lifetime problem, it isn’t essential for every patient to work fast unless they are already in trouble, in which case working fast is important and, therefore, combining both therapies becomes very beneficial when patients already have significant cardiovascular disease or early neurological impairment, et cetera.”
Phil: “Recently, you have placed all your many years of experience into a range of nutritional products called Longevity Plus, that have a strong accent on chelation. Can you tell us something about them, and how important quality was to your protocols?”
Dr. Gordon: “I have practiced now since I graduated in 1958, for approximately 46 years. I became involved in chelated minerals in 1965 and have made chelation a major interest of mine since that time. Because I was the Director of one of the largest laboratories in the world doing trace element studies on blood, urine and hair, I soon recognized that doctors needed reliable products they could use that would improve the deficiencies of nutrients that we were finding in the patients we have tested with my offices in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Boston and San Francisco, and the data we had collected from thousands of patients tested through the laboratories from around the world, as well as from thousands of my own patients. But to be honest, when I first designed these products, it was to maintain my own health, having already wasted almost 30 years of my life with ill health! So I designed these products to be sure that I could enjoy a high level of health and be a beacon of hope for many patients who may have been ill many years and have no knowledge that they can one day overcome ill health and have vibrant high health and live a long, healthy lifespan, which I am now doing and plan to continue.
“The foundation to everything that I do for every patient, is to acknowledge that we need a good multiple vitamin/mineral for every man, woman, and child; but, unless you are specifically known to have iron deficiency, or are regularly having menstrual periods, I do not put iron in the product. So, the Beyond Chelation Improved ® is the foundation upon which I build all of my programs for health improvement and life extension. Once a patient is on this simple packet of nine differing pills, (which for an average 160 pound person is taken morning and night), the next issue will be what else can we provably add to the program that is going to have a clear-cut benefit that the patient will feel and see? That is why Beyond C ® becomes the next item that we utilize for virtually every one of my patients. However, Beyond C ® is not simply a product that contains Vitamin C. This is a comprehensive product to deal with the end result of the toxic metals we have been addressing. Defective metabolism in our body is a particular thing called methylation. When we have defective methylation, we cannot adequately repair our body tissues. But, with the Vitamin C we first had to solve the problem of making high doses of Vitamin C tolerable without gastrointestinal upset, gas or diarrhea, for those who wish to emulate the suggestion of Dr. Linus Pauling and take 16 to 20 grams every day (i.e. four-to-five teaspoons daily). In addition to getting a well-tolerated ‘C’ that would maintain high levels in our blood for a long time- to give us protection against injuries, toxicity and infections, it also has to deal with the next result of our chronic heavy metal and toxic environment that we live in; i.e., defective methylation. This means that this product also has in it; Trimethyl Glycine and Methyl Sulfanomethane. In an effort to make all of this work even better, we have introduced Ribose into the Beyond C ® in a patented form known as ‘EnRGy’ and the results have been spectacular- because the Ribose makes it convenient for patients to have incredible increases in energy, as well as enhanced efficiency of intracellular delivery of nutrients. Anyone who is an athlete knows something about Ribose, but we now know that it dramatically improve hearts; in fact, so much so, that congestive heart failure patients lucky enough to be given Ribose have a fraction of the re-hospitalization rate of patients not receiving Ribose. So, we have in Beyond C ® the Ribose and also Bioperine, (which comes from Errovetic Medicine). It is also called Piperine am Longum and the important thing about it, is that it enhances nutrient uptake and this is what it is all about.
“We also have people taking this powerful, multiple called Beyond Any Multiple ® that’s part of the foundation of my health promoting program called Beyond Chelation Improved, ® but we all need to get the maximum utilization of these nutrients. The real magic that causes people within days to say they feel better and have far more energy, is not just because I’ve put everything into these supplements including Resveratrol, Tocotrienols, Lipoic Acid, Beta Glucan, and Vitamin K2, indeed substances never before seen in a multiple, but because of the oral chelation called Essential Daily Defense, ®, together with three of the Beyond Any Multiple ® and one capsule of Phosphatidyl Serine with Ginkgo Biloba. All of these are contained within the convenient and simple-to-use, Beyond Chelation Improved ®.
In short, quality, strength and synergy are very important factors in my product range, I worry about the sources of the raw materials, and check ingredients for pollutants. At the end of the day, my reputation rides on the back of the results that people can achieve with the formulas, thus they have to be the best available.”
Phil: “So the question on everyone’s lips is, where to start? What do you recommend as a core chelation program for the average person?”
Dr. Gordon: “Everyone starts on the Beyond Chelation Improved ® (BCI) but since it’s like giving you jet fuel when you’ve been running on kerosene, I don’t recommend people start with full doses, instead take half the sachet of BCI in the morning and the other half by three in the afternoon; this is since if I give all of it to some people at bedtime, having this much energy makes it a little difficult to sleep initially until the body accommodates to running on the fuel it should have been having all these years. The same with the Beyond C ®, start with half full-dose morning and night. And, the Beyond Clean ® bath salts doesn’t have to be done every single day initially, but you will get to the point you feel so much better you will want to add a measure full of this to your bath, but it is perfectly fine to have more than one person in the home share this bath, since it will be the softest water and it will not lose its ability to continue cleaning more than one person in the home.”
Phil: “I believe it must be true that before any antiaging program is begun, whether that program be based on nutrition, hormones, drugs or any combination thereof, that helping to eliminate and constantly reduce the environmental toxins from our bodies, must benefit the overall outcome of the desired result. In other words, removing toxins enables our cells to communicate more effectively and efficiently. Are there any other specific items you’d like to mention?”
Dr. Gordon: “We all worry about the parasites, and we can all have them, so I have many of my patients electively treat themselves. After all, we worm our dogs and horses, and most people are aware that we live in a timeframe, in which most of us will have parasites at various times in our lifetime. So it is smart to utilize Artemisinin, which we are very pleased to be able to provide because it is in short supply- since it is the only answer for thousands of people with malaria around the world. But, Artemisinin has the ability, (having once been called Wormwood), to help our body’s in many ways- to get rid of certain parasites that are unhealthy for our intestine, while at the same time, it has dramatic research being done at Harvard and University of Washington Medical School, on its ability to treat most forms of cancer, from breast and lung cancer to prostate cancer, et cetera.
“Plus, since all of us know about the benefits of Omega 3 (which is also contained in the Beyond Chelation Improved ®) it should also be taken. Personally, I’ve never heard of a fatal heart attack or stroke, in anyone taking the nine Beyond Chelation Improved ® pills morning and night.
“If we’re going to live long and well, then we need to be concerned about the probability that we could develop cancer over our lifetime. So, even though we’re taking Beyond C ® which is very beneficial because we’ll have a far lower level of toxins in our tissues and, therefore, less cancer probability, we would still be smart to deal with improving our intestinal health and at the same time having the benefit of a very well studied and exciting anti-cancer remedy- to lower our total body burden of cancer cells. I recommend taking Artemisinin regularly, at 100 mg. per 20 pounds of body weight in divided doses morning and night; i.e., a 200 pound patient would be taking 10 capsules in total, 5 capsules in the morning and 5 at night. As we now live in a timeframe in which everyone is afraid of infections, we therefore have a special infection program that is based on the unique form of garlic that is able to virtually work better than any known anti-viral or anti-bacterial, while at the same time supporting your own immune system so that you can handle infections far more efficiently yourself. This unique product, known as Immuni-T3 ® also has the ability to get rid of small problems in the intestinal track such as Giardia and Blastocystis. The dose for this would be one capsule per 25 pounds of body weight and that can be taken in divided doses, a 200 pound person taking 8 pills would take 4 in the morning and 4 at night. Both of those programs can be taken concurrently; i.e., the Artemisinin and the Immuni-T3 and they can be taken for periods of two weeks every four-to-six months, depending on the need to be improving