Expanding on an article I originally wrote in CAM magazine in November 2013, available evidence is now linking a role for toxins in many major illnesses in those with a genetic susceptibility including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, almost all autoimmune disorders, brain disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and cancer. However, the role of toxins has been underestimated because it is CRUCIAL to understand that measuring cumulative toxins in the body is usually NOT A SENSITIVE OR ACCURATE ENOUGH TEST for whether your health is being affected by toxic exposures.
Conventional Approaches Check for the Toxicological Impact and Ignore the Immunological Impact!
A “toxicological approach” to check if toxins cause chronic illness involves comparing concentrations of toxin levels in brain autopsies, organ biopsies and body fluids in patients with diseases and healthy controls and WONT provide answers to the link between pathology and long-term low-dosage toxic exposure.
For example various studies have found no difference between levels of dental amalgams in MS patients and healthy controls in a systemic review of the literature. Other studies on the mercury deposition in the brains of Alzheimer’s and controls also found no difference. However if the effect of the toxin is allergic rather than toxicological, the concentration of the toxin in a sensitized individual is of minor importance. Allergy testing for toxins is therefore becoming the important method for identifying the impact of chronic low-dosage exposure which is increasingly prevalent today.
Allergy testing also provides the answers as to why some people can have a mouthful of fillings and be exposed to occupational pollution and be healthy, while another person may have the smallest mercury filing and become profoundly ill.
Testing for Sensitivity to Chemicals and Heavy Metals
Just like lymphocyte sensitivity to gluten and other foods, research has shown you can be sensitive to all kinds of chemicals including heavy metals. Mainstream medicine only tests for conventional IgE sensitivity to chemicals – so misses the majority of delayed type IV lymphocyte sensitivity, or approaches toxin checking by looking at total LOAD in the body.
Dr Vera Stejskal, Associate Professor of Immunology at the University of Stockholm has done a lot of work developing and validating lymphocyte testing for type IV delayed hypersensitivity (described more in the CAM article) and her website www.melisa.org contains many resources. In the 1960s a test called the Lymphocyte Transformation Test (LTT) was developed to measure the level of lymphocyte proliferation in response to different chemicals. The method was then modified and applied extensively to detecting type IV allergies to drugs, metabolites, infectious organisms, and metals. LTT to beryllium is now accepted as the “gold standard” for diagnosing berylliosis, a lung disease, in USA.
In 1994, Dr Stejskal further published modified the LTT test for detecting metal sensitivity in vitro in response to Astra, a large Swedish pharmaceutical company needing a test for the diagnosis of occupational drug allergy for their workers exposed to dust containing beryllium during drug production. The testing was validated in 250 subjects in 2003 and 700 in 2006.
Other labs providing lymphocyte sensitivity testing include Cyrex Labs in the US and UK and Acumen Labs, run by Dr John Mclaren-Howard in the UK.
Chemicals, Heavy Metals and Autoimmunity
The state-of-the-art understanding is that toxins can bind with human proteins resulting in the immune system chronically reacting to these low level toxins, eventually leading to autoimmune diseases (where the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells.) See the growing database of science papers linking heavy metals and other chemicals with autoimmune diseases and chemicals here: Articles.
I NEVER recommend amalgam fillings be removed without first testing lymphocyte sensitivity to inorganic mercury – otherwise people can waste precious time and resources on something that makes little or no difference to their health, AND the amalgam removal procedure itself can have complications including increased exposure to mercury.
What EVERYONE should do to protect themselves
Next it is important to read what we should all be doing to protect themselves whether you complete specific testing or not:
What EVERYONE should be doing on an ongoing Basis for Detoxification see: HOW to complete a Home Chemical Clean up