richvank: detoxing estrogenlike chemicals

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Slayadragon, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Rich,

    I've been reading a book called "Our Stolen Future," about the havoc that various chemicals with quasi-estrogenic effects (such as DDT or PVC's) have our our health.

    Unfortunately the book doesn't say anything about how we detoxify those chemicals.

    Do those go through the regular glutathione/methylation cycle?

    I suspect that, as is the case with most toxins, some people are better at getting rid of them than others. Does difficulty with them seem to be tied to any specific problems that we might attempt to repair?


    Best, Lisa
  2. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Lisa.

    I dug around for a while trying to find specific answers, but didn't find much. Here's what I did find:

    DDT is converted to DDE by an enzyme that is a glutathione transferase. Glutathione is needed by the reaction, but this particular glutathione transferase reaction does not deplete glutathione, as normally occurs in this type of reaction. DDE accumulates in fat and stays in the body a long time. We don't seem to detox and excrete DDE very well, and I was unable to find out what the detox pathway is for DDE. People in western countries now get most of their DDE from their food, already in the form of DDE, converted by other organisms from DDT, because DDT has been outlawed in these countries since the furor caused by Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." I suspect that a person who is low in glutathione and is exposed to DDT would experience greater toxic effects, because of inability to convert it to DDE as rapidly as normal. DDE is less toxic than DDT, but still presents problems.

    Strains of houseflies that have a lot of glutathione have been found to be more resistant to DDT.

    PCBs (I think you meant these, rather than PVC, right?) have been found to induce a wide range of cytochrome P450 enzymes, so presumably they are used to perform Phase I detox on PCBs (note that there are many types of PCBs, and they occur commercially as mixtures). I think that glutathione-dependent reactions are also involved in detoxing PCBs, but I didn't find very specific information on that.

    Yes, I think that polymorphisms in detox enzymes would affect a person's ability to detox these toxins. However, I haven't been able to find out which specific detox enzymes are involved, beyond what I've written here.

    Based on what I did find, I would say that lifting the methylation cycle block and restoring the glutathione levels would be helpful in supporting the detox of DDT and PCBs.

  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Rich,

    That's what I was afraid of based on what I've been reading: that it's really hard to get this stuff out of one's body.

    I've been making a lot of improvements, but it seems to me that my hormones (especially estrogen and thyroid) still are really messed up. I identify with the stuff they bring up in "Our Stolen Future" a lot.

    My belief is that as with the dopamine, it's not that I'm not producing enough of the substances but that the receptors are clogged up.

    The dopamine seems to be improving a lot, though it's not wholly there yet. The T3 need is still really high, despite the fact that the methylation support seems to have kept me excreting toxins through that channel for a whole year now.

    The estrogen I need seems astronomically high though. (They don't make strong enough bioidentical patches.) munch1958, who (like me) has benefited from human growth hormone, says that she's needed to get really high dose pellets in order to get to an optimal level on this front.

    One possibility (following Shoemaker) is that the biotoxins are still affecting my MSH level and thus all my hormones. I'm going to get the MSH tested soon to see if that's an issue.

    If it is the receptors being "clogged" though, that seems like it must be a detox malfunction. Not everyone has that problem, and I don't think my exposure to those chemicals has been out of the ordinary. Perhaps I just need more methylation/glutathione, or perhaps there's another problem not yet identified.

    What is your current thought on supplementing with glutathione? My first thought would be nebulized (cheap, easy and nothing to set off my latex allergy), but I'm certainly open to ideas.

    Thanks as always for your thoughts!!!

    Best, Lisa
  4. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Lisa.

    As you know, I can't give individual treatment advice unless a physician is directly involved.

    But speaking in generalities, some PWCs do benefit from supplementing glutathione by various modes. Some report that nebulizing glutathione is beneficial. This is a big part of Dr. Grace Ziem's protocol for multiple chemical sensitivity, which often occurs in CFS. This approach is also used in cystic fibrosis, in which glutathione transport out of cells is dysfunctional.

    It's also true that some PWCs cannot tolerate glutathione supplementation. I suspect that the reason is that some is broken down, and the resulting metabolites have to go through sulfite oxidase, which is already overloaded in some PWCs. Molybdenum seems to help some, presumably because sulfite oxidase needs it as a cofactor.

    From about 1999 through 2004, I was a proponent of PWCs supplementing glutathione by various modes, or of helping the liver to make glutathione by giving it amino acids or whey protein. This did help quite a few people, but it was not a cure for CFS. And some people couldn't tolerate it. In late 2004 I heard about the methylation cycle block in autism from Jill James's paper, and it was a big AHA moment for me. A block higher up in the sulfur metabolism, at the methylation cycle, could explain why glutathione was abnormally low and could not be raised permanently by supplementation. From that point on, I began to focus on lifting the methylation cycle block as the fundamental thing to do. But boosting glutathione along with that can help some PWCs, I think.

  5. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Kelly and Lisa.

    Some people at the NIH have offered a hypothesis about how high-dose IV vitamin C works against cancer, and I think the same mechanism would apply to killing pathogens. You can get the full paper free from PubMed. The ID number for the paper is PMID: 17502596.

    Basically, they suggest that the ascorbate ion gives up an electron and forms an ascorbate free radical and hydrogen peroxide. This is a pro-oxidant reaction on the part of ascorbate, because it produces hydrogen peroxide, an oxidizing species. When this occurs in the blood within the vasculature, the red blood cells there have enough antioxidant capacity to take care of the hydrogen peroxide. However, in the extracellular fluid, which lies between the blood in the capillaries and the tissue cells, there are no red blood cells present, because they can't escape the capillaries. Thus, the hydrogen peroxide that is formed there by the ascorbate reaction is not wiped out. The hydrogen peroxide molecule is a small, uncharged molecule, and therefore it is able to diffuse through the phospholipid membrane surrounding a cell and enter the cell. Once inside, it increases the oxidative stress. Cancer cells are less able to tolerate this than normal cells, so they are preferentially killed. Presumably this is true of pathogens as well.

    I don't know if you've been following the Miracle Mineral Supplement discussion that waynesrhythm has been posting. If that really works (and quite a few people are claiming that it does), I have suggested that it works in a similar way to high-dose vitamin C, except that the diffusing oxidizing species is chlorine dioxide, rather than hydrogen peroxide. Chlorine dioxide is also a small neutral molecule, so it should be able to diffuse into cells, also, and it is more highly oxidizing than hydrogen peroxide is.

  6. acer2000

    acer2000 New Member


    What is your opinion on reducing chemical load via sweating it out in a FIR sauna. I know Dr. Myhill recommends this. Have you an opinion?
  7. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, arosen.

    As you know, I can't give advice about individual treatment here.

    Generally speaking, I think FIR sauna can be helpful in increasing the rate of excretion of a variety of toxins. There are some things that are important, though. The first one is that it should not be overdone. Some PWCs appreciate finally being warm so much that they tend to stay in the sauna too long. It's important to sweat, but not to get too dehydrated. Another is that it's important to replace the water and essential minerals that are lost in the sauna. Selenium, zinc and magnesium are some of them.

    There is quite a bit of experience with this in the environmental medicine community. It became somewhat politicized a few years ago because it was espoused by L. Ron Hubbard and the Scientology people for detoxing people who had been addicted to drugs. From what I understand, they actually did some good work with this, but because of arguments over their overall philosophy, it was looked down upon by some people. Please note that I am not taking a position on Scientology here. I'm just talking about use of FIR sauna to help excretion of toxins. I think it can be helpful.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/18/2008]
  8. Dlebbole

    Dlebbole New Member

    Hi! For me, d-glucarate was one of the most helpful supplements in my 20+ years dealing with chemical sensitivity and CFS.

    Estrogens are metabolized for excretion by the process of conjugation (a small chemical group is added to various chemicals to make it more water-soluble). There is a bacterial enzyme called B-glucuronidase that REVERSES this conjugation step - the metabolized chemicals are released to recirculate.

    D-glucarate binds to this bacterial enzyme and prevents it from reversing conjugation.

    It is currently being marketed for "breast health." Women who are at high risk for estrogen-fed tumors are encouraged to take it to decrease their exposure to estrogens.

    I was interested in it to help with my chemical sensitivities. I started in very small doses but got a herx effect so I kept going. After I was up to the maximum recommended dose, I noticed that I could eat more foods! At my worst, I was only eating 6 or 7 foods - all others caused too many reactions. So for me, this was a HUGE supplement. I hope this information is relevant to your question and that it helps, Diane

    I should add that I have had breast cancer twice.... while I was taking this supplement. But I am BRCA1 positive (hereditary breast cancer) and my tumors were estrogen-negative. Best of luck.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/19/2008]
  9. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Diane.

    Thanks for posting your experience with calcium D-glucarate. It's really good to hear that it has helped you. Yes, as you wrote, it blocks beta glucuronidase, produced by bacteria in the gut, and it thus allows the Phase II glucuronidation detox pathway to do its job as it is supposed to. In general, this should be helpful for increasing the excretion of a wide variety of toxins, because glucuronidation is a major conjugation pathway.

  10. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    You put DDT on your mattress??! I thought you lived in Texas not some dengue-ridden part of Borneo. What possessed you?

    Just curious.
  11. tooks

    tooks Member

    Thanks so much for adding to our understanding of various detox pathways and methods.

    I had quite a series of hydrogen peroxide IV's in 1986. Having read what I have read now, I would question whether that was a good idea, but in fact it did help me tremendously and I had a year or two of much better health. Perhaps it killed off some pathogens or candida?

    Just curious as I know that Dr. Cheney is talking a lot about the problems of oxygenation.

    Also I and others have noticed that almost everyone who has been diagnosed with dysautonomia (don't know how that correlates with CFS/ME) was previously an althlete or extremely athletic, which would presumably mean that they were taking in a lot of oxygen through aerobic activity. Any theoretical thoughts about how hydrogen peroxide IV's could have helped or the question of an athletic past? I too was one of the athletic types and so many report having been dancers, speed skaters, cyclists, competitive swimmers etc.
  12. tooks

    tooks Member


    Maybe we grew up in the same era. My parents almost nightly sprayed our bedrooms with DDT for mosquito control. Back then, it was thought that, for safety measures, we should wait 15 minutes before going back into the room. Makes me cringe now!

    But then we also fitted our shoes by sticking our feet in x-ray machines to see how much space there was for the toes to wiggle. Yipes! It was always the high moment in the annual school-shoe-buy. And while brothers and sister were trying on shoes we would play at wiggling our toes in that cool machine.
  13. tooks

    tooks Member

    I am trying on a 3 week "trial before buying" a massage table sized mat that you lie on for FIR. It has 8 settings ranging from 95 degrees F to 158 degrees. The far infrared is passed through a layer of amethyst to increase benefits, potency, focus (?). It also gives off negative ions directly to the body which, they say, raises the pH. And it has some filtering or blocking device against the questionable exposure to electro-magnetic fields.

    You can also use it with no heat, just receiving radiation from the amethyst and the effect of negative ions.

    I am not qualified to judge this scientifically, but it seems to be helping both in recovery if I have overdone, and in detox. In the last 2 days a 40 year "lying low" ear infection, which had often been treated with anti-biotics, resurfaced with a whammo during the night while sleeping on it set to 95 degrees. Others have reported other types of detox like mucous pouring out of all the places mucous can pour out of, then beginning to get well.

    It is early days yet, (2 weeks) and I am proceeding with caution as they tell you not to dive in, but to work up your exposure very slowly. I have only tried the sauna level heat once (you cover with cotton blankets for that), but it did feel like a sauna--though I was cautious and only did it for 15 minutes. I am also careful about electrolyes and they tell you to be sure to drink plenty of water before and after.

    This is just an interim report on another possible way to experience FIR--so no reply necessary.
  14. Dlebbole

    Dlebbole New Member

    Hmmm, that's interesting, Kelly. I forgot to mention that the d-glucarate greatly reduced the number of migraine headaches I was having. Several times when I would run out of d-glucarate, back they would come. I actually haven't thought too much about them interfering with medicines, but I will now! thanks, Diane
  15. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    Kelly, that is so interesting about the DDT. Can I ask what disease your dad developed?

    [This Message was Edited on 06/19/2008]
  16. jenbooks13

    jenbooks13 New Member

    Endocrine disruptors are bad for everybody. Minimizing exposure where possible is the best idea. Common sources are in new plastics (ranging from new computers to new tv's to new keyboards, plastic containers--that includes milk in plastic coated cartons, cans which are lined with BPA resins, etc). Shower curtains are a very bad source of toxins and pthalates. Dental composites can contain BPA and other estrogenic chemicals. This stuff is ubiquitous and in household dust and mattresses etc etc etc. The best you can do is try to be as natural as possible, to avoid exposure where you can. Wood floors, used "antique" furniture, healthy organic or farm grown food, fresh or frozen not canned, older computers and appliances (don't frenetically upgrade, which just re exposes you all the time), store your food in pyrex, don't ever microwave in plastic etc etc etc. Stop using fragrances (phthalates in perfumes to make them stick to your skin and clothes), use fragrance free natural soaps and cosmetics. New cars--forget it--all that vinyl. PVC: BAD. Just look around you and use common sense.

    OTOH I don't see how endocrine disruptors would increase your need for estrogen. They act like estrogens. You would be over-estrogenated (sp?). Your need for thyroid and estrogen is curious. I hope you sort it out.

    How are you doing vis-a-vis mold? I have been sleeping on 3 camping mats piled up (thermarest) which solved my mattress/dust mite/fungi problem and greatly improved my sinus congestion. OTOH I injured my knee by getting up off the mats every morning and pushing up by balancing on the hard floor on my knee. I think I have bursitis or something. Very stupid of me. Solved one problem and made another. Going to the doctor tomorrow as it has been hurting all week.

    Meanwhile, I think that Shepherd's Dream has just invented what may be the ideal bed. It's a series of wool felts you pile up. They are washable, can be aired in the sun. You choose as many as you want to make as soft or firm a mattress as you want. They just got the idea so it's not even an official product yet but I'm excited about it!

    [This Message was Edited on 06/20/2008]
  17. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member


    I started taking ALA several months ago and found it necessary to add molybdenum. It’s done really well so far. Hopefully if I start glutathione (which I am considering), it would be helpful for that too.

    Dr. Guyer thinks I should try adding ALA to the IV’s, since he says it would work differently than the oral form. I don’t know why, but maybe I’ll figure it out.

    If we assume that my body is overloaded with quasi-estrogens (and that everyone’s is), does that mean that I shouldn’t need supplemental bioidentical estrogen (as jenbooks mentions below). I feel like I do need supplemental estrogen (a lot!), but maybe I’m wrong.

    One interesting thing that I found in the book “Our Stolen Future” is that those quas-estrogens affect thyroid function a lot. Obviously a lot of people on the simplified methylation protocol have been able to reduce their thyroid supplementation, which makes me think that perhaps this indeed working to eliminate those kinds of toxins. That would be fantastic!

    I seem to need thyroid supplementation as much as ever, unfortunately. Maybe I’m still being affected by mold, since that apparently _really_ screws up the thyroid. Or lyme, since its toxins seem really similar to the ones made by poison mold.

    Your explanation about the use of high-dose Vitamin C was extremely useful, and was echoed the other day when I brought it up to my Chicago CFS physician, Keith Berndtson. I finally got him excited about the idea of poison mold and toxins in took me about ten meetings of about 15 minutes each (while he did the IV pushes), which all in all wasn’t too bad considering how difficult it is to get physicians to buy into the fact that this is a “real” science. Perhaps at some point you and he might meet up.

    The Miracle Mineral Supplement sounds really interesting. Based on what I’ve read on the board though, people don’t seem to be getting die-off reactions from it as I am from the Vitamin C. Maybe I’m just more inclined to get die-off in general than they are (I certainly am hyperreactive to all this stuff). Once I get to the point where the Vitamin C isn’t doing as much for me, perhaps I’ll try it. Someone said it tastes like bleach, but at this point I’m open to anything.

    I finally got to the end of the “Stolen Future” book and found that (according to the authors) the only really efficient way to get these kinds of toxins out of the body is through....breast feeding. Charming since such chemicals are apparently are much more harmful when absorbed by fetuses or babies than they are by adults. This makes me think that maybe what I need to do is to figure out a way to start producing milk without actually having a baby. Probably whatever it is that would cause me to do that would be harmful in itself though.


    My Indianapolis doctor, Dale Guyer, was pretty enthusiastic about FIR saunas last time I talked to him about them. That was way before I started pursuing the methylation and mold detoxification strategies though. I wonder if it would work well in combination with them. I suspect probably yes, since the detox foot pads that encourage sweating work much better when the toxins have been loosened up with that stuff.

    How much do the FIR saunas cost? Do they take up much room?


    That’s really interesting about the d-glucarate. I’d heard of that before but never looked into it.

    I wasn’t aware that quasi-estrogens or estrogens caused food sensitivities though. That’s very interesting.

    Do you (or anyone) think that this supplement would make me need more bioidentical estrogen? Or is there agreement that I really don’t need that at all?

    The “Stolen Future” book really scared me though. I definitely am open to things that would address that problem.


    What do you think the main reason not to have H2O2 IV’s is? Do you think the same issues might apply to VItamin C if it converts to H2O2 in the body?


    Why would you be concerned about getting the wrong dosage of H2O2? What would happen if you did?


    My mold sensitivity comes in waves. I think sometimes my body is dumping out the poison that’s buried in the cells (as a result of detox measures I’m doing or its own initiative), at which time the sensitivity gets worse. Other times it seems okay.

    I’ve been trying really hard to keep my bedroom pristine. All that’s in there is a Japanese futon on the floor and a lamp, and I only go in at night (just after I’ve taken a shower). I’m not convinced that it really matters that much though. One item contaminated with mold in the entire apartment seems to throw me off entirely, apparently because it gets in the vent system (specific to our apartment rather than connected to the rest of the building) and then spreads around.

    I took a good bit of HGH yesterday and feel like my system is stronger and better able to handle the mold without cracking up. I did feel really sleepy, but that seems to be a result of my body going into repair mode (my usual response to HGH) and thus is not a bad thing. I wish I could get insurance to pay for it, but we shall see.

    I looked on the Shepherd’s Dream site and agree that the wool felts seem like a really good idea. I would go with them if I were making a purchase now, I think. The cotton futon doesn’t seem like an entirely bad choice, but not being able to wash it is a real drawback. And though it’s not going to grow poison mold in it (unless I soak it and/or put it right next to a place where poison mold is already growing....not going to happen!), those do have the potential of growing regular mold in them. I don’t seem to be sensitive to regular mold, but that would be a bad thing regardless.

    Thanks to all for your comments!
  18. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Oh, I have a comment to add, Lisa. Someone told me that bipolar illness can be treated using T3. She said that it's been shown that people with bipolar can't convert T4 to T3.

    So I thought that might be relevant to your situation. Maybe you already know this though.

  19. acer2000

    acer2000 New Member


    I don't really know much about FIR except that they supposedly help detox. I don't know if anyone has actually done a study to prove this. Dr. Myhill recommends it to detox pesticides etc.. You can buy a "portable" one on ebay for a few hundred dollars. I don't know what the quality of these units are. They seem similar to the ones Dr. Myhill recommends from a company in England. You can of course buy units that are more like normal saunas (room like) for thousands of dollars from places like "Sunlight Sauna" etc...

    I found a place near my house that is like a general nauropath/alternative/accupuncture etc.. place. I have no idea the quality of their medical services, but you can pay them 15$ to use their sauna for 30 minutes, independent of if you see their doctor. I did it a couple times... it was OK, I felt fine, and then a little more tired afterwords. I might do it a few more times.

    Does anyone know how many sessions you have to do to make a dent in your chemical levels? 10 times? 30 times? 50 times? If its a lot, I might spring for one of the portable ones on the internet, and just do it at home. For 200$ worth of sessions at this place, I can buy one... (albeit a cheap one).
  20. tooks

    tooks Member

    Re the hydrogen peroxide IV's--I think they really did wipe out some bad guys. My hesitancy now is hearing researchers like Dr. Cheney express concerns over oxygen poisoning, though I'm not sure how that works.

    The other thing about the hydrogen peroxided IV's is that they are hard on your veins. Anyway, it gave me a lot of help at the time.