Whether you suspect you have Lyme disease, have recently been diagnosed, or have been struggling with chronic symptoms for a long time, we know you have questions — lots of them. Dr. Bill Rawls wants to help you find as many answers as possible.
The author of the best-selling book, Unlocking Lyme, Dr. Rawls isn’t just a Lyme-literate medical doctor (LLMD) — he also knows firsthand where you’re coming from: In the middle of his successful OB-GYN career, Dr. Rawls’ life was interrupted by Lyme disease. In his journey to overcome it, he explored nearly every treatment possible – from conventional medicine to a range of alternative therapies — until he finally discovered what worked.
Since his recovery more than a decade ago, Dr. Rawls has helped thousands of patients find their path to healing from Lyme disease and related chronic illness. Now, he’d like to help you. Come with your questions, and he’ll answer as many of them as possible.
Don’t miss an exclusive gift for all webinar attendees, plus a chance to win a FREE private consult with Dr. Rawls.
A September 2020 meta-analysis concludes there is a significant relationship between autism and concentrations of lead and mercury in the body
According to the researchers, mercury concentration is a pathogenic cause for autism, meaning it’s a causative factor
According to a 2014 review, there is evidence of malfeasance and conflicts of interest in studies claiming that thimerosal in vaccines is safe
Serious flaws and errors also plague studies that claim aluminum in vaccines is safe. A mathematical error found in a key FDA study has reignited concerns about the safety of aluminum in vaccines
Glutathione is the dominant agent that binds to and helps move mercury and other heavy metals out of your tissues. Part of effective detox involves upregulating your biochemistry to facilitate the mobilization and elimination of metals
The controversy over whether mercury overexposure can trigger autism is a long-standing one. A new meta-analysis of previous studies sheds much needed light on the matter, concluding there’s a “significant relationship” between the two.
The review,1,2 published in the September 2020 issue of Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, looked at 18 studies conducted between 1982 and 2019 that examined the relationship between concentrations of copper, lead or mercury in blood, plasma, hair or nails and the prevalence of autism. While no relationship was found between autism and copper concentrations, a high degree of correlation was found for mercury and lead.
According to the authors,3 the relationship between mercury and autism is so strong that “the concentration of mercury can be listed as a pathogenic cause (disease-causing) for autism.” This held true even when outlier studies that might unduly influence the results were removed.
Mercury Is a Causative Factor
In the introduction, the authors point out that studies carried out in this area suggest mercury and other toxins are involved in the cause of autism, which include abnormal brain development that affects social interaction and communication skills.
“Metals’ biological effects are associated with their chemical properties, suggesting that excessive metal exposure can cause brain abnormalities around the world,” the researchers state.4
“Mercury is considered as a risk factor for autism since, according to previous studies, it has been recognized as a neurotrophic toxin. Reduction in mercury content in hair and teeth of the children with autism aroused the low disposal of mercury hypothesis.
Blaurock-Bush et al found that heavy metals are effective in the development of autism disorder. The role of mercury in the pathogenesis of autism has also been proven in other studies …
According to points raised in the present study … it would be quite reasonable to advise prevention of exposure to mercury and lead in children and provision of suitable conditions during the sensitive period of mothers’ pregnancy as vital measures to prevent the disease …”
A 2017 review paper,5 “The Toxicology of Mercury: Current Research and Emerging Trends,” details the “kinetics of this metal,” including “its metabolism, interaction with other metals, distribution, internal doses and targets and reservoir organs.” The paper cites several studies linking mercury and autism among its references, noting that:6
“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been demonstrated to be accompanied by distorted metal homeostasis. The degree to which people are affected by the metals seems to be largely influenced by the individual genetic makeup.
Especially Hg [mercury] exposure has become a suspected causative factor for many pathological conditions, and several sources of exposure to Hg compounds can be listed, including dental amalgam fillings, seafood, vaccines and increasingly from energy saving light bulbs as well.”
Malfeasance in Research Showing Thimerosal Safety
In the video above, the University of Calgary faculty of medicine illustrate how mercury causes neuronal degeneration in your brain. While there are many environmental sources of mercury exposure, some of the most prominent ones include high-mercury fish,dental amalgam and thimerosal-containing vaccines.
Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative used in certain vaccines. While it has been removed from most childhood vaccines, it is still used in some multidose vials, meaning vials that contain more than a single dose of the vaccine.
Remarkably, while the fact that mercury is neurotoxic is noncontroversial, health authorities still insist injected thimerosal is perfectly safe and has never been linked to neurological dysfunction. How could that be?
In 2014, a review article7 in the BioMed Research International journal titled, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines Is Safe,” noted that:
“The studies upon which the CDC relies and over which it exerted some level of control report that there is no increased risk of autism from exposure to organic Hg in vaccines, and some of these studies even reported that exposure to Thimerosal appeared to decrease the risk of autism.
These six studies are in sharp contrast to research conducted by independent researchers over the past 75+ years that have consistently found Thimerosal to be harmful … Many studies conducted by independent investigators have found Thimerosal to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Several studies, for example, including three of the six studies covered in this review, have found Thimerosal to be a risk factor for tics. In addition, Thimerosal has been found to be a risk factor in speech delay, language delay, attention deficit disorder, and autism.
Considering that there are many studies conducted by independent researchers which show a relationship between Thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders, the results of the six studies examined in this review, particularly those showing the protective effects of Thimerosal, should bring into question the validity of the methodology used in the studies …
Importantly … five of the publications examined in this review were directly commissioned by the CDC, raising the possible issue of conflict of interests or research bias, since vaccine promotion is a central mission of the CDC.
Conceivably, if serious neurological disorders are found to be related to Thimerosal in vaccines, such findings could possibly be viewed as damaging to the vaccine program.”
Aluminum Is Another Neurotoxic Poison
Today, the most commonly used vaccine preservative is aluminum, not thimerosal.It’s unfortunate that the Pediatric Health, Medicine and Therapeutics review did not include it, because it’s likely that aluminum has a similar impact on autism as mercury.
According to a 2018 study,8people with autism were found to have high amounts of aluminum in their brains.
“The mean (standard deviation) aluminium content across all 5 individuals for each lobe were 3.82(5.42), 2.30(2.00), 2.79(4.05) and 3.82(5.17) μg/g dry wt. for the occipital, frontal, temporal and parietal lobes respectively,” the researchers noted.9
The lead author on this paper was Dr. Christopher Exley, a leading expert in aluminum toxicology. He and a team of international scientists have also published a paper10 in the (preprint) December 2020 issue of the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.
In it, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants … must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”
As with thimerosal above, serious flaws and errors plague studies that claim aluminum in vaccines is safe. As reported in “Major Error Found in Vaccine Aluminum Safety Calculation,” a mathematical error found in a key U.S. Food and Drug Administration study has reignited concerns about its safety.
The FDA study,11 published in 2011, compared aluminum exposure from vaccines in infants to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) safety limit of oral aluminum, concluding that:12
“… the body burden of aluminum from vaccines and diet throughout an infant’s first year of life is significantly less than the corresponding safe body burden of aluminum modeled using the regulatory MRL.
We conclude that episodic exposures to vaccines that contain aluminum adjuvant continue to be extremely low risk to infants and that the benefits of using vaccines containing aluminum adjuvant outweigh any theoretical concerns.”
The problem, found by Physicians for Informed Consent, is that the FDA based its calculations on 0.78% of oral aluminum being absorbed into the bloodstream instead of the value of 0.1% used by the ATSDR.
“As a result,” Physicians for Informed Consent noted,13 “the FDA paper assumed that nearly 8 (0.78%/0.1%) times more aluminum can safely enter the bloodstream, and this led the authors to incorrectly conclude that aluminum exposure from vaccines was well below the safety limit.” Christopher Shaw, a professor at the University of British Columbia who has studied the effects of injected aluminum, explained in a news release:14
“We knew that the  Mitkus et al. paper modeling aluminum clearance had to be inaccurate since it was assuming that injected aluminum kinetics were the same as the kinetics of aluminum acquired through diet.
Now, in addition, we see that they did their modeling based on using the incorrect level of aluminum absorption. What is particularly striking is that despite all these errors, since 2011, Mitkus et al. is used by CDC and other entities as the basis for claiming that aluminum adjuvants are safe.”
The Dangers of Lead
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that was once commonly used in gasoline, paint and children’s toys, and is still a part of batteries, pipes, pottery, roofing materials and cosmetics. Due to environmental pollution, food and water has also become a source of this dangerous toxin.
If you live in an urban area or near a busy road, it’s probably best to assume that your soil is contaminated with lead to some extent. This is also an issue if you plan to plant a vegetable garden, as vegetables can take up lead from the soil very efficiently.
Lead damages your brain and nervous system, and has been shown to lower IQ. Even small amounts can be dangerous, as lead builds up in your body over time. Children under 6 are especially at risk, as they absorb lead more easily than adults.
As detailed in “The Heroes Who Sunk Lead,” Herbert Needleman performed much of the foundational research showing even low levels of lead were dangerous. Another crucial crusader against lead was geochemist Clair Cameron Patterson, Ph.D.
It’s thanks to Patterson’s tireless work that lead was finally removed from gasoline, thereby saving untold billions of people from serious harm.15 He’s an unsung public health hero of the 20th century that most people have never heard of.
The video below is a short summary of the evolution of leaded gas, and ultimately, its removal, which was no small feat. Unfortunately, there are many other sources of toxic metals, and unless we address them all, we’re unlikely to get a handle on the autism epidemic.
We’re Getting Mercury Out of Dentistry
As mentioned, dental mercury is one pernicious source of mercury. Here, there is good news. After years of pressure from Consumers for Dental Choice and its allies, the FDA has finally released a long-overdue safety communication on dental amalgam.16 September 24, 2020, the FDA issued a warning that mercury fillings may adversely affect:
Pregnant women and their developing fetuses
Women who are planning to become pregnant
Nursing women and their newborns and infants
Children, especially those younger than 6
People with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
People with impaired kidney function
People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam
While the FDA downplays the importance of its changed recommendation by stressing that the benefits of dental amalgam likely “outweigh their risks for most patients,” this update is nothing short of monumental, and opens the door, finally, for the elimination of dental mercury for all patients in the U.S., as has been done in many other countries already.
Detoxifying Heavy Metals
Heavy metal detoxification is no simple matter. As explained in “The Three Pillars of Heavy Metal Detoxification,” glutathione is the dominant agent that binds to and helps move mercury and other heavy metals out of your tissues. Part of effective detox involves upregulating your biochemistry to facilitate the mobilization and elimination of metals. In summary, the three pillars of heavy metal detox are:
Cleanse and clear your GI tract of metals and toxins
In January 2020, I also interviewed Boyd Haley, Ph.D., is a chemist specializing in the development of chemicals to chelate toxic metals. Haley has developed a nontoxic chelating compound called emeramide or NBMI (brand name Irminix), which tightly binds to mercury and free iron (which is also highly toxic), and acts as a potent antioxidant, as it has two glutathione arms.
Emeramid is still under drug development but can be obtained via expanded access, named patient use, compassionate use or special use, depending on the country you’re in. An early access application and prescription, required by the EMA, is available on the company’s website, EmeraMed.com.17
In closing, the evidence strongly suggests exposure to mercury, lead and aluminum are significant risk factors for autism and other neuropathologies. The simplest answer to the autism epidemic is therefore to prevent children from these kinds of exposures. That includes banning dental amalgam and getting thimerosal and aluminum out of all vaccines.
https://suzycohen.com/articles/methylation-problems/ Pharmacist Suzy Cohen states 100’s of diseases are the result of methylation problems, including Lyme, chronic viral infections, schizophrenia, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, addictive behavior, insomnia, cancer, and more. (Wonderful 1 minute video explaining methylation in link)
While methylation problems do not directly cause Lyme (it is caused by a pleomorphic bacteria called borrelia)it causes severe symptoms due to the inability to clear infections & their by-products, as well as repairing the damage they cause.
If you are extremely sensitive to medicine you probably have a methylation problem.
Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins? The Truth About Exercise and Detoxing
By Beth Janes Posted 06-01-2020
Exercise is one of those things that’s so good for you and has so much science backing up its advertised health benefits, it’s not hard to believe one more proclaimed benefit: That a good, sweaty workout would help expel toxins. After all, your body only has a few ways to get rid of waste, and it makes sense it would do so through the pores of its largest organ — skin — if given the chance.
In reality, the link between exercise and detoxification isn’t quite so simple. Exercise does play a huge role in the process, but it doesn’t have much to do with sweat. While researchhas found traces of heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium in the sweat of those with high blood levels of the toxins, for example, whatever toxins are released through perspiration (if any) are likely an overall drop in the bucket compared to what’s eliminated via urine and stool.
“Sweat is certainly an area of interest, and there’s the possibility that some things do come out in sweat,” says Dr. Bill Rawls, M.D., medical director of Vital Plan. “But sweat’s primary function is thermoregulation, not detoxing. The main way your body removes toxins is through the liver and kidneys, which process them and turn them water soluble so they can be expelled through urine and stool.”
Even so, being active does play an integral role in the detoxification process. Keep reading to learn more — plus natural ways to maximize the cleansing power of exercise.
Movement Matters for Detox
For all of you who hear the word exercise and automatically think it means you must hit the gym, break into a jog, or otherwise go hard, relax — literally. While there’s certainly benefits to intense physical activity, low-to-moderate intensity activities are also extremely good for you, especially when it comes to detoxing.
“What we all really need is to just be active and move more throughout the day, and that can mean anything, really,” Dr. Rawls says. For example, everyday leisure activities like walking, biking and kayaking count.
So does housework, gardening, and other “work” you might otherwise have a machine do, which might mean raking leaves versus blowing them, or washing dishes by hand instead of loading them into the dishwasher. “Our bodies were designed to move, and up until about 100 years ago, when we started processing and using petroleum, that’s what we did,” Dr. Rawls says.
Unfortunately, the modern world has dealt most people a one-two punch when it comes to toxins: Not only are we moving much less than our ancestors thanks to machines, appliances, cars, and industrial processes, we’re also exposed to many, many more toxins because of those exact things. We’re also exposed to toxins from cleaning and other household items, self-care products, as well as in food in drinks in the form of herbicide and pesticide residue, plus chemicals from plastic packaging.
“All those toxins are not compatible with human life; they damage cells and DNA, they inhibit normal functioning of cells, and they interfere with cellular messaging systems,” Dr. Rawls explains. Many also are free radicals that directly attack cells.
All combined, toxins put an enormous amount of stress on cells, causing them to burn out faster, which ultimately accelerates aging. In other words, detoxing is not only key for your health and healthy functioning of your systems now, it’s an investment in longevity, he says. And that’s why exercise, especially, which is already a multifaceted, well-known age decelerator, is the perfect detox tool.
3 Ways Exercise Supports Your Body’s Detoxification Processes
1. It Improves Circulation.
All cells are water-based and bathed in what’s called extracellular fluid, which helps encourage cells to release toxins and carry them away to the liver and kidneys for disposal, Dr. Rawls says. However the less you move, the more that fluid stagnates and the more toxins build up in your system and can do damage.
“You don’t have to do triathlons or run 10 miles a day,” says Dr. Rawls. “Just make it your goal to move more throughout the day, which is enough to flush out toxins from cells and the fluid around cells and keep it flowing.”
2. Exercise Lowers Inflammation.
Physical activity has also been proven time and again to help control inflammation, which reduces your body’s overall toxic load. Because while there are plenty of toxins we take in from the external world — from air pollution or pesticides, for example — chronic inflammation is itself toxic to our cells and produces an overabundance of natural “toxins.”
Here’s what’s happening: Under normal, healthy conditions, the body uses free radicals to break down cellular waste — the byproducts produced by cells as they make energy as well as other debris like bacteria or neutralized viruses. That waste is then carried away through the lymphatic system and filtered out in lymph nodes. The process is typically tightly controlled because free radicals also break down healthy tissue.
However, when cells are stressed due to environmental toxins, as well as psychological stress, a poor diet, lack of sleep, and other factors, cells produce more waste and burn out more quickly. That leads to a flood of excess free radicals, which also begin breaking down more and more healthy tissue, leading to more waste. It’s a vicious cycle that contributes to chronic illness and accelerates the general aging process.
“In short, chronic inflammation is a reaction to the whole plumbing system of the body becoming overwhelmed and getting clogged and backing up,” Dr. Rawls says. “Your cells are so polluted that your system is collecting waste at a faster pace than the normal flow can get rid of.” Physical activity is effective because it helps both reduce inflammation and help clear lymphatic congestion.
3. It Helps Reduce Places For Toxins to Hide.
Fat tissue seems to be one place certain toxins like to hide once they get inside your body. And research suggests those who are overweight or obese tend to have higher body burdens of common environmental toxins. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, helps reduce fat tissue and keep your weight and, potentially, the amount of toxins in your system in check.
Herbs That Support Your Detox Efforts
Increasing your daily activity will go a long way toward more effective detoxification. Add supportive herbs into the mix, and the results are likely to be even better. Here are a few areas and specific herbs to focus on, according to Dr. Rawls:
Multitasking Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogens are very beneficial overall because they help balance and support a number of different functions and systems. One of their most important jobs, however, is supporting the immune system, which controls your body’s inflammatory response. So while they’re well-known for their anti-inflammatory powers, they also help protect the vascular system and liver.
Plants known to help protect cardiac function and your vascular system help ensure good circulation and blood flow for the carrying away of toxins. They also contribute to the cardio-protective effects of exercise, Dr. Rawls says.
Most herbs have anti-inflammatory (as well as antioxidant) powers. However certain plants and other substances are known to help system-wide inflammation, as well as the inflammation that can contribute to the painful joints that otherwise may make exercise uncomfortable.
“We’re exposed to so many toxins these days that we’re burning out our liver cells quickly,” Dr. Rawls says. Herbs that help protect liver cells do so by increasing their natural antioxidant protection. And the healthier your liver, the better the detoxification process.
No matter what you do when you start to think about optimizing your body’s detoxification powers, be wary of products that claim too-good-to-be-true cleansing powers. Most of them simply pump you full of natural laxatives without actually addressing the bigger, underlying issues, Dr. Rawls says.
The truth is, you already have the best detox tool available — the ability to move. Look at products, then, that help support healthy functioning of your cells and body so you feel motivated, energized, and ready to get up and go.
1. Sears, Margaret E., Kathleen J. Kerr and Riina I. Bray. 2012. “Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review.” J Environ Public Health. 184745.
2. University of Arkansas Medical School. “Can you sweat toxins out of your body?” UAMC Health. March 8, 2019. https://uamshealth.com/medical-myths/can-you-sweat-toxins-out-of-your-body/
3. Hammer, Mark, Sabia Severine, G. David Batty, et al. 2012. “Physical Activity and Inflammatory Markers Over 10 Years: Follow-Up in Men and Women From the Whitehall II Cohort Study.” Circulation. 126(8):928–933
4. Ertek, Sibel and Arrigo Cicero. 2012. “Impact of Physical Activity on Inflammation: Effects on Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Other Inflammatory Conditions.” Arch Med Sci. 8(5):794-804.
5. Dimitrov, Stoyan, Elaine Hulteng and Suzi Hong. 2017. “Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-adrenergic activation.” Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 61:60-68.
6. La Merril, Michele, Claude Emond, Min Ji Kim, et al. 2013. “Toxicological Function of Adipose Tissue: Focus on Persistent Organic Pollutants.” Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Feb; 121(2): 162–169.
7. Kim, Min-Ji, Philippe Marchand, Corneliu Henegar, et al. 2011. “Fate and Complex Pathogenic Effects of Dioxins and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Obese Subjects Before and After Drastic Weight Loss.” Environ Health Perspect Mar;119(3):377-83.
Episode 103: Heavy Metals And Their Impact on Health
February 20, 2020
Cindy Kennedy, FNP, is joined by the dynamic duo of Jane Barlow and Dr. Brandon Nielsen, who discuss how using select nutrition and herbal support can assist the body in eliminating heavy metals.
Jane Barlow is an herbalist who owns and runs Barlow Herbal Specialties. She lives in Salt Lake City where she enjoys hiking all over the mountains of Utah and teaching fitness classes. Jane loves everything natural, holistic, wellness, fitness and nutrition oriented and believes it is our right as humans to be vibrantly healthy and that if given the right tools our body knows how to heal.She believes that each of us are responsible for ourselves and the love, joy, spiritual and physical health that we experience.
She is the 2nd oldest of 14 kids and grew up in rural Idaho. Jane has two grown sons and two grandchildren.
Dr. Brandon Nielsen graduated with his doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine from SCU and his second doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the American Naturopathic Institute of Medicine. He has been practicing functional medicine for the past 15 years and is the founder of Emotional Stress Release. He currently resides in Utah with his wife and 4 children. He has the blessed opportunity to live by his motto of, “Living In Wholeness Every Day” by Restoring the Health of the Family.For information on a special event Dr. Nielsen has coming up, click here.