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Neurotoxin Removal

Medically Reviewed Fact Checked
Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

When someone reaches out to us for help, one of the first key protocols is neurotoxin removal and detox. Caregivers routinely overlook toxic exposure and accumulations before a person is put on psychiatric medications or when they self-medicate with recreational drugs. Yet it has been well-documented as far back as the 1850s, as well as current research showing that neurotoxicity can lead to psychiatric symptoms.1

Discover What Is Poisoning You

For the most part, GPs prescribe psychiatric meds in line with their medical training, which instructed them to do so. Rarely will a physician consider whether a less toxic alternative is appropriate. Yet we are finding more and more that people have been exposed to toxins — substances that are neurotoxic — in their environment, and even from the drugs they were prescribed or those that they medicated themselves with. Neurotoxins interfere with the natural chemical processes necessary for mental health. Drugs may temporarily relieve symptoms of mental health disorders, but the long-term effects tell a different story. So is there a better answer?

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Neurotoxins:  Where Do They Come From?

Some of these toxins are heavy metals and include mercury, arsenic, lead, aluminum, cadmium, and other toxic metals.2,4 remove neurotoxic loadWe have been born into a toxic world. Our air, the food we have most available to us, additives to that food, pesticides, household cleaners, flame retardants in our beds, furniture, clothes, our hygiene products, parasites, bacteria, and molds, all have a toxic chemical burden that the body has to deal with. Those with poor detoxification genetics are impacted first, brain chemistry being the most sensitive to chemical toxicity. Children, in particular, are at great risk of being medicated instead of being checked for toxic exposures.3

Toxic load interferes with the way neurotransmitters are synthesized. Neurotransmitters are our chemical expressions of emotion and work to regulate hormones and coordinate other facets of life. Disrupting the internal chemistry can cause a wide array of mental health issues. These can include depression, psychosis, anxiety, addictive behaviors, and chronic pain. Each toxin can leave a signature problem in place and needs to be treated in a specific way. We facilitate chemical and heavy metal toxin removal based on toxicity testing and treatment via customized chelation and targeted neurotoxin detox protocols. Chelation agents are proteins that can bind heavy metals, and using safe methods of elimination these can be safely purged from the body to the great relief of the client. We’ll discuss these in more detail below.

Toxic Load Interferes with the Way Neurotransmitters Are Synthesized

Our program was designed for persons who have accumulated toxins and to specifically remove those toxins. It was taken into consideration that many persons participating in this program will be on medications for the symptoms they have been having. In most cases, the need for the medications will be reduced as a person progresses. We know that many of our clients are in a fragile condition of health and so each program is designed appropriately for success.

Neurotoxic burden can create the very symptoms that people then get medicated to treat.

Before the program begins, the participant visits our medical professionals to have the following …

Health Exam

The participant will be given a physical to determine health and appropriate level of participation.

Lab Tests

The participant will have labs drawn. The labs include a CBC with Differential, Comprehensive Metabolic, a Urine Toxic Elements profile, and a Urine Essential Mineral Test. Persons with low minerals will not release heavy metal toxins, and most persons who have accumulated heavy metals are low in minerals. Mineralizing a person will facilitate toxin removal and a large part of this program is mineralization. The test we are performing is a “challenged” test, which means we are provoking more toxins and minerals to come out of you than if it were not challenged. We expect your mineral levels to be fully on the right-hand side in the red, well above the reference range. If the minerals are not in the red area, you are relatively deficient and need more minerals.

During the program:  Daily activities at the Detox Shoppe last approximately two hours and will involve some, or all of the following …


The participant will begin the program with an up to 20-minute cardiovascular workout. At the capillary level, the cellular level, where much of this detoxing is to occur, an increase in blood pressure is needed to force new blood and oxygenation into these areas as well as to enable the release of toxins. The number of minutes of elevated heart rate may of course need to be adjusted based upon the relative health of the participant. Exercise is possibly one of the most underused yet tremendously effective therapies for the recovery of natural mental health.27,28


This process will liberate stored toxins, and water consumption is important to flush the toxins out of the system. Without proper water intake, the toxins may linger in the system where they can do damage, particularly to the glomerulus capillary network areas of the kidney which are the urinary filtration areas. Our specialized water treatment unit makes the water more alkaline. We also use a state-of-the-art water filtration system that not only filters the water but mineralizes and ionizes it as well. The minimum requirement is 64 ounces for even the smallest adult.

Sauna therapy facilitates the release of toxins that are liberated from fat storage areas and made water-soluble. Increased fluid intake helps the process of pushing them out of the body through sweating and normal elimination channels. 29

Since many of the detoxification strategies provided in the program are increasing the rate at which toxins leave the body, sauna therapy can help use the skin as an organ of detoxification, thereby unburdening the liver and kidneys from having to perform all of the work to clear these toxins. We have two saunas at the treatment center that are used daily. The sauna time is up to two hours with breaks about every 20-30 minutes.

Diligent adherence to the sauna program will greatly impact your success and you are encouraged to participate fully. Five days a week, with a total duration of 20-40 actual days is standard. If it cannot be tolerated for physical reasons, there are other methods that can achieve similar results and will be discussed further on.

Sauna therapy includes taking a combination of the following:

  • Chelators are proteins to remove heavy metals.7
  • Conjugators are various nutrients that convert fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble so they can be sweated out or excreted through natural elimination channels.8
  • Remineralization. Most persons who are heavy metal toxic are also found to be mineral deficient, specifically trace minerals. Persons who are low on minerals will not be able to push out heavy metal toxins, therefore mineralization is essential. Correct nutrition and hydration are key for this process.6

Adjunctive Therapies

These therapies aid in an overall detox and wellness program and include ionic footbaths, massage, acupuncture, nebulized glutathione, exercise, colon hydrotherapy, and other treatments.

Nebulized Glutathione

neurotoxin removalGlutathione has been called the master antioxidant. It is an intracellular antioxidant essential for maximum antioxidant activity from all other antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and CoQ10.9

It removes toxins from cells and protects against radiation. Glutathione must be delivered directly to the bloodstream. We nebulize (vaporize) the glutathione so as to get it directly into the bloodstream without having to use IVs, thereby eliminating the need to use needles.

Colon Hydrotherapy

When toxins are being pulled from the system, they may deposit themselves in the colon. These are the same toxins that destroy brain chemistry. That impaired brain chemistry can result in cravings and may contribute to drug addictions. We are using various colon purging techniques to ensure that the toxins are not reabsorbed while hanging around in the gut. Colonics may remove a barrier of mucous and toxins that can block the absorption of vital nutrition. When a person is not getting adequate nutrition, the first thing that is usually sacrificed is neurochemistry. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, and lack of passion. Drug use including opiates, stimulants, or others may arise in the attempt to self-medicate as such symptoms are all heavily influenced by neurotransmitters. So even before tissue changes and organ dysfunction, lack of proper nutrients can often result in mood disturbances. Colonics along with nutrition therapies are part of an overall strategy that helps the body absorb what is needed in order to create balance. There have been many documented cases at our center where the gut was the primary cause of mental issues.10


neurotoxin removalAcupuncture is one of the multiple therapies that we can thank traditional Chinese medicine for. Clinical research has shown that acupuncture is highly effective during drug recovery as it reduces the rates of relapse, and has been shown to regulate neurotransmitters where such dysregulation has been linked to drug cravings and drug-seeking behaviors. 19


Massage therapy has become widely used in many types of physical therapy for relaxation, reduced stress, and for pain relief. Other benefits have been demonstrated in clinical trials including reduced cortisol levels, increased dopamine and oxytocin release, increased activity of natural killer cells, improved sleep, and long-lasting improvements in symptoms of Parkinson’s and dementia patients. Although the exact mechanisms of how massage improves neurochemistry are not completely understood, the benefits for the central nervous system and other areas of health are well-documented. 20,21

Ionic Footbaths

Ionic footbaths are often used in tandem with massage and have been found therapeutic for relaxation, for the reduction of psychiatric symptoms, and other benefits. While more needs to be understood about how ionic footbaths work, we do know that the feet are endowed with thousands of pores, among the largest pores of the body. And, while sweat glands are found all over the body, nowhere are they more prolific than the soles of the feet. The pores in the thick soles of the feet efficiently function in ionic waste excretion and respond positively to heat and other stimuli. 22-24

Removal Process

To remove accumulated toxins, specific techniques can be employed to enhance the body’s own natural detoxification pathways. Heavy metal toxins and many environmental toxins are neurotoxic and lipophilic. Neurotoxic means that they have a high affinity for and are destructive to nerve tissue. Lipophilic means love of fat, and therefore aggregates in fatty tissue such as endocrine glands, brain tissue, and adipose tissue. These toxins are termed fat-soluble. In order to facilitate their removal, various methods are effective to overcome these barriers, as discussed in detail below.


Chelation means “claw-like.” This, put simply, is a protein that has a higher affinity for the heavy metal than does the fatty tissue, and as a molecule, will grab the toxin like a claw. A protein chelate, such as DMPS, binds the heavy metal toxin and allows it to be escorted out of the body via the elimination pathways.7

Chelators are specific for metals only, and other methods must be employed in conjunction to address organic toxins.


Conjugation means “joining with.” For non-metal organic toxins, this is the method of elimination. In order for these fat-soluble toxins to be eliminated via sweat and natural elimination routes, they must be converted to a water-soluble form. This is done by adding something to the toxin such as a sulfur group, methyl group, acetyl group, and others. This addition is chemically termed “conjugation.” The specific elements in our detoxification process take full advantage of this process so that the toxins can be liberated from the fatty tissue, and safely eliminated.8

Specific Elements of the Neurotoxin Removal Process

Rice Bran Fiber

Rice bran fiber is monumentally important. Most toxins are fat-soluble and therefore highly attracted to fat. The sauna, heating, exercise, and other things we are giving you are breaking down this fat, and therefore helpfully releasing these toxins so they can be removed from your body. However, the body will reuptake any fat trying to leave the body, which is what makes fat loss so difficult. The energy-producing parts of a cell called the mitochondria, will recycle fats leaving the body AND the fat-soluble toxins! They cannot tell the difference between fats and a fat-soluble toxin! Rice bran fiber is an undigestable fat. It will act as a sinking point for fat and fat-soluble toxins so they can leave the body.25

Chelators - Key Factors in Neurotoxin Removal

  • DMSA, DMPS 7,11,12
    These are non-toxic chelating proteins that will bind most metals and is particularly effective at binding mercury. It will cross the gut lining as well as fatty tissues, and will therefore pull mercury from individual cells as well. DMSA is specific for metals and is not known to clear organic toxins.
  • NAC ( N-Acetyl-Cysteine ) 13
    NAC can be produced in humans from the amino acid cysteine. NAC is a chelator of heavy metals. In other words, NAC binds to toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead and removes them from the body.
  • CaEDTA 14
    CaEDTA is used as a chelating agent in the treatment of lead poisoning. CaEDTA also binds cadmium, barium, and uranium. It also chelates zinc, and its use requires re-supplementation with zinc several hours after administration.
  • Glycine 15
    Glycine is one of our non-essential amino acids. In contrast to many other amino acids, it can only be obtained through diet and supplementation. Glycine supports the activity of EDTA. Glycine is also the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain stem and spinal cord and has a multitude of protective functions for disease protection, improved sleep, reduced inflammation, and many other benefits.
  • Malic Acid 16,17
    Malic acid is cardio-protective, and also helpful in protecting against the toxic effects of aluminum. Malic acid is one of the most potent chelators of aluminum and was the most effective of several chelators tested at reducing aluminum levels in various organs and tissues. Also, it is useful in treating chronic fatigue as it improves energy metabolism by freeing up the phosphates to be used in ATP production.
  • Cilantro Tincture 18,47
    Cilantro is the name of the leaves of the coriander plant. Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant, that decreases heavy metal accumulation in the kidneys. It is also a popular culinary item, with an incredible range of neuroprotective properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsive, and anticancer effects, migraine relief, antimicrobial, and many other desirable attributes.

Conjugators for Neurotoxin Removal

  • Garlic
    Garlic protects white and red blood cells from oxidative damage caused by metals traveling in the blood. Garlic also contains numerous sulfur compounds that will oxidize mercury, cadmium, and lead making them water-soluble. Garlic also contains bioactive selenium, which is the most important mineral for protection against mercury toxicity. Garlic also contains allicin which is nature’s most powerful anti-microbial. Such micronutrients are vital for their functions in the healthy body. Whether consumed fresh or in freeze-dried or fermented forms, garlic provides a powerhouse of health benefits.30
  • Vitamin C: Primary Water-Soluble Antioxidant
    Vitamin C is perhaps the most important water-soluble antioxidant nutrient and is involved in a wide variety of biochemical reactions throughout the body. Unlike animals, human bodies require adequate vitamin C for optimum health. Because of its molecular structure, vitamin C is able to neutralize free radicals. The body uses vitamin C during detoxification and anti-inflammatory processes. It should be given “to tolerance” which is the point just below diarrhea.31
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
    ALA is a potent antioxidant, increasing the effectiveness of Vitamin C and E. ALA supplementation also stimulates glutathione synthesis, which is a major facet of detoxification- (see nebulized glutathione). 32
  • Sam-E
    S-adenosyl methionine is a common co-substrate (acts in conjunction with other nutrients and natural substances) converting a reactive toxin into a harmless water-soluble substance that the body can then easily eliminate. This is helpful for the detoxification process. However, giving Sam-E to persons suffering from anxiety or psychosis should be restricted. Since it can donate a methyl group (CH3) to dopamine to create norepinephrine and adrenaline, it can result in over-stimulation in these individuals. In clinical trials, Sam-E has been shown more effective than placebo and as effective as prescribed antidepressants in treating major depressive disorder.33
  • Methylfolate and Methyl B12
    These forms of B12 and folate are the most absorbable forms of each, as some persons lack the intrinsic factors to use the other forms. Folate and B12 drive the main gears of detoxification, and without them, detoxification is seriously impaired. Vitamin B12 is offered by injection as well. Vitamin B12 is used worldwide for life-saving detoxification for those who have been exposed to toxic fumes or chemical bioweapon inhalation in their environment.34
  • Niacin
    Niacin executes many essential functions, particularly in the area of energy metabolism and enzyme regulation. It also causes dilation of the blood vessels at the capillary level so that nutrients can be delivered to the tissues, and harmful toxins can be more efficiently removed as well.35

Salts and Oils

  • Salt and Potassium
    Salts are given so as to replace salts lost during sweating. They are given in a 1-salt to 2-potassium ratio so as to preserve the electrolyte balance. Salt deficiency should be corrected to avoid symptoms such as cramping, headache, lethargy, impaired cognition, anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure), and fatigue. 36,37
  • Cell Salts
    Cell salts or tissue salts are supplements that provide essential minerals and trace minerals in bioavailable form.38 Cell salts are also called Bioplasma. They are made up of the following groups of salts.

    • Calcium groups
    • Sodium groups
    • Potassium groups
    • Magnesium groups
    • Silica groups
    • Iron groups
    • Silica groups
  • Cod Liver Oil
    The most important ingredients for human health — often called superfoods — are those that build and protect the integrity of bone, muscle, nerve, and other cell tissues including brain cells. Cod liver oil is high on that list of health-boosting superfoods. It is high in vitamins A and D, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it neuroprotective, a major anti-inflammatory agent that is protective against infection, and a powerful allergy fighter.39
  • Lecithin
    Lecithin contains phosphatidylcholine (PC). The main function of PC in lecithin granules is to break down fat deposits in the body and allows cell membranes to remain supple, and permeable so that they can transport nutrients in, and release waste out. According to the Canadian Journal of Neurologic Science, Lecithin or choline has been studied with positive results in the treatment of neurological disorders including Tardive Dyskinesia, Tourette’s, and others. 40
  • Evening Primrose Oil
    One of the richest natural sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. Evening primrose oil is highly valuable to those who cannot otherwise form enough GLA. This would include those who do not get enough essential fatty acids in their diet, who drink or have drunk excessive amounts of alcohol, who have low thyroid function, who have received radiation treatment, or who have been on certain psychiatric medications. Studies have also shown evening primrose oil effectively relieves depression, irritability, anxiety, mental fog, impaired memory, and other symptoms in post-menopausal women 41

Remineralization During Neurotoxin Removal

As chelators such as EDTA and DMPS can remove good minerals, the good minerals need to be replaced, and remineralization needs to occur after the active period for the chelators. Adding minerals at the same time as the chelating agents would dilute the effectiveness of the chelators, hence, they are given 2 hours after the primary chelators.

  • Selenomethionine (selenium)
    Good minerals will compete with toxic ones, and good minerals can replace toxic ones at the sites where there are bound within the neurology. Selenium is one of the good minerals and the most important mineral to protect against Mercury toxicity.1,5
  • Zinc
    Zinc is lost when a person is metal toxic, and when the body is under any form of stress, especially infections. Infections are common with toxicity. Zinc is also pulled out by EDTA, and needs to be replaced.42
  • Comprehensive Detox Nutrient Formulations
    Formulations are available that provide basic detox nutrients designed for individuals with environmental toxicity. It can be used within a cleansing program or as a stand-alone product for preventive use. These formulations provide a complete multivitamin-mineral formulation with higher levels of nutrients commonly found to be deficient in those with chemical overload, as well as those nutrients and botanicals that help the body handle the toxic load.
  • Trace minerals formulations
    Trace minerals are cofactors for most enzymes in the body and are essential for proper hormone and neurotransmitter function. Many dietary trace minerals are found in fruits and vegetables; however, mineral depletion of the soil has rendered much of what is available to the consumer deficient in these essential nutrients. Trace minerals can be combined with citrate-bound minerals in a well-balanced trace mineral formula. Citrate-bound trace minerals are well absorbed and utilized by the body.
  • Calcium Magnesium powder
    Powdered magnesium combined with calcium in the proper ratio is available as a powdered drink mix which is bioavailable. Magnesium is used in hundreds of our natural biochemical processes and also exerts a calming effect on neurology. Calcium regulates neurotransmitter synthesis and release. In addition, calcium is needed to produce serotonin, and serotonin is the precursor to melatonin. Calcium and magnesium along with many other nutrients work synergistically to provide the complete armor that supports natural mental health. 43,46

Holistic Detoxification Should Include Neurotoxin Removal

holistic detoxification to remove neurotoxinsAt Alternative to Meds Center, we view holistic detoxification as a process of neutralizing toxins in our system, particularly in the lymph nodes and liver, and then eliminating them through our lungs, colon, skin, and kidneys. This process is as vital to our system as our nutrient intake. The body engages in both processes as consistently as our heartbeat or breathing. Without these work-horse systems in play, the toxins would then embed themselves in our tissues and trigger a host of degenerative diseases and inflammatory conditions. Such could include mental symptomatology like anxiety, mood dysregulation, and psychosis. When overloaded and if the body cannot neutralize and eliminate a toxin, it will sequester it away in fatty tissues including glandular, nerve, and brain tissue. In an effort to protect us from dangerous poisons. It is vital to understand that the body can accumulate mucous and fat, into which it deposits these harmful toxins. It’s very much like an internal landfill that needs to be addressed.

The scale of toxins we are currently exposed to puts an unreasonable demand on our detoxification physiology. Industrial chemicals and the water treatment process pollute the water we bathe in and often drink. Pesticides designed to poison insects are accumulating in our bodies, and the concentration of mercury permeates the food chain along with other heavy metals, your household cleaners, solvents, the decline of our air quality, your hygiene products, and our environmental hormones all put an undue burden on our system, inevitably resulting in the breakdown of our natural body systems. Energy metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, addictive biochemistry, the disruption of normal hormonal production, interference of DNA and tissue repair, and other delicate biochemical systems are additionally adversely affected.

Clinical research has implicated environmental chemicals and lifestyle factors including poor diet in 90-95% of all cancers today. This data shows that cancer is a preventable disease.26 In addition, we have seen toxic load as correlatively and directly responsible for mental issues including psychosis, anxiety, hormonal disruption, addictive disorders, and underlying allergic and chemical sensitivities.

Signs of Toxicity
  • Psychiatric symptoms*, i.e. psychotic behavior, unexplained seizures
  • Chronic respiratory problems, sinus problems, or asthma
  • Abnormal body odor, bad breath, or coated tongue
  • Environmental sensitivities, sensitivity to odors
  • Food allergies, poor digestion, constipation, intestinal bloating, and gas
  • Unusually poor memory, chronic insomnia, depression, chronic fatigue
  • Brittle hair and nails, psoriasis, adult acne, unexplained weight gain

*Dr. James S. Brown is an expert on toxic exposures leading to psychiatric symptoms.

Additional Signs of Heavy Metal and Pollution Toxicity

Indoor and outdoor environments are often undetected sources of chemical exposure and should be well-monitored, especially if signs of toxic exposure are observed. 44,45

Signs of toxic chemical and pollution exposure can include:
  • Sensitivity to perfumes and cleaning products
  • Eye, ear, nose, and throat irritation
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Low tolerance to alcohol
  • Sensitivity to medications
  • Sensitivity to certain supplements
  • Pain in muscles, joints
  • Slow reaction time for your age
  • Infertility, impotency
  • Memory failure

Find Out More About Neurotoxin Removal at Alternative to Meds Center

Alternative to Meds Center has specialized in medication tapering and withdrawal treatment, helping thousands of people successfully over more than 17 years. Neurotoxin removal and detox, done properly, are key to helping people find their way back to health.

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Originally Published May 4, 2020 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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