Motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins sizzles with so much energy and passion he can hold the attention of an audience of 4,000 for four days and fifty hours. This 58-year-old Viking of a man regularly works 16 hour days and teaches that energized movement can change one’s state of mind. Surely he must be bursting with vitality, the lucky recipient of a superb genetic endowment?
Yes, and no. Last year Robbins discovered that, despite having his dental amalgams removed decades ago, the levels of mercury in his body had accumulated to a toxic level of 123 parts per billion (123 micrograms of mercury per liter of blood). Safe levels are under 20 ppb. Robbins regularly ate swordfish and tuna, believing he was giving his body the proper fuel to support his intensely active lifestyle. But large fish can contain high levels of mercury.
“One doctor looked at my bloodwork and said, ‘How long has he been in the hospital?’” Robbins told Christopher Shade, Ph.D., founder of Quicksilver Scientific. It was time for a serious, but safe, detoxification protocol—one that was potent yet well-tolerated. One that would allow him to continue his global and inspiring presentations while bringing his mercury levels safely down.
We Live in an Increasingly Toxic World
Environmental toxins have long been linked to chronic health problems, from cardiovascular disease to diabetes, cancer, asthma and allergies, and more. Chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) threaten human health as well as damage ecosystems, contaminating wildlife, human blood, and breast milk worldwide. The increasing number of industrial chemicals are implicated in autism and other disorders of brain development, according to Harvard environmental epidemiologist Philippe Grandjean and Mount Sinai Medical School pediatrician and epidemiologist Philip Landrigan. Pesticide use in on the rise, and long-term exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of reproductive disorders, immune-system problems, endocrine imbalance, nervous-system issues, and the development of certain cancers. Toxins in our food supply are prevalent, and our households continually leach low levels of chemicals such as formaldehyde, flame retardants, volatile organic carbons, air fresheners and more.
Of particular concern are heavy metals. As scientists at the National Institutes of Health reported in 2012: “Because of their high degree of toxicity, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury rank among the priority metals that are of public health significance. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure.”
Mercury, for instance, is a known neurotoxin. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called mercury one of the ten most dangerous chemicals to public health. Most of us are exposed to chronic, low levels of mercury, according to the WHO. Once mercury is absorbed into the bloodstream it can harm the heart, kidneys, brain and many other organs. The most common routes of exposure are either dental amalgam or fish, but air pollution, water pollution and vaccines also contribute., Mercury damages immune function. It also binds to glutathione, reducing its availability in the body.
Removing mercury from the body needs to be done with great care. This was something Tony Robbins realized right from the start.
Traditional Methods of Chelation and Detoxification May Be Risky
Chelation therapy is the use of a chemical agent to remove heavy metals from the body. It first came into use in the 1950’s to help treat arsenic toxicity associated with chemical warfare agents. Functional medicine doctors often utilize the chelating agents DMSA, DMPS, EDTA, among others.
The word “chelator” comes from the Greek word “chele” for “claw”—chelators are molecules that grab a metal ion the way a lobster claw grabs its prey. However, the claw doesn’t hold on forever; chelators have half-lives and will release some of the metal they’ve mobilized and clawed out. This is known as redistribution. A chelating agent such as DMSA or DMPS, for instance, can mobilize mercury. That mercury can then be released and redistributed. The newly mobilized metal must now be filtered out through the kidney’s proximal tubules—or it may be redeposited and cause reinjury.
Traditional chelators are often associated with side effects as well, including liver toxicity, mineral depletion, cognitive impairment, zinc deficiency, an increase in symptoms, and kidney function impairments.
Other methods of rapid detoxification that are popular include fasting, sweating, sauna, and herbal cleanses. These all present risks as well, and may stress the body.
There may be a better way. Tony Robbins tried it.
Optimize Your Own Natural Detoxification System: Step One
Your wise and wonderful body evolved a superb natural system to chelate mercury, heavy metals and toxins. It is known as the glutathione supersystem. Its elegant centerpiece is glutathione, our most potent endogenous antioxidant, which binds to and helps move mercury out of your tissues. It also includes critical enzymes and transporters that assist glutathione in its universal task of adhering avidly to toxins and making sure they are neutralized and safely excreted.
Effective detoxification must be supported on the cellular, tissue and organ level, and toxins must be transported out of the cells and the body. Chronic low-level mercury poisoning can irreversibly inhibit enzymes that assist glutathione. These enzymes include thioredoxin reductase (from selenium) and glutathione peroxidase—both are crucial in restoring glutathione to its reduced and active form. In addition, mercury and other toxic metals cause inflammation, by upregulating molecules such as Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFa), Interleukin-8, and Interleukin-4. Increased inflammation in the intestinal tract can lead to gut lining permeability, and a permeable gut lining will allow harmful endotoxins from unfriendly gut bacteria to cross the gut wall into the bloodstream. The body will react with even more inflammation.
In these toxic times, the glutathione system may need to be powerfully supported with precursors and glutathione itself, in a highly absorbable form. Precursors and building blocks for glutathione include selenium, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), R-lipoic acid, polyphenols, and sulfur-based cruciferous vegetables, garlic and onion. Glutathione itself can be added in, but oral forms have been shown to have poor uptake and bioavailability. Liposomal formulations of building blocks and glutathione itself have been shown to have rapid uptake. Liposomal glutathione has been shown to restore aspects of immune function.
Mobilize Toxins With Bitters for Bile Flow: Step Two
Your natural dominant detox pathway flows from the liver to the intestinal tract and out through fecal excretion. Bile, produced by the liver, is your body’s liquid gold. Bile acids act as molecular detergents that can split bacterial endotoxins into nontoxic fragments, helping lower inflammation and heal the gut lining. Toxins mobilized in bile can be folded into feces and safely eliminated.
When bile flow is sluggish, toxins accumulate and inflammation increases. Increased free radical activity due to inflammation leads to injury of the liver and intestine. Endotoxemia can then occur as bacterial antigens leak from the gut into the bloodstream.
The classic bitter herbs have long been utilized to stimulate bile. Herbs such as myrrh, gentian, dandelion, cassia, goldenseal, milk thistle and others can be blended into formulas that are tonifying, strengthening, and capable of stimulating the flow of stagnant, sluggish bile. Dandelion is known for its tonic effect on both liver and kidneys,, while gentian has been shown to upregulate glutathione and protect the liver. Burdock is not only supportive to the liver, it has a strong folk reputation for cleansing the blood. Myrrh is popular in both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.
Lipoic acid is a sulfur compound that is produced naturally by the body and is a potent antioxidant that is especially protective of the liver. Both water- and fat-soluble, it is uniquely versatile, and can recharge and recycle liver protective antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and glutathione. It is also able to bind to heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
Cleanse and Clear Your GI Tract of Metals and Toxins with a Universal Binder Blend
There is no universal binder that can safely link to and intercept all the toxins we are exposed to daily. A blend of binders is necessary for a complete and effective detoxification system – a blend that can bind mobilized metals, mercury, endotoxins from ‘bad’ bacteria, and other persistent pollutants and chemicals. A unique, thiol-functionalized silica (Intestinal Metal Detox, or IMD) will target mercury, while adding activated charcoal, clay, chitosan and other binders will offer broad-spectrum action on all common toxins.
How Tony Robbins Did It
Tony Robbins’ mercury levels were at a sky-high 123 ppb, and now he is down to a mere 10 ppb. He achieved this by utilizing the unique detoxification protocols offered by Quicksilver Scientific—based on the insights explained in this article. He completed both the Deluxe Detox Qube® (must be prescribed through a practitioner) and the PushCatch™LiverDetox protocol (available directly to consumers). As Tony Robbins explains, “These protocols have made a huge change in my health. This is the most effective detox, yet feels mild.”
Upregulating all aspects of detoxification is the key. Support the glutathione supersystem, increase bile flow, mobilize stored toxins, intercept these toxins in the gut, cleanse and support the liver—and this will allow toxins and heavy metals such as mercury to be safely eliminated.
You may also be interested in:
Signs Your Liver Needs a Detox
Beyond A Colon Cleanse: Bitters and Binders for Optimal Gut Health
Thinking About Having Mercury Amalgam Fillings Removed?