Round 3: The Abrupt Rebirth of the Lost Boy

Much like the previous two rounds, the third round went very smoothly. For the analysts out there, here are the numbers to devour:

Chelator Doses Strength
DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) 18 12.5 mg

Mere hours before I took my last dose I did experience a moment where my photophobia was not so pronounced. I wasn’t about to run and turn on more lights throughout the house while removing my hoody, but the light was more tolerable, if only slightly. Unfortunately, it did not last, and my usual light-fearing self was reborn. I can only hope this is an omen, a precursor of things to come.

A Documentary on Mercury Contamination

I just discovered “Mercury Undercover”, another documentary on the dangers of dental amalgam fillings. From their site:

“Mercury Undercover” exposes the cause and effect of the well-hidden evidence of mercury contamination as seen through the eyes of doctors, scientists, environmental experts and mercury-poisoned survivors. This film exposes the nature of people and the terrible things that some do just for the sake of money. It is a gripping tale that will make you think twice before you eat your next catch-of-the-day or plan your next visit to the dentist’s office.

The documentary is available via Amazon Instant Video, DVD or for a $1.99 rental fee on YouTube. It would be nice if this was also listed on Netflix or iTunes.

Update: I just noticed that it will be available on iTunes on December 10th, 2013. It doesn’t show whether it will be available for rent.

Documentary on Dangers of Dental Amalgams

The documentary “You Put What In My Mouth?” aims to inform the public about the dangers of dental amalgams and how the ADA and FDA seems content on ignoring the issue. Although the documentary is not complete, they have released a trailer to whet your appetite:

This documentary was successfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

Sunday Night Ritual Version 2.0

Last week I timed myself preparing my supplements and DMSA for the week and published my results. The following table is a quick refresher on the results from last week:

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 9:12 PM 9:26 PM 14 min
DMSA 9:27 PM 9:55 PM 28 min
Total: 42 min

I believed that I could shave some time off if I created “a matrix of common weights, allowing me to simply glance at a chart rather than reach for the pencil.” That is exactly what I did and I have the results to share with you. What follows are my times from tonight’s exercise:

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 9:57 PM 10:08 PM 11 min
DMSA 10:13 PM 10:28 PM 15 min
Total: 26 min

I managed to reduce my supplements preparation time by three-minutes, a reduction of 21%. I did nothing different last week, so I can only assume that repetition has shown its reward tonight.

I also shaved 13-minutes off when creating my DMSA capsules. That’s a 46% reduction in time utilized. By simply using a prepared matrix in place of realtime calculations I managed to almost cut preparation time in half. Even if repetition played a part (taking into account the 21% improvement from the supplements time), the matrix still delivered a seven-minute (or 23%) improvement to last week’s effort.

Not all news is good: I managed to lose a handful of vitamin E capsules in the process. Because vitamin E capsules seem to stick together when left alone for a while I decided to vigorously shake the bottle before opening it. It appears the flip top lid Puritan’s Pride uses is not that strong, leading to 15 gel capsules going airborne.

The Apple Core Myth

According to James Hamblin of The Atlantic, “Apple Cores Are a Myth.” From the article:

The core is a product of society, man. There is a thin fibrous band, smaller in diameter than a pencil and not bad to the taste. If you eat your apple vertically, it is not noticeable.

By throwing out the apple cores we in turn waste 30 percent of the produce. James crunches some numbers to put that waste into perspective:

If each of us eats an apple a day, as we all do, and we are all wasting 30 percent of our apples at $1.30 per pound, that’s about $42 wasted per person per year—which is $13.2 billion annually, thrown in the trash or fed to pigs.

It’s a great article and has a bonus video of how to eat an apple vertically. As someone who eats apples daily, this very well could impact me everyday.

Round 2: Going for the Extra Point

Round 2 came on went without a bang. Here are the numbers:

Chelator Doses Strength
DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) 19 12.5 mg

Notice anything different from my last round?

I took an extra dose. It turns out that while making my first batch of DMSA capsules for round one, I accidentally made an extra dose. But since it was my first round, and I wanted to follow the plan as best as possible, I opted to only take 18 doses, leaving the 19th dose for another round. Last night I compensated for that overproduction.

The round was very much uneventful. I took my first dose at 11 PM on Sunday and my last on Wednesday at 11 PM. If there were any redistribution symptoms directly following my last dose, I must have slept through them. While I remain doubtful, if I notice anything different in the next couple of days I will post it here.

Just like last week, my alarms kept me in line, never deviating more than a minute, even in the middle of the night. Waking in the middle of the night is also not as bad as I had thought it would be, and I seem to be able to fall right back asleep after taking a dose; even if that is followed with a trip to the restroom.

Two rounds down and ten more to go before I incorporate ALA into the mix. It’s really hard to be patient, but I know it’s best to stick to the plan. Judging by how fast the last two rounds have passed, I have no doubt that I will be adding ALA in the blink of an eye.

A Stopwatch and My Sunday Night Ritual

As someone who plays with data everyday, I always find myself looking for ways to improve performance. Whether it’s squeezing more work effort into a constrained timeframe, or finding a new use for what was once seen as waste, my brain is always working on process improvements.

Curious to see how efficient I am, I decided to time my new Sunday night ritual. Although preparing my supplements and DMSA for the week ahead is an action-packed activity, I wanted to take a baseline measurement for future comparisons.

Start Time End Time Length
Supplements 9:12 PM 9:26 PM 14 min
DMSA 9:27 PM 9:55 PM 28 min
Total: 42 min


While loading a bunch of pills into a pill planner of 28 compartments sounds easy, it is, in reality, rather intricate. There are 17 different supplements with 31 individual pills that I take every day. Dividing these 31 pills into four-compartments, times seven-days does take some time; 14-minutes to be exact. This does not include grabbing the box of bottles I comb through, but that only adds another minute or so.


I currently take 18 doses of DMSA at 12.5 mg each round. Since I purchase DMSA at the 25 mg strength, I must split the pills in two. While some go about this activity by eyeballing it, I follow a different path, using The Capsule Machine and the American Weigh Scales GEMINI-20 Portable MilliGram Scale. The process is rather simple:

  1. Ready nine empty capsules in The Capsule Machine
  2. Place a single 25 mg DMSA capsule on the scale
  3. Take the total weight of the capsule, subtract 40 mg (weight of the empty capsule) and then divide the remainder in half. This results in exactly half the weight of the content (DMSA plus filler) in the capsule
  4. Open the DMSA capsule and slowly pour the contents of the capsule onto the scale until it reads the same as the result of step 3
  5. Pour the powder from the scale into an empty capsule loaded into The Capsule Machine, making one capsule
  6. Close the half-emptied DMSA capsule, making a second capsule
  7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 until 18 capsules have been readied

The whole process took 28-minutes. Not too bad, but I do see room for improvement. For example, each time I weigh a DMSA capsule, the results almost always are unique. When the manufacturer produces these capsules, there appears to be an acceptable tolerance. From tonights exercise, I found that the capsules can range in weight anywhere from 142 to 158 mg. Because of this known tolerance, each capsule I weigh requires me to quickly crunch some numbers. Moving forward, I believe I can shave off time if I were to create a matrix of common weights, allowing me to simply glance at a chart rather than reach for the pencil.

While some may see this as a 42-minute exercise, I see it as an opportunity for improvement. Every minutes saved can be spent productively someplace else. One-minute may not seem like a lot, but when you add it up over the course of a couple years, you have just found an additional hour and 42-minutes to spend doing something else.

An Inspirational Quote That Makes Sense…to Me

I must admit, inspirational quotes usually fell on deaf ears, at least in my case. Throughout much of my life I had always thought of these quotes as being directed toward the weak; those that cannot pick themselves up by their bootstraps and move on. That was until I got sick.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine

The quote above is simple yet powerful. None of the wishy-washy verbiage lost in a washed out poster and forgotten in a boardroom. No, this one actually makes sense…to me.

Round 1: With the Bladder of a Pregnant Woman

The first round has been an interesting introduction to the world of low dose chelation. Let’s start with the dry numbers:

Chelator Doses Strength
DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) 18 12.5 mg

My initial concern was the rigorous schedule required to properly chelate. Having to drop everything every three- or four-hours to take a chelator seemed like a daunting task. Not that it’s hard to swallow a pill or two; it’s the fact that if I miss a dose I have to stop the round and wait days before starting up again. As someone who suffers every waking moment, the thought of setting my recovery back by simply missing a dose can add to an already stressful situation.

Then there are the supplements I take; 31 pills a day, to be exact. I do my best to take them throughout the day, minimizing the amount I take at a single session. With four sessions each day (one per meal and one before bedtime), a pill organizer, and no stress from accidentally missing a dose, supplements have been the easiest part of the protocol so far.

What I wasn’t ready for was the frequent need to visit the restroom. With all of the doses and supplements I take throughout the day, I end up drinking a lot of water. In between swallowing pills I drink even more water and beverages (peppermint and chamomile tea) to quench my thirst and help my body expel toxins. When you add it all up, it comes out to ~90+ oz. of fluids, and it has to go somewhere.

So, how did the first round go? Very well. With the aid of my iPod Touch and its built-in Clock app, I was able to schedule an alarm every four-hours with ease, including start and end dates. Carrying it wherever I went ensured I never missed a dose, not even by a couple minutes. With the exception of the 3am restroom breaks, I would say the round went without a hiccup.

I did experience a sinus headache on day two, but I chalk that up to staring at a computer monitor for too long, along with changing weather patterns. I have suffered from sinus headaches for many years, so I am not sure if it could be attributed to chelating.

I took my last dose this morning at 3am and haven’t noticed any adverse events since. Some people experience redistribution symptoms following the end of the round, but I don’t appear to fall into that category. I did experience horrible symptoms when I was taking a 500mg dose of DMSA once a day, three days a week, but that was at a much higher strength. It makes me wonder if I should increase the strength of DMSA, but I will hold steady for another few rounds.

One round down and 11 more to go before I introduce ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) into the mix.

Meniere’s Disease and Mercury Toxicity

At the “2010 FDA Hearing on Amalgam Safety,” Dr. Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, testified how the removal of his dental amalgam fillings gave him his life back. Following the removal of the dental amalgams, his diagnosed Meniere’s Disease condition completely cleared up.

Meniere’s Disease was one of the first diseases ruled out by every otolaryngologist I visited. While it was definitely good news for me, it still was not comforting knowing that my condition continued going undiagnosed.