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Hg and sulphhydral groups: A layman's question.

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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Hg and sulphhydral groups: A layman's question.

Postby CutToTheQuick » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:24 pm

Hello! I am NOT a biologist, but I am writing a review for a video called Autism: Misdiagnosis of Future Generations. The part of the video that I found most compelling was the same part my wife (an osteopathic physician) found most suspect. She said I should seek the advice of someone in the biology or biochem field.

In the video, Rashid A. Buttar, DO makes the following assertions concerning mercury in the body and chelation therapy to remove mercury:

Hg binds to sulphhydral groups.

Hg binds to the sulphhydral group at the terminal end (tail) of the protein and inside the body of the protein.

Chelating only effects the Hg on the terminal structure of the protein and does not effect the Hg attached to the sulphhydral groups on the inside of the protein structure.

When the Hg on the tail is removed via chelating, the Hg in the body of the protein will dissipate and move to the tail where it can be removed by another round of chelation therapy. Therefore, over time, the concentration of Hg inside the protein is reduced by chelation therapy. Dr. Buttar likens this a drop of ink in water; remove ink from one part of the water and the overall concentration of the ink is reduced as the ink dissipates.

My question is this: Is the ink-in-water metaphor valid? Will Hg really have a tendency to “move” from the sulphhydral groups within the protein to the sulphhydral group at the terminal end of the protein?

If you have no idea, I would appreciate the reader printing my question and taking it to a university professor or industry professional who might.

About me: I am an accountant and father of a boy with autism. I review materials on the subject of autism to help other parents (especially parents who need to make every penny count) determine which materials are based in science and which ones are based on unsound assertions or anecdote. You assistance and expertise are appreciated.

Moderator: I have also posted this question at chemicalforums.com. If you can think of a better thread for me to use on this site, please suggest it.

--Matthew
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Postby canalon » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:11 pm

[mod mode ;)]The post is OK where it is [/mod mode]

Re chelation therapy:
It likely works with diffusion and ionic bonding, so to make things simple, the Hg++ most likely to interact with the chelating agent would be outside of the protein, this is not necessarily in the tail (think of a ball of twine: the end is not necessarily outside).

But as quick note you are aware that chelation have dangerous side effects and no proven efficacity as a treatment? And also that links between mercury and autism are not proven?
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
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Re:

Postby CutToTheQuick » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:11 pm

canalon wrote:[mod mode ;)]The post is OK where it is [/mod mode]

But as quick note you are aware that chelation have dangerous side effects and no proven efficacity as a treatment? And also that links between mercury and autism are not proven?


Oh yes, I'm aware and my kids get all their vaccinations, etc. I would never consider chelation for my son unless he has demonstrable levels of heavy metals, which he does not, but many parents are. Dr. Buttar is currently under investigation by the North Carolina Medical Board for his practices.

Now I understand that a chelating agent can only interact with the Hg on the outside of the protein, but will removing Hg outside the protein cause Hg inside the protein to move outside to seek equilibrium?
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Postby Darby » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:41 pm

For more information, try doing a search for "buttar" at this blog:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/

The chemistry you're describing seems to make no sense whatsoever.
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