Amalgam Illness Summary

1-Sentence Summary: Amalgam Illness by Andy Cutler is the definitive guide to diagnosing and safely treating mercury poisoning (and heavy metal toxicity) to improve health and potentially reverse otherwise incurable chronic diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and more. 

Why I Love It: When the practitioner I consulted with recommended a treatment I knew could cause brain damage, I thanked her for the prescription and silently thanked Andy Cutler for writing this book.

Estimated reading time: 4 to 7 hours, depending on whether the reader has amalgam illness or a similar condition that makes it hard to focus.

Amalgam Illness is not light reading, although the author has gone to a great deal of trouble to try to simplify a very complex topic. Much of the information is repeated in a variety of ways, on purpose. The reader who needs this book needs repetition like this to begin to comprehend everything because mercury really messes with your brain.

Favorite quote from the author : 

“There are some people in the medical profession who wrongly believe they know how to treat amalgam illness. They can hurt you very badly, or kill you, by doing the wrong thing.”

— Andy Cutler

Amalgam Illness Summary: 3 Key Lessons

Andy Cutler was a chemist and chemical engineer. Lucky for us, he was also a survivor of amalgam illness. (Andy passed away, but his work continues to change lives.)

Here are 3 lessons from his book to help you assess whether it may benefit you: 

  1. Mercury poisoning may be the most undiagnosed epidemic of our lifetime.
  2. Mercury poisoning diagnosis is cheap but tricky.
  3. Mercury detox, done wrong, can kill you.

Ready to dive a little deeper? Let’s go!

Lesson 1: Mercury poisoning may be the most undiagnosed epidemic of our lifetime.

Although the most common cause of mercury poisoning is dental amalgams, your dentist is likely to pat you on the shoulder and tell you not to worry if you bring up the topic. Mine did. A search on Google Scholar returns so many “scientific” papers that label patient symptoms as psychosomatic, without this book I doubt I would have ever found the truly scientific papers that document the damage done by mercury. 

Those familiar with the term “mad hatter’s disease” will not be surprised that mercury causes a lot of mental illness symptoms. But that’s not the only damage it brings.

Mercury poisoning can cause many chronic, incurable conditions such as:

  • allergies
  • autoimmune disease
  • ALS
  • myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s
  • chronic fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • gastritis
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • sleep disorders
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bulimia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • environmental illness
  • multiple chemical sensitivities
  • allergies
  • developmental disabilities (autism and others)
  • mental illness (depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, etc.)

It also exacerbates other problems such as Candida. 

Dental amalgams are not the only source of mercury poisoning. Contact lens cleaning solutions, contraceptives, antiseptics, over the counter salves and lotions are all possible sources. There are many more.

Lesson 2: Mercury poisoning diagnosis is cheap but tricky.

Suppose you had an acute exposure to mercury (for example, if you had amalgam fillings placed, or if you had them removed without the proper precautions). The body very quickly clears out as much as it can. What it cannot remove is stored in body tissues. Mercury has a particular affinity for the brain and liver.

Because of the way mercury is stored in the body over time, there is no way to determine the actual body burden once the initial exposure is passed. A blood test will not reveal the extent of the body’s burden of mercury poisoning, because the body doesn’t keep it in the blood for long.

Still, an accurate diagnosis of amalgam illness is possible for the fairly inexpensive cost of the proper hair test, and a correct interpretation of it. 

But, it’s not what you might expect.

The mercury will not usually show up on the hair test as elevated levels of mercury in one’s hair. Instead, the hair test will reveal the effects of mercury poisoning, the most dramatic of which is “deranged mineral transport.”

This is a fancy way of saying the body cannot properly assimilate (use) the minerals that it needs to function properly.

For example, a hair test that reveals low calcium and high magnesium may be indicative of mercury poisoning. But if you didn’t understand the ramifications of that diagnosis you might wrongly supplement calcium and reduce magnesium-rich foods. Instead of trying to “balance” the minerals, you should be supplementing with smaller doses four times a day, and following Andy’s low-dose chelation protocol to reduce the mercury burden on your body.

Amalgam Illness provides Andy’s “counting rules” to help interpret the hair test. His companion book Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities takes a deep dive into this subject. I recommend it if the hair test passes the counting rules, as it provides further guidance to analyze the role other heavy metals may have in the patient’s condition.

Lesson 3: Mercury detox, done wrong, can kill you.

There are a few safe ways to detox mercury and a multitude of ways that are unsafe and can make you worse or kill you. 

That’s because of the way the chelators work, and also because of the way mercury moves in the body.

This book recommends only three chelators to remove mercury: ALA, DMSA, and DMPS. Other remedies may be recommended elsewhere online, but Andy explains why you should avoid them:

  • The three he recommends are the only substances whose actions have been quantifiably documented in scientific studies.
  • Specifically, he mentions cilantro’s apparent effectiveness but cautions that since we don’t know exactly how it’s working it is dangerous to experiment with it.

That was my case. I experienced strange yet repeatable symptoms whenever I indulged in my favorite cilantro-pepita salad dressing. My head always felt odd soon after, and my Candida symptoms flared. (Mercury negatively affects healthy gut flora, which in turn encourages Candida overgrowth.)

This will all make more sense if you can take a minute or so to watch the last part of this clip of Sergeant York’s historic capture of the Germans. Sgt. York makes the capture at around 13:00.

Chelated mercury is like enemy soldiers being escorted out safely.

By the time York made the capture, only a handful of men were left alive in his unit. Eight men had to escort 132 out of enemy territory before they got too worn out to maintain control. When it comes to mercury poisoning, think of the mercury as those enemy soldiers, and the chelation agent molecules as Sergeant York and the seven other men left in his unit.

The chelators are transporting the mercury out of your system safely. But just as Sergeant York and his buddies could not go on indefinitely, chelators also “wear out.” When they do, the mercury that was being removed from the body is no longer held safely by them. Instead, it is free to go wherever it wants.

And guess where it wants to go? The brain and liver.

This is why a “challenge test” can be dangerous and cause permanent brain damage.

It’s also why I filled the DMSA prescription that my practitioner gave me, but broke it down into doses of 6 mg instead of the 600 mg she had prescribed.

Frequent, low-dose chelation therapy is the only means for safe removal recommended by Andy’s book. When we understand the concepts of the half-life of chelators and what mercury is likely to do when it is “roaming loose” in the body, it is the only path that makes sense.

My personal takeaways:

This book has given me a logical and effective plan for recognizing and getting rid of the mercury and aluminum that have damaged my health and affected my relationships for decades. While it is not an easy read, it is a very thorough reference book that provides reliable information about how to safely detox from heavy-metal poisoning. 

Andy’s book also helped explain why my productivity and focus varies so much from day to day. It helped me reconcile some regrets I have over the past. For one thing, I saw a dramatic improvement in my memory and in my ability to handle stress after just a few rounds of chelation therapy following the principles in this book. This helped me stop beating myself up for forgetting important events (like funerals, for instance!) and for battling depression that good Christians are not supposed to have. 

I will need many more rounds of therapy before I am “done,” but it is very encouraging to have an effective and fairly inexpensive plan to follow.

Buy the book on Amazon. (It’s also available for $95 + $6 shipping + tax on Andy’s website (, in case the Amazon price of $100 changes.)

What else can you learn from this book?

This book also covers how to find and work with good doctors. It explains the effects of chronic mercury poisoning and how mercury causes them. Finally, it details a complete plan to treat chronic mercury poisoning and explains “why you should believe a lot of people are mercury poisoned.”

Who would I write recommend Amalgam Illness to?

I’d recommend looking at this book if you or someone you love struggles with: 

  • Chronic diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia; 
  • Mental illness including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders; 
  • Any parent of a child who has learning or developmental delays, or who suffers from strange rashes or mystery ailments that don’t seem to respond to treatment.

After learning about mercury’s effects on the body, it is clear to me that it could be at the root of a lot of problems. While Andy Cutler makes it clear in the book that not everyone who thinks he has mercury poisoning really does, many people do have unrecognized chronic mercury poisoning at the root of their physical or mental health problems.  

Additional resources (this list will be updated as time allows):

Access the Frequent Low Dose Chelation Yahoo group here (free). (Sorry, Yahoo has discontinued groups.)

See much of Andy’s work provided online here. (Site has been removed. I’ll try to find a replacement.)

Lots more information at the Andy Cutler chelation website.

What do you think? 

Could heavy metal toxicity could be at the root of your health issues? What therapies have you tried?