Last year I became severely Gd toxic from Dotarem, but was fortunate to be greatly helped by a chelator/antioxidant with many names: NBMI, Irminix, Emeramide, OSR (emeramed.com). As more Gd toxic individuals try NBMI, I have been hearing some first and secondhand accounts of side effects. I am also hearing a lot of doubt about NBMI's effectiveness for Gd. I thought I'd share some of my own experience and thoughts on the matter, but first let me preface by saying I am not giving any medical advice, and all assumptions and opinions expressed are purely my own. I encourage everyone to come to their own conclusions after doing their own research, starting with Dr. Boyd Haley's many presentations and interviews posted on YouTube. Although his presentations go into greater detail, this 2019 interview provides a great summary, so for ease of reference, I have used it as the source, with one exception, of the video minutes cited below.
NBMI's only contraindication is for people with sulfur issues or a molybdenum deficiency (this 2018 interview at min 1:55 is the exception mentioned above). Supplementing with molybdenum might help.
NBMI is most effective at 200 to 300 mg daily (min 8:12). I'm under 100 lbs and I've had no issues on the 300 mg daily dose. I did regress however on the few occasions that I lowered the dose. So I'm not surprised that those I hear having side effects are taking super tiny amounts in comparison to what's recommended, and some are also pulsing the dose. Since NBMI is sulfur-based and toxic metals have an affinity for sulfur (min 6:47), the following is my personal guess as to what's happening: The inadequate amount of NBMI molecules being put into circulation are attracting out toxic metals, but without enough of a dose to actually bind them all, plus bind all the free radicals produced, leading to symptoms of redistribution and increased oxidative stress. This should not occur at adequate doses because NBMI actually neutralizes Hg's toxic effects while still in the body (min 3:20), and I believe it does the same with Gd, or else I would also be having side effects.
Another guess is that NBMI is getting blamed for side effects from something else being done or taken. When I started feeling a lot better, I began adding in various supplements and reacted to several of them. For example, I had a setback a couple months ago when I unwisely tried supplementing with iron due to an ongoing deficiency (made no worse by NBMI). I then learned that free iron is actually what produces the hydroxy free radicals that damage tissue (min 4:35). Plus I found several Gd studies explaining that "metals such as iron are capable of inducing the dissociation of gadolinium from its chelate (transmetallation)."
Finally, it may not even be side effects from NBMI or anything else, but only more symptoms due to Gd toxicity. The week before starting NBMI, I had for the first time terrible constricting pain across my rib cage making it difficult to even breathe. I was later told that it was from severe edema, which I actually had visible signs of since the Gd injection. So the point is, if I had started NBMI a week earlier, I probably would have been convinced that I was having a bad reaction to it and would have stopped taking it. I shudder to think where I'd be right now if that had happened.
NBMI uses flexible arms to bind heavy metals more effectively than other chelators (min 26:11). It's a potent antioxidant (28:10) that can actually enter the cells (min 29:40). It stops toxicity, which prevents further tissue damage, but doesn't repair the damage that's already occurred (min 31:24).
Shortly after Dotarem, I was completely housebound with a long list of widespread debilitating pains and other symptoms. I had started noticing some improvement in just over 2 weeks of NBMI use, then slow, sometimes backstepping, progress over several months. I am now very relieved to be functional again, living with occasional pain in localized areas, plus some residual Gd damage that I'm still working on. (*Tip: if you think Gd has caused nerve damage to your ears, at your own discretion, try applying progesterone cream around them.)
While dosage, along with toxicity level and duration, determine how fast NBMI will work (min 8:12), I think in the case of Gd there are more factors at play. This could include the stability of the contrast agent, as well as Gd's affinity for bone. If Gd is continuously being freed in order to maintain equilibrium (see this 2009 paper, section "The kinetics of ML complex dissociation"), then both the agent itself and bone turnover could be continuous sources of toxicity. Thus, a more long-term need for NBMI. At my current point in recovery, I think I'm still waiting for:
- Gd to finish being released from any Dotarem that's remained intact. This 2020 study shows Dotarem intact in rat brains 5 months post injection, which would explain why some of my head pains resurfaced for a while after supplementing with transmetallation-inducing iron. As the pains lessened and then stopped, I assumed it was due to NBMI binding all the Gd I had freed.
- Gd to finish being released from bone. I still get bone pain about monthly, but less severe each time as the burden lessens, and never lasting very long, again I assume because NBMI is there to bind it.
For those of you that want more concrete proof of NBMI's Gd binding ability, fecal tests will monitor progress because the compound is excreted in feces (min 3:45). The only labs I'm aware of that will add Gd to their toxic metals fecal test are Micro Trace Minerals in Germany or Doctor's Data in the U.S. Whichever you choose, be sure to use the same lab for all followup tests so the results will be comparable. If using Doctor's Data, a doctor's order is required unless you go through a third party site like DirectLabs.
I unfortunately did not have my first test done until a month after starting NBMI, and then my second test was at 3 months. Even so, the level more than doubled from 0.019 mg/kg dry wt to 0.041 mg/kg dry wt. (*Note: the results are not reported as mcg like with urine tests). My third test was at 7 months, and the level significantly dropped to 0.004 mg/kg dry wt. Considering Gd is normally excreted by not just the kidneys, but the liver as well (see this 2018 study, section "Gd in Excreta"), one could say my test results may just be showing the natural pattern of excretion. Except all the other toxic metals that were tested also rose and then dropped along with Gd, other than a few that just dropped, including Hg, which is now at an undetectable level.
I am aware of a couple Gd toxic individuals that haven't used NBMI, but have higher fecal Gd levels than my highest result. While Gd brands, quantity of Gd injections, and dosages could account for some of it, I think it also has to do with the fact that NBMI doesn't affect the body's natural rate of excretion (min 3:45). So when the fecal levels rise as NBMI binds retained toxic metals, then drop as the burden lessens, the amount and speed of this trajectory depends to some extent on individual liver clearance rates. Some people's livers detox more efficiently than others, and my liver is not one of them, having had liver and digestive issues since well before Gd. Yet I still tolerated NBMI without any side effects. Moreover, I believe the trajectory of my fecal results, combined with major symptom improvement, show that NBMI is a very viable treatment for Gd toxicity.
According to EmeraMed's video FAQs, NBMI should be more readily available sometime later this year.