Heavy metal toxicity is widespread today, mostly due to environmental exposure from advances in industrialization. Heavy metal toxicity occurs today from the foods we eat; from the creams and lotions we rub on our skin; from the air we breathe and the water we drink; from the tooth fillings we get at the dentist; from the pills we take; and from the house we live in. Some people accumulate toxic metals more than others. Detoxification is very important as are adequate nutrient sources to help deter the effects of the metals. Today, heavy metal toxicity can be measured through blood, urine, and hair analysis, though these lab tests still need to be used in conjunction with an overall comprehensive physical exam. Indications vary for which test may be best to run.
Heavy metal toxicity can cause a huge range of symptoms encompassing cardiovascular, neurological, hormonal, immunological, and musculoskeletal systems. When things just don’t seem right and everything else has been checked, many times there is a heavy metal toxicity (or undiagnosed food allergy) to blame.
Here are just a few of the most prevalent heavy metal toxicities and what helps (noted after the *) chelate them out. Note that copper, the only essential nutrient (mineral) in this list, is considered a heavy metal when in excess. (Iron toxicities are also relatively common.)
- Mercury: dental “silver” amalgams, most fish especially large fish (tuna, swordfish, shark), thimerosal preservative in vaccines, paints * DMSA, selenium, manganese, chromium and lipoic acid
- Arsenic: pressure treated wood (no longer legal as of 2004), pesticides, water, seafood * DMSA, selenium, lipoic acid, iodine
- Aluminum: table salt, deodorants, antacids, cookware, water, aluminum-containing baking powder, processed cheeses * iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc
- Lead: plumbing fixtures, paint, newsprint, dolomite * calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus
- Tin: primarily from cans, especially containing acidic foods * zinc, iron, copper
- Nickel: dental amalgams, cocoa, chocolate, batteries, hydrogenated oils, water * copper, iron, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, calcium, folic acid, vitamin B5
- Cadmium: cigarette smoke, fertilizers, paints * zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper
- Copper: drinking water, copper piping (acidic water will pull the copper into the drinking water), birth control pills & other hormonal therapies – high estrogen levels in women, which is very common, causes a woman to accumulate copper and become copper toxic * folic acid, vitamin B5, manganese, iron, zinc, molybdenum, calcium