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Heavy Metals! Maybe you heard of them, but why do they have such a notorious reputation?

Metal Matters

Metals such as iron, zinc, and manganese are key regulators of cellular pathways and are present in trace amounts within us. In fact, we are encouraged to consume these as supplements.

What are Heavy Metals?

Toxic heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, nickel, and thallium are currently ruling the toxin world and pose a great threat to our health and well-being. We’re being exposed to these not-so-conspicuous toxins on a daily basis. They find their way into our bodies through food, dental fillings, and even tap water. No one is immune to heavy metals exposure. And yet, a large majority of people don’t have the faintest clue about the dangers associated with them.

Sources of Heavy Metals

Amalgam dental fillings are a source of mercury, a known neurotoxin. Lead enters your body from bone broth and paints in old houses constructed before the 1970s. Arsenic is unfortunately found in alarming levels in white and brown rice due to pesticide-filled soil. Cadmium is predominantly making its way into those who are regular cigarette smokers.

How worried should you be about this list of heavy metals taking up residence in your body?

On a scale of 1-10, we say 9!

Here’s why:

Overburdened Liver

It’s safe to say that your liver is the hardest working organ. It has a long and arduous job of transforming toxic chemicals into non-toxic metabolites by way of inherent detoxification pathways. These metabolites are then eliminated from the body through transport pathways. Heavy metals deposition hinders the function of many of these enzymes which creates a drag on the effective functioning of the liver.

A growing body of evidence points to the correlation between low-level chronic heavy metals exposure:

  • Compromised cardiovascular function
  • Impaired cognition, ADD, ADHD, Autism
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes

These are among a long list of other health hazards.

Signs You Need A Heavy Metals Detox

In addition to these tell-tale signs of general toxic burden, a few other hallmark symptoms of heavy metals toxicity include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Tingling and burning sensations
  • Heart palpitations
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Tremors
  • Impaired motor control

How to Do a Heavy Metals Detox

If you’ve made it this far, you may be officially worried about the dangers of heavy metals pollution in the body. Don’t be!  Because there’s good news. Here comes your heavy metal detox squad to the rescue.

1. Say Yes to Edible Algae Superfoods

Spirulina and chlorella are two algae superfoods making headlines both in medical circles and on social media, and for good reason. In addition to being packed with powerful antioxidants, these photosynthetic cyanobacteria possess a tremendous ability to naturally chelate heavy metals.

The chelation property of a superfood or chemical is what allows it to bind to the heavy metal and draw it out of the organs of elimination where heavy metals have accumulated.

Researchers have demonstrated that,  because of its structure,  spirulina can reduce experimentally induced heavy metal toxicity. Chlorella is equally potent and has been widely used for chelating heavy metals.

All in all, you have every reason to add these green-blue-hued algae superfoods to your detox regimen. Even better is making them a permanent addition to your diet long after completion of your heavy metal detox.

2. Visit a Biological Dentist

If you have dental fillings, chances are the material used in them is amalgam. Made with an alloy of mercury, copper, zinc, and tin, these amalgam fillings are a major source of heavy metal poisoning. Over time, mercury within the filling gets released into the oral cavity and makes its way to the liver where it begins to act as a slow poison.

What’s the solution? Remove amalgam fillings. Pretty obvious, right?

The only caveat is that the removal process puts both the patient and the entire dental team at high risk of exposure to mercury vapors. A biological dentist is trained in the procedure of safe amalgam removal. Visiting a biological dentist is the first step in lowering the incidence of mercury entering the body.

3. Glutathione Is Your New Best Friend

Glutathione is a key component of hepatic metabolic detoxification pathways and functions as a powerful antioxidant. It has the ability to bind accumulated heavy metals and push them out of the liver.

Heavy metal-induced wear and tear of the detox system send alarm signals to the organs of elimination, particularly the liver. The result? An overworked liver trying to reduce the heavy metal toxic burden of the body subsequently shows up as severely depleted levels of glutathione.

When doing a heavy metal detox, glutathione supplementation becomes a must for your body.  Make it your new best friend and fuel your liver with liposomal, intravenous or oral glutathione.

4. Hello Cruciferous Vegetables!

Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower possess an inherent ability to chelate heavy metals and draw them out of your organs of elimination, thus making them powerful natural detoxifiers.

Despite the enormous detox benefits of these cruciferous vegetables, they have received bad press in recent times. Reports have shown evidence for thallium accumulation in these vegetables via the soil they are planted in.  

One way around this problem is to look for organic, fresh produce and continue putting these natural detoxifiers on your plate.

5. Chelation Therapy For Heavy Metals

EDTA and DMPS are well-established industry standards for chelation and have been used successfully to reduce toxic load.

For extreme cases of toxicity, when an at-home diet-based heavy metal detox does not suffice, chelation therapy under medical supervision is a highly recommended strategy to rid the body of heavy metal burden. To this end, intravenous chelation is offered at NYCIM. Learn more about this therapy here.

 Bottom Line

Symptoms arising from low-grade but chronic heavy metal exposure are often misdiagnosed by conventional medical practices, making heavy metal toxicity one of the most poorly addressed health conditions in the current healthcare system.

Your organs of elimination are well capable of toxin removal until they are overburdened. If you have reason to believe that your body is harboring elevated heavy metal levels, know that further health damage can be prevented. Complete elimination of these toxins from your body is indeed possible.

Read our comprehensive guide to detoxification to learn more about holistic ways to detox.

Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.

At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.

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Meet the Author

Anu Sataluri

Anu is a clinical researcher turned chakra energy healer + content writer. Through her Innovative Medicine articles, she strives to educate readers to rethink how they view the health of mind, body, and spirit. As a chakra healer, she is helping people release their subconscious mind beliefs, self-heal their energy body, and regain health, happiness. Anu is a tea enthusiast, loves intuitive vegan cooking, and enjoys traveling to places of historical/spiritual significance. Her work in healthcare combined with her personal interest in ancient holistic practices has urged her to believe in a future of integrated medicine. As a content writer at Innovative medicine, she strives to make IM readers aware about their health & well-being. Through her articles, she hope to encourage them to rethink their beliefs about disease & healing, with a goal to ultimately empower individuals to become self-healers.
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