Heavy metals are a type of metal that have a high density (at the molecular level), and are toxic and/or poisonous for human beings, even in low concentrations. Some of the most well-known examples are mercury, aluminum, and lead. Of course, these are well-known because they’re found in many common sources that people are exposed to today. We can absorb heavy metals in our food, in the air, and even in the water we drink.
Joint Pain? Night Sweats? Muscle Tremors? Toxic Heavy Metals May Be To Blame
Heavy metals have one property that make them especially dangerous to our health. That is, they bio-accumulate. This means that instead of being eliminated from our bodies along with the food, water, or air that they hitched a ride on, they get trapped inside us, and steadily build up over the course of a lifetime.
Heavy Metal Toxicity Signs And Symptoms
If your body is overexposed to heavy metals, it can start to show a few or many of these symptoms associated with heavy metal poisoning:
Are There Any Remedies That Can Help?
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. If you’re concerned about heavy metal toxicity, we highly suggest you get teated before trying any remedies and do protocol under guidance of practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
There actually is a remedy for heavy metal toxicity that is taken orally or intravenously, however it needs to be done under the supervision of a licensed professional. It’s a liquid solution that traps heavy metals in your bloodstream and leads them out of your body through your urine, a process called chelation therapy.
Introducing: Chelation Therapy
There are two main chelating agents that address heavy metal detoxing: EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) and DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid). These chelating agents (as part of a solution) go into your bloodstream and help remove heavy metals, including mercury, aluminum, and lead. These therapies have been used for about half a century in people with heavy metal poisoning, heart disease, and cancer. Thanks to oral chelating agents such as EDTA and DMSA, their physiological health and overall well-being continue to improve.
The Effects of EDTA on Heavy Metal Toxicity
Medical professionals will often administer EDTA orally or intravenously. As the solution flows through your bloodstream, it traps whatever metals are poisoning your system. The process takes an average of between one and three hours but after that, your body will begin to eliminate them in your urine.
In a 2010 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, scientists reviewed the current existing chelating agents and their effectiveness. Scientists found that, by itself, there was not enough evidence to conclude that EDTA could help metal intoxication without potential health risks. However, combination therapy such as administering both EDTA and DMSA was much more effective in against chronic lead poisoning. In addition to effectively removing lead from the bloodstream, using two chelating agents seemed to result in better patient recoveries.
The Effects of DMSA on Heavy Metal Toxicity
The other chelating agent is DMSA, which is arguably the more effective of the two. This is thanks to DMSA being so water-soluble and low in toxicity. When you take DMSA orally, your gastrointestinal tract absorbs about 20 percent of it (i.e., up to 4 times more absorption than orally ingesting EDTA).
In 2015, researchers published a study in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology examining the effects of certain chelation therapies in mercury, lead, and copper poisoning. DMSA, in particular, proved to effectively mobilize mercury and lead deposits into the urine which is arguably the most important part of the detoxification process.
However, anyone choosing to go through chelation therapy should know that although it effectively helps remove heavy metals from your system, it can also cause you to excrete important minerals. This is why it’s so important to do a heavy metal detox under the guidance of a medical professional.
According to Dr. Ward Dean, the dosages for DMSA are not fixed by any means. As we mentioned earlier, chelating agents are used not only for heavy metals but for heart disease and cancer as well. However, the average suggested DMSA dosage is 10 mg per kg 3 times a day for 5 days. Then, reduce your frequency to twice per day for two weeks, take two weeks off, and repeat as necessary. In the case of heavy metal detoxification, it’s not a simple fix. It could turn into a prolonged process which may lead to gastrointestinal side effects. So before opting for chelation therapy, be sure to speak to a healthcare professional.
How Can You Tell If You Suspect Heavy Metal Toxicity?
You can revisit the longer list of heavy metal poisoning signs and symptoms, but some of the most common (and subtle) ones are sweating, headaches, breathing difficulties, fatigue, joint pain, and digestive distress to name some. The thought of heavy metal poisoning seems so foreign but because the symptoms are so general, it’s important not to tell them go unattended. For testing, you can explore the following with your Medical Doctor, Naturopath or Functional medicine Practitioner:
- Urine tests can determine what heavy metals and nutrient metals are in your urine
- Red blood count (RBC) tests can determine what heavy metals and nutrients are present in your bloodstream
- Hair analysis is a reliable and accurate way to determine what heavy metals your cells, organs, tissue, and fat are storing
Foods to Help Prevent Heavy Metal Toxicity
Cilantro and Parsley
Surprisingly, cilantro (which so often garnishes restaurant dishes) is known to act as a chelating agent. This is something that is able to bind to toxic heavy metals in your body, and eliminate them from the body as they themselves are removed through natural digestion. What makes cilantro ideal for heavy metal detoxification is its cellular structure. The outer layer of cilantro’s cells may help to absorb heavy metals. In fact, an early-nineties human study published in Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research found that when patients ate large amounts of cooked or raw cilantro (in combination with effective antibiotics), it helped accelerate the excretion of mercury and lead from the body through the urine. .
Parsley has similar antioxidant properties to cilantro and chlorella. Parsley leaves have the ability to search for and trap free radicals, which are the products of oxidation in the body and can damage your cells and DNA. Even the stems of parsley show antioxidant activity as their extracts can attach to metals in the body and act similarly to chlorella. One study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published in 2001 even found that Chinese parsley significantly decreased lead deposition in mice. While this was not a human study, the results are promising and you lose nothing by adding more parsley to your diet.
Chlorella is green algae that grows in fresh water and can be added to your regular diet as a supplement. This plant is an excellent antioxidant that fights heavy metal poisoning, especially in the intestines, which carry toxins out of the body. Poisonous metals can damage your cells when they come in contact with oxygen, which is called oxidation, and chlorella prevents the oxidization of these metals by attaching to them. Chlorella also improves and stimulates the detoxification functions in your body, such as introducing proteins and peptides that fight every type of toxic metal.
In another 2011 mouse study published in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences, researchers explored the effects chlorella had on mercury in tissue, feces, and urine. Over the course of three weeks, the mice’s constant intake of chlorella appeared to accelerate excretion which, in turn, lowered the mercury levels in their tissue.
Now that you’ve heard some of the benefits of these three small but might foods, this cilantro pesto may become a staple in your diet. It is a simple and delicious recipe that may be helpful in preventing the build up of heavy metals.
Cilantro Pesto Sauce Recipe
What You Need:
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup Brazil nuts
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups packed fresh cilantro
- 2/3 cup flaxseed oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Dulse powder (an antioxidant seaweed)
What to Do:
- Chop cilantro in a blender with the flaxseed oil.
- Add garlic, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dulse powder, and lemon juice. Blend into a paste.
- Store in air-tight jars in the freezer.
Try this pesto spread on gluten-free toast, or mix it with a serving of broccoli pasta . You could also try eating it straight up, taking one teaspoon a day with or without a meal. We also recommend pairing this pesto with a little bit of Chlorella. These two are known to pair well together to cart out the heavy metals all over your body without leaving any bits behind.
 Aposhian H, Maiorino R, Rivera M, et al. Human studies with the chelating agents, DMPS and DMSA. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1992, 30:505-528.
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