Living in the modern world, we are all constantly exposed to a variety of toxic heavy metals, and their poisonous effects accumulate over time as the metals stay in our bodies and our toxic levels increase. Therefore it is a wise choice to support your health by undergoing a metals detoxification process. However, it is essential to carry out this process slowly and carefully, as it is possible to become seriously ill as the metals are drawn out of their storage places in the body and move back into circulation, preparatory to excreting them. That’s why it’s best to work with a qualified professional.
Three processes are essential in detoxing. The first is chelating the metals, the second, supporting various organs and systems as the metals come out, and third, removing sources of exposure.
Chelating. Simply put, chelation means using a substance that binds the heavy metal via a chemical bond. Some chelating agents are taken in pill form (called oral chelators). Of these, some work better when metals are in arteries and veins, while others help pull toxic metals from the liver and aid in cleaning up a toxic bowel. A qualified health professional can test you to see which ones to use for your unique body needs and when to change to other ones as you detoxify.
One example of an oral chelator is Chlorella, which is called a green super food because it is composed of single cell micro algae containing a high concentration of chlorophyll and a heavy metal chelator. Research has demonstrated that the cell wall of Chlorella attracts and binds with heavy-metal poisons such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
However, do not just go to the store and buy the cheapest brand of Chlorella. Because it is such an effective heavy metal chelator, it may have already bound heavy metals from the soil before it was ever made into a product. Instead follow the recommendations of your health care practitioner or call the company and ask them to send you a report of the chemical assay of their product showing the content of heavy metals present.
A second example of an oral chelator is cilantro, an herb, sometimes called Mexican parsley or coriander. It is especially effective in binding to mercury. It is often available as a tincture product with so many drops per day in juice or water recommended. However, do not take cilantro products unless you have had all the metals already removed from your body. Doing so can pull the metals from your fillings, for example, and make you very ill.
There are also homeopathic remedies such as mercury 30c, which is specific for releasing mercury. There are also various remedies containing a mixture of several homeopathic formulas that support the release of a variety of toxic metals.
Intravenous Chelation, done in a series, usually uses EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid) or DMPS (disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid) because it binds only with metallic ions that are dissolved in water.
Supporting Organs and Systems During Detoxification. Muscle testing can reveal which chelators work best for you at any particular phase of the detox process, and also demonstrate which organs and systems require additional support during detoxification. For example, in addition to chelating agents, when toxic metals are present in the heart, Hawthorn may be used, whereas if they are in the brain, Ginkgo may be used or if in the thyroid, Bladderwrack may be employed. The herbs are used as drainage remedies to open the circulation to the organ and allow the toxins to drain. Additionally, general nutritional support in the form of antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E are often recommended in conjunction with the chelating process. Products that support liver detoxification are also commonly recommended.
Removing sources of exposure. Limiting exposure to heavy metals is an essential part of the process of staying clean. To that end, you need to learn to read labels on everything - cookware, paint, cosmetics, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and avoid those with obvious metal ingredients. Buy prepared foods in glass jars rather than cans whenever possible.
Because dental mercury from “silver” amalgam fillings and root canals is the primary source of mercury and lead contamination ( much greater than fish, for example), it makes sense to have mercury-free dental restorations, and to rid yourself of amalgam fillings (they are about 50% mercury) and root canals (which contain about 20% mercury and lead). However, if you already have silver amalgam fillings, or know you have heavy metal toxicity, don’t rush to get all your fillings removed. Removal can trigger a massive cellular release of mercury or other toxic metals that can flood your system and cause bigger problems. Instead, find a health professional that has experience with detoxifying heavy metals. Work with them on a regular basis so they can monitor you and be certain you’re detoxifying at a safe pace and that you have support for particular organs and systems that need it during the discharge phase. (Particular organs, the nervous system, thyroid, kidneys, liver or heart, for example, can severely diminish in function and even shut down when flooded with toxic metals.)
If you have a gray discoloration of your gums next to an amalgam filling, it is leaking mercury. When you decide to have mercury amalgam fillings removed, first undergo a detoxification program to prepare your body. You might take antioxidants and a homeopathic, for example, before the procedure and then again after. Be sure to have the fillings replaced by a dentist with special training in how to remove them so that the mercury entering your body in the process is kept to the minimum... (For information about how dentists can protect you during amalgam removal, see www.holisticmed.com/dental/amalgam/iaomt.txt.)
Don’t allow any dentist to use silver amalgam fillings in your mouth. In fact, since
February 15, 2001
, dentists must not now warn patients about the dangers of mercury amalgam fillings. Also remember that the filling material for root canals is stuffed with 20% mercury and lead, and is therefore also a source of toxic metal exposure.
Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome (DAMS) Inc., a non-profit organization which you can contact to order an information packet, DAMS Newsletter, and receive a list of practitioners in your area. Their national office is at 1-800-311-6265. Their local representative is Charles Martin 459 9005 in Willits. He can give information on area dentists who are knowledgeable in this field and can provide technical articles associated with mercury amalgam syndrome.
Last, you may think you can rely on scientific research findings and the government to protect you, but that is far from the case. A recent study, for example, that was supposed to find out the heavy metal concentrations of nine fish species in the coastal waters off Taiwan concluded that “The metal concentrations found in this study were similar to the metal levels of the fishes collected from slightly polluted waters all over the world and Taiwan. Therefore, no public health problem would be raised in the consumption of the fishes.” In other words, if the fish don’t contain more toxic metal contamination than other areas, there is no public health problem. Meanwhile, metals continue to build up in your body, cause infertility or spontaneous abortions, or download during pregnancy into your offspring, and create all kinds of other havoc. And as for governmental standards, they still do not take into account the cumulative effect of heavy metals. Instead, their standards are based on single dose exposures.
The good news is that it is possible to take charge yourself by becoming aware of sources of exposure yourself, realizing the variety of symptoms that can be caused by heavy metals, being tested (after a metals challenge of a few days in length) and undergoing slow, gradual detoxification. Your life may depend on it; your health most certainly does.
Copyright 2004 by Pamela Levin, R.N. All rights reserved.
Pamela Levin, R.N. is a local health practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition. She wrote “Perfect Bones, A Six Point Plan to Promote Healthy Bones” to detail the process she used for herself and her clients to rebalance the body and regain bone health. Published by Celestial Arts, it is at amazon.com, www.perfectbones.com. She can be reached at (707) 462 2217.