How many times have you heard your doctor say the words “toxic metals?” Most likely, “zero.”
Yet, toxic metals are a leading cause of illness, aging, and genetic defects. Many diseases are simply heavy metal toxicity.
Sometimes we hear about one of the toxic metals in the news, such as lead contamination of tap water in Flint, Michigan, or nuclear power plant accidents spewing uranium into the atmosphere. Most of the time, however, toxic metals are a silent problem that receives little attention.
Where do toxic metals come from? And why are they ignored by mainstream medicine? This article introduces toxic metals and their importance in human health.
What Are Toxic Metals?
Toxic metals are a class of minerals that are damaging to humans, animals, and plants. There are at least two dozen toxic metals. Some of the more researched toxic metals include mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, and a few others.
Also, many of the good minerals can become toxic in excess. This is often due to metabolic dysfunction, rather than ingesting too much of a certain mineral. For example, copper—a nutrient mineral—can accumulate in excess when copper-binding proteins are deficient.
How We Are Exposed to Toxic Metals
Miners and welders aren’t the only ones who are exposed to toxic metals. Thanks to 300 years of industrialization, mankind today is exposed to the highest levels of toxic metals in recorded history. Modern exposure is thousands of times higher than prehistoric times. For this reason, everyone today has excessive levels of toxic metals in their bodies. This includes babies, who are all born with excessive toxic metals in their bodies. This occurs because toxic metals are passed from mother to child during pregnancy.
One toxic metal, aluminum, is so widespread that virtually all hair tests reveal an elevated level.
Here are some of the ways we are exposed to toxic metals daily:
- Eating large fish, such as tuna or shark (mercury)
- Eating rice (arsenic)
- Dental amalgams release a steady stream of mercury vapor
- Antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminum to prevent sweating
- Cigarette and marijuana smoke (cadmium and others)
- Tap water and well water are often contaminated with various toxic metals
- Vaccines contain aluminum and sometimes mercury
- Many cosmetics contain aluminum and mercury
- Leather is tanned using a toxic chromium compound
- Wine is often contaminated with arsenic
How Do Toxic Metals Cause Disease?
Toxic metals cause disease by competing with and replacing essential minerals throughout the body. This occurs frequently in enzymes, which are specialized proteins that power chemical reactions in the body.
How Toxic Metals Work—An Analogy
Imagine a fan belt on your automobile breaks while you are driving through a desert, miles from civilization. You might try wrapping a leather belt or a rope around the pulleys of the engine in order to continue driving. The proper fan belt is like the preferred mineral in the body. The leather belt or rope is like a less-preferred mineral [toxic metal]. It won’t work nearly as well, but it might allow you to keep going at a slow speed, and it might save your life.
Many people limp along on grossly deficient diets, and many today are born deficient in the vital minerals and too high in toxic metals due to imbalance sin their mothers.
Their fatigue and other symptoms are due to the presence of incorrect “replacement parts” in their biological engine compartments. Depending on where toxic metals accumulate, the resulting effects may be given names such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or cancer…
This is critical to understand. It means that toxic metals can have an adaptive function to sustain life in the face of vital mineral deficiencies.
From Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis by Lawrence Wilson, MD
For example, the toxic metal thallium can replace potassium in enzymes throughout the body, leading to a degeneration of all the processes that normally involve potassium, such as thiamin (vitamin b1) production.
Toxic metals can also settle in specific body tissues such as the arteries, joints, bones, organs, glands, and muscles—weakening these structures. For example, lead can replace calcium in the bones if calcium is lacking. This prevents a total breakdown of the bone. However, it produces a less intact bone structure that can lead to osteoporosis later in life.
Once in the body, toxic metals are persistent and cumulative. Humans lack effective detoxification pathways for many of the toxic metals. A healthy body will naturally remove some toxic metals, but many also remain.
For example, cadmium has an estimated biological half-life of 4-38 years! This refers to the time it takes the body to excrete half the exposure. For this reason, even low-level exposure cannot be ignored.
Testing for Toxic Metals
One reason toxic metals are ignored by mainstream medicine is that blood tests are not good at detecting them. This is because the body removes toxic metals from the blood soon after exposure. Whatever cannot be eliminated is stored in the body tissues.
Although no test can measure the total amount of toxic metals in the body, hair tissue mineral analysis is known as a reliable test for heavy metal toxicity. Many practitioners use hair analysis solely for this purpose.
Testing for toxic metals is usually not necessary—I assume that everyone has too much. Also, knowing which ones are present is not needed to begin removing them. Nonetheless, confirming the presence of toxic metals through testing can be helpful to explain a person’s symptoms and health problems.
How to Protect Against Toxic Metals and Remove Them From the Body
Completely avoiding toxic metals is not possible. Even Eskimo mothers, living in remote regions of the arctic and subarctic, were found to have mercury and hundreds of other toxic chemicals in their breast milk.
Still, there’s a lot you can do to reduce your exposure and improve your detoxification pathways. The best protection against toxic metals is an abundance of essential minerals in your diet. This way, you will absorb less toxic metals from the environment. However, getting enough minerals is difficult today and requires more than just eating a “healthy” diet.
The healing program that I offer is designed to replenish dozens of minerals and remove all of the toxic metals. It uses about 20 methods simultaneously to remove toxic metals from the body. To learn about starting a program, click here.