Safe & Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals (part 2)
Heavy Metals part 2 covers dietary, nutritional, environmental and lifestyle preventative measures to reduce toxic heavy metal exposure and the risk of heavy metal toxicity, plus safe and effective methods to detox heavy metals.
Heavy Metal Toxicity (part 1): Sources, Signs and Symptoms
*** It’s imperative to identify the source of heavy metal toxins and reduce the toxin intake and exposure. It’s also important to realize that people may be either slow detoxifiers or fast detoxifiers. The process to detox heavy metals and eliminate them is extremely important, can be rather challenging, and take several months and sometimes years to remove and clear toxic metal burden safely and effectively. It should never be a rushed process.
*** It’s important that you’re properly nourished, have healthy functioning adrenals and healthy liver function before starting any chelation method or treatment. Prior to detoxing or chelating toxic metals it’s crucial to optimize and open up the detoxification pathways first (GI/colon/bowel, kidney, lymph, liver and gallbladder).
*** Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional whom is versed in heavy metal detoxification for support in identifying toxic metals and guidance in removing them.
Below you’ll find safe, natural and effective methods to remove toxic metals, along with dietary and lifestyle tips to minimize heavy metal exposure, and supplemental support to reduce heavy metal body burdens.
Safe and Effective Methods to Detox Heavy Metals
Use food as medicine to Detox Heavy Metals
- Nutrient-density has a significant influence in modifying the response to toxic element exposure. It’s crucial to consume organically-grown foods as much as possible, anti-inflammatory foods, drink clean filtered water, and if you eat animal protein it must be organic, 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised.
- Chlorophyll-rich and fiber-dense veggies, herbs and colorful plants such as artichoke, asparagus, broccoli sprouts, mustard greens and herbs like dill, cilantro and parsley. Cilantro can be an especially effective and gentle detoxifing chelator of lead, mercury and other toxic heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. One study demonstrated rapid removal of aluminum and lead from the skeleton and brain with cilantro. “Cilantro is probably the only effective agent in mobilizing mercury stored in the intracellular space and the nucleus of the cell.” –D. Klinghardt, M.D.
- Sulfur-rich foods such as organic, pasture-raised egg yolks, garlic, onions, horseradish, broccoli sprouts, mustard greens, cilantro, collards, watercress, radish, turnips and other veggies
- Cysteine-rich foods that create metallothionine: chicken, turkey and duck, egg yolks, 100% grass-fed whey protein, raw dairy, garlic and onions
- Pectins found in citrus rinds such as lemons, lime and grapefruit naturally chelate heavy metals without depleting important trace minerals.
- Adequate protein, especially animal protein is necessary for detoxification. Organic, pasture-raised (not factory-farmed) animal protein detoxifies heavy metals from the body naturally by supplying sulfur-containing amino acids, which support liver detoxification pathways and help chelate toxic metals.
- Spices, especially garlic and turmeric. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and healing remedy for the liver and kidneys.
- Avoid canned foods, processed foods, fast food and fake foods
- Avoid rice, wheat and grains, which often contain high amounts of toxic heavy metals
- Do not use table salt. Instead use unprocessed Celtic sea salt
- Educate yourself on the safest sources of fish and seafood. Avoid albacore tuna, shark and swordfish. Women who ate fish more than once a week have 4.5 times the risk of toxic body burdens. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s crucial to avoid or restrict mercury-heavy fish, including tuna.
- Strengthen your body’s immune system using food as medicine, optimize nutrient status and correct any nutritional deficiencies, and limit immune suppressors
Lifestyle Tips to Detox Heavy Metals
- Strengthen and support your liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and lymphatic system
- Optimize a healthy microbiome, good digestion, elimination, and healthy gut function
- If you have mercury fillings, consider removal sooner rather than later by a qualified biological, holistic dentist
- Switch to organic and natural personal care products: cosmetics, lotions, toothpaste and deodorants. High amounts of lead, aluminum, cadmium and other toxic metals are found in lipsticks, lip glosses and other cosmetics.
- If you work in an environment where you are exposed to heavy metals (pottery, plumbing, painting, battery manufacture, landscaper, read part 1), shower or at mimnmun wash your hands and face at work. Change your clothes before leaving work or when you arrive home. Wash your work clothes separately. Keep your work shoes outside.
- Detox bath: Soak in a tub of Epsom salts, baking soda and bentonite clay
- Love your lymph! Dry skin brushing before showering to encourage lymph flow that will flush toxins from the body.
- Honor and value the importance of sleep and rest. Extra rest and uninterrupted sleep is critical for any detoxification program.
- Identify your personal and unique nutrient deficiencies through a functional blood chemistry analysis. Dietary deficiencies of calcium, iron, and zinc enhance the effects of lead on cognitive and behavioral development. Mineral deficiencies are associated with increased gastrointestinal toxic metal absorption.
- Sweating encourages elimination of toxins and accumulated toxic metals. Saunas, specifically infrared sauna and daily exercise.
- Addressing and resolving psycho-emotional trauma, adverse childhood events and soul wounds will aid in the excretion of heavy metals.
- If you choose to vaccinate yourself, your children or pets, opt for thimerosol-free (no mercury) vaccines only. Educate yourself on every single ingredient.
- Daily bowel regularity is essential in chelating toxic metals and any detoxification program.
- If you’re planning to become pregnant, both the father and mother-to-be have a high relative risk of elevated levels of lead, mercury and PCBs. Identifying and ruling out toxic metal body burdens prior to becoming pregnant is not only smart, it’s crucial for both the mother, father to-be and the health of the baby. Today, all children are born with some toxic metals acquired in utero. Toxic metals pass through the placenta from mother to child. This is seen clearly when reviewing mineral analyses of infants. These are babies who have never been exposed to food, yet their bodies are loaded with many toxic metals. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 60,000 American children are born every year with neurological problems caused by prenatal exposure to methyl mercury compounds.
- Take control of your water supply. Install water filters in your home, especially water used for drinking, cooking, showering and bathing
- Identify and rule out underlying infections and dysbiosis. Dying fungi, parasites, Candida overgrowth and yeasts may release vast amounts of previously bound mercury.
- Keep young kids away from imported candy and don’t let them chew on wrappers or gift wrap.
- Switch to natural household cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and castile soap.
- Avoid aluminum and iron cookware. Instead use ceramic or stainless steel.
- If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke.
- Reduce stress. Activate the parasympathetic nervous system and strengthen vagal tone. Stress of any kinds slows down the detoxification process.
Nutrients to Detox Heavy Metals
Supplemental support for chelating heavy metals is very bio-individualized, unique to each person, and different for each specific metal. Chelation means metal binding. Many chelating agents also remove vital minerals, so these minerals must be replaced to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
- Digestive enzymes, bile support and hydrochloric acid to adequately break down protein, and facilitate proper mineral and nutrient absorption.
- Lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant that supports the body’s own pathways of elimination and boosts glutathione levels. Increase glutathione with grass-fed whey protein, alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA), liposomal glutathione, and methylation nutrients, vitamins B6, B12 and folate to assist in breaking down toxic metals so they can be eliminated by the body.
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is one of the most cost effective ways to boost systemic glutathione. It plays a protective role against a variety of toxins and metal body burdens.
- Chlorella, a single cell algae sea vegetable that grows in fresh water is a food-grade natural chelating agent. Chlorella works synergistically with cilantro as it has better binding properties. Chlorella can cause side effects in some people. Always start with the lowest quantity and highest quality form of chlorella as many sources of chlorella contain contaminants and metals. Biotics in-house phytochemistry lab certifies that their Chlorella is free of contaminants, heavy metals and bacteria.
- Not all fish oil is healthy; 80% of fish oil on the market is rancid and oxidized. Supplement with only high-grade quality omega-3 fish oil void of PCBs, soybean oil and toxic metals.
- Optimize the balance of intestinal flora with probiotics.
- Optimize your vitamin D status
- Supplemental support and the choice of which nutrients to use to gently remove toxic metals will vary for every single individual. I cannot stress the importance of bio-individualized protocols unique to each individual’s biochemistry.
- Avoid low-quality supplements, binders and some protein powders as they contain high amount of toxic heavy metals and other less than desirable ingredients.
- Many calcium and other mineral products are contaminated with lead. It is best to avoid calcium, especially calcium derived from sources such as bonemeal, dolomite, oyster shell or coral calcium.
- Binders such as charcoal, bentonite clay, modified citrus pectin and food-grade diatomaceous earth taken before bedtime and away from any other supplements or medications can be consumed internally to safely remove heavy metals, harmful bacteria, yeast, fungus and viruses, pesticides and other toxins.
- Accumulation of toxic heavy metals in the body is more problematic when other essential minerals are deficient. Identify your personal nutrient deficiencies and Balance your Body Chemistry with Nutrition through the Blood Chemistry Analysis.
- Many chelating supplements and agents (EDTA and DMSA) also remove vital minerals, so these vital minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iodine, iodide and selenium must be replaced to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
The above suggestions help to detox heavy metals for most people. However, there are other chelating processes such as suppositories, stronger chelating agents and IV therapy (which can be quite expensive and should only be administered by top-notch, experienced practitioners).
The process of eliminating the source of exposure to toxic heavy metals and detoxing heavy metals is very important, can be rather challenging and take months to remove them safely and effectively. It should never be a rushed process. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint. Always see the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional whom is versed in toxic heavy metal detoxification to support you in identifying toxic metals as well as safely removing them.