Heavy metals disrupt the body’s mineral balance
-and many chronically ill people do not get the proper diagnosis or treatment
The most harmful heavy metals are mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel, and cobber, but aluminum, fluoride, iron, and calcium can also be toxic. Poisoning with heavy metals and minerals blocks other minerals such as selenium, iodine, magnesium, and zinc, all of which support numerous essential enzyme processes. At the same time, if you lack these important minerals, heavy metals are able to cause unhindered damage and increase your risk of impaired immunity, impaired fertility, autoimmune diseases, thyroid diseases, brain damage, neurological diseases, depression, hypersensitivity, etc. Chronic heavy metal toxicity is an overlooked problem, but in this article, you can read more about the subject and find out how to deal with it.
Heavy metals are chemical elements with high density. lt is widely recognized that mercury, cadmium, and lead can lead to serious diseases, whereas gold is completely non-toxic and harmless. Heavy metals like iron, copper, manganese, and zinc are essential in small quantities but potentially toxic if you ingest great quantities. Iron and copper poisoning occur most often. Fluoride, aluminum, and calcium do not belong to the group of heavy metals, but they are able to disrupt the body’s mineral balance and cause a number of serious health problems.
Medically speaking, it would, therefore, be more relevant to talk about metal poisoning or mineral poisoning.
Metal poisoning is associated with enormous human and economic costs. According to a report from the EU, mecury poisonings cost the Danish society DKK 750 million annually - exclusively because of the healthcare costs associated with impaired IQ. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however.
According to WHO, 25 percent of all diseases are caused by heavy metals and other environmental pollutants.
Examples of poisoining in the past and present
It is assumed that the fall of the Roman Empire was a result of the widespread use of lead in Roman households. Today, we are exposed to far more environmental toxins that even pose a threat to our welfare society. The problem is overlooked, however, and one must also realize that many commercial interests are at stake within our industry and agriculture.
There is a big difference between acute and chronic poisoning
Acute poisoning usually occurs instantaneously and causes symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, headache, skin rash, hair loss, and diarrhea. A doctor is able to make a proper diagnosis by means of blood and urine samples. Chronic poisoning, which is often insidious, is far more difficult to identify. Also, we know far too little about the cocktail effect of being exposed to several environmental toxins that can reinforce each other and wreak havoc in the cells and in the immune system, the hormone system, and nervous system.
The human body is able to store heavy metals and other environmental toxins in fatty tissues and joints, where they cause the least damage, but they may also end up in the intestinal system, the inner organs, the hormone glands, and the brain. Here, they interact with essential minerals. This makes it increasingly difficult to diagnose poisonings by using regular blood and urine samples.
General damage caused by metal and mineral poisoning
Free radical burden to the body
Free radicals are aggressive molecules that attack cells and their DNA. Our only source of protection against free radicals is various kinds of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E plus selenium, zinc, Q10 and different plant compounds. Metal poisoning increases the risk of oxidative stress, which is a disturbed balance between free radicals and antioxidants.
Increased risk of inflammation
Oxidative stress increases the risk of inflammation, which is a common trait of all chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Destroys the body’s utilization of sulfur and selenium
While sulfur, selenium, and mercury are chemically alike, only sulfur and selenium are important for several enzyme processes in the body. We humans can easily become selenium-deficient, which is a problem, as this compound is important for our energy turnover, immune defense, cardiovascular health, metabolism, fertility, and skin and hair. Selenium even has anti-cancer properties.
Destroys the body’s utilization of iodine
Iodine, fluoride, chloride, and brome (also known as halogens) are chemically alike. Iodine is particularly important for the metabolism and the estrogen balance.
Destroys the body’s utilization of zinc
Having too high levels of lead and cadmium displaces zinc, which is involved in around 300 different enzyme reactions. Zinc is of vital importance to our energy turnover, immune defense, fertility, wound healing, memory, vision, hearing sense, taste, skin, and mental balance.
Destroys the body’s utilization of magnesium
There are chemical similarities between aluminum, nickel, and magnesium. Because magnesium is involved in around 350 enzyme reactions, aluminum and inorganic nickel may disrupt several of these enzymatic processes, which include the nervous system, muscles, digestion, fluid balance, blood pressure, and bones.
|Heavy metal/ mineral||Toxic source||Particularly likely to disrupt utilization of|
|Mercury||Predatory fish (e.g. tuna), amalgam fillings, vaccines (thimerosal). Incineration plants and gold extraction that spreads mercury vapors in the atmosphere. Broken electric bulbs, thermometers, and other types of measuring equipment.||Selenium and sulfur|
(especially sodium fluoride,
PFOA and PFOS)
|Toothpaste, mouth rinses, tap water (mineral water in particular), Teflon pans, baking sheets, rain clothes, waterproofing agents etc.||Iodine|
|Cadmium||Tobacco smoke, tin cans, aluminum foil, artificial fertilizers, paint, and gasoline. Also, sunflower seeds and linseeds that absorb a lot of cadmium from the soil.||Zinc|
|Lead||Car exhaust, color and paints, industrial pollution, ceramics, polluted vegetables and milk from cows that graze right next to heavily trafficked roads, and batteries.||Zinc|
|Copper||Agriculture (growth promoters for pigs), kitchen utensils, water pipes, E141 (coloring agent), intrauterine contraceptive coils made of copper. The use of birth control pills increases copper levels in the body.||Zinc|
|Nickel (inorganic)||Water pipes (especially), tap water, tobacco smoke. Also, jewelry, zippers, mascara and cell phones.||Magnesium|
|Aluminum||Kitchen utensils, deodorants, aluminum foil, vaccines, antacids, and medical drugs for protecting the gastric lining. Refined table salt and powder coffee creamer (anti-caking agent).||Magnesium|
Did you know that heavy metals and other environmental toxins are able to accumulate hundreds of thousands of times through the food chain?
Mercury is one of the worst heavy metals – and it especially increases your need for selenium
Mercury generates free radicals, which counteract selenium, which is necessary for around 30 different selenium-dependent enzymes (selenoproteins). Mercury has the potential to cause extensive damage to the cardiovascular system, brain, nervous system, thyroid gland, and other tissues that depend on the different selenoproteins. Fetuses are particularly vulnerable.
Selenium binds to mercury and forms mercury selenide, which renders mercury completely harmless. The problem is that the sequestered selenium is no longer available to support those selenoproteins that need it, simply because the selenium is chemically bound to mercury. In other words, mercury exposure increases your need for selenium. The selenium that is seized for the purpose of “disarming” mercury is no longer of any use to the body, so you have to compensate for the loss by getting more selenium. That way the selenoproteins get the selenium they need.
Selenium deficiencies are rather common in Europe because the agricultural soil is generally low in selenium. Although fish and seafood are generally viewed as good selenium sources, even a five-servings-per-week seafood diet is not sufficient to saturate the different selenoproteins. This was demonstrated in a Danish study in 2015.
Mercury intoxication and selenium deficiency is a very unfortunate combination, which is rather common. If you decide to take a selenium supplement, selenium yeast is the preferred choice because it provides a variety of different selenium compounds similar to what you get from eating a balanced diet.
Did you know that the acid from e.g. lemon, vinegar, or wine can extract aluminum from kitchen utensils and aluminum foil?
Fluoride poisoning and getting too little iodine is a dangerous cocktail for adults and children
Studies from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency show that the groundwater in Denmark is polluted with fluoride compounds in several areas. Other studies show that iodine deficiencies are widespread, and the official recommendations for iodine are low, in the first place. The combination of fluoride poisoning and getting too little iodine is a threat to your health and increases the risk of metabolic disorders, breast cancer, kidney ailments, ADHD, fetal damage, and mental retardation. At the same time, the need for iodine increases, and it is hardly a coincidence that serious signs of fluoride poisoning resemble symptoms of iodine deficiency.
Too much copper, iron, and calcium is contributing to the widespread zinc deficiency problem
Copper is an essential mineral and should be ingested in the right balance with zinc. Excess copper is stored in the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain. It is assumed that high copper levels in the brain may cause mood swings, anger, hyperactivity, and violent aggression.
Too much copper and too much iron and calcium can contribute to zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiencies and poor zinc utilization may also be a result of an unhealthy diet, a large consumption of sugar and stimulants, diuretics, birth control pills, gluten allergy (celiac disease), and ageing processes.
Always remember to let the cold water run from the tap for some time
so you avoid getting too much copper, cadmium, and nickel, which are all released from the water pipes. Also, avoid drinking from the hot water tap, as hot water absorbs more minerals from the pipes.
Too much calcium increases your need for magnesium
Calcium is an essential mineral and should be carefully balanced with magnesium. Our bones and teeth store around 99 percent of the body’s calcium, whereas cells in soft tissue such as nerve tissue and muscle tissue is practically devoid of calcium thanks to magnesium. Magnesium functions like a door bolt in the calcium channel of the cell membrane and controls how much calcium enters and exits the cell.
Many people get far too much calcium from various dairy products and get too little magnesium at the same time. This leaves their calcium channels open with the risk that too much calcium enters the cells of the soft tissues. If that happens, it stresses the cells, their energy turnover may not function properly, and there is an increased risk of tension, cramps, inflammation, atherosclerosis, and blood clots.
With too little magnesium in the body, there is no guarantee that the optimal amount of calcium reaches the cells in bones and teeth. Therefore, calcium supplements that often contain vitamin D should be combined with magnesium and possibly even vitamin K2 to help channel calcium away from the bloodstream. It is possible to take a magnesium supplement separately, for instance, to support the nervous system, digestive system, fluid balance, heart, and the body’s vitamin D utilization, where magnesium is needed for converting vitamin D into its active forms.
Stress, a large alcohol intake, birth control pills, diuretics, beta-blockers, antacids, corticosteroids, aluminum, intensive training, and insulin resistance are all factors that increase your need for magnesium.
Did you know that too much iron from meat and supplements is dangerous to your health?
That is because excess iron generates some potent free radicals called hydroxyl radicals in the body
Prevention and removal of heavy metals and other environmental toxins
First and foremost, be environmentally conscious and buy eco-labeled products and try to avoid heavy metals and environmental toxins. Most heavy metals and environmental toxins increase the need for antioxidants, especially vitamin C (non-acidic) in large quantities, vitamin A, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. Extra B-vitamins, magnesium, and the two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil, support the nervous system. EPA also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is useful, as inflammation occurs with neurological and autoimmune diseases. Linseed oil contains omega-3 in the form of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), but many people have difficulty with converting ALA into EPA and DHA (the active forms).
Under normal circumstances, the body is able to break down and excrete various environmental toxins by help from the liver and kidneys (faces and urine). Humans also detoxify through perspiration and respiration.
In many cases, however, the body is unable to detoxify sufficiently, and then there is a risk that toxins are stored in various tissues, where they may eventually lead to poor well-being and a number of physical and psychological disorders.
Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to diagnose a chronic heavy metal poisoning, and there is a risk of receiving the wrong treatment.
A hair mineral analysis test can be useful, but it is unable to reveal the presence of heavy metals in other body tissues. In order to detect such hidden deposits of toxins, one would need to ingest (or have injected) special chelating agents such as DMPS (2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate) and EDTA (Ethylene-Diamine-Tetra-Acetic acid).
Githa Ben-David has written a book (her personal story) about chronic heavy metal poisoning and how to get rid of it. In her book, Ben-David shares her knowledge and experience, which is based, among other things, on detoxification with help from vitamins, minerals, and other conventional and holistic methods.
Githa Ben-David. Hjælp. En personlig historie om kronisk tungmetalforgiftning og hvordan man bliver den kvit. Gilalai 2018.
Paul B Tchounwou et al. Heavy metals Toxity and the Enviroment. US National Library of Medicine. 2014
DR-dokumentar: De ufødte børn 03-11-2014
Heath, J.C. et al: Dietary selenium protects against selected signs of aging and methylmercury exposure. Neurotoxicology, 2010
Lutz Shomburg. Dietary Selenium and Human Health. Nutrients 2017
Rychlik W. The need for iodine supplementation. OMS 2017
Frederick R. Stoddard et al. Iodine Alters Gene expression in the MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Line: Evidence for an Anti-Estrogen Effect of Iodine. International Journal of Medical Sciences. 2008
Anne Krejbjerg. Den Danske Jod – genundersøgelse af befolkningen efter jodberigelsen. Thyreoidea Landsforeningen 2014
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Understanding how omega-3 dampens inflammatory reactions. ScienceDaily 2017
Andrea Rosanoff et al. Essential Nutrient Interactions: Does Low or Suboptimal Magnesium Interact with Vitamin D and/or Calcium status. Advances in Nutrition 2016
Mark J Bolland et al. Vascular events in healthy older women receiving calciumsupplementation: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2008
Anne Marie Uwitonze, Mohammed S Razzaque. Role of magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. The Journal of the American Osteopatic Association. 2018
Henrik Dilling. Lev sundt med vitaminer og mineraler. Lindhardt og Ringhof 2012
Pernille Lund. Immunforsvarets nye ABC. Hovedland 2012
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