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How Heavy Metals can affect us

Posted Jul 22 2008 8:18pm

from Dr Mercola:

Most people are absolutely clueless about just how toxic mercury is. It is toxic at one in one billion-part quantities.  That is about the same concentration of one grain of salt in one swimming pool.  That is why having mercury fillings is such a major challenge to your health.

Heavy metal toxicity, just like chemical toxicity, has become one of the most pressing health hazards of our day. Your body is assailed by chemicals and heavy metals on a daily basis, oftentimes from the most innocent-looking sources, from your everyday cookware to your child’s rubber ducky.

It has now gotten to the point where babies are being BORN toxic due to the toxic load of their mothers. A 2004 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that blood samples from newborns contained an average of 287 toxins, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and Teflon chemicals.

Despite these dire warning signs, giant corporations and industry advocates like DuPont and The American Chemistry Council are fighting tooth and nail to block any and all proposed bans on toxic agents that happen to be part of their profit-making schemes. According to EnviroBlog, the latest army of lobbyists is trying to crush U.S. Senate Bill 1313, which calls for a ban of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in concentrations exceeding 0.1 percent from food packaging, for example.

And California State Senate Bill 1713, which would ban BPA from baby bottles and toys, is also under attack by hired guns who are trying to scare everyone into believing this bill will put an end to all canned and jarred goods.

If there ever was a time to get more involved in the political process – as these are serious survival issues — now might be a good time.

How Do You Know if You’re Suffering from Heavy Metal Toxicity?

Acute heavy metal toxicity is a lot easier to diagnose than that of chronic exposure. Indications of acute toxicity include:

    * Sudden, severe cramping and/or convulsions

    * Nausea

    * Vomiting

    * Sweating

    * Headache

    * Difficulty breathing

    * Impaired cognitive, motor and language skills

Symptoms of toxic build-up due to chronic heavy metal exposure, however, are much more subtle, in large part because these symptoms are so “common,” such as:

    * Fatigue

    * Digestive distress, and reduced ability to properly assimilate and utilize fats

    * Aching joints

    * Depression

    * Impaired blood sugar regulation

    * Female reproductive problems such as menstrual difficulties, infertility, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension and premature birth

Sound like anyone you know?

Add to that your exposure to toxic fluoride in your municipal drinking water, which actually increases your body’s uptake of aluminum, in addition to all the other health damaging effects it has in and of itself, and it’s no wonder you’re feeling less than great.

Why is Your Diet so Important When it Comes to Heavy Metal Detox?

In addition to limiting your exposure to toxic metals, which I will go over shortly, you need to focus on eating a healthy diet, preferably based on your nutritional type to reap the maximum overall health benefits.

The Weston A. Price diet recommendations, which were written in 1920 and still, like all truths, hold true today, includes these timeless guidelines:

    * Eat foods that are natural, unprocessed, and organic (and contain no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup).

    * Eat foods that grow in your native environment. In other words, eat locally grown, seasonal foods.

    * Eat unpasteurized dairy products (such as raw milk) and fermented foods.

    * Eat at least one-third of your food raw.

    * Make sure you eat enough healthy fats, including those from animal sources like omega-3 fat, and reduce your intake of omega-6 from vegetable oils.

As Dr. Daniel et.al. explain in this article, optimal nutrition is essential when dealing with heavy metal toxicity because if you are deficient in essential metals, your body will use toxic heavy metals as “stand-ins” instead. For example:

    * Calcium is replaced by lead, which deposits primarily in bone, and disrupts the formation of red blood cells. Lead contributes to poor bone health such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.

    * Zinc is replaced by cadmium, which tends to accumulate heavily in your kidneys. Cadmium overload is associated with peripheral neuropathy.

    * Magnesium is replaced by aluminum, which, among other things, induces neurochemical changes and has been identified as a contributing factor to developing Alzheimer’s.

    * Manganese is replaced by nickel, which is carcinogenic.

Secondly, you also need vital nutrients to aid your natural detoxification process.

A lot more information about this subject will be discussed in my upcoming Inner Circle interview with Dr. Kaayla Daniel, co-author of the article above and the book, The Whole Soy Story, which I recently reviewed in my brand new Book Reviews column.

I also highly recommend subscribing to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s journal, Wise Traditions. This quarterly journal is dedicated to exploring the scientific validation of dietary, agricultural and medical traditions throughout the world. It features informative and thought-provoking articles on current scientific research; human diets; non-toxic agriculture; and holistic therapies. It also offers sources for organic foods that have been conscientiously grown and processed.

You can find their membership form at this link.

Guidelines for Reducing Your Heavy Metal Exposure

It may seem like a fight you’re destined to lose, however I firmly believe you can reduce you exposure to heavy metals quite dramatically, thereby giving your body a fighting chance to eliminate accumulated toxins and restore health.

These guidelines can help limit your exposure:

    * Use glass, cast iron, carbon steel, titanium, and enamel cookware. Both aluminum and Teflon are well known for their toxic dangers, and stainless steel can expose you to carcinogenic nickel.

    * Minimize consumption of restaurant food as restaurants are required to use stainless steel pots and vats.

    * Avoid stainless steel thermoses; the glass lined kinds are best. Later this year I will be offering glass water bottles that can also be used in lieu of a thermos, with neoprene sleeves to protect them from breaking.

    * Avoid  cosmetics with aluminum bases, mineral powders that contain bismuth, and aluminum-laden antiperspirants, which have been shown to increase your Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 300 percent!

    * Avoid vaccinations that inject mercury or aluminum directly into your bloodstream.

    * Avoid and remove dental amalgam fillings.

    * Avoid stainless steel orthodontics such as braces and palate wideners.

    * Avoid costume jewelry if you are sensitive to metals.

    * Avoid smoking and second hand smoke as it causes cadmium poisoning.

    * Make sure you purchase your natural herbal remedies from a reputable source with strict quality testing. Some colloidal silvers can lead to silver poisoning, and some folk remedies can be high in mercury, lead and arsenic, either due to alleged medicinal properties or through unintentional contamination.

    * Avoid conventional household cleaning products.

    * Avoid conventional insecticides and herbicides. Also be VERY cautious when using the “natural alternative” Borax (boric acid), which can also cause serious health problems, including death.

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