Heavy metals have been widely used and only recently has some efforts been made to control them. Excessive or long-term exposure can cause a build-up in the tissues and organs of the body causing serious chronic health problems which include mineral imbalances, kidney and liver damage, endocrine gland failure, neurotoxicity, immuno-suppression, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety and depression, chronic fatigue and increased risk for cancer.
How can You Detect Heavy Metal toxicity?
Heavy metals are deposited in hair, brain, kidneys, liver and bone. Blood and urine analysis is not very reliable for measuring toxic levels especially with long term exposure and tissue build up. “Hair Mineral Analysis” offers the best easily available evaluation for accumulation of heavy metals and in many studies hair levels do correlate fairly well with tissue stores.
Hair mineral analysis also provides other valuable nutritional information about other minerals in the body such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, sodium, potassium, chromium, selenium, boron, molybdenum and vanadium. These minerals are deposited in the hair and their measurements in hair correlate with availability, excess or deficiency of these minerals in the body. For example hair content of the “anti-cancer mineral”selenium has been found to be a good reflection of the selenium status in the body.
Furthermore, the ratios between these minerals can also provide very helpful indicators about the functional health status of the body. For example the sodium potassium ratio which is called the life ratio is an important indicator of adrenal health.
Hair mineral analysis is a very simple and cost effective test for detection of heavy metal overload, mineral nutritional status and the functional status of your body.
How to Minimize Exposure to Heavy Metals?
Heavy metal toxicity is a condition that can be effectively addressed and prevented by minimizing your exposure to haevy metal and avoiding known sources in food, water, air and environment. This involves making healthier diet, lifestyle and environmental changes on a daily basis. Here are my top 10 nutrition and lifestyle tips for prevention of heavy metal toxicity
10 Nutritionist-Proven Tips for Prevention of Heavy Metal Toxicity
1-Drink pure filtered water
Drinking water is a major source of heavy metals especially lead from lead pipes and also cadmium and aluminum. Use a water filter to remove these heavy metals and many other contaminants. Make sure to flush out pipes before drinking water early in the morning if you don’t use a filter.
Fruit and vegetables are often sprayed with insecticide poisons such as lead and arsenic sulphate. Meats are often a source of toxic metals. Lead accumulates in animal livers and cadmium is found in organ meats and seafood. Eating organic can reduce your exposure to these toxic heavy metals in food.
3- Avoid canned and processed foods
Tin cans can be a source of lead and other harmful chemicals. Aluminum is found in frozen cake mixes, processed cheese, baking powder, pickling salts and non-dairy creamer.
4-Choose a safe source for your groceries
Avoid fruit and vegetables on display outside green grocer shops if they are on a busy road.
5-Use natural antiperspirants
Reduce exposure to toxic aluminum by choosing natural aluminum free anti-perisperants.
6-Choose safe cookware and flatware
Avoid using aluminum pots or foil in cooking and avoid low quality ceramic glazes in kitchenware as they may contain lead and cadmium which can leach into the food.
Avoid smoking and exposure to second hand smoke. Cigarettes put cadmium into the smoker’s lungs. It also depletes vitamin C which is helpful in protection against toxic heavy metals.
8-Avoid Mercury Dental Fillings
Have mercury dental fillings removed and replaced with a non-toxic substance. Replace mercury fillings one by one to prevent massive amounts of mercury being released suddenly into the blood stream.
9-Supplement with detoxifying green foods
Wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina and chlorella are highly detoxifying because they contain large amounts of chlorophyll. These green super foods can prevent the body from absorbing mercury, cadmium, radioactive materials and other toxic metals.
10-Consider hair mineral analysis testing
Hair mineral analysis can help to determine levels of toxic metals in the system. If any heavy metal toxicity is detected it can be addressed with a detox protocol provided by a qualified holistic nutritionist.
Chronic heavy metal toxicity is a common and under-diagnosed condition as it’s still not recognized by the medical community as a root cause of disease except for acute conditions of poisoning.
Protecting yourself from known sources of heavy metals by eating a whole foods organic diet, regular detoxes and cleansing your environment is the best way for prevention and management.
Hair mineral analysis is a very simple and cost effective test that can provide valuable information about heavy metal overload as well as the functional status of your body. This information can help your nutritionist in designing a more targeted plan for addressing your health issues. It can be also a good follow up tool for assessing your response to the nutrition and lifestyle intervention.
Back to You
If you have been struggling with unexplained vague symptoms such as chronic fatigue, anemia, irritability, poor concentration, hormonal imbalances, anorexia, gastrointestinal problems which are not responding to targeted nutrition and supplement protocols, it’s a good idea to consider consulting a qualified nutritionist for a personalized heavy metal detox plan.
For more information about our Detox/Cleanse programs call holistic nutritionist Maha Nasr at 416 876 4634 or email at email@example.com
Staying Healthy with Nutrition-Elson M Hass-MD
Encyclopedia of Natural Healing-Zolten Rona, MD