Taken from the book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition”
discussion should be of interest to everyone, as we are all being exposed to such heavy metals as lead, mercury, and cadmium. Although normally found in or used by the human body, these metals are becoming more widely present in the environment, leading to serious concerns. There are possibly more problems from these metals, which interfere with normal bodily function, than have been considered in most mainstream medical circles. Reviewing all of the vitamins (see chapter 5) and minerals has shown us that most every substance that is useful to the body can also be a toxin or poison. The metals discussed in this section are known primarily – almost exclusively – for their potential toxicity in the body, although commercially they may have great advantages.
Until the early 1970s, the medical community’s concern over metal toxicity was primarily in regard to acute industrial exposure, where certain dramatic measures such as hospitalization and intravenous therapy were performed to stimulate elimination of those metals. More recently, there has been concern over lead intoxication to children from sucking or eating lead-based paint, for example, and legislation has been enacted to reduce this possible contamination, although these measures will probably have a greater effect on future generations. For most of the potentially toxic minerals, there are many common uses and possible contamination sources throughout society; our concern must be with more widespread and long-term observation of and protection from these dangers. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and more recently, aluminum are the main toxic minerals. Beryllium, bismuth, and bromine must be considered as well. And there are other heavy and radioactive metals that could bring future difficulties.
Most of these minerals were present in the environment only in minute amounts until recent centuries, when the orientation toward industrialization and production brought about many technological advances. But technology, like medicine, has its side effects. Mining these metals from the Earth and using them in society – as leaded gasoline or silver-mercury tooth amalgam, for example – have brought all of us into regular exposure with these metals – unless of course, we live in a completely industrialized environment, harder and harder to find in the twenty-first century. These toxic metals have polluted our atmosphere, our waters, our soil, and our food chain.
We cannot realistically put all the lead and cadmium, for example, back into the Earth and cover it up. We need to deal with the presence of these metals. At best, we can find better ways to evaluate them in our water, our air, our food, and our body; learn more about where we are exposed to them, and work preventively to avoid excessive exposure. Most of these heavier metals are quite stable and decompose fairly slowly, if at all, so they remain in the environment. Luckily, the human body is able to clear much of the modest amount we pick up by eliminating it through urine, sweat, and feces. Absorption of these metals is usually pretty low as well. But when our natural means of elimination are reduced or our exposure is increased, we may run into trouble.
My comment – We, at Better Body Clinical Nutrition, always test our clients for metal toxicity and when we find this to be the case, we have products that promote and help the elimination of these toxic substances.
Schedule a visit to find out if you have metal toxicity and get on the correct protocol for you to help your elimination pathways.