Heavy Metal Detox
by Shaun Dyler, N.D.
We are exposed to toxins from heavy metals every day through the food we eat (fruits, vegetables, fish, and other meats), the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the products we use (pottery, herbicides, and batteries). Not only are these heavy metals, like mercury, lead, and cadmium, incapable of breaking down, but they also bioaccumulate in the environment and in our bodies.
One unfortunate and troubling source of heavy metal toxins is the electronic waste from obsolete computers, cell phones, and other electronic items, which continues to grow at an alarming rate. Computers that were new five years ago are now considered almost archaic. It is estimated that 400 million computers will be replaced in the next three years. Other electronic devices don't fair much better. On average, cell phones are replaced every 18 months.
The vast amount of hazardous components in electronics is staggering. One computer monitor contains an average of four to eight pounds of lead with monitor glass containing 20% lead by weight. Laptop computer batteries are a large source of cadmium. Cell phones contain arsenic, copper, cadmium, antimony, lead, and zinc to name a few.
It's not just modern technology; however, that's causing heavy metal toxicity. Not that long ago, every household had at least one mercury-filled thermometer. Kept in the medicine cabinet over the bathroom sink, these glass thermometers were notoriously easy to break, most often doing so during the required mercury shake-down before use. While fascinating to watch, those little blobs of mercury that appeared like magic after the thermometer broke posed a significant health hazard. In fact, as little as 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury (the amount in one thermometer) can contaminate a 25-acre lake.
Because mercury, lead, and cadmium bioaccumulate, they are especially dangerous. When mercury travels down the bathroom drain, it makes its way into the ground water, lakes, and streams. Once in the water, mercury changes into methylmercury, a highly toxic form that is retained in body tissue. Fish eat tiny organisms that contain methylmercury. When another fish eats the first fish, the accumulated methylmercury is passed up the food chain. The older the fish and the more contaminated the organisms it consumes, the greater the amount of methylmercury in its tissue—eventually becoming hundreds or thousands of times its original concentration.
As organisms at the top of the food chain, humans face a serious risk of accumulating these heavy metals in our own bodies. Long-term exposure to environmental toxins, including heavy metals, has been associated with serious adverse health effects. While heavy metal contamination and toxicity might seem overwhelming and hopeless, there are ways we can effectively reduce our personal health risks.
The process of chelating (from the Greek word chele, meaning claw) or binding heavy metals in our bodies may reduce the damage caused by lead, chromium, and mercury. Nutritional supplements containing Humifulvate—such as Metal Magnet, from Enzymatic Therapy—are able to effectively bind to heavy metals.
Discovered in Hungary, Humifulvate is made from a rich peat bed found primarily along the shore of Lake Balaton. Hungarian veterinarians realized that animals eating grass that grew on the lake's peat deposits had enhanced mineral absorption, improved immune function, and optimal growth. The horses had achieved this superior health because of the naturally occurring humic, fulvic, and phenolic acids found in the humifulvate.
These organic compounds act as organic mineral carriers and detoxifiers. Their beneficial effects are due to their ability to chelate heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury—minerals with relatively high densities. Fortunately, the chelation is selective. Metal Magnet does not bind to beneficial minerals naturally occurring in our bodies, including zinc, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chromium, and manganese. Once chelated, the heavy metals are then excreted by the body.
The Humifulvate in Metal Magnet has been clinically studied. In combination with trace minerals, Humifulvate was given to men who had experienced occupational exposure to cadmium for three to 12 years. After six weeks of receiving Humifulvate, blood cadmium levels decreased significantly. In a recent laboratory study, humic and fulvic acids (as dissolved organic carbon) in water both bound to and limited uptake of cadmium. In comparison to a placebo, cadmium retention in the kidneys was reduced by 46%, 24 hours after administration. A study of mercury uptake in salmon eggs found that mercury levels were reduced by 44% when humic acid was present. In a separate laboratory study specifically on Humifulvate (in combination with trace minerals), Humifulvate was associated with a dose-dependent increase in mercury excretion, meaning more mercury was excreted from the body.
Regardless of the source, heavy metals were never meant to be in any living body. It's good to know that there is a natural supplement that can help remove these unnatural toxins.