Heavy Metal Detoxification
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Because the body is naturally exposed to small amounts
of heavy metals in even natural foods, it has natural defensive mechanisms to help it eliminate these heavy metals and other toxic substances. By nutritionally supporting these
mechanisms, while keeping the body's channels of elimination open, one can help the body remove excess heavy metals from the System.
One of the principal detoxifying agents in the body is a substance called glutathione. It is an antioxidant, produced in the liver from three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Glutathione helps cells eliminate drugs and heavy metals and protects the body from damage due to smoking, radiation and alcohol.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) contains the amino acid cysteine, which is a building block for glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects tissues including the liver, respiratory and immune systems, and the eyes. Glutathione protects healthy cells from damage by heavy metals and other toxic chemicals.
L-methionine is a sulfur bearing amino acid that acts as powerful antioxidant. It is needed in extra amounts when toxins are present in the body because it protects glutathione. It can also be converted into cysteine to help produce more glutathione.
Another nutrient that helps the body detox from heavy metals is alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant. Because it is soluble in both wrater and fat, it has an especially wide range of protective actions. Even more, it enhances the function of other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione. It also helps increase energy production in the cells.
Sodium alginate or algin, is a mucilage derived from kelp. Kelp is a purifier of the oceans because the alginate in it bonds to heavy metals and other toxins to neutralize them. Sodium alginate binds to heavy metals such as lead and mercury in the intestinal tract and carries them out of body with regular bowel movements. Other fiber products such as apple pectin can also help bind heavy metals.
The Heavy Metal Detox formula contains all the substances we've just mentioned: N-acetyl-cystine, I-methionine, alpha lipoic acid and sodium alginate. It also contains cilantro, an herb reported to help the body detoxify from mercury, kelp, vitamin B6, apple pectin and magnesium citrate. It is a very useful supplement for helping the body eliminate heavy metals.
This formula is a potent cleanser. Do not exceed I capsule with a meal 2 times a day, at least in the beginning. If you develop a strong cleansing reaction (rash, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, weakness, etc.), stop taking it for a couple of days. Do some cleansing and then restart with only 1 capsule per day.
Many heavy metals (and other environmental toxins) are not water-soluble. This means the body must remove them by binding them to fats. Thus, essential fatty acids are very helpful in detoxifying from heavy metals. Daily supplementation with I -2 Tablespoons of Flax Seed Oil (Or taking Super GLA and/or Omega-3 Hi EPA) will help bind these toxins in the System for removal.
Once the heavy metals, pesticides or other chemicals have been bound to fats, the toxic fats are taken to the liver where they are eliminated by dumping them into the small intestines through the bile. Fiber is needed to bind these fats and heavy metals so they will be carried out of the body. While any kind of fiber helps, sodium alginate is especially good at binding heavy metals.
If you know or suspect you have heavy metal poisoning it's probably a good idea to work with an experienced doctor, naturopath or herbalist to custom design a program for your individual needs. However, as a starting point, here is a mercury and heavy metal detox program we have used many times.
• 1 Krill oil capsule
• 1 Heavy Metal Detox twice daily
• Algin three times daily or 1 Tablespoon Nature's Three in a glass of water or juice twice daily
• Once or twice each week take a drawing bath with hydrated Bentonite or another fine clay or take a foot spa.
Make certain the bowels are moving at least two to three times per day. If not, you may wish to take some LBS II at bedtime or 2-3 Gentle Move twice daily.
Optional: For a stronger effect add 1-2 Mega-Chel twice daily
Heavy metal detoxification is important for anyone who has worked around a lot of chemicals in their job (including painters, beauticians, lab technicians, dry cleaners, carpet cleaners, farmers and factory workers in many industries).
It's also a good thing for people suffering from any kind of chronic inflammatory disorder or problem that involves nerve damage.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Herbal Formulas: Nature's Three
Herbal Extracts: Algin