Eating organic produce and grass-fed meat and adopting clean-living strategies have become commonplace for those of us who realize the health dangers posed by toxins.
In fact, more than enough proof has surfaced in recent years to convince any doubter that maintaining a weed-free yard and enjoying bottled water are convenient habits not worth the health risks.
But while we’ve been focused mostly on toxins and poisons and even pollution, there’s another threat that deserves your attention…
Heavy metals build up in your body and are capable of contributing to autoimmune diseases and the underlying inflammation that accelerates the process of chronic illness.
They can accumulate as a result of industrial exposure, air or water pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers or the ingestion of lead-based paints. In case you missed it in the news, lead and arsenic have been found in fruit juice.
Health problems associated with heavy metals
According to the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, heavy metal toxicity can have a wide range of negative effects.
- Mercury can cause depression and add to anxiety; mercury and cadmium can significantly compromise your immune system. Amalgam fillings still present a significant risk of mercury poisoning, mercury toxicity can also cause allergies.
- Lead poisoning particularly disturbs GABA balance, this neurotransmitter enables the brain to inhibit persistent thoughts going around and around when GABA becomes deficient it can contribute to anxiety, lead also dulls your intelligence.
- Lead, cadmium (from smoking) and arsenic disturb dopamine, this neurotransmitter gives the brain energy, motivation and the capacity for pleasure, when it becomes deficient you can get a low energy demotivated depression.
But it doesn’t end there.
The health of your brain can also be affected by an accumulation of metals. Previous studies have shown that the aggregation of amyloid beta clusters is often dependent on their interaction with metal molecules in the brain — particularly zinc and copper.
Chelation therapy has long been established for helping to remove heavy metals from the body by using a chelation agent. Chelators, as the Greek origin of the name implies, help claw and remove metals from the body, and there are a few we’ll talk about here…
EDTA chelation therapy for heavy metals
The first supplement that makes up that list is one known as EDTA. You also may have heard of it as EDTA chelation therapy, which was approved by the FDA to aid in lead poisoning. EDTA can be administered via IV or oral supplementation.
A study at the University of Michigan found that one dose of an oral EDTA chelation product showed excretion of heavy metals by the following amounts:
- Aluminum: 229 percent
- Arsenic: 661 percent
- Cadmium: 276 percent
- Lead: 350 percent
- Mercury: 773 percent
- Nickel: 9,439 percent
EDTA can also remove calcium. Yes, calcium is an essential mineral, but if the body has excess calcium or when the body is not metabolizing it efficiently, calcium can lead to coronary arterial calcification (CAC). That’s why CAC scores are a significant indicator of heart health.
In 2013, the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found:
- TACT provides evidence that a regimen of 40 infusions of disodium EDTA modestly reduced the risk of some cardiac events in adults who had previously had a heart attack. This treatment effect lasted over the five-year follow-up period.
- Overall, those receiving chelation had an 18 percent reduced risk of subsequent cardiac events such as heart attack, stroke, hospitalization for angina or coronary revascularization. A cardiac event occurred in 222 (26 percent) of the chelation group and 261 (30 percent) of the placebo group.
- Among patients with diabetes, those receiving chelation had a lower risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, hospitalization for angina or coronary revascularization. Events occurred in 25 percent of the patients with diabetes who received EDTA chelation and in 38 percent of those who received a placebo. Death from any cause was 43 percent lower in those patients with diabetes who received chelation.
- Among patients who did not have diabetes, chelation therapy was not associated with a reduction in cardiovascular events.
Chelation therapy to promote cardiovascular health is considered an alternative medicine therapy, so it’s not surprising that these results were not, by themselves, sufficient to gain the support of the NIH to recommend the routine use of chelation as post-heart attack therapy.
Inositol hexaphosphate (also called IP6 or phytate), a carbohydrate found naturally in many plants and mammalian cells, where it performs important messenger roles and affects numerous cellular processes, was shown in a 2006 study reported in Frontiers in Bioscience to significantly reduce the calcium content in the aorta and heart tissue of rats treated with it.
Studies in humans have confirmed that taking IPS increases bone mineral density by encouraging calcium to move to the bones instead of the blood vessels, similarly to EDTA.
Other natural heavy metal chelators
- Malic acid — A natural substance manufactured by your body and found in apples and grapes, malic acid works in much the same ways as EDTA to remove the toxic metals aluminum, lead and strontium.
- Garlic — A natural chelator and also an antioxidant, garlic has the ability to chelate lead and mercury from your body. It’s also thought to help to lower the sticky cholesterol underlying the atherosclerosis process and help keep your arteries elastic.
- Modified citrus pectin (MCP) — Derived from the pith of citrus peels, MCP has been extensively studied for its ability to remove heavy metals and toxins from the circulatory system, ensuring elimination through the urinary tract, similarly to the way EDTA helps metals leave the body via urine.
Editor’s note: Have you heard of EDTA chelation therapy? It was developed originally to remove lead and other contaminants, including heavy metals, from the body. Its uses now run the gamut from varicose veins to circulation. Click here to discover Chelation: Natural Miracle for Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health!
- The Best Supplements For Detox And A Healthier Heart — Easy Health Options
- EDTA Chelation Effects on Urinary Losses of Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Magnesium and Zinc — National Library of Medicine
- Magnesium helps the heart keep its mettle — Harvard Health Publishing
- Chelation: Getting the lead out — Easy Health Options
- Phytate (Myo-inositol hexakisphosphate) inhibits cardiovascular calcifications in rats — Europe PMC
- Phytate (Myo-Inositol Hexaphosphate) and Risk Factors for Osteoporosis — National Library of Medicine
- Inositol Hexakisphosphate Inhibits Osteoclastogenesis on RAW 264.7 Cells and Human Primary Osteoclasts — NCBI
- Phytate Associated with Reduced Bone Loss and Fractures in Postmenopausal Women — Osteoporosis–Studies
- Vitamin K and Vascular Calcifications — National Library of Medicine
- Effects of the Blood Coagulation Vitamin K as an Inhibitor of Arterial Calcification — National Library of Medicine
- Chelation Therapy for CAD — American College of Cardiology