Optimal health can sometimes feel like a daunting achievement in today’s modern, polluted environment. Harmful contaminants seem to encroach on our well-being from every angle: air, soil, consumer products, food and, of course, water.
One chemical in particular has received extra attention from experts: hexavalent chromium, aka chromium-6, a known carcinogen that exerts multiple adverse effects on the body.
Environmental agencies have been investigating the extent of hexavalent chromium pollution throughout North American water supplies. Recent findings indicate that numerous public water sources are contaminated with this carcinogenic toxin. You probably heard about this toxic metal because of the infamous class action lawsuit, involving legal assistant Erin Brockovich, which was filed against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California for contaminating water supplies.
In the U.S., a recent analysis showed that the tap water supplies of 36 major cities had elevated levels of this toxic heavy metal. In Canada, the government started warning in 2004 that hexavalent chromium was entering the environment at concentrations that could have harmful effects and that many surface water sources are contaminated with this toxin.
Brockovich may have introduced hexavalent chromium to the public spotlight, but environmental groups have long been fighting for stronger laws protecting people from this kind of exposure to industrial byproducts. Clearly, we need tougher environmental protection standards. But in the meantime, you can take control of your own health with strategic interventions to protect against and eliminate harmful heavy metals from your body.
Dangers in the water
Hexavalent chromium is a common heavy metal compound used in industry. It goes into dyes, paints, inks, plastics and other materials. It can seep into groundwater as well as being released into polluted air. You can also absorb it from polluted soil. This heavy metal has been linked to respiratory complications, skin and gastrointestinal irritation plus other degenerative effects. Even more concerning, research demonstrates that this compound is linked to cancer.
Of course, hexavalent chromium isn’t the only heavy metal in our drinking water that can cause neurological, cellular, respiratory and other critical damage. Recent reports link arsenic found in wells in Maine to reduced IQ levels in children. Dangerous levels of lead have been found in a significant number of taps in Toronto. High levels of mercury have been discovered in fish from California water supply reservoirs. It’s a long list.
If you are concerned about heavy metals in your water supply, ask your local water company for its consumer water report. Or you can contact one of the many labs offering water analysis to have your own sample tested. Newer, at home testing methods are also on the horizon, including a smartphone app and attachment that may be able to detect mercury in water.
Purify your water
Various types of water filters can remove hexavalent chromium and other toxins from tap water. A majority of these water-filtration systems use activated carbon to remove certain chemicals and organic compounds. Reverse osmosis filters water by applying pressurized force to push it through a selective membrane, effectively removing a large amount of contaminants. When drinking distilled or reverse osmosis water, however, include a few drops of essential mineral concentrates to each gallon to replace the essential minerals lost during the purification process.
Protect yourself with diet and supplements
One of the most effective ways to protect your body from heavy metals and environmental contaminants is to engage in a comprehensive detox program. The foundation of a successful detox program is a healthy cleansing diet, with proper supplementation for additional support.
The major goals of a cleansing diet include:
- Remove toxins and heavy metals.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Alkalize your system to promote oxygenation and detoxification of tissues and organs.
- Provide nutritional support to your organs.
- Revitalize cells and tissues.
- Balance blood sugar.
- Improve digestion.
A cleansing diet generally emphasizes a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables and vegetable juices, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, which have been shown to help remove heavy metals and toxins from the body. Avoid processed foods and increase your intake of plant-based proteins. Finally, make sure to drink plenty of purified water and herbal teas.
My top recommended supplement for helping to safely and gently remove heavy metals and toxins from the body is a formula combining modified citrus pectin (MCP) and modified alginates.
MCP has a unique molecular structure enabling it to bind to heavy metals and toxins in the body and effectively remove them. Research demonstrates that modified alginates also bind to heavy metals and environmental toxins in the digestive tract, preventing reabsorption into the bloodstream. Both pectins and alginates were first used in the Chernobyl meltdown, to help remove radioactive isotopes in people living in the surrounding area.
The combination of MCP and alginates gently chelates heavy metals from deep within the body, without removing essential minerals. For more information about how these ingredients help remove toxic heavy metals, download my wellness guide on safe detoxification methods, here.
Additional therapies for heavy metal removal
Therapies that use different forms of heat and energy such as infrared saunas, hot baths, massage and electro-lymphatic stimulation are extremely helpful in reducing heavy metals in the body, increasing circulation and encouraging detoxification. Acupuncture is another modality that can help to clear stagnant blockages and strengthen the organs of elimination. Gentle exercises such as walking, Tai chi or yoga are also important.
These methods help protect you from harmful contaminants and heavy metals lurking in the environment. A regular, gentle cleanse can work to detoxify your organs, tissues and circulatory system, boost immunity, enhance energy and protect long-term vitality.
For more health and wellness information, visit www.dreliaz.org.