Protecting us from arsenic

When newborns and fetuses are exposed to arsenic, it can increase the chances of premature death, a lower birth weight and brain difficulties.

In adults, this heavy metal suppresses the immune system and drives inflammation, the silent disease behind the chronic diseases that are our biggest killers today.

For babies, the best way to lower newborns’ arsenic exposure is breastfeeding.

A study at Dartmouth shows that babies that feed on formula have more arsenic in their bodies than those who are breast-fed. The research also demonstrates that breast milk is very low in arsenic.

The researchers analyzed the levels of arsenic in New Hampshire families’ tap water and measured the arsenic in the urine of 72 6-week-old infants as well as breast milk from nine women. The results showed that the level of urinary arsenic was 7.5 times lower in breast-fed than formula-fed infants. When the scientists compared concentrations of arsenic in tap water with levels in powdered formula, they found that the water had more arsenic, but the powder also had a measurable level.

“This study’s results highlight that breastfeeding can reduce arsenic exposure even at the relatively low levels of arsenic typically experienced in the United States,” says researcher Kathryn Cottingham. “This is an important public health benefit of breastfeeding.”

In North America, arsenic occurs in bedrock and can contaminate well water. Although the Environmental Protection Agency enforces a maximum arsenic level for public drinking water, private well water is exempt from regulation. Well water is the main source of drinking water in many rural areas.

“We advise families with private wells to have their tap water tested for arsenic,” says researcher author Professor Margaret Karagas who is the principal investigator at Dartmouth’s Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center.

One of breast milk’s biggest benefits is that it protects newborns from toxins from the outside world. And even though arsenic is somewhat pervasive today, we can use that to point us in the direction of a powerful way to protect ourselves from arsenic as well.

It’s oral detox with a solution called EDTA. The ability of EDTA to protect our bodies from outside toxins like arsenic and eliminate them is eye opening.

The University of Michigan recently hosted scientists and researchers from all over the world at a conference on toxic heavy metals. A study on oral chelation was presented showing the heavy metal urine analyses on 14 patients ages 29 to 73. Results showed a significant excretion of all six of the toxic heavy metals that we most commonly encounter after just one day of oral EDTA: Aluminum excretion increased by 229%; Arsenic by 661%; Cadmium by 276%; Lead by 350%; Mercury by 773%; and Nickel by 9,439%!

EDTA is available at your local health food store. Look for at least a gram per capsule, and take it on an empty stomach with a big glass of water. And remember, this is a specific detox, so take it for a week, take a week off, then another week on, then discontinue use for at least a month.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.