Friday, May 15, 2009

Detoxify Heavy Metals

Heavy metal toxicity is more common than you might expect, especially from mercury. Regular detoxification with cleansing programs and daily use of the right supplements can help your body to stay free of toxins...
Often overlooked, Mercury toxicity can play a large role in the development of common disorders. Sub-clinical mercury toxicity occurs when there is enough mercury in the body to aggravate a number of symptoms or other disorders, but not identifiably high enough to meet the clinical definition of toxicity by this heavy metal. Complicating matters further for the treatment of moderate mercury toxicity is that different people will generally tolerate different levels of mercury in their bodies. Common health concerns aggravated by even moderate levels of mercury include: candida, allergies, MS, Lupus, adrenal stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue, leaky gut and others. Mercury is a highly toxic substance that is found throughout our environment. We take in small amounts of the metal from our water and food supply, especially when we eat fish. Everyday products like cosmetics, fabric softeners, batteries, plastics and paints also contain trace amounts. The prime source of mercury exposure is through mercury dental fillings. Mercury particles released from the amalgams enter the blood stream slowly on a daily basis gradually over time and get stored in tissues, where they begin to have a negative effect on different bodily functions. Mercury goes into the central nervous system and brain where it tends to deposit in the pain center. It can also cause kidney, cardiac and respiratory problems. Significant amounts of mercury in the body have been known to cause asthma, arthritis, depression, hyperactivity, dermatitis, dizziness, fatigue, gum disease, hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, headaches, slurred speech, memory loss, muscle weakness and increased salivation. Mercury detoxification involves dietary, supplemental and physical interventions. It focuses on ways to safely move the mercury out of storage, through the circulation and out of the body. It is essential that the main organs of detoxification, the liver, kidneys and bowels are working properly so that the mercury does not redeposit in other areas. For information on general detoxification see the article titled, Detoxification. Once the body is functioning optimally it is time to remove mercury from the system. Removal of mercury amalgams should be done by a dentist with specialty in the area. This will ensure that steps are taken to prevent more mercury from going into the body during the removal process. They will also offer guidance on how many should be taken out at one session, the length of time between sessions and what type of filling should replace the amalgams. Chelation therapy is an intravenous process that can be used to remove mercury, and other heavy metals, from the system. Contact a health care professional who does chelation therapy to discuss if this is an option for you. A number of different nutritional supplements can provide support if you suspect mercury is having a negative effect on your health. NAC. This amino acid has a potent chelating effect on all heavy metals, including mercury. Chelation occurs when the metal is bound to an acid (in this case an amino acid). This allows the mercury to be pulled out of the tissues and then excreted during the natural processes of elimination. NAC is generally tolerated well by most people and does not usually cause any of the typical symptoms associated with detoxification. In fact, it can be used when mercury fillings are being removed to help prevent re-absorption of the mercury released during the process of removal. NAC also helps to cleanse the liver which can make it easier for it to detoxify the body and deal with toxins like heavy metals easier. NAC is also used by the body to manufacture another amino acid, glutathione, which plays a very important role in detoxifying chemical pollutants in the body. People with mercury toxicity are often deficient in glutathione because mercury interferes with its activity. Glutathione can be taken as a separate supplement, but because of its molecular structure and poor absorption, taking NAC has been proven to raise blood levels higher than taking actual glutathione itself. VITAMIN E and SELENIUM. These two nutrients are potent antioxidants that work together to fight the effects of mercury toxicity. They help the body manufacture an enzyme (glutathione peroxidase) that enables the body to deal with toxins like heavy metals effectively. Higher levels of mercury increase the body’s need for this important enzyme which it quickly depletes. ANTIOXIDANTS, ESPECIALLY FOR THE BRAIN. Mercury causes an incredibly high amount of free radical damage to the body, in particular to the brain and nervous tissues. This is partly why people with mercury toxicity often feel depressed, have trouble concentrating, and feel fatigued. Not all antioxidants can easily permeate the protective membranes that surround the brain, two in particular that can are grape seed extract and ginkgo biloba. Both contain active nutrients called polyphenols which are much stronger in their free radical quenching effect that either vitamin C or beta carotene. While these others are necessary for other functions in the body (including the detoxification of mercury), ginkgo and grape seed, because of their affinity for the brain are more effective in this respect. Other antioxidants that can be used to support mercury detoxification and during mercury amalgam removal are: alpha lipoic acid, methionine, zinc, carotenoids, pycnogenol, chlorella, and green tea. DETOX SUPPLEMENTS like milk thistle, dandelion, garlic, burdock, fibre, and oxygen supplements can offer support for mercury detoxification in a secondary way because they all support different organs or systems involved in the general processes of elimination and detoxification in the body. Milk thistle supports the liver, dandelion the kidneys and urinary tract, garlic and burdock the blood, and fibre the intestines. Because these organs and systems are stressed further during mercury detoxification, it is important that they be supported as much as possible to prevent re-absorp-tion of the mercury or other toxins. Eat the following foods to help the body process mercury, sulphur-containing foods (beans, onions and garlic), fibre (oat bran and apple pectin), cilantro, fresh fruits and vegetables. Alfalfa sprouts contain nutrients that help the body eliminate toxins. Drink 2L of steam distilled water daily. Eat fish in moderation. The fatty tissue contains most of the toxins so always broil fish to remove as much fat as possible. Avoid packaged or fast foods, coffee, black tea, chocolate, alcohol, white sugar, salt, condiments, tobacco, dairy products, fried food, preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Moderate physical exercise increases circulation and helps the body to eliminate toxins. Reduce your stress level because stress is an additional burden on the organs of detoxification. Brush your skin daily (towards the heart) with a natural fibre brush. This stimulates the immune system and increases circulation. At the end of your shower alternate several rounds of hot and cold water (30 second to 1 minute intervals) always ending with cold. This hydrotherapy treatment increases the immune system and aids in detoxification. Sauna treatments will also increase the effectiveness of detoxification but make sure to increase your fluid intake to avoid dehydration.

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