Heavy metals are chemical elements that have a high density and are poisonous even at very low concentrations. They are extremely dangerous for human beings. You are probably familiar with some of them, such as aluminum, mercury and lead, since they are present everywhere including the air we breathe.

Bio-accumulation is the main characteristic that makes these metals extremely detrimental to our health. In other words, instead of being eliminated from the human body, they actually get trapped inside and steadily accumulate over the course of our lifetime.

Diseases that can be caused by heavy metal poisoning:

• Cancer
• Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis)
• Cardiovascular issues
• Thyroid disorders
• Prostate problems
• Diabetes
• Infectious diseases
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Leukemia
• Muscle paralysis
• Crohn’s disease
• Reproductive disorders
• Lupus
• Kidney diseases
• Liver disorders

Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning:

If you are overexposed to heavy metals, you may experience the following symptoms:

• Weak immune system
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Muscle tremors
• Night sweats
• Skin problems
• Joint and muscle pain
• Inability to lose excess weight
• Depression
• Insomnia
• Black spots on gums
• Vitamin deficiencies
• Trouble thinking clearly
• Metallic taste in mouth
• Low body temperature
• Alcohol intolerance
• Sensitivity to smells like perfumes, chemical odors, paint fumes and tobacco

Luckily, there is a remedy that can treat heavy metal toxicity and it can be administered either intravenously or orally. However, this treatment should be done under the supervision and guidance of a licensed professional.

The remedy is a liquid solution that traps heavy metals in the bloodstream and eliminates them through urine. This process is called chelation therapy.

The benefits of chelation therapy

This therapy has been used for half a century in the treatment of heavy metal poisoning, cancer and heart diseases.

There are two chelating agents that promote heavy metal detoxification:

• DMSA – dimercaptosuccinic acid
• EDTA – ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

As part of the solution, these agents go into the bloodstream and encourage the elimination of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and aluminum. They also improve the overall physiological health.

The effects of EDTA

As we have already mentioned, EDTA can be administered either intravenously or orally. As the solution circulates through the bloodstream, this agent traps heavy metals and after three hours the body starts eliminating them through the urine.

In a 2010 study scientists reviewed the effectiveness of the chelating agents. They didn’t find any evidence supporting the notion that EDTA could remove heavy metals from the body without causing any potential health issues.

However, combination therapy which involved administering both DMSA and EDTA was much more efficacious in treating chronic lead poisoning and it speeded up the recovery process.

The effects of DMSA

This chelating agent is more effective than EDTA since it is water-soluble and has low toxicity. When DMSA is administered orally the gastrointestinal tract absorbs about 20% of it. According to a 2015 study, DMSA effectively mobilizes lead and mercury deposits into the urine which is definitely the most important part of the detoxification process.

However, it is worth mentioning that chelation therapy can also cause elimination of some important minerals. Therefore, it is important to use this therapy under the guidance and supervision of a licensed professional.

The average recommended DMSA dosage is 10 mg per kg, three times a day for five days. However, the prolonged use of this chelating agent may result in gastrointestinal side effects. Therefore, you should consult your healthcare provider before you opt for chelation therapy.

How to detect heavy metal poisoning?

• Red blood count test can determine what types of heavy metals are present in your body
• Urine test detects the presence of heavy metals in the urine
• Hair analysis can accurately determine the presence of heavy metals in the cells, tissue and organs. This test can also tell you which essential minerals your body needs and it provides an insight into the function of your metabolism and what dietary changes you should make.

Foods that can prevent heavy metal poisoning

1. Cilantro

Owing to its cellular structure, cilantro can act as a chelating agent as well. It binds to heavy metals in your body and eliminates them through the natural digestion. The outer layer of its cells encourages the absorption of heavy metals.

It has been found out that when you eat large amounts of raw or cooked cilantro, the excretion of heavy metals from the body increases.

2. Parsley

Parsley has similar detoxifying properties to cilantro. It traps free radicals which can damage the cells and DNA. According to a study published in 2001 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Chinese parsley can significantly decrease lead deposition in rats. Although this study did not involve human participants, the results are promising.

3. Chlorella

Chlorella is a special type of blue-green algae that usually grow in fresh water. This plant has antioxidant properties and fights heavy metal poisoning by encouraging their removal from the body. Chlorella also prevents oxidation of the heavy metals – a process that damages the cells in the body when these metals come in contact with oxygen.