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How Heavy Metals Affect Health

Our bodies are nothing less than miraculous. They are self-sustaining and self-repairing with intricate bio-electrical activity. The body is able to handle all sorts of assaults from the outside world, including staving off viruses, bacteria,

chemical toxins, and other challenges we face every day, just by being alive on a toxic planet. This, of course, is true only if our internal environment (circulation, immune system and elimination functions) is all in good working order.
           Many good things have taken place over the years to help ward off disease from bacteria and viruses. We have made tremendous progress in areas of sanitation and pest control. However, with that progress other dangers have come to our health and well being. Along with the Industrial Revolution, we now have exposure to toxins, such as, smoke, chemicals, and metals from pollution created by coal, gasoline and exhaust. Our bodies were not created to handle these kinds of pollutants and it would take thousands of years to be able to adapt. The good news is, though, there are ways to help ourselves in the midst of our toxic world.
           Since our bodies are primarily comprised of water, chemicals and minerals, its structures and functions must age in a particular way. Our aging process depends on our ability to protect our cells from oxidation, which essentially means that we rust! The body is oxidized as a result of a process known as free radical damage. In the body, a dangerously unstable molecule "borrows" an electron from another molecule, in order to stabilize itself. In the process, it creates another "free radical", which courses through the tissue, causing more damage. This damage causes molecules in the body to die, which causes cells to die and eventually entire systems and organs follow this process. When enough chemical damage has occurred, the larger organism (in this case the entire body) will perish. Heavy metals in the body can multiply the occurrence created by free radical damage significantly. Some experts predict that when metals come into the chain of damage started by free radicals, the result is a multiplication of perhaps thousands of newly-formed free radical chains. When a free radical molecule hits a metal atom in your body, the effect is multiplied many-fold. Metal is simply too good a conductor of free radicals and the resulting oxidation. Hence, the body has a hyper-destructive event.
When metals are involved in free radical damage, they are especially harmful to the cells and, in particular, to the mitochondria of the cells. Cell membranes, the housing for the cell, are made of unsaturated fats, known as lipids. So are the housings for the mitochondria. Mitochondria produce the energy the cell needs to live and function. When the lipid membranes are damaged by free radical activity, they tend to harden, which cuts off the flow of nutrients into the cell and the flow of toxins out of the cell. When enough cells have oxidized, the tissue, organ, gland or function that is affected will cease to work properly.
           Since our bodies are composed primarily of water, minerals and fat, metals can cause a rapid deterioration of our tissues, just the same as if metals are left in water in our environment. Metals decompose much faster than they would if kept dry. It is reasonable to think that the more metals we ingest, the more damage we may be creating, or the faster we will rust! Most of the oxidation we incur is the result of chemicals and metals we get through our environment and, since the Industrial Revolution to the present time, there are so many more of these dangerous elements present.
           We can't, however, live in a vacuum, so we naturally must expose ourselves to the elements in our environment. Unfortunately, particular forms of these elements can inflict serious damage on our systems and cells very quickly. Some toxins or poisons are gaseous and some are heavy metals. Heavy metals are particularly hard for the body to handle, so it tends to store the metals in our soft tissue and bones. Once stored, the metals are free to do their work, creating free radical damage and, in effect, poisoning the tissue in which it is stored, causing damage to cells and organs in our system and accelerating the aging process. Heavy metals can shorten our lives in many ways.
Heavy metal exposure comes from exhaust, cigarette smoke and pollution we breathe, the kitchen utensils and appliances we use and even the foods we ingest. Certain toxins are found in old paint and new carpet, in the soil and waterways in our agriculture and even cosmetics and hair dyes. Pollution ingredients of "modern living" and poorly sanitized food consumption are slowly killing us. Another source of heavy metal exposure that has been in the news recently, are vaccinations. These are a source of mercury and aluminum, both of which can cause neurological problems. Dental "silver" fillings are made of 50 percent mercury, 35% silver, and 15% tin.
           Studies conducted at the National Academy of Science show clear and present danger of heavy metals in our bodies. Sixty-thousand children born each year may be affected by mercury toxicity. Tuna and dental fillings, as well as vaccinations with mercury can cause problems including birth defects, brain damage, depression, fatigue, hearing loss, vision loss, kidney damage and many more ailments.
           Lead levels in our bodies are 1000 times higher today than in our deceased ancestors 300 years ago. Those of us that been alive for a while remember lead in our paint, our gasoline, and even canned foods. We can associate lead poisoning with pain, ADD, allergies, arthritis, seizures, Parkinson's disease and other serious medical problems.
           What's worse is that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 99% of our population contains chemicals that are linked to the development of cancer. Most heavy metals are carcinogenic and all can cause free radical damage. They can cause the energy factories of our cells (mitochondria) to stop working which essentially causes cells to die. In the process, the DNA for those affected cells may also be damaged, causing a malfunction in the next generation of cells of this type. When the cells are programmed to die off quicker or to wildly multiply, we see problems such as a weaker tissue, maligned function or tumors. In short, heavy metals lead to serious illnesses and shorten or lives.
Once the reports found that heavy metal exposure was such a health risk, the FDA approved a synthetic and safe amino acid, know as ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid EDTA) to combat the problem. The agency also approved EDTA as a food additive that is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). It can be extremely effective as a food additive because it will bind with heavy metals and stabilize fats and oils. It is also shown to prevent oxidation in meat products and discoloration in plant foods.
           A helpful and safe agent that can help prevent these problems in foods and the body is truly an important step in protecting our bodies and serving as a smart treatment for the reduction of heavy metals thrown at us by our surroundings. It is proving to be a popular treatment as well. Over the past 50 years, over one million people have received EDTA in a form of treatment know as EDTA Chelation Therapy.
           This treatment has not only shown its effectiveness in removing lead, mercury and other toxic metals, but also has shown dramatic improvement in a number of unrelated health conditions that seem now to be connected to high levels of metals. Since there is such a wide array of symptoms associated with heavy metals, it stand to reason chelation therapy is being widely underused…until now. Chelation has been a procedure recommended by physicians and performed only by intravenous injection (IV) in hospitals and clinics. The IV is injected and the patients rest in a chair for perhaps hours while the EDTA is transmitted through the veins. While successful, IV chelation is inconvenient and costly. Since successful chelation with EDTA has long been an IV procedure, very few people have been able to take advantage of its benefits.
           However, now there is a successful alternative to IV available without a prescription to the public. Contact our office to learn about this alternative to IV chelation.

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Copyright © 2012 Bonnie's Nutrition. Website by Daniel Hotter.
* The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.