Heavy Metals

Markerassisted Selection

A distinct advantage of both conventional plant breeding and marker-assisted selection is that metabolic pathways, enzyme structures, or catalytic mechanisms do not need to be well defined (Schmidt-Dannert et al., 2000). It has been a long-held presumption, with no supporting evidence, that increasing the nutrient content might lower crop yield (Ruel and Bouis, 1998). It should be feasible to alter phytochemi-cal or nutrient content without altering yield, because phytochemicals make up a very small percentage of a plant's dry weight (

Use in Prevention and Therapy

Vitamin C plays a central role in anti-oxidant and immune defenses against cancer. It helps detoxify carcinogenic food additives (such as nitrates, pesticides, and other chemicals) and heavy metals. Vitamin C may reduce risk of cancer, particularly cancers of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, stomach, rectum, bladder, breast, pancreas, and uterus.3 Heavy metal toxicity. Vitamin C plays an important role in protecting the body from heavy metals. It reduces absorption and speeds up detoxification and excretion of heavy metals.

Mercury Exposure in Adulthood

In a German study of women who had repeated miscarriages, a direct correlation was found between the load of mercury in the tissues and the number of miscarriages.62 In this study 111 women with repeated miscarriages were examined for heavy metal toxicity as well as detailed hormone (progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, and thyroid stimulating hormone) and immunological studies (natural killer cells and T-cell subpopulations). It was proposed from the findings that mercury alters the mother's immunity to such an extent that it interferes with normal immunological tolerance seen during a normal pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant the baby exists within her as if it were part of her own tissues. The mother's immune system is thus altered to prevent her body from automatically rejecting this new entity. This condition is known as immunological tolerance mercury appears to significantly alter this process.

Why You Are at Special Risk After Middle

The government, in all its wisdom, has decided that screening tests are not worth the expense unless recent exposure and ensuing toxicity can be easily pinpointed. What an absurd policy In cases of metal toxicity, Medicare Medicaid rules essentially say that a test can only be ordered if the diagnosis is already known in order to obtain a blood lead level test, the doctor must have documented evidence that blood lead is elevated. It's a Catch-22, bureaucratic socialized medicine at its best.

Dr Christopher Calpai

The Food Additives Handbook reports that lead, cadmium, and arsenic are put into animal feed, as are other heavy metals. They are probably placed there intentionally to remove germs. In addition, aluminum is found in baking powder, table salt, and vanilla powder. It's used as an emulsifier, and as an anti-caking agent. When testing for heavy metal toxicity, you want to take the entire patient into consideration. Are they having any symptoms that can be related to an exposure to heavy metals Have they had numerous dental procedures Do they have decreased memory Do they have changes in their behavior or mood Treating the condition is done via looking at a blood test for vitamins and minerals, looking to see what the person's diet consists of, what they do for work, where they work, what they're exposed to at work, their home environment, doing a 24-hour urine test with an intravenous chelation procedure, and testing for creatinine clearance (kidney function), as well as testing for...

Vitamins and Minerals

Modern research and human studies clearly demonstrate that even minor deficiencies in one or more nutrients can lead to disease. We know, for instance, that even a single deficiency in one of the B vitamins can cause profound impairment of the immune system. A recent study among juvenile inmates in a correctional facility and young people in public schools demonstrated significant improvements in behavior simply by correcting even a single subclinical nutrient deficiency. The stronger and healthier our cells, the better they will be able to resist injury, disease, and heavy metal toxicity and if injured, the more likely our cells will recover. Zinc has also been shown to protect the nervous system from mercury toxicity. This could be secondary to its antioxidant effects, or possibly because zinc plays a major role in metal-lothionein metabolism. This large molecule is unusual in that it contains numerous cysteine amino acid units. You will recall that cysteine binds very tightly with...

Heavy Metal Contamination

As in other agricultural products, lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic are potential contaminants in algal products since they are components of industrial pollution and occur in trace amounts in certain agricultural fertilizers. It is known that certain microalgae are effective accumulators of heavy metals.37 The production of high-quality Spirulina therefore requires the use of high-grade nutrients and a meticulous and routine analysis of heavy metals in the culture medium and the product. This is particularly important in situations where food-grade Spirulina is to be produced from earthen ponds or natural lakes. The soil in certain regions may have a high content of heavy metals that can easily be accumulated by the algae. Table 1.4 shows some examples of regulatory standards for heavy metals in dietary supplements and foods.

Nonbiogenic Toxic Substances Metals

It is a well-known fact that virtually all microorganisms are capable of accumulating heavy metals at concentrations that are several orders of magnitude higher than those present in the surrounding media. Their accumulation in algae is a relatively rapid process.35 In Spirulina, special attention has been paid to the concentration of heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic).11 To illustrate the extent of heavy metals found in algal samples, selected analytical data found in the literature are summarized in Table 2.1 and are compared to recommendations on upper limits of heavy-metal contents in different food goods.54 Estimates differ widely, depending on the origin of the algal samples as well as on the laboratories doing the analyses.11 WHO recommends maximum intake levels of heavy metals from SCP sources. Adults weighing 60 kg should take in no more than 3 mg of lead, 0.5 mg of cadmium and 0.3 mg of mercury and 20 mg of arsenic per week.54

The Composition of the Culture Medium

The culture medium used in Spirulina mass culture mimics that of the natural system. The medium that is commonly used is based on the original medium of Zarouk32 and is typically composed of water, sodium carbonate bicarbonate, a source of nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, and other trace minerals. Arthrospira platensis is cultivated in an alkaline aqueous medium rich in nutrient salts. The high pH and alkalinity of the growth medium inhibits the growth of potentially contaminating organisms, resulting in a virtual monoculture of A. platensis (Figure 1.4). Nutrients are supplied by reliable manufacturers that include specifications for heavy metals and other possible

Do Pregnant Women Need to Take Omega Fatty Acid Supplements

The mother is the sole source of nutrition for the developing fetus and for omega-3 fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids) these fats come mostly from the diet or supplementation. Since many women avoid fish during pregnancy for fear of heavy metals such as lead, diet can become a poor provider of omega-3 fatty acids. Meanwhile, although some DHA and EPA can be made in

Tubulointerstitial Diseases

Chronic interstitial nephritis is caused by a variety of drugs, infections, vascular, metabolic, immune, and hematologic diseases, urinary tract obstruction, and heavy metals. In some cases, the cause is unknown. Clinical manifestations include hypertension, renal insufficiency, hyperkalemia, anemia (both hyperkalemia and anemia are disproportional to the degree of renal insufficiency), inability to concentrate urine, and Fanconi syndrome. Urinalysis shows mild proteinuria and absence of RBC casts. Glomeruli are affected secondarily. Pathologic findings of the kidney include progressive scarring of the interstitium, tubular atrophy, and infiltration with lymphocytes and macrophages. Removal of the offending agent or treatment of the underlying disease, and control of blood pressure with dietary sodium restriction and antihypertensive agents, and correction of anemia as well as bone disease remain the main stay of therapy in patients with chronic TIDs.

Decreases superoxide dismutase

The lesson here is that many toxic metals not only have specific brain localizing effects, but also overlap in terms of parts of the brain affected. This emphasizes the importance of looking at all of the heavy metals, not just one, when searching for causes of neurological toxicity.

Do not use herbal teas or other beverages

Caution is indicated when using well water for infant feeding because it may have naturally high concentrations of nitrates, nitrites, arsenic, fluoride or other heavy metals. If well water is to be used, testing for these substances, as well as coliform bacteria, is recommended at least twice a year. Water containing more than the maximum acceptable concentration of nitrate (10 ppm) is a health hazard for infants, since it may result in methaemoglobinaemia, particularly in infants up to the age of 3 to 6 months. Nitrates are not eliminated by boiling water (Environmental Protection Agency, 1990). Water containing in excess of 1.5 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride may cause dental fluorosis and should not be used (Environmental Protection Agency, 1990). The local health department can be contacted for information on water testing and names of accredited laboratories.

Supplemented or free amino acids and taurine

Extractions of various compound feeds with the addition of norleucine as internal standard gave a very good intralaboratory repeatability CVr of 1-1.5 in our laboratory (Fontaine, 2002). Foulon et al. (1990), who compared extraction of methionine and lysine with water, 85 ethanol and buffer solution with the acid extraction described above, achieved the highest recovery with 0.1 M hydrochloric acid. Saurina and Hemandez-Cassou (1993) described a flow-injection spee-trophotometrie determination specialized for supplemented lysine in commercial feeds. Bech-Andersen (1997) developed special alkaline acid extraction conditions for mineral premixes with high contents of heavy metals in order to obtain extracts without heavy metal ions as the latter cause considerable interference in the cation exchanger. Fontaine and Eudaimon (2000) gave a detailed description of an acid extraction method with subsequent determination in an amino acid analyser, specially designed for assays of...

Mercurys Effects on Babies and Children

In part, special bulbs, called growth cones, located at the end of the neural fibers direct this process of neural pathway development in the brain. These specialized cones direct the nerve fiber to its correct location in the three-dimensional maze that makes up the immature brain. How the growth cone does this depends to a large degree on calcium, and heavy metals like mercury and cadmium interfere with this calcium-directed process. As a result, the nerve fiber gets lost and the brain is miswired. The final effect of this miswiring process depends on the severity of the miswiring. Mercury has been shown to affect this growth process at concentrations in the micromolar or even sub-micromolar range.34 In other words, it happens with exposures that are extremely small. fully layered patterns of light and dark. In the past, neuroscientists classified these patterns in elaborate maps (cytoarchitectonic maps). The process of brain development is very complex and beyond the scope of this...

Behavioral and Neurological Effects of Mercury Exposure During Childhood

The developing brain is more vulnerable than the mature brain to a multitude of toxic insults, including exposure to heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Remember, the brain undergoes its most rapid growth during the third trimester of intrauterine development and this continues until two years after birth. By four years of age the brain has reached only 80 percent of its full growth. Many complex processes occur during this critical period trillions of synaptic junctions are interconnecting, neural pathways are probing their way to their final destinations, and the brain is progressively coating its neural fibers with a protective carapace of fatty myelin.

Cadmium Toxicity in Adults

Cadmium affects the nervous system in many other ways, including inhibiting important enzymes.162 It has also been shown to alter myelin formation and maintenance. And like so many heavy metals, cadmium not only increases free-radical production, it also interferes with the brain's ability to neutralize free radicals. Similarly, it increases lipid peroxidation in neurons.

Watersoluble vitamins

Thiamin is unstable in alkaline solutions and becomes increasingly unstable as the pH increases. The stability of the vitamin in low pH solutions such as fortified fruit drinks is very good. In common with that of some other vitamins, the stability of thiamin is adversely affected by the presence of copper ions. This effect can be reduced by the addition of metal-chelating compounds such as calcium disodium ethylenediamine tetra-acetate (EDTA). The heavy metals only appear to influence thiamin stability when they are capable of forming complex anions with constituents of the medium.

Some plants accumulate large amounts of various elements

The use of hyperaccumulators to remove toxic substances from soil is part of a growing practice called phy-toremediation (see fig. 2.12). For example, at one site, a field of Brassica juncea decreased the concentration of selenium by more than half, down to a depth of 1 meter. Phytoreme-diation is expected to save some of the billions of dollars the United States has budgeted for soil cleanups over the next few years (costs range from 190,000 to 2,800,000 per hectare). Phytoremediation might be an economically important way of dealing with an environmental problem in such areas as military sites laced with the heavy metals lead and cadmium and municipal waste dumps, where copper and mercury are problems. What might be an evolutionary disadvantage for a plant to become a hyperaccumulator

Relative Sources of Mercury Exposure

Mercury Natural Sources

Another problem is our inability to measure the subtle effects of chronic low-level toxicity of virulent compounds. Acute poisoning with massive doses of mercury is clinically obvious, with such symptoms as abdominal cramping, kidney failure, tremor, hallucinations, muscular weakness, and numbness in the hands and feet. Lower mercury levels frequently cause unusual irritability, timidity, and suicidal tendencies. Even lower levels may produce symptoms that most physicians would not even connect to mercury toxicity. Symptoms such as frequent colds, joint pains, autoimmune disorders, and subtle neurological dysfunction, such as an inability to think clearly, poor memory, headaches, and emotional disorders, may never be linked to real but undiagnosed metal toxicity. We do know, as I will show, that even very low levels of mercury can interrupt numerous cellular functions, especially in brain

Minimizing Exposure to Toxic Metals

Contamination from plumbing can be minimized by installing new plumbing if the old pipes are corroded or contain lead or galvanized coatings rich in cadmium. Soft water leaches more heavy metals from pipes than hard water. Another benefit of hard water is that it is richer in calcium and magnesium. High-quality water filters can minimize intake from drinking water. Water for cooking and drinking should not be taken from the hot-water tap if the plumbing is old (hot water leaches more metals from pipes). Water pipes should be flushed out before drawing water for drinking, especially in the morning or after periods of non-use when water has stood in them.

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Cocoa appears to have an affinity for minerals and its composition is reflective of its environment, being a natural product. It was feared that cocoa might also contain high amounts of heavy metals, since they are widespread in the environment (e.g. lead and cadmium in tea, yeast, crustaceans and molluscs). This was studied by Prugarova and Kovac (8), who found levels of lead and cadmium to be variable, but within acceptable levels.

Other Things to Remember

One commercial product holds promise as a comprehensive oral chelation agent for many heavy metals, including mercury. This product, called Garlic Plus, not only contains EDTA but also garlic, which has been shown to prevent mercury toxicity to developing embryos and may protect adults as well. Garlic extract has also been shown to efficiently remove mercury from the brain.


Green sprouts include wheatgrass, clover, sunflower greens, barley, radish sprouts, pea shoots, etc. Green sprouts are not as powerful as big green-leafy vegetables such as kale or collards, but they fit into the category of essential chlorophyll foods. Sunflower greens are the best sprouts of all they are the softest and most nourishing for the body. Wheatgrass often comes from weak hybridized seed strains quality counts and one should seed out the best quality seed stock available. Other grass seeds tend to be of a higher quality (kamut, rye, barley) than wheatgrass. Grass juice is an excellent transition and detoxification food (especially for overcoming heavy metal poisoning). Grass juice may be too harsh on a purified body and many long-term raw-foodists (5+ years_ whom I have met rarely drink such juices.


Flavonoids are a group of highly complex molecules found in all plants over five thousand have been described thus far, and these God-created chemicals have been shown to possess many miraculous properties. They are very powerful and versatile antioxidants, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow to the brain, chelate several dangerous metals, improve cell-membrane quality, protect the blood-brain barrier, strengthen blood vessels, inhibit viral replication, and increase glutathione levels. Recent studies have shown that blueberries, strawberries, and spinach are excellent sources of flavonoids that protect the brain from metal toxicity.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E actually exists as eight subtypes, four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Most of us are familiar with the d-alpha tocopherol form. The ability of the various forms to inhibit mercury toxicity, or for that matter any heavy metal toxicity, varies considerably. The least potent as antioxidants are the dl- and the d-alpha tocopherol acetate forms. Guess which forms are most commonly sold in pharmacies and even health food stores. You guessed it, the dl- and d-alpha tocopherol acetate forms. This form of vitamin E is the least absorbed from the GI tract, has the least penetration into the brain, and has the lowest antioxidant power. The best forms are the natural or mixed tocopherols in particular, a form called d-alpha tocopherol succinate has been shown to have the greatest antioxidant power. These are more expensive, but money spent on an ineffective antioxidant that cannot reach the problem is a total waste of money and creates a false sense of security.


In the commercial intercourse of soil improvers a great variation of waste products are available. The use of products from which the origin is not clear is not advisable. Ingredients of waste products from industries may be toxic to people or to plants. Even when these are not directly toxic to plants, the addition to soil can include problems in future. When for example waste products contain high contents of heavy metals, concentrations in soils can accumulate to undesirable levels by regular additions during years. This often does not directly affect plant growth, but the uptake of heavy metals by plants can increase to an unacceptable level in the produce for human consumption. Therefore, governmental regulations have set strict maximum limits for the contents of heavy metals in soil improvers. This especially is the case for different compost types, because it is well known that this material sometimes contains high concentrations heavy metals. The occurrence of these...


One of the first things I do is give them a trial of some vitamins and minerals by injection and often that will be very helpful. In addition, I have been using EDTA chelation therapy because by using disodium EDTA with magnesium, we find that we're able to reverse some of the aging processes by removing calcium from soft tissues, where it doesn't belong, and trying to get it back into the bone, where it does belong. The chelation process, which is an intravenous treatment, will help with soft tissue decalcification, in addition to removing heavy metals. There is some research relating aluminum toxicity Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Krapper McCloughlin has done some work in Canada, and we have been doing some work recently too, with patients who suffer from dementia, using another chelating agent called Dephoroximine or Desphoral, which is primarily useful in removing iron and aluminum--and not calcium--from the body. Usually, dementia is a one-way street people tend to get worse and...

What Are Toxins

As you go about your daily living, you are exposed to many toxins in the environment, both outdoors and within your home. Toxins from your environment, inhaled, ingested or absorbed through your skin, are called exotoxins. These include exhaust fumes plastics chemicals in cleaning products chemicals used in building materials, furniture and furnishings pesticides herbicides heavy metals synthetic ingredients in cosmetics and other body products oxidised fats in fried food burnt fats in barbecued food moulds hormones given to some livestock and food colours, preservatives and flavours. In fact, the complete list of environmental toxins you are regularly exposed to is overwhelming.

Soil Improvers

The water contents vary strongly among the types, but also within the type great variations occur. Cattle slurries easily has mass fraction of water higher than 0.95. Peat, chicken manure and compost easily have a mass fraction of water below 0.50, but in wet condition this quickly increases up to 0.75. The varying water content of solid soil improvers strongly affects the advisable quantity when based on fresh mass, since the water content usually is not always available at the moment of application. Addition on volume basis will affect the advisable quantity less than application on mass basis, because the water content of solid soil improvers scarcely affects the quantities of essential constituents in a volume. However, this is not in force for liquid manures. Application on volume basis requires a good definition of bulk density. Such a definition is developed by a European regulation (CEN, 2000, 2007). Last decennia the application of soil improvers is seriously embedded by...

Colon Hydrotherapy

You alkalinize your blood by taking in green-leafy vegetable juices, which increase the blood's electricity. Electricity increases the solubility of the blood. The more solubility in the blood, the more undigested and misappropriated minerals it can suspend, remove, and metabolize or eliminate. Chlorophyll and the alkaline compounds in green-leafy vegetables can combine with heavy metals and foreign chemicals in the body to form salts which will allow the body to wash them out. I have coached and worked with many people who have overcome mercury and chemical poisoning by eating raw plant foods, especially green-vegetable juice.

Dr Ray Wunderlich

A 30-year old worker from an orange juice plant in Florida, who was a chemist and had been working there for about three years, came to me because she was depressed, irritable, and anxious she felt like her brain was in a fog. I did a chemical analysis of this patient I looked at her blood--her red cells and her plasma--her urine, and her hair. The results showed that she had excesses of five toxic metals arsenic, cadmium, lead, aluminum, and copper. Now, she had an occupational exposure to heavy metals. Many systems went off in the body of this relatively young woman. When she was treated for heavy metal toxicity, she progressively improved and got well. Her case is a very dramatic example of a mental dysfunction and emotional problem that cleared up because of clear toxic exposure.