Toxic Metals Success Story and Information

Toxic metals are compounds that are inherently indestructible. They can accumulate undetected in the body over time, and as levels increase, a point is reached where toxic effects become evident.

How do I know if I have been exposed?

  1. Red blood cell toxic elemental analysis as discussed on TV segment. Follow labwork link below for more info.
  2. Provocation challenge and urine analysis.

What can I do about heavy metal toxicity?

  1. Avoid exposure. This can be hard. Refer to the table showing common sources of toxic metals
  2. Reduce intestinal absorption: Increase dietary fiber with beans, cooked vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits especially apples. Pure chlorella.
  3. Increase elimination by using natural chelating elements such as methionine, Vitamin C, and alpha lipoic acid. Consider prescription chelation therapy under a trained doctor’s guidance using DMSA or other chelating agents.
  4. Add competing nutrient elements.

Toxic Metal Exposure Symptoms

Metal Symptoms of Toxicity Protective Effect Method
Aluminum Abnormal speech, myoclonic jerks, osteomalacia, progressive encephalophathy, Alzheimer’s disease Phosphorus Lowers intestinal absorption of aluminum
Lead Microcytic hypochromic anemia, renal dysfunction, hypertension, anorexia, muscle discomfort, constipation, metallic taste, low IQ (children). Calcium Lowers intestinal absorption of lead
Mercury Mental symptoms (irritability, insomnia, fatigue, poor short-term memory), tremor, stomatitis, gingivitis, GI and renal disturbances, decreased immunity Selenium Protects against cellular toxic effects of mercury
Cadmium Femoral pain, lumbago, osteopenia, renal dysfunction, hypertension, vascular disease Zinc Competes for cadmium binding sites
Arsenic Peripheral arteriosclerosis (“blackfood disease”), “rice-water” stools, proteinuria, hyperkeratosis, “milk and roses” hyperpigmentation, garlic breath odor, stomatitis DMSA Removal or arsenic by competitive binding
Source: J.A. Bralley, R.S. Lord, Laboratory Evaluations in Molecular Medicine, 2001, Institute for Advances in Molecular Medicine.

Common Sources of Toxic Heavy Metals

  • Aluminum cooking utensils
  • Baking powder (Al sulfate)
  • Antacids (certain brand names, see labels)
  • Antiperspirants
  • Aluminum cans
  • Drinking water (alum used as bactericide)
  • Milk and milk products (from processing equipment)
  • Pesticides
  • Alum in pickled food
  • Nasal Spray
  • Toothpaste
  • Ceramics (made from AL203 clay)
  • Dental amalgams
  • Cigarette filters and tobacco smoke
  • Automotive exhausts
  • FD&C color additives
  • Vanilla powder
  • Table salt, seasonings
  • Bleached flour
  • American cheese
  • Medications containing kaolin (Al silicate)
  • Sutures with wound-healing coatings
  • Rat poisons
  • Drinking water
  • Soft water (from galvanized pipes)
  • Soft drinks from dispensing devices with galvanized plumbing
  • Canned evaporated milk
  • Processed foods
  • Oysters, kidney, liver
  • Cigarette smoke, tobacco products
  • Superphospates fertilizers
  • Dental appliances
  • Ceramic glazes
  • Paint pigments
  • Electroplating
  • Silver polish
  • Polyvinyl plastics
  • Rubber carpet backing
  • Nickel-Cd batteries
  • Rust-proofing materials
  • Automobile exhaust (not as much as after lead-free fuels)
  • Leaded house paint
  • Drinking water from lead plumbing
  • Vegetables grown in lead contaminated soil
  • Canned fruit and juices
  • Canned evaporated milk
  • Milk from animals grazing on lead contaminated land
  • Bone meal
  • Organ meats such as liver
  • Lead-arsenate pesticides
  • Leaded caps on wine bottles
  • Rainwater and snow
  • Improperly glazed pottery
  • Painted glassware
  • Painted pencils
  • Toothpaste
  • Newsprint
  • Colored printed materials
  • Eating utensils
  • Curtain weights
  • Putty
  • Car batteries
  • Cigarette ash, tobacco
  • Lead shot, firing ranges
  • Dental amalgams
  • Broken thermometers and barometers
  • Grain seeds treated with methyl mercury fungicide
  • Predator fish, certain lake fish
  • Mercuric chloride
  • Calomel (body powder, talc, laxatives)
  • Cosmetics (check label if possible)
  • Latex and solvent-thinned paints
  • Hemorrhoid suppositories
  • Mercurochrome, merthiolate
  • Fabric softeners
  • Floor waxes and polishes
  • Air conditioner filters
  • Wood preservatives
  • Certain batteries
  • Fungicides for lawns and shrub
  • Leather tanning products
  • Felt
  • Adhesives
  • Skin lightening creams
  • Certain ointments to treat psoriasis
  • Photoengraving
  • Tattooing
  • Sewage sludge used as fertilizer
  • Rat poisons
  • Insecticide residues on fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking water, well water, seawater
  • Automobile exhaust
  • Wine (if pesticides used containing arsenic)
  • Household detergents
  • Colored chalk
  • Sewage disposal
  • Wood preservatives
  • Wallpaper dye and plaster
Source: J.A. Bralley, R.S. Lord, Laboratory Evaluations in Molecular Medicine, 2001, Institute for Advances in Molecular Medicine.
Also see page on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements which contains a link to Table of Vitamins which describes the benefits of certain vitamins and minerals found in good quality MVI’s.

Also see page on Specialty Metabolic Labwork which gives more information on diagnostic labwork that can be ordered.

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Karima Hirani, MD MPH
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