by Nils Osmar. January 11, 2022
Heavy metals are present in many foods, and accumulate in the body over time. Fortunately we’re not stuck with them. According to a study called Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification:
Toxic metals pose particular risks to the very young, as exposures early in life compromise development, with lifelong physical, intellectual, and behavioural impairments. In adults, major chronic diseases , including cardiovascular and renal disease, and neurological decline, are also strongly associated with toxic elements.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies cadmium as a known carcinogen, inorganic lead a probable carcinogen, and methylmercury a possible carcinogen .
How to Remove Them
Doctors have access to drugs and medical procedures which can bind to toxins and help us to excrete them. And the following foods may also be effective for removing heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body: (Note: This article isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list, just a quick look at some possible approaches.)
Foods that Attach to Metals and Help us Excrete Them
- Foods rich in sulfur, Research has suggested that garlic, onions and egg yolks (all rich in sulfur) may have prevented kidney damage from cadmium and reduced oxidative damage from lead in rats.
- Glutathione: High levels of glutathione appear to protect cells from the oxidative damage that heavy metals can cause. Taking glutathione supplements has minimal effects. One effective way to raise glutathione is to take a combination of NAC (N. acetyl cysteine) and the amino acid glycine.
- Foods rich in fiber, such as fruit and grains that include bran. Fiber-rich foods have been found to reduce mercury levels in the brain and blood. One caution: Both fruit and grains can also be high in toxins. According to this Mayo Clinic article, organically grown foods have been found to be lower in contaminants than non-organic foods. So if you do eat fiber-rich foods to lower metals, organic ones would seem to make more sense.
- Cilantro: In an animal study, cilantro decreased absorption of lead into bone. In a trial looking at children with lead exposure, cilantro was as effective as a placebo.
- Modified citrus pectin: Modified citrus pectin was shown in several studies to lower toxicity by roughly 74% in human participants.
- Sulfur-containing amino acids such as taurine and methionine chelate and remove both lead and mercury. Eggs, onions and garlic are also rich in sulfur amino acids.
- Alpha-lipoic acid and selenium have also been shown to remove mercury from the body.
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts also remove benzene from the body. According to this article by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, “A 2014 study found that sulforaphane from a broccoli sprout beverage markedly increased urinary benzene excretion among people living in China, where air pollution levels are among the highest in the world.