logHeavy Metals aka Toxic Metals - By Clifford Woods

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What are heavy metals?  They are metals which are toxic.  Heavy metals are basically part of the earth’s crust that are found everywhere in nature. They are stable, not degradable and therefore can accumulate in the body.
The term Heavy Metals: Certain metals have been labeled as “heavy” due to their high atomic weight.  Some lighter metals, which are toxic, have also been called “heavy metals” due to their toxic nature.
The list of heavy metals the United Kingdom keeps track of at this time is:
Aluminum (Al), Antimony (Sb), Arsenic (As), Barium (Ba), Cadmium (Cd), Cobalt (Co), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Rubidium (Rb), Scandium (Sc), Selenium (Se), Strontium (Sr), Tin (Sn), Titanium (Ti), Tungsten (W), Vanadium (V), Zinc (Zn).
Other toxic metals which have been termed “heavy” are: mercury and beryllium. Some heavy metals, in trace amounts, are necessary for supporting life.  But in large amounts, built up in the body, are hazardous to one’s health. 
Example: The cobalt atoms in vitamin B-12, zinc, strontium, vanadium, iron, copper, chromium, selenium and manganese are important in the correct doses whereas lead, mercury and cadmium are heavy metals that are very toxic to humans and of no positive benefit at all.
Three Major Heavy Metals and Some of Their Symptoms: 
Lead: Problems caused by lead poisoning include things like gout, stomach problems, and high blood pressure, tiredness, low blood count, abdominal pain, vomiting, slimming, damaged nerves, brain deterioration, migraines, muscle weakness, and depression. Someone with lead poisoning might have a mix of these conditions or even zero signs in any way until the problem have developed.
Mercury: Mercury poisoning is connected to several factors including mercury oral fillings, especially when people get a lot of them put in. Signs will involve a metal flavor in the mouth, extra saliva, gum disease, and kidney problems. Psychological signs may include things like irritability, anorexia, and depression.
Arsenic: Signs of arsenic poisoning are paralysis, queasiness, gradual blindness, abdominal pain, bad breath, abnormal salivation, vomiting, migraines, low energy, diarrhea, and kidney failure. You may notice brown spots, increased skin tones of hands and feet along with limb paralysis. Emotional conditions may include anorexia, apathy, and dementia.
How do you get them into your body? Exposure can come from the air, smoke, food; medications etc. and they can quickly increase to dangerous levels. Heavy metal pollution is also a problem associated with areas of intensive industry.
However, roadways and automobiles now are considered to be one of the largest sources of heavy metals. Zinc, copper and lead are three of the most common heavy metals released from road travel, accounting for at least 90 of the total metals in road runoff. 
Smaller amounts of many other metals, such as nickel and cadmium, are also found in road runoff and exhaust. About half of the zinc and copper contribution to the environment is from automobiles. Brakes release copper, while tire wear releases zinc.
Motor oil also tends to accumulate metals as it comes into contact with surrounding parts as the engine runs, so oil leaks become another pathway by which metals enter the environment. 
What can you do about it?  First, one can get tested for heavy metals. However, one should take care when interpreting the results of heavy metals testing as low levels of heavy metals in the blood does not necessarily mean one has not been heavily exposed.  Heavy metal does not stay in the blood long and will not show up in urine for an extended period of time.  For example, lead tends to head for the bones and other organs. 
Also, exposure of the same amounts of heavy metals affect different people in different ways due to age, general health etc.
The simplest testing procedure calls for the usage of chelating substances (these are substances that combines with heavy metals so they can be safely removed or "flushed" from the body.) in addition to a one day urine collection to find out the amounts of heavy metals in your body.  After this, therapy will be based on the individual person and may require the use of oral metal chelating or drip EDTA (EDTA is a molecule called a chelating agent. A chelating agent is a claw-like substance that can grab and stick to other molecules - like Heavy and Toxic Metals.) chelation.
Vitamins and Minerals that may Aid in the Treatment of Heavy Metals:
Zinc:  Zinc is essential for stimulating the action of over one hundred enzymes within the body along with other important functions such as keeping our immune systems healthy. Zinc level in the body is liable to be reduced due to excessive amounts of a protein known as metallothionein (the protein which actually transport them around the body). This damages the majority of zinc-based nutrients
Vitamin B6: This vitamin is required in the procedure that changes methionine into glutathione and it is linked to brain growth while pregnant and during childhood along with immune performance.
Fiber: Fiber, a nutrient important for our digestive health, will prevent heavy metals from becoming absorbed by the body. Good sources of fiber include oats and bran.
Calcium: In the same way lead will reduce calcium, calcium is a great nutrient to make use of for getting rid of mercury. Using a mixture of nutrients, like calcium and magnesium, is much more efficient in removing heavy metals from your body.
Magnesium: Magnesium is vital for the correct performance of our disease fighting capability along with other factors important to our health.
Take a look at Chelation.  There is Oral Chelation and IV Chelation.  If you do a search for those terms online you will see loads of information – study the issues and decide for yourself which is the best way for you to go.
Sources used for this article are:
1) http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryglossary/g/Heavy-Metal-Definition.htm
2) https://www.lef.org/protocols/health-concerns/heavy-metal-detoxification/Page-01
3) http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/analytical-chromatography/food-safety/heavy-metals.html
4) http://pollutantdeposition.defra.gov.uk/heavy_metals
5) http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/h/heavy_metals.htm
[The information contained in this article is believed to be reliable. I have taken every precaution to verify its accuracy; I am not a medical professional and make no warranties, representations or guarantees of any kind as to its accuracy. Medical knowledge is in a constant state of change, and what I have written here may be out of date by the time you read it. The information that I have provided here is for informational purposes only and not for use in diagnosing any condition that you may or may not have. Always consult with you doctor before treating yourself.]

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