Published on February 1, 2021
Common toxins to avoid and simple steps to help remove them from your body
We’re exposed to chemicals on a daily basis, most of which have the potential to harm our health. They’re in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat and the products we use on our body. What we’re exposed to, how much, how often, for what length of time, how well our bodies handle toxins, our own state of health, diet and other factors such as genetics determine whether we will suffer ill effects. These toxins can cause health problems such as cancer and nervous system damage; they can also cause fertility problems and harm growing children who are more susceptible.
Where do Toxins Come From?
Although the word “toxin” sounds scary, it’s a reality we face daily from environmental chemicals such as lead, pesticides and other chemicals in our food and water, prescription and street drugs, alcohol and caffeine. The liver bears the brunt of dealing with this chemical onslaught, with the gut and colon playing important roles as well. These toxins would normally not be much of a problem for a healthy liver and gut, but stress, poor eating habits, lack of vital nutrients, prescription medications, chronic illness and a busy lifestyle all affect liver and gut function and put a strain on our ability to stay “clean.”
Toxic Heavy Metals
Here are three common toxins you should be aware of and try to avoid, if possible:
The problem of lead in our drinking water is widespread. Lead can also be found in paint, toys, jewelry, tableware, old water pipes and factory emissions. Over time, lead builds up in the body, gets stored in bones and organs such as the kidneys and causes harm. Lead exposure can cause cognitive problems, increased blood pressure and kidney dysfunction. The consequences are greater for growing children, with lowered IQ and learning and behavior problems.
What you can do: If your home was built before 1950, find out if it has lead paint or lead pipes and get tested for lead. If there’s lead in your water, reduce it by using a home water filter that’s certified to remove lead, flushing cold water pipes each morning and using only cold water for cooking.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish are important for maintaining healthy hearts and brains, but some fish are best limited or avoided. Fish absorb mercury from the water and accumulate it in their muscles, especially in larger carnivorous fish such as tuna (albacore and ahi), mahi mahi, swordfish and marlin. Mercury is a potent toxin that damages nerves and is stored in the brain. The concern is greater for pregnant women and lactating mothers who pass mercury to their babies through the placenta and breastmilk. Because of our genes, some people are more susceptible to the negative health effects of mercury than others.
What you can do: Choose fish that contain the least amounts of mercury such as anchovies, herring, mackerel and salmon. Find a handy wallet card at https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/walletcard.pdf
In addition to identifying sources of mercury, being aware of selenium status is also useful. Selenium can help protect against mercury toxicity by binding to mercury and reducing its bioavailability, so it is important to make sure selenium levels are within a healthy range, especially with a high mercury level. A measurement of selenium is included in the Magnesium plus Elements panel – you can learn more about selenium here.
Cadmium can be found in the food and water supply, but in North America it is not at a level to cause a health concern for the general population. Individuals who work in specific industries, such as battery manufacturing and waste management, and smokers tend to have higher exposure to cadmium. Long-term, lower level exposure results in cadmium accumulation in the kidneys and thyroid gland, and can contribute to thyroid issues, kidney disease, infertility, uterine fibroids, and other reproductive tract diseases if the build-up is high enough. Cadmium has also been found to cause cancer and to affect the body’s cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems.
What you can do: Avoid using tobacco products – tobacco leaves have high cadmium levels, and because cadmium that is inhaled is more readily absorbed than cadmium ingested with food or water, smokers have about twice the exposure of non-smokers. Also, take precautions if you work in the smelting and metal refining, battery manufacturing, colored glass manufacturing, plastics manufacturing, solar panel manufacturing, and waste management industries, as individuals in these work environments tend to have higher exposure to cadmium.
Make sure you know your levels of lead, mercury and cadmium, so that you can take the steps necessary to reduce or eliminate them. The GrassrootsHealth Magnesium plus Elements panel is one way to measure your levels of these toxic heavy metals, along with essential elements magnesium, selenium, zinc and copper.
How to Support Natural Detoxification
Detoxification is about cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out by supporting the removal and elimination of toxins, including the above heavy metals. Everything we breathe or swallow is filtered through our system and, if necessary, excreted. The good news is that there are many ways we can enhance our natural ability to eliminate toxins.
Here are just a few ways you can help open your body’s natural detoxification pathways.
- Sweating: Many toxins are eliminated through perspiration. Regular vigorous exercise and using a sauna, preferably an infrared sauna which makes you sweat quicker, purge some of the toxins collecting in our systems. Remember to stay hydrated while sweating it out.
- Bitters: Herbs with a bitter taste, such as gentian and dandelion, enhance digestive function, support bile production, improve fat metabolism and support detoxification.
- Fiber: From greens or supplements containing psyllium husk, fiber binds to toxins and sweeps harmful compounds out of the body through your stool. Fiber also feeds your gut microbiome — all the bacteria living in your intestinal tract — which also help detoxify various compounds.
- Glutathione: This “master” antioxidant is concentrated in the liver where it binds toxins, renders them inactive and enables the body to eliminate them.Some supplements, like glutathione, are not absorbed well and may be best when taken in a liposomal form. Liposomes are a phospholipid delivery system that uses extremely small fat globules to greatly improve absorption and deliver nutrients more quickly. It’s best to place liposomal supplements under the tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing for better absorption.
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine and Alpha Lipoic Acid (NAC/ALA): These supplements raise the levels of antioxidants, especially glutathione, in the body and help promote the excretion of mercury.
- Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body absorb minerals and aids detoxification by recycling glutathione and vitamin E.
- Intestinal Metals Detox (IMD): A proprietary and highly purified silica, IMD binds mercury and other heavy metals to escort them out of the body through the gut.
- Water: Staying hydrated is important. Drink enough water to keep your urine clear or a light-straw color. Use water filters to avoid more toxins.
Additional Support for Heavy Metal Detox
Additional methods of detoxing or chelation for heavy metals are available, however, it is best undertaken with the help of a doctor who is familiar with the process, as it does have some risks. A good place to begin looking for a qualified practitioner is the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM).
Test Your Levels of Essential & Toxic Minerals
Know your levels of the toxic heavy metals lead, cadmium and mercury, as well as important nutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium. The Magnesium PLUS Essential Elements test kit includes a simple blood spot test to measure these nutrients for you! To know if you are getting enough, make sure you test today.
Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D and other important nutrients
By joining the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to our study, but you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it. Do you know what your status of vitamin D, omega-3s, and other essential nutrients is? Could your levels be improved? Test now to find out!
We now have a NEW GIFTING SERVICE that allows you to quickly send ‘Gift Cards’ to friends, family and coworkers who you consider might need immediate access to testing, and to Claim the Joy of Your Health TODAY. Give the gift today!
What does the Research Say about Vitamin D & COVID-19?
It’s TIME to start saving lives! If you can help PREVENT the majority of the death, it’s time! What’s it costing you/us not to take action NOW?
There is much published research that supports a clear link between vitamin D and COVID-19 showing that higher vitamin D levels are related to:
Be sure to educate yourself on the benefits and importance of vitamin D for immune health, and take steps to ensure you and your loved ones are getting enough.
You can review all of the COVID-19 and immune health information we have shared on this page.
What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?
Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.
STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.
STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).
STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.
STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.
STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.
STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…
Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.
The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.
These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.
GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Index
- Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!
Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.
Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called
For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!