Return to Protected: Toxic Elements

Frequently Asked Questions


A hair analysis can test for such toxic elements as aluminum, mercury and lead, to name a few.  This is important because, as you may know, if the body is exposed to high levels of toxic elements, illness, brain damage and death may occur.  The hair analysis not only gives the levels of elements present, but also provides what is considered “normal” or “safe” ratios of these elements.

What causes toxic elements to accumulate in the body tissues?
Our health, our well-being and our ability to live our lives to our full potential are threatened by toxic elements and other exotic contaminants. The most common source of this threat to our health is the environment in which we live.  To a greater or lesser extent, our foods and water supplies are frequently contaminated with toxic elements.  Perhaps as significant as our exposure to toxic elements, are deficiencies of vital elements (calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese) and vitamins (C and E), which the human body needs to protect itself against toxic element accumulation such as lead, cadmium, mercury, aluminum, etc.  Because of modern processing and refining methods rob our foods of nutrient elements which would shield us from toxic element accumulation, our body tissues have a tendency to absorb and retain ever increasing amounts of toxic elements.

The following are commonly asked questions regarding excess levels of certain elements.

1.    Can my child be accumulating MERCURY and thereby causing learning difficulties?
Mercury is a toxic metal that in the past was used in calomel lotion and diuretics.  Of course, this was long ago and now we know that mercury is toxic to the human body and can cause many neurological and glandular disorders.  Mercury contamination is still possible.  Many types of fish, especially shellfish (scallops, shrimp, clams, oysters, lobster, etc.) contain high levels of mercury as do grains and cereals due to fungicides, algaecides, and insecticides used on plants.  Mercury vapor is given off during combustion of paper products and lumber.  Mercury contamination has been associated with speech difficulties, irritability, decreased attention span, uncontrollable shaking, headaches, hypothyroidism, and joint pain.  Visual processing can also be affected causing reading and writing difficulties because mercury accumulates in the eyes and brain.

2.    Can my child be accumulating CADMIUM and thereby causing learning difficulties?
Cadmium is a lesser known toxic element than lead, arsenic or mercury, but can have similar effects on the brain and nervous system.  Cadmium is found in second-hand cigarette smoke, auto exhaust, soft water, refined foods [anything made from white flour and/or white sugar, white rice, pasta, etc.], fertilizers, pain pigments, and industrial pollution.  Cadmium can cause intellectual impairments, hyperactivity, decreased attention spans, mood swings, and violent behavior.  Research has shown that students with high levels of cadmium have lower verbal I.Q. scores, slower EEG brain waves, and episodic violence.

3.    Is there LEAD in my or my child’s body?
Most people know of the health dangers associated with lead poisoning, but many do not know that you can accumulate toxic levels of lead through the air, soil, household dust, food, paint, and your drinking water. 
Lead is the most prevalent of all the elements found in our environment and atmosphere.  Lead has a cumulative effect in the body, so finding the source of lead ingestion is important before one’s body has reached a toxic level. Lead is naturally occurring, but we can be exposed to lead through leaded gasoline, lead-based paint, canned foods and juices, cosmetics, pesticides, nail polish, industry and water.

Lead is considered a toxic element because increased levels can cause anemia, headaches, joint pain, fatigue and memory impairment.  High levels of lead in the body can depress the immune system contributing to cancer, dental decay, and hypertension.  High levels of lead can also contribute to osteoporosis because lead displaces calcium in the bones.

Lead can accumulate and build up in the body over years.  Children have lower tolerance to such toxic metals and will begin to exhibit physical and psychological changes faster than adults when their lead levels increase.  Some people experience symptoms that may not be as bad as poisoning, but can be just as serious such as: memory loss, impaired thinking ability, ADD/ADHD, other learning and behavioral difficulties, violent behavior/attitudes, headaches/migraines, and mood swings.

4.    I recently read a study that showed that high levels of LEAD are associated with aggressive behavior.  Is this true?
Various research studies done in Canada and the United States have shown correlations between high lead levels (as shown by Hair Analysis) in children who exhibit violent and aggressive behavior.  Heavy metal accumulation has in the past been closely related to learning disabilities in children, but now these stored heavy metals are also being related to hyperactivity, impulsitivity, and aggressive behaviors.  Increased lead levels have been found to be significantly correlated to low verbal and I.Q. scores, decreased attention span and memory, and a delayed reaction time to focus in children ages 5 – 16 years old.  These studies, published in such professional medical journals as JAMA, Journal of Learning Disabilities, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, all showed that high levels of lead or lead exposure are associated with increased risk for antisocial and aggressive behaviors and learning difficulties.

5.    Can I be getting toxic elements from my water pipes?
Commonly used water lines include galvanized and copper pipes.  Some lead plumbing is still in use.  Lead and galvanized pipes can contribute lead, copper, zinc and cadmium to the water you drink.  So, yes, it is very likely that toxic element accumulation can result from drinking water.  The toxic element will depend on what kind of metal is in the water pipes. The amounts of toxic elements accumulated in the body tissue are enhanced by water softeners and by naturally low pH water from whatever source.

6.    Can my son/daughter be accumulating ALUMINUM, which could be cause ADD & ADHD symptoms?
As you may have read, the metal aluminum has been linked to causing Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.  What you may not know is that aluminum can cause learning and behavioral problems in children and adults.  Major sources of aluminum are aluminum foil, baking powder, antacids, antiperspirants, and water.  Aluminum can also be leached out of cans that contain tomatoes or lemon-lime soda.  Aluminum is sometimes even used in medications as a buffer.  High levels of aluminum can cause decreased mental function and attention spans, decrease bone density/integrity, and interfere with normal immune system functioning, causing you to get colds or infections more often.  Aluminum can also increase memory loss and mental deterioration.

7.    How can I get rid of excess elements?
Hair Mineral Analysis has been found effective in determining toxic metal exposure and excesses of nutritional elements.  If you are interested in Hair Analysis, call for an appointment.  Our phone number is 685-7721.  You can also check out the following links to our website; Hair Analysis and Step by Step.

The major cause of accumulation of toxic elements in the body, other than environmental exposure, is a deficiency of nutrient elements and vitamins.  Let us look at an example of this:

Fast Metabolizers are by their biochemical nature, deficient in calcium.  Calcium is nature’s great protector from the toxic effects of several toxic elements.  Thus, a fast metabolizer who smokes cigarettes accumulates much more cadmium (a toxic element) in his body tissues from cigarette smoking then a slow metabolizer who smokes.  To remove this toxic element, necessary nutrients must be supplied to enable removal from the body.  Then reservoirs must be depleted with the protective element to prevent further accumulation.

Toxic Elements and Adrenals: It is difficult to obtain release of toxic elements from any storage area of the body unless the adrenal glands are sufficiently active to initiate the synthesis of various highly specific proteins.  Such proteins are required to bind the toxic elements so that they may be removed from tissue storage.

8.    How long will it take to get rid of these toxic elements?
The removal of toxic elements from the system will depend upon the chronic nature and the degree of toxicity, together with the degree of deficiency of the essential protective element.  In cases of severe toxic element toxicity, one may anticipate perhaps six to eighteen months of involved therapy to eliminate the problem.  Excessive toxic element build-up in the tissues accumulates over a long period of time and its removal may require a considerable period of time.  Normally, if capable, the body eliminates toxic elements slowly, so as not to cause great physiological or psychological trauma.

9.    Can all these toxic elements be taken out at once?
Toxic elements cannot be removed or eliminated at once and their rate of removal is regulated carefully by various physiological mechanisms.  The removal of even small amounts of a toxic element can and usually will, result in a certain degree of discomfort.  It has been observed that if more than one toxic element has accumulated, they are usually eliminated alternately.

Toxic elements must be removed very slowly, simply because distressing symptoms frequently occur due to toxic elements being removed too quickly.  Symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, headaches, vague aches and gastric distress, may accompany the elimination process.  We want to reduce these symptoms as much as possible and yet help the individual get well.  Because of this, we suggest a slow, but effective toxic element removal program.


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