Spring brings memories of my mother, gathering dandelion greens and eating them steamed, with a splash of vinegar. It’s invigorating to eat bitter greens, knowing they clean the digestive tract after a long winter, helping the body better absorb nutrients. Seasonal detoxification regimens also encompass food and beverage combinations designed to cleanse the body of substances that are harmful, or at least unhelpful, to health. Among them are heavy metals.
Naturally occurring metallic components of the earth’s crust, toxic heavy metals are ubiquitous and “contribute to noncommunicable chronic diseases,” according to researcher Margaret E. Sears, PhD.
Heavy metals include:
Heavy metals get into your body in many ways, from drinking water contaminated with lead; eating fish caught or raised in waters where mercury is prevalent; and using unsafe kitchenware to having a job that involves heavy metals or even breathing dust that contains old lead paint.
Some mineral elements that are important to human health in small doses (calcium, iron, and zinc, for example) can become toxic in very large amounts. Acute heavy metal toxicity, from getting a large dose at one time, can bring on frightening symptoms. Low doses of heavy metals over time can cause chronic heavy metal poisoning.
Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning and toxicity include:
“Metals are a causative factor to many health issues, including cardiovascular, endocrine, and neurological types of issues,” says Jay Wilkins, ND, founder of Bionox. “If people have blood pressure issues, thyroid problems, or pituitary problems, they more than likely have got metal issues.”
Chelation agents bind with heavy metals in the body, allowing them to be excreted through the urine. Anyone wishing to do a heavy metal detox should, with their healthcare practitioner’s approval, consider looking for products containing the following ingredients:
*NAC is one of the building blocks of the antioxidant glutathione, which the body manufactures in the liver and uses to escort mercury from the body.
“Everyone has metals,” Dr. Wilkins says. It’s important to know “whether or not your body is able to deal with them.” With that in mind, he formulated Bionox’s Chelanox Heavy Metal Detox to contain the detoxifying and liver- and kidney-supporting ingredients chlorella, modified citrus pectin, cilantro leaf extract, NAC, ALA, and EDTA, among others.
“People do parasite cleanses throughout the year,” says Dr. Wilkins. “They could also do a metal cleanse, just like a good spring cleaning.”