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Heavy Metals

The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium and lead.

What are 'Heavy Metals'?

Heavy metals are natural components of the Earth's surface. They cannot be degraded or destroyed. In small amounts they may enter our bodies via food, drinking water and air. As trace elements, some heavy metals (e.g. copper, selenium, zinc) are essential to maintain the metabolism of the human body. However, at higher concentrations, they can lead to poisoning. Heavy metal poisoning could result, for instance, from drinking-water contamination (e.g. lead pipes), high ambient air concentrations near emission sources, or intake via the food chain.

Heavy metals are dangerous when they bioaccumulate. Bioaccumulation refers to an increase in the concentration of a chemical in a person’s body over time. This accumulation occurs when the metals are taken up and stored faster than they are broken down in the body or excreted out of the body.

Heavy metals can enter a water supply by industrial and consumer waste, or even from acidic rain breaking down soils and releasing heavy metals into streams, lakes, rivers, and groundwater. They may also be found in food and medicines.

Acute heavy metal poisoning symptoms:



abdominal pain


shortness of breath

tingling in your hands and feet



Children with heavy metal poisoning may have unusually formed or weakened bones. Pregnant people may also have a miscarriage or deliver prematurely.

How does chronic, low-grade exposure to heavy metals affect our health?

In more severe cases of chronic heavy metal poisoning, you may experience symptoms including:

burning and tingling sensations

chronic infections

brain fog

visual disturbances



We live in an environment full of chemicals that our bodies were not designed to process. When it comes to exposure there is a compounded effect. From a naturopathic perspective, chronic toxicity from heavy metals can wreak havoc on our health and result in symptoms ranging from fatigue to sleep and skin issues. It can also be related to autoimmune issues, neurological issues and many other conditions. Unfortunately, conventional medicine rarely examines the role of toxic load when it comes to treating these conditions.

Mercury can also affect the central nervous system by concentrating in the spinal fluid and the kidneys. The chemical can also reduce nerve function and communication, which can lead to the development of neurofibrillary tangles, which is a common feature of Alzheimer’s. Recent findings suggest that the gene ApoE4 may increase the risk for Alzheimer’s because it has an impaired ability to bind with mercury and transport it from the brain[i] [ii].

Heavy metal detox foods to eat include:



wild blueberries

lemon water

spirulina - try Spirulina 500mg

chlorella - try Sun Chlorella A

barley grass juice powder

Atlantic dulse - try Dr. Schulze's Superfood (400g)(see blow)

green tea - Clean Matcha Green Tea (20 sachets)


probiotics - Your Flora Regenesis (60 caps)

Note: good quality supplements such as spirulina should be used as spirulina absorbs heavy metals and therefore some lower quality products may already be contaminated prior to consumption[iv][iii].

Supplementation for heavy metal toxicity

Dr. Schulze's SuperFood: includes a combination of highly nutritious foods, many of which have been found to be beneficial for the clearance of heavy metals:

Spirulina Blue-Green Algae


Alfalfa, Barley & Wheat Grasses

Purple Dulse Seaweed

Rose Hips, Orange and Lemon Peels

Vitamin B6, and C deficiencies have been associated with poor tolerance of heavy metals[v].

Elimination of some foods from your diet may help with the detox process

some fish, such as larger and long-living fish, as they tend to contain more mercury


nonorganic foods

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Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.