by Lawrence Wilson, MD

© February 2014, The Center for Development


Toxic metals comprise a group of minerals that have no known function in the body and, in fact, are harmful.  Today mankind is exposed to the highest levels of these metals in recorded history.

This is due to their industrial use, the unrestricted burning of coal, natural gas and petroleum, and incineration of waste materials worldwide.  Toxic metals are now everywhere and affect everyone on planet earth.  They have become a major cause of illness, aging and even genetic defects.

The study of toxic metals is part of nutrition and toxicology, areas not emphasized in medical schools.  For this reason, these important causes of disease are accorded little attention in conventional mainstream medicine. This article focuses on the extent of toxic metal problems – sources of toxic metals, symptoms and how to remove them safely, quickly and deeply.  This is not an easy task, I might add.

Many methods are used together.  Most important, however, is that at the same time we use chelators, antagonists, sulfur amino acids and other methods, we balance the body chemistry very delicately using hair mineral analysis.  This is the secret, really, to our success which is great.




Minerals are the building blocks of our bodies.  They are required for body structure, fluid balance, protein structures and to produce hormones.  They are a key for the health of every body system and function.

They act as co-factors, catalysts or inhibitors of all enzymes in the body.  Copper and iron, for example, along with other minerals are required for the electron transport system, and thus needed for all cellular energy production.

Minerals are classified into four groups:  The macrominerals, or those needed in large quantity, include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron, copper and zinc.

Required trace minerals include manganese, chromium, selenium, boron, bromine, silicon, iodine, vanadium, lithium, molybdenum, cobalt, germanium and others.

Possibly required trace minerals include fluorine, arsenic, rubidium, tin, niobium, strontium, gold, silver and nickel.

Toxic metals include beryllium, mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum, antimony, bismuth, barium, uranium and others.

These categories overlap slightly because assessing minerals that are required by humans is problematic. Some may be needed in minuscule amounts.  Clinical studies to prove this by depriving people of vital minerals would be cruel and possibly disastrous.

Also, note that minerals needed in lesser quantities are usually toxic in greater amounts.  Examples are copper, iron, manganese, selenium and vanadium.  Even calcium and sodium are quite toxic in excess.




Today mankind is exposed to the highest levels in recorded history of lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, copper, nickel, tin, antimony, bromine, bismuth and vanadium.  Levels are up to several thousand times higher than in primitive man.  In my clinical experience, everyone has excessive amounts of some or all of the toxic metals.

Toxic metals are also persistent and cumulative.  The late Dr. Henry Schroeder, MD, who was a world authority on trace elements, wrote:


“Most organic substances are degradable by natural processes.  (However), no metal is degradable…they are here to stay for a long time”.


Toxic metals replace nutrient minerals in enzyme binding sites.  When this occurs, the metals inhibit, overstimulate or otherwise alter thousands of enzymes.

An affected enzyme may operate at 5% of normal activity. This may contribute to many health conditions. Toxic metals may also replace other substances in other tissue structures. These tissues, such as the arteries, joints, bones and muscles, are weakened by the replacement process.

Toxic metals may also simply deposit in many sites, causing local irritation and other toxic effects.  They may also support development of fungal, bacterial and viral infections that are difficult or impossible to eradicate until this cause is removed.

The mineral replacement process often involves the idea of preferred minerals. For example, the body prefers zinc for over 50 critical enzymes..  However, if zinc becomes deficient  - and our soil and food are very low in zinc today - or exposure to cadmium, lead or mercury is sufficiently high, the body will use these in place of zinc.

Cadmium, in particular, is located just below zinc in the periodic table of the elements, so its atomic structure is very similar to that of zinc.  It almost fits perfectly in the zinc binding sites of critical enzymes such as RNA transferase, carboxypeptidase, alcohol dehydrogenase and many others or great importance in the body.

The ability to replace a vital mineral means, however, that toxic metals are not completely harmful.  Indeed, they can extend life.  They keep bodies functioning when vital minerals are deficient.

An analogy is to imagine taking an automobile journey. If one is far away from a repair shop when a key part like the fan belt breaks, if one had a spare piece of rope, one could tie it around the pulleys and continue the trip slowly.

The rope would not function nearly as well as the original part, but would allow one to keep going. This is how toxic metals can function positively in the body.  Many people limp along on grossly deficient diets, and are even born deficient and toxic.

They do not realize their fatigue and other symptoms are due to the presence of incorrect “replacement parts” in their biological engine compartments.  Depending on where toxic metals accumulate, the resulting effects may be given names such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or cancer.  The idea of preferred minerals is discussed in a theoretical context in the article on this website entitled The Theory of Nutritional Balancing Science.




The danger of toxic metals is greatly aggravated today by the low mineral content of most of our food supply.  An abundance of vital minerals protects against toxic metals.  Vital minerals compete with toxic metals for absorption and utilization in enzymes and other tissue structures.

However, when food is low in essential minerals, the body absorbs and makes use of more toxic metals.  To continue the previous analogy, we are not stocking up sufficiently on factory parts, so we must use the greatly inferior replacement parts – toxic metals.  Causes for the low mineral content of almost all agricultural products are primarily:


1. Hybrid crops are bred for production or disease resistance, rather than superior nutrition.

2. Superphosphate fertilizers produce higher yields by stimulating growth, but do not provide all the trace elements.

3. Monoculture, the growing of just one crop over and over on the same piece of land,  eventually depletes the  soil.

4. Toxic sprays damage soil microorganisms needed to help plants absorb minerals from the soil.

5. Food refining and processing almost always reduce the mineral content of our  food.  Whole wheat flour, when milled to make white flour, loses 40% of its chromium, 86% of its manganese, 89% of its cobalt, 78% of its zinc and 48% of its molybdenum.  Refining cane into sugar causes even greater losses.  EDTA may be added to frozen foods to retain their color.  However, this chelating agent removes minerals that otherwise would cause the surface minerals to ‘tarnish’, discoloring the vegetables.


As a result of the above, according to Dr. Weston Price, DDS, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, primitive man ate 5 to 11 times the amount of the essential minerals in his diet as modern man .  The term 'empty calories' aptly describes most of our food today, even most natural foods.  Organically grown is better, but varies and most organic food is still hybridized varieties.  Newer genetically modified crops could be better in some ways, but some are worse.




For a more complete list of sources for each of the major toxic metals organized by the metal, see the Reference Guide at the end of this article.


Food Sources.  Food grown near highways or downwind of industrial plants may contain lead and other toxic amounts of metals.   Even organic home gardens may be contaminated if, for example, old house paint containing lead leaches lead into the soil.

Sprays and insecticides still often contain lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxic metals.  Refining of food often contaminates the food with aluminum, as it is found in water supplies everywhere.

Also, food refining removes the protective zinc, chromium and manganese from food and leaves the toxic metals in some cases, such as cadmium.  This makes white flour even more toxic, as with white sugar, and is another reason to totally avoid these foods.


Arsenic.  Arsenic I call the slow death mineral.  Its symptoms are vague, and it was used to kill people because it is colorless and tasteless so it was added to food and slowly killed people.

Today arsenic is still a common toxin.  It may be added in up to 70% of chickens in their feed as Roxsarone and perhaps in other additives that are still permitted by the idiotic and corrupt FDA and USDA in America.  Europe has banned arsenic in chicken feed, but I don’t know if some are still using it.  It gets into commercial eggs, all pig products such as pork, ham, bacon and lard, and into most US drinking water supplies as it leaches into the soil from farming and livestock operations.  Organic chicken and eggs should be better.  Avoid all pig products for other reasons and this one, too.

Arsenic is used in pesticides and, as a result, may be found in commercial wines, beers, fruits, vegetables, rice and other foods.  Once again, organically grown should be better.  For much more on this topic, read Arsenic Toxicity And The USDA/FDA Cover-up on this website.


Lead is called the horror mineral because it is associated with violence, lowered IQ, ADD, ADHD and many neurological problems.  another widely distributed toxic metal due to its many uses in industry.  However, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and particularly aluminum are just as widespread if not more, but are less well-studied.

Pesticides used on fruits, vegetables and many other foods may contain arsenic, lead, copper, mercury and other toxic metals.  Lead was added to gasoline until the 1970s when lead-free gas replaced it.  The new gasoline has manganese in it instead of lead.  Old house paint, current paint used on ships of all sizes, lubricants, medications, cosmetics such as lipstick and others, inks, and perhaps other products may contain lead.  Entire books have been written about lead toxicity, which causes hundreds of symptoms from anemia to death.  For much more detail about lead, read Lead on this website.


Cadmium is called the pseudo-macho or the violent element.  Like lead, it is an older male mineral that is associated with macho behavior, violence and horror.  People who have orgasms more than once a week tend to accumulate cadmium, probably because it replaces zinc in the male testicles and even in women’s ovaries.  Male and female sexual fluids are rich in zinc, and when one loses too much of these, cadmium from the environment seems to replace the zinc in the body.

Cadmium is widespread in the air, as it is used in brake linings of cars.  It is also used in metal plating as it is a very hard substance.  Cigarette smoke and marijuana smoking can contribute to cadmium toxicity.  Cadmium toughens the tissues and hardens the arteries.  Some women have cadmium in them that allows them to function in a male-oriented jobs and positions of authority.  Cadmium helps them and others to act more tough and manly.  Military and police often have more cadmium, as it helps them handle their very difficult jobs, at times, and take risks.  Unfortuately, it is also a deadly toxic metal associated with heart disease, cancers of all kind, kidney disease, diabetes and other health problems.  For much more about cadmium, read Cadmium on this website.


Mercury and others from the sea.  Mercury may be called the mad hatters mineral.  People who made raccoon skin hats in the mid 1800s in America and Europe developed mercury toxicity after a few years from rubbing mercury on felt to soften it.  They became mentally and emotionally deranged in many cases. 

Fish, especially those caught near the coast or in contaminated streams or lakes, are universally contaminated.  Mercury is found today in ALL FISH, bar none.  Even small fish, which used to be safe, are not any more.  This is sad as fish is otherwise an excellent food.

            As a result, the only fish I recommend are very small fish, and the best is sardines because of their content of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, along with calcium, selenium, RNA, DNA and many other vital nutrients.  The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are almost universally deficient in modern diets and are important for every one.  Articles on this website detail this sad nutritional deficiency.

Sardines in the can are fine.  A can three or four times per week will supply an adult with adequate omega-3 fatty acids, and this is actually better at this time than using supplements of fish oil and vitamin D, although these are fine as well.  All other fish should be avoided, except perhaps occasional small fish like sole, smelt, anchovies or herring.

Large fish concentrate mercury a million times or more.  The federal government recently issued a warning that pregnant and lactating women should avoid tuna, shark, king mackerel and other large fish.  I recommend everyone avoid these fish!

Avoid shellfish.  Shellfish and bottom feeders in particular contain excessive cadmium, mercury and other toxic metals.  Please avoid all shellfish, forever, as the problem is just getting worse in most nations of the world.  Once again, they are not bad foods if they are processed correctly, but the toxic metal levels are incredible at times.  This is why many people are “allergic” to them.  This is a mild term.  They are really poisoned by them. For much more detail about mercury, read Mercury on this website.


Aluminum.  Aluminum is called the soft in the head mineral because it is associated with memory loss and dementias.  All types of salt contain some aluminum.  Table salt often has aluminum added as an anti-caking agent and should never be eaten.  Sea salt is better but contains some aluminum as well.

Beverages in aluminum cans or food cooked in aluminum may contain elevated levels of aluminum.  Ceramic plates and cookware from other nations often contain leaded glazes that come off onto the food.  Anti-perspirants all contain aluminum compounds.  Use an old-fashioned deodorant instead, or put some liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap under your arms instead.  For much more detail about aluminum, read Aluminum and Aluminum, Iron and Manganese – The Amigos on this website.


Nickel.  This is called the depression and suicide mineral, as it is associated with these feelings and symptoms.  It is a particularly deadly toxic metal.  It is found in large quantity, sadly, in some older metal or even ceramic dental fixtures such as crowns and some wires used in bridges and braces.  Be very careful about this because nickel can contribute to cancer and other horrible problems.

If you suspect you have nickel-plated crowns or dental wires of some kind, talk to your dentist about the problem and try to find out the materials in your mouth.  One way to save thousands of dollars, though not a perfect solution, would be to coat dental wires and even the sides of crowns with clear nail  polish to keep the nickel from rubbing off into the body.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, however.  Go to a dental office where they have a suction machine and do it there, or have the hygienist do it for you.  Nail polish gives off very toxic fumes and these should never be breathed, ever.

Nickel in much smaller quantity in hydrogenated oils found in commercial peanut butter, margarines including soy margarine and vegetable shortening.  Cadmium used as catalysts.  For much more detail about nickel, read Nickel on this website.


Toxic drinking water.  This is the most important source of toxic metals for most people.  Aluminum, copper, toxic chlorides and fluorides are added to many municipal water supplies. 

Aluminum allows dirt to settle out of the water, while copper kills algae that grows in reservoirs.  Chlorine is used to disinfect water, although ozone works very well and is a far more healthful treatment.  Wells and even municipal water may also contain some lead, arsenic and other undesirable metals.  Galvanized and black plastic pipes can be an important source of cadmium.  Lead-soldered pipes and copper pipes may increase these metals in the drinking water if the water is soft.  It is an uncommon problem in hard water areas.


Fluoride is sometimes called a cancer mineral.  Adding fluoride to drinking water not only does not stop cavities in the teeth.  It is totally insane, because fluoride compounds added to drinking water are extremely toxic.  The entire world has stopped this practice except for parts of America and Great Britain. 

Fluorides have found their way into ground water supplies, and thus into the food chain.  Fluoride levels in foods processed with water may be very high, especially baby foods and reconstituted fruit juices.

Health authorities who recommend fluoridating the water are extremely ignorant, in my experience.  I have debated dentists and public health officials and their level of knowledge of the medical literature on fluorides is horrendous.  They rarely if ever take into account the toxic effect of fluorides already found in natural foods, foods processed with fluoridated water and fluoridated toothpaste. The combination adds up to overload in all cases.

Hydrofluosilicic acid, the chemical often used to fluoridate drinking water, is a smokestack waste that contains lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, benzene and radioactive waste material.

Note that carbon and carbon block filters do not remove most toxic metals from water.  Only distillation and reverse osmosis remove most toxic metals.  Good quality spring water is probably best way to avoid the most common source of toxic metals and at the same time obtain vital minerals.


Airborne Sources of Toxic Metals.  Most toxic metals are effectively absorbed by inhalation.  Auto and particularly aircraft exhaust, industrial smoke and products from incinerators are among the airborne sources of toxic metals and other chemicals.

Mercury and coal-fired power plants.  Burned high in the atmosphere, aircraft fuel deposits everywhere and affects everyone on earth.  Burning coal can release mercury, lead and cadmium among other metals .  Iranian and Venezuelan oil are high in vanadium.

Coal plants should have scrubbers, as they do in the United States.  However, they do not in some nations such as China, that are in a great hurry to industrialize and do not realize the damage their plants are causing in the entire world thanks to their pollution of the air, water and food supplies.

Other oil is excessive in toxic sulfur compounds.  Tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline for many years.  Residues are present on pavement and may settle on buildings, cropland and elsewhere.  Today, manganese is added to gasoline.  Uranium exposure is largely from airborne sources such as nuclear tests and accidental nuclear releases.


Incineration can be clean.  Older methods of incineration of electronic parts, plastics, treated fabrics, batteries and even diapers release all the toxic metals into the air.  The use of scrubbers and newer methods of very high temperature incineration are much better.


Cadmium and mercury in papers.  Cigarette and marijuana smoke are high in cadmium, found in cigarette paper.  Pesticides used on these crops may contain lead, arsenic and other toxic metals.


Medications and toxic metals.  Many  patented prescription and over-the-counter drugs contain toxic metals. Cipro (fluoquinolones) and Prozac (fluoxetine) are fluoride-containing chemicals, for example.

Thimerisol, a mercury-containing preservative, is still used in many vaccines, including all flu shots, even when doctors deny it, I am told.  Independent evaluation of a large study that is part of the Centers For Disease Control Vaccine Safety Datalink concluded that:


“Children are 27 times as likely to develop autism after exposure to three thimerisol-containing vaccines than those who receive thimerisol-free versions” .


Thiazide diuretics contain mercury.  These include Maxzide, Diazide and many others.  Antacids such as Ryopan, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta and many others are very high in aluminum.  Antibiotics may also contain toxic substances including metals.


Direct Skin Contact As A Source Of Toxic Metals. Almost all anti-perspirants and many cosmetics contain aluminum.  Dental amalgams contain mercury, copper and other metals.  Dental bridges and other appliances often contain nickel.

Prostheses and pins used to hold bones together may contain nickel and other toxic metals, although most are titanium, which is much better.  Copper intra-uterine devices, if left in place for years, release a tremendous amount of copper into the body.

Soaps, body lotions and creams often contain toxic compounds.  A few hair dyes and commercial high-end lipsticks contain lead.  Selsun Blue shampoo contains selenium that is quite toxic in high doses.

Household lawn and garden chemicals may contain lead, arsenic and other compounds.  Mercury treated seeds and arsenic-treated wood are other common sources of toxic metals.


Occupational exposure to toxic metals is important for many occupations today.  Among the worst are plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, printers, ironworkers, office workers, other building trades and many other occupations.

Workers need to wear gloves, masks and take other precautions when handling inks, metals and other toxic materials.  Unfortunately, most occupational exposure occurs without the knowledge of either the worker or the employer today.


Congenital Toxic Metals – An Extremely Important And Preventable Tragedy.  This is a vital topic that deserves a separate article, so important is it.  Here I will just briefly introduce the subject. 

Today, all children are born with some toxic metals acquired in utero.  All the toxic metals pass through the placenta from mother to child.   This is seen clearly when reviewing mineral analyses of infants.  These are babies who have never been exposed to food, yet their bodies are high in many toxic metals.

The only explanation is that these infants receive exposures in utero during gestation.  This is a very sad situation, as these children are born with two strikes against them, so to speak.  They are far more prone to autism, ADD, ADHD, infections, developmental delays and more.  For more information about this critical topic, see the articles on this website about children’s health.

This tragedy can be prevented if all young women would go on a nutritional balancing program before they become pregnant to reduce their load of toxic metals.  It would take a year or so to do this, and I am always pleased when young women want to improve their health before becoming pregnant.  This topic and horror of current pre-natal care are discussed in a separate article entitled How To Have Healthy Children.




            Toxic metals are not always easy to detect.  They lodge deep within tissues and organs.  The most common methods of detection include hair, urine, blood, feces and liver biopsy tests.


Blood tests are only helpful for an acute exposure, such as eating a food contaminated with lead and doing a test soon after.  The problem is that toxic metals are removed quickly from the blood and stored in the tissues where they do less damage.  So blood tests must be done soon after an exposure, usually within days or weeks at the most, or they are practically useless.


Urine and feces challenge tests. These are used widely by holistic physicians, but they are very poor tests.  These are done by first administering a chelation drug that binds to and removes toxic metals.  Examples are EDTA, DMPS or another.  Then one collects a 24-hour urine or a feces sample to see what comes out of the body.

This test is poor and will miss most toxic metals.  The reason is that none of the chelating drugs can remove deeply hidden toxic metals.  Most chelating agents only circulate in the blood, so they miss most of one’s toxic metals that are bound to the tissues or incorporated into enzymes in the brain, heart, liver and elsewhere.


Electrical machines.  Electroacupuncture devices, radionic machines and others can detect toxic metals.  However, I have not found them too reliable.  They are somewhat dependent upon the skill of the operator, which also decreases their reliability and accuracy.


Applied kinesiology.  This method, also called muscle testing, is also variable in its reliability and extremely dependent upon the operator or practitioner.  For these reasons, it is not very accurate and not easy to quantify the metals.


Liver or other biopsies.  This definitely is more accurate and is used, at times, to detect iron poisoning and copper poisoning, for example. However, liver biopsies are costly, invasive and somewhat dangerous.  For this reason, liver biopsies are not used often.


Hair tissue biopsy. This is by far the best method, provided that:

1) hair is clean at the time of sampling, 2) the test is run properly, and 3) the test is interpreted properly.  This type of biopsy is not invasive, dangerous or costly.  The section below gives the protocol I use for interpreting the hair mineral biopsy test for toxic metals.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency reviewed over 400 studies of the use of hair for toxic metal detection and concluded that:


“Hair is a meaningful and representative tissue for (biological monitoring for) antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, vanadium and perhaps selenium and tin.“


The author of a study of lead toxicity in Massachusetts school children, Dr. R. Tuthill, concluded:


“Scalp hair should be considered a useful clinical and epidemiological approach for the measurement of chronic low-level lead exposure in children.”


How to interpret a hair mineral analysis to test for toxic metals:


            1. The hair must be washed at home, before sampling, within 48 hours or less before sampling.  Any ordinary shampoo may be used.  If one has a water softener, then it is best to wash the hair twice before sampling it, using unsoftened tap water, reverse osmosis water, distilled or spring water.


2. The hair sample must not be washed at the laboratory at all.  The reason is that washing the hair always and erratically removes some of its minerals.  For this reason, I only suggest using Analytical Research Laboratories for hair testing.




4. The amigos.  These are iron, manganese and aluminum.  The interpretation rule is that if any one of these are elevated, the other two are elevated in the body as well.  The most commonly elevated is aluminum, and elevated means anything above about 0.02 mg% or 0.2 ppm.  Elevated iron is any reading above 1.9 mg% or 19 ppm.  Elevated manganese is any reading above 0.04 mg% or 0.4 ppm.  Read more about this interesting situation in The Amigos Or Oxidants– Iron, Manganese and Aluminum.


5. Poor eliminator patterns.  This complicates interpretation, but is a very sound method in my experience.  If any of the toxic metal levels are extremely low, it indicates they are present in excess and simply cannot be eliminated at this time.  This may sound outrageous, but it is holding true.  This means that if a person embarks on a nutritional balancing program, eventually the metal that was very low begins to rise on retests and comes out of the body.  When it does, the person generally feels much better.  Read more about this in the article entitled Poor Eliminator Pattern.


6. Hidden copper toxicity. The hair copper level is a very poor indicator of copper toxicity, which is very common.  Instead, look for hidden copper indicators, which include:


Copper greater than 2.5 mg% or 25 ppm.

Copper less than 1.5 mg% or 15 ppm.

Calcium greater than about 65 mg% or 650 ppm.

Potassium less than about 5 mg% or 50 ppm.

Mercury greater than about 0.03 mg% or 0.3 ppm.

Zinc less than 13 mg% or 130 ppm.

Na/K ratio less than 2.5.

Four lows pattern.

Zinc greater than 17 mg% or 170 ppm in most cases.

Phosphorus less than 12 mg% or 120 ppm in most cases.


7. Mercury indicators.  Mercury is so widespread that almost everyone has a lot.  Anyone who eats large or medium-sized fish has a lot.  Anyone with amalgam dental fillings has a lot.  Anyone who eats seafood or sushi has plenty.  Most babies today are born with it thanks to toxicity in their mothers.  The hair or other mineral tests results are often not as important as these environmental factors.


8. Other general indicators. These include a slow oxidation rate, fast oxidation in an adult, three highs or four highs pattern, zinc greater than 16 mg% or 160 ppm, phosphorus less than 13 mg% or 130 ppm, three lows pattern, four lows pattern, sympathetic dominance pattern, and a sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1.

I realize this includes almost everyone except children with a healthy fast oxidation rate.  Even most of them have plenty of toxic metals, but less than the rest of the population in most cases.



Other types of fairly reliable indicators:

1. Sex with orgasm more than once a week causes cadmium accumulation.  While this is not a hair mineral analysis finding, I include it here because it is an interesting correlation that is new and still being researched.  Having orgasms, including masturbation, depletes zinc in both men and women.  It appears that one cannot easily replace this zinc and so excessive sex leads to cadmium replacing zinc in the tissues.  The cadmium may only show up on tests much later as the quantity in the body increases.


            2. Eating any amount of tuna fish, salmon or other larger fish, or eating any shellfish, seafood or seaweed except for kelp causes mercury toxicity.  This is also not a hair indicator, but it seems to hold true today in every case.  I allow up to about 4 cans of sardines weekly for adults.  These are lower in mercury, though they still contain some.  Please do not eat more than 4 cans of sardines weekly.


            3. Smoking anything, including the use of marijuana even once a week, adds very toxic metals, especially cadmium.  Use of a water pipe if you must smoke is better, but still not recommended at all.


              4. Miners, electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics and other mechanics such as diesel engine repair, tool repair and others are always very toxic.


Even using the hair mineral biopsy, no test I am aware of can detect anywhere near all the toxic metals in the body.  Often they are hidden in hard-to-reach places such as the brain or bones, or places with poor circulation such as fatty tissues.

The best we can do is to know the metals will be revealed as they are excreted through the hair if one performs repeat hair mineral tests while a person is on a nutritional balancing program.

As a clinician, I find the best approach is to assume everyone has toxic metals.  This has proven totally true in over 30 years of clinical experience.  Any sound health program needs to be designed to remove all of the toxic metals, not just a few.

I use the hair test not to detect toxic metals, in most cases.  It is used because it helps us design corrective programs.




            This is an important topic because if one checks the various laboratories, the acceptable levels of toxic metals varies somewhat.  We use very tight normal values because I know we can lower the toxic metal values to these low levels with our methods.  These methods are described later in this article.  Here are normal values that I use:


Lead                       0.1 mg% or 1 ppm (parts per million)

Mercury              0.025 mg% or 0.25 ppm

Cadmium                       0.008 mg% or 0.08 ppm

Nickel                    0.06 mg% or 0.6 ppm

Aluminum         0.2 mg% or 2 ppm

Arsenic                0.009 mg% or 0.09 ppm

Copper                 2.5 mg% or 25 ppm

Iron                         1.9 mg% or 19 ppm

Manganese      0.04 or 0.4 ppm




            For a complete list of symptoms for each toxic metal, see the Reference Guide at the end of this article.


Toxic metals can contribute to any imaginable illness.  For example, lead that replaces calcium in the bones can contribute to weakened bones and osteoporosis.

Cadmium that replaces zinc in the arteries causes inflammation and hardening of the arteries.  Iron that replaces zinc and other minerals  in the pancreas, adrenals and elsewhere can contribute to impaired blood sugar tolerance and diabetes.

Copper that replaces zinc in the brain is associated with migraine headaches, premenstrual syndrome, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and much more.  Mercury and copper that replace selenium in various tissues impairs the conversion of T4 to T3, contributing to thyroid imbalances.


Toxic Metals and Aging.  The slow, or not so slow, replacement of vital minerals with toxic metals is an important and neglected cause of aging due to deactivation of enzyme systems and the loss of organ and tissue integrity.

Toxic metal accumulation also feeds on itself.  As one’s energy production decreases with age, the body is less able to eliminate toxic metals, causing more metal accumulation.


Toxic Metals and Gene Expression.  Genetic birth defects may be caused by faulty DNA or by faulty gene expression.  Even if one’s DNA is perfect, the synthesis of proteins from that DNA can be faulty.

For example, zinc is required for a key enzyme in gene expression, RNA transferase.  Not surprisingly, zinc deficiency is associated with conditions such as neural tube defects.  A recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  discussed this hidden cause of genetic defects.


"An alternate form of a gene present in greater than 1% of the population is called a polymorphism".


            While the article mainly discusses vitamin deficiencies as a cause for genetic defects, it gives the example that "mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase cause 25% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis."

            For much more on the very important topic of genetic testing and polymorphisms, please read Genetic Testing and Genetic Defects on this website.




One should not fear toxic metals.  They cannot be completely avoided, but one can minimize exposure with careful eating and a healthful lifestyle.  Also, our bodies have a lot of evolutionary experience with them and effective mechanisms to eliminate them.  These can be supported and enhanced with a nutritional balancing program. 

This method, which does not involve chelation much at all, uses at least 35 methods together, at once, to remove ALL the toxic metals safely and deeply.  In most instances, it is faster and more thorough than either intravenous or any other type of chelation therapy, synthetic or natural.  It is also safer and goes deeper to remove more metals than chelation of any kind.  Also, all chelating agents remove some beneficial minerals along with the toxic ones.  For more on why I do not like chelation therapy, read Chelation Therapy.


How to remove toxic metals.  Here are the methods that are always used together in nutritional balancing science, in an integrated combination, to remove all toxic metals and hundreds of toxic chemicals, as well, from the body.  Full documentation as to why these methods work and how to use them is found in numerous other articles on this website:


1. Increase the amount of rest and sleep greatly.  Extra rest and sleep is critical for any detoxification program for several reasons:

a) Detoxification takes place mostly when we are resting or sleeping.  During the day when one is active, the body is mainly focused on the daily activities, not on elimination of poisons from the body.

b) Rest and sleep reduce sympathetic nervous system activity.  This is so important it is listed as a separately as a powerful method to enhance detoxification of all chemicals, metals and other types of poisons from the body.

c) Resting and sleeping more conserves the body’s energy for healing.  Most people use up too much energy in their daily activities.  This slows progress tremendously.

d) The essential organs and glands, such as the adrenals, thyroid, liver, kidneys and others rebuild only when rested.

e) Sleep allows mental and emotional processing to occur.  This reduces emotional and mental activity during the day and allows unprocessed emotions to be handled and dealt with far easier.  Many people live in continual stress because they do not process each day’s events and traumas and this inhibits rebuilding of the body and the elimination of toxins of all sorts.


2. Inhibit the sympathetic nervous system.  This is another key to our programs.  Sympathetic nervous system activity blocks the body from adequate elimination.  This is well known in medicine.  The liver, kidneys, bowel, skin even the lungs are all associated with the parasympathetic nervous system and require strong nervous energy to promote their activity.  Sympathetic nervous system activity inhibits these activities powerfully.  One can reduce sympathetic activity in at least six ways:

a) As mentioned above, get a lot more rest and sleep.  This is a primary method of reducing sympathetic nervous system activity.

b) Supplements used in nutritional balancing programs are often carefully chosen to be or have the most parasympathetic effect upon the body possible.  These include animal-based rather than plant-based products in some cases.  It also includes limiting certain vitamins that are stimulatory and adding more that are sedative in their effect.

c) The diet is made as non-stimulatory as possible.  This means removing all chemical additives, as far as is possible.  It means limiting caffeine, sugar, wheat, most beef, and other stimulating or allergic or sensitive foods in the diet.

d) The lifestyle must be restful in general.  This can have a great deal of influence on the nervous system, even if one is sleeping adequately.  For example, a stressful job or a marriage that needs counseling are not helpful.  Soft music rather than loud, rock and roll music is preferable, and so forth.

e) Mental/emotional training using the Roy Masters meditation-observation exercise is also very helpful for all adults.  Regular prayer, some affirmations, and generally caring for one’s “mental diet” can be critical to avoid fear, anger and negativity, in general.  Too much that is on the television, the news and other information sources is harmful to the body’s delicate nervous system, and not true, either.

f) Other ways to sympathetic nervous stimulation are to be careful with excessive exercise, reduce cell phone use, and avoid other radiation sources.  Even some far infrared saunas give off harmful EM fields and should not be used, ideally, although sauna therapy can help remove many toxic metals.  Reduce noise levels, freeway driving and other more dangerous or unnerving activities. These and many other simple changes together can reduce your stress level dramatically.

g) Reducing certain imbalances on a hair mineral chart also can dramatically lower sympathetic nervous activity.  These include, but are not limited to balancing a fast oxidation rate, reducing a high Na/K or a high Ca/Mg ratio, improving zinc, selenium and chromium status and lowering certain toxic metal levels.


3. Eat a varied, excellent-quality diet of 70-80% cooked vegetables and some animal protein daily.  Avoid all fruits, fruit juices, sweets, most nuts and seeds and strictly avoid vegetarian and raw food diets.  The body will absorb and utilize less toxic metals if it receives more of the so-called preferred minerals.   A recent  study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition measured the mineral content of organic versus commercial food.  Results indicated that food labeled “organic” that was selected randomly from Chicago food markets had an average of twice the mineral content of standard supermarket food.

The famed people of Hunza who lived to 120 years or longer in excellent health drank glacial runoff that was so mineral-rich the water was cloudy (see The Wheel of Health by Dr. Carrington ).

            Especially mineral-rich foods include kelp, sea salt and all root vegetables, except potatoes.  Root vegetables must be cooked at least 45 minutes for their minerals to be most bioavailable.  Potatoes are not recommended because they are nightshades that irritate many people and are too yin in Chinese medical terminology.

Adequate protein, especially animal protein, supplies sulfur-containing amino acids which help chelate toxic metals and support liver detoxification pathways.  A little animal protein daily is important.  Do not overcook meats and eggs should be only lightly cooked such as soft-boiled or poached so the yolks are runny.

Other high-sulfur foods include egg yolks and vegetables in the cabbage, radish, garlic and onion families.  Sulfur is very helpful for detoxification in general, and for mercury and copper, in particular.

Fiber from cooked vegetables and whole grains is also helpful to reduce some toxic metals.  It reduces bowel transit time, which can limit absorption of toxic metals.  However, avoid wheat which is a hybridized and irritating food for everyone.  Pasta is a little better than bread, but all wheat is best avoided, even organic whole wheat products.


4. Improve the lifestyle and eating habits.  Excellent eating habits include having regular, sit-down meals in a quiet place.  Also, eat quietly and slowly, and chew thoroughly.  These habits are important for nutrient absorption and proper elimination.  Poor habits include skipping meals, snacking all day, eating on the run, and eating the same foods every day wit no variety.

A relaxed and positive outlook also greatly facilitates elimination and healing of all illness.  One’s attitudes can matter greatly as well.  They either relieve stress, or add to it.  I encourage an attitude of gratitude and avoidance of all victim thinking.  This include thinking that anyone else is a victim, either.  Such apparently small changes in one’s thoughts and actions can have a huge impact on general health and the body’s ability to heal and eliminate toxic substances.

I encourage spirituality because in some people this also assists energy tremendously.  Hopelessness, for example, or low self-esteem, will impair elimination and lead to disease.  Their opposites raise the body’s energy and promote healing. These factors are too often overlooked by medical and holistic practitioners.  The Roy Masters meditation exercise is particularly helpful as it is grounding and centering, and simple to do safely at home as much as one wishes.

In some cases, other lifestyle patterns are destructive and must be changed, such as drinking too much alcohol, recreational drug use, spending time with negative or destructive “friends” and others.


5. Other dietary considerations.  These include;

a) Avoid all restrictive and extreme diets.  These include strict vegan and vegetarian diets, for example. These are almost always deficient in zinc and many other essential nutrients.  Read Vegetarian Diets on this website. 

Raw food diets do not work well today because almost no one is able to extract enough minerals from raw foods.  The minerals are not available because they are bound up with tough vegetable fibers that we cannot properly digest, even with a digestive aid.  Raw food is also much too yin for general consumpton.  Read Raw Foods for more information about them.

Cooking does not reduce the mineral content of food and usually makes minerals much more bioavailable by breaking down fiber.  Cooking also concentrates the food so that one ends up ingesting many more vital minerals.

b) Avoid living on protein powders and other processed supplements instead of foods.  For example, egg or whey protein powder is not a substitute for eating eggs or fresh goat milk.   The latter are whole foods that are much richer in many minerals.  Food supplements are never a substitute for an excellent diet.

c) Avoid most refined foods such as white sugar, white flour, table salt and white rice.   These are almost devoid of vital minerals and will cause the body to absorb and utilize more toxic metals.


6. The use of carefully chosen antagonistic supplemental nutrients. Nutritional supplements called mineral antagonists can help greatly to reduce toxic metals in the body.  For example, kelp is an inexpensive source of iodine that can help remove fluorides, chlorides and bromides from the body by competing with them for absorption and for binding sites in the cells of the body.

Kelp also contains alginates that help bind toxic metals, some of which are also found in the kelp itself, since it is a sea product.  Kelp also contains a wide range of vital minerals to body needs to rebuild itself.  All act as antagonists to some degree to the toxic metals.

In addition to kelp, nutritional balancing programs often involve the use of supplemental zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals.  Calcium and zinc are cadmium antagonists.  Selenium and zinc are mercury antagonists, and so on.  In nutritional balancing science, however, supplements must only be used in a way that does not unbalance the oxidation rate and the major mineral ratios.  This is a major difference between this method and most other nutritional methods of healing.  The reason for this is that unbalancing the major mineral ratios decreases a person’s vitality, which will negate or at least reduce the effectiveness of the supplementary nutrient.

Also, one must be careful not to use too many supplements.  This adds too much yin energy to the body and can confuse the body.  Also, many supplements subtly negate each other.  For example, copper and vitamin C are definite antagonists.  Therefore, supplementation must be kept simple and clearly follow these rules.


7. Support the eliminative organs.  This can also greatly facilitate toxic metal removal.  Most people need a digestive aid.  The one we recommend most, GB-3 by Endomet Labs, also helps with liver detoxification.  This is a triple benefit.  It also helps kill intestinal parasites and other infections in the intestines.  This is also very important for some people.  Another similar product is called Bilex, and Allergy Research sells some of the same ingredients.

I also use a kidney support formula and herbs to support elimination through the kidneys.  Balancing the mineral ratios on a hair analysis also supports the eliminative organs.

Sauna therapy, coffee enemas, foot reflexology and other nutrients and procedures can also support the eliminative organs.


8. General nutritional support.  In nutritional balancing, one must always give general nutrients, when needed, to balance and strengthen every aspect of body chemistry.  Food alone today is usually not adequate, and not nearly enough to replenish very demineralized bodies, which is most of them.


9. Improve adaptive energy.  Increasing the amount of energy available to the body cells is a great key to toxic metal and toxic chemical elimination.  This is overlooked by almost all physicians, even holistic ones.

The body must produce energy in order to eliminate toxins.  One would have little luck eliminating toxins from a dead persons because the body’s vital energy is gone.  Yet this factor of vital energy is often overlooked in nutritional circles.  It is emphasized in chiropractic, for example, and even in some forms of homeopathy in which the doctor first tries to build up the patient’s energy or vitality before attacking toxic metals in any way.


10. Balance the oxidation rate.  The primary way to enhance adaptive energy using nutritional balancing science involves a properly performed and properly interpreted hair mineral analysis.  With this simple examination of the minerals in the hair, one can identify what is called the oxidation type and the oxidation rate.  The evaluation is made using two mineral ratios.

Other ways to measure the oxidation or metabolic rate exist, but I am less familiar with them.  My experience with them is they are not the same and do not measure the same thing, and will give confusing results.  So I do not recommend any blood tests, questionnaires or other methods of determining the oxidation type or rate.

One can then use foods, lifestyle, diet and other methods to balance the entire body chemistry.  This is a complex subject, though it is addressed in the article on this site entitled Fast, Slow and Mixed Oxidation.

This gentle balancing procedure, done in all nutritional balancing programs, greatly enhances the body's ability to eliminate toxic metals.  Random supplementation with products to remove toxic metals, by contrast, does not work well at all in our experience.  It can remove some of them, but falls far short of the combination of methods described in this article.

Once again, one should be extremely careful that any supplement or any other procedure used to remove toxins does not interfere with the oxidation rate balance in the body.  That would be counterproductive, even if the procedure is excellent for another person with a different oxidation type or rate.  I teach this science to anyone who is interested.  Click on the link, Training, for more information about learning all of this method.


11. Reduce exposure to toxic substances as much as possible.  This includes in the food supply, such as pesticides, metals, chemicals, solvents, plastic wrapping and more.

It includes pure water, of which we only recommend distilled or spring water.  All other water, including “alkaline water” and others, has too many toxic substances in it for our program.  It also includes reducing air pollution in the home and elsewhere.  This is difficult in cities, but home units can be purchased that clean the air rather well today.

Finally, it means reducing the toxins one acquires by contact.  This includes soaps, lotions, cosmetics, creams and all skin products.  It also includes dental amalgam removal, except in the case of active cancer, which can be made worse by amalgam removal.  Wait until the cancer is under control before doing this and preferably be on a nutritional balancing program to help reduce the side effects of amalgam removal.

It may include occupational exposure to metals, chemicals, solvents, pesticides and all other contact exposures.  Now let us address the specific eliminative organs.


12. Improve circulation, oxygenation and hydration.  This is done with sauna therapy, deep breathing, the correct type and amount of drinking water, mild exercise (more is not needed and just wastes energy), and improving general health.  Also, inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system assists with circulation.


13. Balancing yin and yang qualities in the body, and in one’s life, in general.  The philosophy of yin and yang, as it is sometimes mistakenly referred to, is one of the most ancient teachings on planet earth.  It dates back to the early Taoists in India and Tibet.

In the Hebrew bible, the book of Genesis begins with God creating the heaven and earth, light and darkness, the waters and the land, and so forth.  This expresses the basic balance of forces in our physical universe.

Similarly, the basic idea of yin and yang, as relates to healing is that one should have a balance of hot and cold, wet and dry, expanded and contracted, upper and lower and male and female in the body for maximum health and life.  This is very abbreviated, but expresses the basic concept.

In terms of food, yin is sugars, while yang foods are meats, eggs, and salty foods.  In terms of weather, yin is cold and damp while yang is hot and dry. Today, most of the people are extremely yin due to toxic metals in the environment, toxic chemicals by the thousands and significant radiation and electromagnetic toxicity in the environment as well.  No one can escape these basic factors.

As a result, the programs, for maximum effectiveness, must be quite yang, as yang as possible, in fact.  This concept is incorporated into all nutritional balancing programs that I design.  Some of the ways this is done include:

1) Limit all sweets, including all fruit and all juices.  We use carrot juice and wheat grass juice, but only in small amounts.  We sugget no more than 10-12 ounces of carrot or other vegetable juices and no more than 1-2 ounces of fresh wheat grass juice daily.

2) Limit all fruit as well.  This includes certain “vegetables” that are really fruits, including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers of all kinds, eggplant, squashes (some winter squash is okay once a week only) and cucumbers.  Anything with seeds is botanically a fruit and tends to be far more yin than roots, leaves or stems that are technically vegetables.

3) Limit all raw food, as it also is very yin.

4) Increase sea salt in the diet as it is more yang.  Do not use table salt, which is far more yin and toxic.

5) Eat as few chemicals as possible, as these are almost all very yin.  Also eat as little chemical vitamins as possible.  The most yin are the water-soluble vitamins that are synthetic or synthesized.  Natural products are better as are animal-based products.

6) Eat plenty of cooked vegetables, as they are more balanced, along with some meats, but not much beef due to hybridization.  Avoid all pig products due to possible parasite infestation.  Dairy products are more yin, in general, especially milks.  Some organic milk products are fine, however, in moderation.

7) In the detoxification program, sauna therapy is hot and dry and thus very yang.  Coffee enemas as somewhat yang because coffee is a yang substance when properly roasted and prepared.  Other detoxification methods, however, such as cool baths, warm baths, drinking huge amounts of juices or even water and others are not helpful as they are far more yin.  They may be harmful today, where they were excellent in years past.

8) Rest is yang, as is the meditation we recommend.  Most meditations, however, are extremely yin.  Beware of most meditation exercises in these times of extreme yin bodies.

For more information about this critical aspect of detoxification and healing, in general, read Yin and Yang Healing on this website.


14. Distilled water, but only during healing crises or purification reactions.  Distilled water is actually excellent to help remove loosely bound toxic metals and many toxic chemicals as well.  It appears to attract these and helps immensely, at times.  However, it can deplete essential minerals in the body because it is mineral-free water.  Therefore, I only recommend it during a healing reaction and when a person is already following a nutritional balancing program.  At these times, it can be used for a few days or perhaps a little longer to reduce elimination symptoms and speed up the removal of certain toxins from the body.

Distilled water may have other interesting effects on the body to lessen its density a little bit, helping to raise its vibration and making it a little less compatible with toxic metals, which are generally very heavy, dense minerals.  However, I do not use it much for these purposes, as this is not necessary with the better programs we offer today.


15. Remove the need for compensations and adaptations. This is a little more technical.  Often, toxic metals perform an adaptive role in the body.  They can support the activity of the adrenal glands, for example, and they can actually be used in some of the body’s millions of enzyme systems to a limited extent.

By balancing the body chemistry delicately, the need for a toxic metal in an adaptive function can be removed.  This makes removing the toxic metal safer and far easier.  This methodology is also built into nutritional balancing programs that are correctly designed.


16. Reduce all stress. Stress of any kind will slow the removal toxic metals.  Therefore, reducing all stress on the body, mind and spirit will greatly enhance toxin elimination.  Read Understanding Stress for more on this important topic.


17. Replace less preferred minerals with more preferred minerals.  This is also a somewhat more complex topic.  For each metallo-enzyme in the body, there is one or perhaps two preferred metal or mineral that will cause the enzyme to function optimally.  Nutritional balancing seeks to replace less preferred minerals in enzyme binding sites with more preferred minerals.  This is required for all deep healing.  It is done by giving the appropriate foods and supplementary nutrients, avoiding the others, reducing toxic exposures and stress, conserving energy for healing with more rest, and other methods.


18. Increase the body temperature when it is low. This may not seem important, but it is a very powerful method of enhancing the body’s energy production.  All the body’s enzyme systems function optimally when the body temperature is ideal.  However, most people have a low body temperature today, due in part to toxic metal accumulation in the thyroid and adrenal glands.  Other reasons are fatigue, a low thyroid for other reason, nutrient depletion and others.

One can use a sauna to heat the body a few degrees every day.  Even if it is only for 30-60 minutes at a time, this can have a tremendous effect of normalizing enzymatic reactions in the body that, in turn, promote healing and detoxification.


19. Eliminate infections and parasites of all kinds. This may not seem related to metal detoxification, but it is.   Most people have more than a dozen chronic infections in their bodies.  Common sites are the eyes, ears, throat, bronchials, intestines, teeth, bladder and elsewhere.

Each of these infections uses up adaptive energy or vitality in the body.  One finds that as they are cleared using nutritional balancing methods – and never antibiotics that tend to be toxic – a person’s vitality increases and his ability to then eliminate toxic metals increases, at times drastically.


20. Emotional and mental cleansing.  This is an unusual concept, but can be vital to detoxify the body.  We find that cadmium, for example, is associated with what may be called ‘macho’ styles of thinking.  If a person will meditate or just read spiritual material that helps him or her release negative and violent thoughts, it will help remove some cadmium from the body.

Similarly, copper toxicity is associated with fearful thoughts.  If a person will meditate or read books, or do other things to help reduce fearful thinking, then this will help reduce copper overload in the body.  Mercury is associated with a kind of uneven temperament (think of the ‘mad hatters’ of the Alice In Wonderland story).  If one will focus on reducing imbalances of this kind in the personality and mind, it can help the body remove some mercury from the brain, where it is not as easy to remove.  Iron toxicity can be more difficult to remove if a person will not forgive others.  Iron is associated with anger and rage.


21. Bridging over damaged enzymes.  This is a very important mechanism whereby by giving higher doses of some vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins, one can bridge across enzymes damaged by the presence of toxic metals that are also needed to help remove the toxic metals.


22. Weak, natural chelation.  This is done using mainly low-dose vitamin C, garlic, short-term use of distilled water, adequate animal protein in the diet, the use of a powerful animal-based digestive aid for everyone to break down protein in the intestines, and the use of other products containing sulfur-bearing amino acids such as taurine, cysteine and methionine in some cases.


23. The use of a powerful digestive aid for everyone.  This may not seem important, but it is.  No matter how good the food one eats, if digestion is weak, and it is weak in almost everyone today, one will not absorb enough minerals and other nutrients.  Insisting on a powerful digestive aid is therefore essential for many people to facilitate proper mineral absorption.


24. Forgiving others, and letting go of all negative feelings and emotions, can help remove some toxic metals.  This may sound like an odd way to remove toxic metals, but it works.  Any method of mental or emotional relaxation and release techniques can potentially help.

Nutritional balancing encourages the use of prayer, especially Thy Will Be Done.  I also encourage everyone to use the Roy Masters meditation exercise.  In addition, body work, chiropractic, rolfing, foot reflexology, hypnotherapy if the person is qualified, counseling and other methods can all help.


25. Integrating all of the above methods in a way so that none interferes with the others.  This is essential.  A problem with many medical and holistic approaches to toxic metal removal is that the methods of detoxification get in each other’s way, which negates some or even all of the benefit.

For example, chelation is effective to remove some metals.  However, most chelation, even natural chelating agents, remove some vital minerals along with the toxic ones.  This is extremely harmful, and it is not an easy problem to fix.  Simply taking a multi-mineral supplement to offset the problem does not seem to work adequately, in part because minerals are complex, are found in many forms, and are best absorbed from food, not formulated products, in general.

Another problem with chelation is that the chelators are often slightly toxic, which damages the kidneys, liver and other organs, interfering with metal elimination.

Chelation may also mobilize toxins from relatively harmless areas of the body and redistribute some in the kidneys, and this is harmful, as well.


26. Integrating the concepts and methods described in this article in a way that reduces chaos in the body and sort-of traps the whole system so that it has no choice but to detoxify.  This sounds vague, but it is a key idea.  It has to do with general systems theory, and with chaos theory as applied to the human body.  It is something like defeating an enemy in war by surrounding the enemy completely, and attacking by land, by sea, by air and every way possible at the same time in order to prevent defeat.


27. Release traumas.  This is most helpful for detoxification.  It is a large subject, but the main idea is that when traumas are present, they directly interfere with elimination in the body because they affect the nervous system.  Nutritional balancing releases most traumas easily and usually with little discomfort.


28. Release toxins in the body’s own sequence, order and its own timing.  This is extremely helpful to make the process as safe as possible, and more effective, as well.  It is accomplished in nutritional balancing programs by focusing on raising the body’s energy and vitality level, rather than focusing on pushing out particular toxic metals.  As the energy level rises, the body is able to use the energy in the way that is safest and most effective, and we are not able to predict or duplicate this mechanism ourselves as clinicians.


29. Correct latent diseases and disorders.  This is another critical idea, although it is subtle in most cases.  By raising the vitality level, balancing the chemistry, and allowing the body to choose the timing and sequence of healing,  nutritional balancing causes the healing of latent or sub-clinical health problems in almost all cases.  Once healed, the body is far more capable of deep detoxification.

For example, many people have damaged livers, damaged kidneys, damaged arteries, damaged lung, and more.  Yet the damage is often sub-clinical or latent, meaning it does not present with any symptoms or diseases.  When a person begins a nutritional balancing program, often these sub-clinical conditions are corrected first because they are the basis for later healing, perhaps, or because they may be life-threatening such as an aneurysm or a weak heart.

This process often causes problems for practitioners because a person may not feel better immediately, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to know the exact reason because the latent condition is not easily detectable by any medical means.  However, once these underlying and latent conditions are corrected, detoxification can proceed much faster and more thoroughly.

Examples that I have observed most commonly are that a patient will break out in a terrible rash, or perhaps retrace a systemic infection of some kind that seems to have nothing to do with our goals for the nutritional balancing program.  Yet one is forced to handle these hurdles before toxic metal elimination or toxic chemical elimination can proceed.  These are examples of latent or sub-clinical health problems that many people have today due to toxin exposure or for other reasons.


30. Other natural and balancing therapies.  Therapies that combine beautifully with nutritional balancing include gentle, chiropractic, some other manipulative therapies, Rolfing, structural integration, other bodywork, foot and hand reflexology, acupuncture with needles only, acupressure, shiatsu massage and some energy therapies.  These can help greatly to reduce stress, improve vitality, support the eliminative organs, improve circulation and more.


31. Therapies to avoid.  This is also important to remove toxic metals.  For example, many herbs, most natural hormone therapy, most vitamin and mineral regimens, most homeopathy, and most medical drug therapy, unless needed for a life-threatening condition, can and will impair toxic metal removal in various ways by unbalancing body chemistry, adding toxins, or otherwise altering the body chemistry.

Also, vegetarian diets are too low in zinc and in sulfur-containing amino acids and this impairs detoxification.  Raw food diets do not allow the body to absorb enough minerals.





Many toxic metals accumulate in these organs.  In most Americans, in particular, who have used pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter remedies, this step takes years.  No other program we have observed can speed it up much faster than we are elaborating here.

Fortunately, the liver has great regenerative ability, especially when one is less than about 65 years old.  We use every method possible to enhance liver functioning.  This includes:

a)  A clean, healthy diet and pure water to drink, as explained above.

b) A healthful  lifestyle, especially going to bed by 9 Pm and lots of rest and sleep.  The liver does its main work during rest and sleep.  Missing this single factor is often a key as to why some do not succeed in restoring the liver.

c) Nutritional support for the liver includes milk thistle, dandelion root and perhaps other herbal products that are superb.  Be careful with some herbs, however, such as burdock root and others, as they are somewhat toxic.  They may be used for a short time, but are not for ongoing use as milk thistle and dandelion can be used.

d) Other procedures for the liver are a daily coffee enema, or even two per day for very toxic conditions, colonic irrigation to reduce debris and fermentation and putrefaction in the colon, castor oil packs over the liver and the use of a near infrared lamp sauna.

Of these, the coffee enema or really a coffee implant, is the most powerful and wonderful procedures that I have seen.  I cannot say enough good things about the effects of this simple, though slightly unpleasant procedure.  More about coffee enemas is found in an article on this website, Coffee Enemas, and in the Detoxification Procedures article.

Using a near infrared sauna on a daily basis, or better twice daily, is also very helpful for liver detoxification. Traditional saunas and far infrared saunas may be okay, but do not seem to work as well.  Far infrared types may emit harmful electromagnetic frequencies.

e) Attitude change is critical for the liver in some cases.  The liver is associated with a “bilous personality”.  In modern language, this means anger, resentment, hatred and other harmful emotions.  For some people, this is the key to their liver regeneration.  Meditation, relaxation and forgiveness are thus important for the liver.

f) Other healing modalities may help, especially body work such as Rolfing, acupuncture and acupressure.  For instance, we recommend everyone to rub their feet each day.  This seems simple and maybe silly, but can have beneficial effects, particularly if one is skilled at it.  The technique is easy to learn and to practice.


The kidneys.  To restore the kidneys, many of the same items are critical.  These include an excellent diet that is balanced for the oxidation type, along with a very healthful  lifestyle and a life free of toxic pollutants.  Other items include:

a) Herbs for the kidneys.  Uva ursi, parsley and other herbs are helpful to a degree.  We also use kidney glandular substance with excellent results.

b) Drinking plenty of spring or distilled water is critical for the kidneys. Be sure to drink enough pure water (3 quarts or more daily for most everyone).  No other type of water is recommended except spring or steam distilled water.  However, drink distilled water for only about three months and no more.  After this, it will begin to remove some beneficial minerals.

Strictly avoid reverse osmosis water, “drinking waters”,  most “purified water” and alkaline waters.  Carbon-only filtered tap water is okay and second-best, but not as good in most cases as a good spring water. Preferably drink an hour after meals or up to 15 minutes before meals, rather than with meals.  Read Water For Drinking for much more on drinking water.

c) Rest is also critical for the kidneys, which are close to and associated with the adrenal glands.  This, in Chinese terminology, is related to the kidney meridian, a meridian that is very weak on most people.  Rest cannot be overestimated to restore the kidneys and the adrenal glands.


The skin.  This is the third most important eliminative organ, and most doctors pay no attention to it whatsoever!  In most people, today, including most children, it is toxic or congested and for these reasons quite underactive in its job of eliminating many toxins from the body.

This even applies to newborns today.  Vaccines affect the skin and can cause it to become less active, as can overdressing infants.  Read more about the vaccine abomination in the article on this website entitled Vaccination.

Bathing in toxic bath water harms the skin, as can tight clothing and some synthetic clothing.  The use of toxic lotions, skin creams, and body care products also harms the skin of many people.


Sauna therapy.  Improving the skin requires a lot of work in most cases.  Even with two saunas daily, plus all our other efforts, just restoring the skin will take six to twelve months in most adults.  Children require less, as their skin is usually in far better condition due to more sweating and fewer toxic exposures.

Saunas draw blood to the surface, powerfully stimulate circulation and decongest the internal organs.  Infrared saunas penetrate more deeply and are often more comfortable as they work at lower temperatures.

The best saunas appear to be are those powered by infrared heat lamps.  Far infrared saunas are acceptable in most cases, but are not as good as a near infrared lamp sauna.

Steam baths and other procedures such as skin brushing, sitting in hot tubs or others may be used, but are not nearly as good.  Sweating during exercise is also not nearly as good, but better than nothing, for sure.

As an example of what saunas can do, The New York Times recently reported on the success of sauna therapy to help hundreds of New York firemen.  They had became ill from the World Trade Tower disaster. No other medical or alternative therapy was able to help these brave men and women to recover their health.  Refer to the articles on this site about Sauna Therapy for more information.


The large intestine.  This is also an important organ of elimination and one that is in terrible condition in the vast majority of people.  Fortunately, it is easier to correct than the skin, liver or kidneys.  Diet, of course, plays a critical role in rehabilitating the intestines.  Eliminating sugar is most important, even the sugar found in too much fruit or juices.  Fiber is critical, as is enough protein for the intestine to rebuild itself.

In addition, lifestyle is important and coffee enemas can greatly speed the elimination of toxins from the large intestine and liver that often lead to bowel problems.

I recommend for most people a digestive aid, usually GB-3 by Endomet Laboratories in Phoenix.  This not only assists digestion.  It also kills many parasites in the intestines over time and helps eliminate poisons from the liver as well.

Other aids for digestion are other digestive aids such as Betaine Hcl-pepsin, bromelain and others.  Howevr, they are not as good.  Deep breathing, some exercise and adequate rest and sleep are important for digestive strength as well.  Staying warm in winter is important as well.





Even with an excellent quality diet, healthful lifestyle, and consistent daily use of near infrared sauna therapy, coffee enemas and short-term use of distilled water for about 6 months, but usually not longer, toxic metal removal at the deepest levels takes a number of years in almost everyone we have encountered.  This means that repeated hair mineral analyses keep revealing more and more of the metals coming out of the body through the hair and skin, often for 5 to 10 years.

NOTE: This is not because nutritional balancing science is slow to remove the toxic metals.  I believe it does it faster than any other method of removing toxins from the body such as chelation therapy, herbs, clay baths and other methods.  It also does it in a much safer manner.

The reason it takes so long is that nutritional balancing removes many more of the toxic metals, and this is a slow process for the following reasons:


·           Toxicity of the metals.  They are extremely toxic substances.  If they were removed too quickly, they could poison or even kill a person.  The body seems to know how to remove them at a pace that is safe, providing we keep balancing the body chemistry and supporting a person the entire time.  Otherwise, it just takes longer.  Rarely, a person will have a powerful toxic reaction as a heavy metal is released from a storage site, but this is not common.

·           Location of the metals, in some instances. Some storage sites of the body are much harder to reach than others due to impaired circulation, or other difficulties such as the blood-brain barrier and others.  Toxic metals in the bones, for example, usually take longer to reach as well due to reduced circulation and just the depth or layer of the tissue where they are stored.  Sites that have suffered damage and some scarring such as often the ear canals, bronchials, lungs and other tissues may also be harder to regenerate and thus take longer.

·           Incorporated into enzymes.  Toxic metals are often not just in deposits or floating free in the tissues, although this is true of some of them.  These are the easiest to remove.  Unfortunately, millions of molecules are replacing essential minerals in enzymes throughout the body.  They cannot simply be pulled out with a chelator or anything.  The body must very carefully and slowly replace them with enzymes that contain essential minerals.  This is a much slower process, but a vital one that slowly increases a person’s energy level and restores functioning of all the body organs as well.

·           Low vitality.  Energy is required to synthesize new enzymes, carry away toxic metals and activate the eliminative organs to remove them completely.  Most people, especially when they begin a program, have low cellular energy production that make this process much slower.

·           Impaired eliminative channels.  All toxic metals must be flushed or removed from the body through the so-called eliminative channels or organs such as the liver, kidneys, bowel and skin.  Some can be removed through the lungs and elsewhere but these are the main routes.  Most people have very damaged livers, colons and skin, so this slows the process of metal elimination drastically, often for a few years until these organs can be rebuilt and function at their optimum levels.

·           Impaired general nutrition.  As explained above, toxic metals must often be replaced by vital minerals in enzymes.  One may think that just swallowing some kelp capsules or other supplements and eating well will provide these replacements.  However, the body has complex buffering systems, and it will only accept a certain amount of these essential minerals at one time.  This is even true if one decides to take mineral in intravenously or intramuscularly.  Each mineral must be bound to a mineral transporter to be properly utilized in many instances and the process of remineralizing and renourishing a body thus is a time-consuming process no matter what.  If I felt that IV or IM minerals and other nutrients were better, I would suggest it but so far I have seen the opposite.  Other than very gross remineralizing of the body, these routes of administering nutrients seem to do more damage by unbalancing the delicate mineral balance of the body and bypassing the normal buffering systems of the body having to do with food absorption.  Exceptions to this principle may exist, but they are not many.




            This topic must not be forgotten in any article about toxic metals.  The elimination of heavy metals, as well as the removal of toxic chemicals and chronic infections, almost always will cause symptoms from time to time.  These symptoms are called healing reactions flare-ups, exacerbations, aggravations, crises of Herxheimer reactions in different natural healing arts.  They may include energy fluctuations, headaches, skin rashes and other symptoms as well.

Emotional and mental symptoms often occur as well.  These include feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia or mood swings.  All purification symptoms tend to be very temporary.  The best way to handle them is to rest more, reduce your nutrition program if you wish and do supportive therapies.

These include extra coffee enemas, drinking distilled water in larger quantities, short, rather than longer sauna therapy sessions, colonic irrigation, Epsom salt baths and others.  In almost all cases, this will suffice to move the toxic metals out of the body a little faster and the symptom will disappear.

At times, more vigorous or severe healing reactions occur.  Almost any symptom can arise, from a cold or flu to various aches and pains or other types of symptoms.

Usually only supportive, natural methods  of care are needed to see a reaction through to completion.  However, if you are not sure, always contact a person knowledgeable in healing and purification reactions.  For more information, read other articles on this website such as Retracing and Copper Elimination Symptoms.




1. Schroeder, H., Trace elements and Man, The Devin-Adair Company, CT, 1975.

2. Ibid, p. 154

3. Braunwald, E. et al, editors, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, McGraw-Hill, Professional, 15th edition, 2001.

4. Pfeiffer, C., Zinc and Other Micronutrients, Keats Publishing, CT, 1978.

5. Kutsky, R., Handbook of Vitamins, Minerals and Hormones, 2nd edition, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, NY, 1981.

6. Ibid., Schroeder, H., Trace Elements and Man.

7. Hall, R.H., Food For Naught, The Decline in Nutrition, Vintage Books, NY, 1974.

8. Anderson, M. and Jensen, B. Empty Harvest; Understanding the Link Between Our Food, Our Immunity and Our Planet, Avery Penguin Putnam, 1993.

9. Price, W., Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, CA, 1949.

10. Stannard, J., Shim, Y.S., Kritsineli, M., Labropoulo, P.,Tsamtsouris, A., Fluoride levels and fluoride contamination of fruit juices, J Clin Ped Dentistry, 1991;16(1).   

11. From the warning label on hydrofluosilicic acid, Cargill Corporation,  FL.

12. Casdorph, H.R. and Walker, M., Toxic Metal Syndrome, Avery Publishing, NY, 1995.

13. National Autism Association, Press Release, Feb. 9, 2004.

14. Eck, P. and Wilson, L., Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease, Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd., AZ, 1989, p. xiv.

15. Shamberger, R.J., Validity of hair mineral testing, Bio Trace Element Res, 2002, 87:1-28.

16. Muir, M., Current controversies in the diagnosis and treatment of heavy metal toxicity, Alternative and Comp Ther., June 1997:170-178.

17. Environmental Protection Agency, Research and Development, Toxic Trace Metals in Human and Mammalian Hair, EPA-600, 4.79-049, August 1979, p. 3.

18. Tuthill, R., Hair lead levels related to children’s classroom attention-deficit behavior, Arch Env Health, 1996, 51(3)214-220.

19. Ames, BN, Elson-Schwab, I., Silver, EA, High-dose vitamin therapy stimulates variant enzymes with decreased coenzyme binding affinity: relevance to genetic disease and polymorphisms, Am J Clin Nut. April 2002;75(4):616-658.

20. 1993, J Applied Nut, 45(1). (article on trace mineral content of organic foods versus commercial foods)

21. Mortensen, M.E. and Watson, P., Chelation therapy for childhood lead poisoning: The changing scene in the 1990s, Clin Ped., 1993;32:284-291.

21. Committee on Drugs, American Academy of Pediatrics  Treatment guidelines for lead exposure in children, Pediatrics, 1995, 96:155-159.







Aluminum - cookware, beverages in aluminum cans, tap water, table salt, baking powders, antacids, processed cheese, anti-perspirants, bleached flour, antacids, vaccines and other medications and  occupational exposure.


Arsenic - pesticides, beer, table salt, tap water, paints, pigments, cosmetics, glass and mirror manufacture, fungicides, insecticides, treated wood and contaminated food.


Beryllium - air pollution (burning fossil fuels), manufacture of plastics, electronics, steel alloys and volcanic ash.


Cadmium - cigarettes, (tobacco and marijuana), processed and refined foods, large fish, shellfish, tap water, auto exhaust, plated containers, galvanized pipes, air pollution from incineration and occupational exposure.


Copper - copper water pipes, copper added to tap water, pesticides, swimming in pools, intra-uterine devices, vegetarian diets, dental amalgams, nutritional supplements - especially prenatal vitamins, birth control pills, weak adrenal glands and occupational exposure.


Lead - tap water, cigarette smoke, hair dyes, paints, inks, glazes, pesticide residues and occupational exposure in battery manufacture and other industries.


Mercury - dental amalgams, large fish, shellfish, medications, air pollution, manufacture of paper, chlorine, adhesives, fabric softeners and waxes.


Nickel - hydrogenated oils (margarine, commercial peanut butter and shortening), shellfish, air pollution, cigarette smoke, plating and occupational exposure.




Aluminum – Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anemia and other blood disorders, colic, fatigue, dental caries, dementia dialactica, hypoparathyroidism, kidney and liver dysfunctions, neuromuscular disorders, osteomalacia and Parkinson’s disease.


Arsenic - abdominal pain, abnormal ECG, anorexia, dermatitis, diarrhea, edema, enzyme inhibitor, fever,  fluid loss, goiter, hair loss, headache, herpes, impaired healing, interferes with the uptake of       folic acid, inhibition of sulfhydryl enzyme systems, jaundice, keratosis, kidney and liver damage, muscle spasms, pallor, peripheral neuritis, sore throat, stomatitis, stupor, vasodilation, vertigo, vitiligo and weakness.


Beryllium - adrenal insufficiency, arthritis, bone spurs, bursitis, depression, fatigue, osteoporosis and symptoms of slow metabolism.


Cadmium - hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, anemia, arteriosclerosis, impaired bone healing, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis, reduced fertility, hyperlipidemia, hypoglycemia, headaches, osteoporosis, kidney disease, schizophrenia and strokes. 


Copper -  acne, adrenal hyperactivity and/or insufficiency, agoraphobia, allergies, hair loss, anemia, anxiety, arthritis, autism, cancer, chronic candida albicans infection, depression, elevated cholesterol, cystic fibrosis, depression, diabetes, dyslexia, elevated estrogen, failure to thrive, fatigue, fears, fractures of the bones, headaches, heart attacks, hyperactivity, hypertension, hypothyroidism, infections, inflammation, insomnia, iron storage diseases, kidney and liver dysfunctions, decreased libido, multiple sclerosis, nervousness, osteoporosis, panic attacks, premenstrual syndrome, schizophrenia, strokes, tooth decay and vitamin C and other vitamin deficiencies.


Lead - abdominal pain, adrenal insufficiency, anemia, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, attention deficit, back problems, blindness, cancer, constipation, convulsions, deafness, depression, diabetes, dyslexia, epilepsy, fatigue, gout, impaired glycogen storage, hallucinations, hyperactivity, impotency, infertility, inflammation, kidney dysfunction, learning disabilities, diminished libido,  migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, psychosis, thyroid imbalances and tooth decay.


Mercury - adrenal gland dysfunction, alopecia, anorexia, ataxia, bipolar disorder, birth defects, blushing, depression, dermatitis, discouragement, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, hearing loss, hyperactivity, immune system dysfunction, insomnia, kidney damage, loss of self-control, memory loss, mood swings,  nervousness, numbness and tingling, pain in limbs, rashes, excessive salivation, schizophrenia, thyroid dysfunction, timidity, tremors, peripheral vision loss and muscle weakness.


Nickel - cancer (oral and intestinal), depression, heart attacks, hemorrhages, kidney dysfunction, low blood pressure, malaise, muscle tremors and paralysis, nausea,  skin problems, tetany and vomiting.