Dr Oz has highlighted on his show in the past how there are heavy metals in such innocuous things as rice and apple juice. Recently on the Doctor Oz Show, he spotlighted heavy metals in protein powders, organic food and supplements. Even by trying to healthy you are exposing yourself to toxic heavy metals.
However, the truth is virtually everyone is exposed to heavy metals on a daily basis. The scary thing is that most of us are unaware of this risk, especially if we live in highly urbanized areas. With constant exposure to sources of metals that could enter our bodies without us ever knowing it, we need to learn how to spot the signs of heavy metal toxicity so we can avail of detoxification treatments as soon as possible.
Sources of Heavy Metal Toxicity
Our present environment is full of sources of heavy metals that can get inside and accumulate in our bodies. Heavy metals can enter the body through absorption, inhalation and ingestion. Once they are inside, they are stored in the soft tissues where they disrupt the process of protein binding in the body which leads to a disruption of important biochemical processes. Human systems are not designed for high levels of metals in the blood and when this happens, signs and symptoms of toxicity or poisoning appear.
The most common sources of toxicity include:
- Mishandling of metals like breaking thermometers and letting the mercury escape
- Silver fillings in teeth
- Light bulbs breaking especially fluorescent one
- Exposure to lead based paint in old buildings
- Smoking or inhalation of second hand smoke
- Living near landfills or incinerators
- Exposure through vaccinations
- Eating contaminated fish
Oral Chelation Heavy Metal Detoxification
Oral Chelation is a process of removing excess heavy metals from the body through the normal process of elimination. Chelation is a therapeutic procedure done to remove heavy metals like mercury from the blood using a substance called ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid or EDTA which binds to heavy metal molecules in the blood so that the latter can be safely excreted through the urinary tract. Although chelation usually involves the injection of this substance directly into the bloodstream, an oral alternative is also available for those who want a painless and non-invasive procedure.
EDTA is a commonly-used substance in medical procedures and acts as an antioxidant that protects blood vessels from inflammation and the damage brought by free radicals. However, the body regards the body as a foreign substance, so it is naturally excreted out. Doctors rely on the attraction between EDTA and metal molecules so that once EDTA is ready to be excreted, it already has metal molecules ready to be excreted with it. In oral chelation therapy, EDTA is used as primary chelator, along with a number of natural chelators to increase its absorption rate in the body.
Oral chelation is not only limited to the delivery of chelators which take the form of antioxidants, but also the delivery of minerals and other nutrients to replenish lost minerals. It is an extremely flexible method for treating metal poisoning since the patient can determine where and when he wants to have the therapy done. Because of its other benefits, the therapy can serve as a non-invasive preventive complimentary program for those at risk for metal poisoning.
Other Benefits of Oral Chelation Therapy
Oral chelation is primarily done to treat heavy metal poisoning. However, it is also a popular alternative for conventional treatments for heart diseases such as coronary bypass surgery and angioplasty because EDTA has the ability to reduce the level of calcium in the bloodstream. Calcium is a component of plaque which line the inner walls of the arteries that can affect blood pressure. With lowered levels of calcium, doctors can effectively break down the plaque and reduce the plaque present on the walls to restore normal blood pressure levels in individuals who were previously candidates for invasive surgeries to treat heart disease. Chelation therapy may even be helpful in maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, effectively lowering the risk of blood vessel damage in high-risk individuals who have not yet showed signs of the disease.
Oral chelation therapy may also be helpful in treating peripheral vascular disease and multiple sclerosis. The good thing about this type of therapy is that it can be used as an alternative, long-term form of preventive therapy to strengthen blood vessels and lower a person's overall risk of heart disease. Due to its effect on plaque, chelation therapy has also been used with some measure of success among patients suffering from or at a great risk for Alzheimer's Disease.