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Austin Holistic Healing Center

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4201 Bee Caves Road,
Suite B112, West Lake Hills, Texas 78746
P: 512-327-4886, F: 512-327-4958


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Toxic Metals

Heavy metals (a.k.a. toxic metals) are a scourge of modern living. Most of us who live in “civilized” societies are continuously exposed to high concentrations of them. Unfortunately, these toxic contaminants have become an integral part of our industrialized culture. Metals like aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury are commonly found in thousands of different food products, household products, personal products and untold numbers of industrial products and chemicals.

The really bad news is that soon after we’re exposed to them, the heavy metals are rapidly removed from blood circulation and shunted away to tissue storage sites in vital tissues where they disrupt our biological systems and wreak havoc on our health.

The presence of toxic metals in our systems is highly significant for they are capable of causing serious health problems through interfering with normal biological functioning. Although they can be found in high concentrations in the body, a number of these heavy metals (aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, lead and mercury) have no known biological function. Others (arsenic, copper, iron and nickel) are thought to be essential at low concentrations, but are toxic at high levels. Generally speaking, heavy metals disrupt metabolic function in two basic ways:

First, they accumulate and thereby disrupt function in vital organs and glands such as the heart, brain, kidneys, bone, liver, etc.

Second, they displace vital nutritional minerals from where they should be in the body to provide biological function. For example, enzymes are catalysts for virtually every biochemical reaction in all life-sustaining processes of metabolism. But instead of calcium being present in an enzyme reaction, lead or cadmium may be there in its place. Toxic metals can’t fulfill the same role as the nutritional minerals, thus their presence becomes critically disruptive to enzyme activity.

Because their impact is at such a foundational level, heavy metals can be causal factors in literally any health problem. This is graphically illustrated in the chart below, which summarizes the sources of each of the heavy metals as well as their adverse effects on the body.

If your job or living circumstances expose you to heavy metals, you would do well to minimize or eliminate your exposure as much as possible. Be aware that there are many ways these toxins can be absorbed into your body–through foods and beverages, skin exposure, and via the air you breathe. So, whenever possible, wear gloves, use protective breathing apparatuses, and be sure to obtain fresh air ventilation.

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