AND SIX SMALL STEPS
A few points I have already made elsewhere. With a delay, optimistically speaking, of a quarter of a century (the Romans poisoned themselves with lead pipes and containers), but still with the unpardonable superficiality of the medical class (it is estimated that only 2% of doctors in the USA deal with the problem, whereas in Italy I dare not imagine), medical science is just beginning to flounder in the damage it and industrial civilization cause with heavy metals.
I say flounder because the solution to the problem involves two thorny issues. First: the elimination of heavy metals from the food chain, the air, the workplace, chemical cures. Second: their elimination from the body with a view to blocking the damage that is already occurring. It is easy to see how both points require a revolutionary effort of titanic proportions, but one which can only yield pathetic alarm signals. This is not catastrophism.
It is possible that habit has allowed the “boomerang effect” of heavy metals (like wars) to pass unobserved, as something inevitable. Except that both wars and heavy metals have reached the limits of planetary tolerance, a scale which is sufficient to instil a belated fear: few perhaps know that 65% of deaths are attributable directly or indirectly, in a more hidden way, to heavy metals.
2) THE NATURE AND TYPES OF HEAVY METALS
Heavy metals are defined as metals with a higher atomic number than alkaline earth metals, or as transition metals such as lead, copper and chrome. Generally speaking, when we refer to heavy metals we mean: lead, mercury, iron, copper, manganese, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, aluminium, silver, beryllium. Arsenic, which has been in use since ancient times, is not a metal, but does have certain semi-metallic properties. It is also present as an impurity in a wide range of minerals contained in a variety of heavy metals.
In industrial civilization, heavy metals are released into the environment in a number of ways, from the very origins of the food chain to drugs manufacturing. Acid rain dissolves mercury, lead, aluminium, zinc, manganese and cadmium, thus constituting an important means of emission into the environment.
3) WHY THEY ARE HARMFUL
The toxicity of heavy metals derives from the connection they establish with organic substances, thereby producing free radicals, dysfunction and cellular death by means of blocked enzymes and altered proteins. As well as the damage caused to intestinal flora and the immune system, with an unimaginable chain of consequences, recent research has revealed that they can also increase the resistance of viruses and bacteria to therapy.
One fundamental difference with regard to organic toxins or toxic compounds is that heavy metals are not degradable, or they are to a very limited degree, and therefore cannot be neutralised by transformation and are, as a result, eternal. Consequently, they accumulate by infiltrating and residing within the very structure of tissues.
The toxic action of heavy metals becomes manifest in their affinity with organic substances, with which they form complexes called “ligands”, the most common being oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur (in the latter case, to the detriment of those precious -SH groups that are so important for enzymes). We should add that, generally speaking, for instance in the food-chain, heavy metals accumulate and concentrate within edible living organisms (e.g. crustaceans and molluscs close to shore), with concentration depending also on average life-span.
The ionised or soluble element is the factor which determines the toxicity of the metals, which means that, contrary to belief, ingesting mercury in its metal state does not result in poisoning.
4) ONE AFTER ANOTHER
This brief overview describes only a part of what are defined as heavy metals; among other questions, the symptomatology of acute, professional, accidental, particular, etc., poisoning is omitted. The only exception is fluorine, which does not belong to the category but is wrapped in the same mystification about its harmfulness, and therefore requires attention.
WHERE: coal and tobacco combustion, acid rain, tinned food, wine, toothpaste, cosmetics, batteries, liver, glazed ceramics, pencils, paints containing lead, coloured inks, pesticides.
HOW: inhibits iron-copper dependent enzymes in the Krebs cycle. Inhibits calcium, zinc, manganese. It can activate the thyroid hormone and affect the assimilation of iodine. It replaces calcium in the bones.
DAMAGE: adrenal insufficiency, anaemia, blindness, constipation, depression, dyslexia, fatigue, hallucination, hypothyroidism, hypertension, impotence, hepatic insufficiency, hyperactivity, mental retardation, nephropathy, Parkinson’s, psychosis, schizophrenia, tooth loss, autism, abdominal complaints, multiple sclerosis, nightmares.
WHERE: I have counted more than 130 mercury compounds that we come into contact with, over forty of which in the pharmaceutical industry (from antiseptics to vaccines). Not so different from lead, in fact, and I am sure the list in incomplete. Additionally: amalgams, tuna, swordfish, floor wax, adhesives, contact lens solutions, softeners.
HOW: it inhibits ATPase enzymes, reducing cellular energy production generally. It slows conduction in nerve fibres. Due to its accumulation in the kidneys, it undermines their functioning.
DAMAGE: cerebral damage, fatigue, insomnia, adrenal dysfunction, memory loss, schizophrenia, thyroidal dysfunction, loss of peripheral vision, migraine, mood swings, dermatitis, anorexia, limb pain, deafness, depression, damage to foetuses. Shock datum: since each atom of mercury deactivates one enzyme or other important protein, 0.5 grammes of mercury can cause the loss of 4,324,120,233,288,470,165,993,719,156,572 chemical reactions in your body. But I doubt anybody can read the number.
A note for absent dentists. With a lack of “scientific logic” (a dispensable item), amalgams have been declared safe by the American dentists’ association (lower case), despite 2000 scientific studies proving the contrary. In an extremely interesting piece of research by Nylander, the levels of mercury in the brains of people who work with amalgams are compared to those of people who have no contact with them. The results are alarming: Dentists: 1630 nanograms/gramme in the hypophysis and 69 nanograms/gramme in the occipital cortex. Assistants: 1300 ng/gr in the hypophysis and 18 ng/gr for the cerebral cortex, against the 7 ng/gr in the hypophysis and 6 ng/gr in the cerebral cortex of those who are “mercury exempt”. Weights refer to non-dry product. There follows a question: “Could this explain the high levels of suicide among dentists?” Because, in toxic amounts, mercury includes this among its effects. Good luck, boys, but, please, no excuses.
WHERE: dust, aspirin, salt, dairy products, tobacco, beef, deodorants, refined flour, ceramics, animal food, antacids, nose sprays.
HOW: inhibiting particular cerebral enzymes and normal cellular electrical activity.
DAMAGE: asthenia, headache, precocious senility, hepatic and renal dysfunction, anaemia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, Parkinson’s, constipation, leukocytosis, gastric complaints, hyperhidrosis, paresis, behavioural disturbances.
WHERE: beer, kitchen salt, pesticides, seafood, fungicides, preservatives, coal combustion.
HOW: it builds up in the skin, hair, nails, resulting in depigmentation. It is enzyme-inhibiting, carcinogenic, nephrotoxic.
DAMAGE: anaemia, digestion disturbances, hepatic insufficiency, jaundice, goitre, stomatitis, dermatitis, baldness, headache, herpes, reduced mental capability. A typical sign is garlicky breath.
WHERE: tap water, tinned meat, fish, soft drinks, evaporated milk, instant coffee, refined cereals, engine oil, dental alloys, tobacco, batteries.
HOW: inhibits enzymes in the Krebs cycle.
DAMAGE: nervous system hyperactivity with the inhibition of acetylcholine, disruption of the calcium-phosphorous balance, vasal sclerosis, nephrotoxicity, anaemia, arthritis, malignant tumours, diabetes, hepatic cirrhosis, hypertension, impotence, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, heart disease, sterility, alopecia.
HERE: pipes, kitchen utensils, dental alloys, swimming-pools, shellfish and fish, soya, walnuts, hazel nuts, yeasts, wheat germ, beer, chocolate, lamb, mushrooms, avocado, contraceptive pills and copper coils, fungicides, industrial emissions.
HOW: it stimulates the production of norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine. It interferes with zinc. Closely connected with the metabolism of oestrogens, it is considered a “female mineral”, psychic, intuitive; we know that women with excessive levels of copper are frequently hyperoestrogenic. Zinc is the “male mineral”, and in men it is connected with reproduction. Excess of copper interferes with zinc, affecting personality and behaviour. There are interesting studies on the “copper personality”. The current “feminization” of men has been linked to a rise in copper levels in the male population. I might add that the functioning of the prostate is closely linked to zinc, and that benign prostatic hypertrophy is extremely precocious compared to only thirty years ago.
DAMAGE: mood swings, depression, multiple sclerosis, paranoia, phobias, diabetes, oestrogen dominance, allergies, urinary infections, arthritis, anxiety, anorexia, insomnia, hypertension, hair loss, acne, migraine.
WHERE: pipes, iron utensils, drinking water, soya, beef, walnuts, legumes, sunflower seeds, bran, wheat germ, welding, shellfish, yeasts, molasses, refined cereals.
HOW: toxicity depends on the quantities absorbed in the ferrous state. It reacts with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 ) to form OH. The antioxidants should neutralise the free radicals thus produced. The scarcity of antioxidants and/or the large quantities of iron assimilated determines the toxicity.
DAMAGE: diabetes, hemochromatosis, schizophrenia, rage and other emotional disorders, constipation, cirrhosis, arthritis, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s, insomnia, hypertension, hepatitis, vertigo, cardiac insufficiency, memory loss. Cirrhosis due to alcoholism causes the loss of the ability to control the assimilation of iron (increase of ferritin) which builds up in the other organs as well, leading to their destruction.
WHERE: hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, kelp, oysters, herrings, nickelled objects, cigarettes, tea, batteries, cables and electric components, peanut butter.
HOW: it accumulates in the kidneys; it interferes with the metabolism of cell membranes.
DAMAGE: hypotension, kidney dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, heart attack, mouth cancer, lung cancer, intestine cancer, sinusitis, haemorrhaging. Nickel frequently causes allergies and intolerances, due also to its presence in an enormous range of commonly used objects and products.
The problem concerns children. Administering fluorine slows their cerebral metabolism, impairs the growth of epithelia and hair, and leads to susceptibility to cold-related diseases such as bronchitis. There is a 15% increase in the incidence of tumours and leukemias. It causes pallor, lack of energy, premature loss of deciduous teeth, otitis, hyperkinesia, lack of concentration, lack of mental receptiveness. Also dermatitis, eczema, obesity. Yet it is a sacred cow, even for drinking water, along with chlorine. Bleach (the latter), in other words, which gave rise to heart attacks in its time. And we will add fluorine to vaccinations, another sacred cow.
5) DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS
And here’s the rub.
a) There is no question of conducting diagnoses on the multiple symptoms that are shared with those of other pathologies, and are confused or co-present with those of other metals. The exception is cases of acute intoxication, which require emergency hospitalisation.
b) As fortune, or propriety – since they are entirely unreliable – would have it, there are few quantitative and qualitative blood and urine tests on the market. I would remind those who are naive enough to buy them that heavy metals infiltrate the very fabric of tissues, and don’t circulate in the form of quantifiable ions. I mentioned it earlier, and it is the case, for instance, of the printing industry, where periodical lead tests were employed by Linotype workers to make rough assessments of levels of intoxication. Likewise for other forms of work-related intoxication.
c) Experimental tests conducted by certified laboratories aimed at quantifying heavy metals in blood or urine have yielded results with discrepancies of up to 25% for the same operations. Even “normal” values are anything but homogeneous in the various works I have consulted.
d) It is obvious that the method of carrying out autopsies on various organs to draw qualitative and quantitative conclusions about heavy metals is, to say the least, absurd, except for the purposes of the autopsy itself.
e) It is well to remember also that a further difficulty is posed by the fact that the difference between toxic and non toxic doses is somewhat relative.
f) EDTA (etilendiamminotetracetic acid) is a good test for urine, both before and after administration, being a valuable chelant with regard to certain heavy metals, rather than for calcium, as is widely believed (therapies for arterial pathologies). Despite its protocol and slow endovenous administration, which make home use impossible (I underwent an EDTA cure in 1986), even as a therapy EDTA is harmless. “Strangely”, however, its use in natural remedies is not allowed, although its effectiveness when taken orally is questionable.
g) A good method would be the mineral test carried out on hair. I have to say I don’t believe protocols that are absolutely credible, and needed, are yet in place. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that reports about hair are not concerned with the concentration and quality of heavy metals at the time of the exam, but many months earlier. This makes it highly unreliable. A fact which is easily forgotten by those who would promote the procedure.
If diagnosis is problematic, we cannot assume there are valid therapies. Especially if heavy metals and their related pathologies are considered as free-standing entities, unrelated to the rest of the organism.
I will not go into the products that are harmful to the health, such as penicillamine, DMSA, DMPS and others, as they do not concern us here. As mentioned earlier, EDTA does not have an easy life in common practice.
Instead, I wish to present a very brief and incomplete list of prime natural substances which qualify as chelants, but which I prefer to define as heavy metal mobilisers that are harmless, provide wide-ranging and correlated action, are detoxifying and well tried and tested.
Above all, not all heavy metal chelants are able to pass through the hematoencephalic barrier. I will therefore mention only those that can, and they are not many: L-cysteine, L-glutathione, L-mentionine, vitamin C, coriander, L-lysine.
Aminoacid, chelates lead, mercury, arsenic, antioxidant for all metals, hepatoprotector.
The most powerful antioxidant aminoacid, chelates mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals in the brain.
Lead chelant. Detoxifier.
Chelates lead, arsenic and mercury. Hydrosoluble antioxidant.
Chelates mercury, lead, aluminium. It is very important because it is the first substance known to mobilise mercury in the nervous system.
Chelates lead and aluminium. Has vasal repair properties.
Dott Glauco Smadelli