Minerals and Toxic Metals

For those of us in SE Portland we have been up in arms about The Bulls Eye Glass Company toxic emissions of arsenic and cadmium. It has been going on for some 30 years. Its excellent that we have found out about it, but its also important to recognize that we have been barraged by heavy metals for much longer than this current alarm. Tackling environmental toxic metals and minerals in our bodies requires a mineral balancing lifestyle. All this cadmium and arsenic in our immediate environment now joins the lead, mercury and radioactive isotopes we are dealing with from cars and nuclear blow out across the ocean. Here is a little information so you can be active and informed about your health in this crisis.

Mineral deficiency plays a role in contributing to cadmium toxicity. When one is nutritionally deficient in calcium, iron, protein, and/or zinc, cadmium is absorbed by the body to fill these “nutritional gaps.”  Both cadmium and arsenic replace the deficient nutrients that keep the body running.  Over time, as more and more cadmium and arsenic are accumulated, toxicity symptoms will begin to present.

You can think of minerals as little spark plugs that allow enzymes, the tiny protein machines in our bodies, to do their jobs. Toxic elements, like cadmium and arsenic, replace nutrient minerals in enzyme binding sites. Your body's enzymes will use any mineral with a close enough charge and that fits the spark plug socket call a “binding site” if the preferred mineral is unavailable. When this occurs, the metals, also referred to as minerals, inhibit, over-stimulate, 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 simply deposit in many sites, causing local irritation and other toxic effects.

Toxic metals may also replace other substances in other tissue structures. The replacement weakens these tissues, such as the arteries, joints, bones, and muscles. For example: cadmium replaces zinc in vital enzyme binding sites which interferes with the instructions given by your DNA when building these enzymes. When there is a deficiency of zinc, the body is forced to use cadmium for repair. This can include the arteries, skin and other areas of the body where zinc is used for repair and zinc is also vitally important for men’s health, as copper is for women.

As you can see, the symptoms of cadmium toxicity are in direct correlation to a lack of the healthy minerals they replace (iron, calcium, and zinc).  This is why mineral balancing is so important! The takeaway from all this is that if your minerals are sufficient the opportunistic toxic metals won’t have anywhere to bind in the body and will be flushed from your system by your body’s daily detoxification mechanisms. Optimal detoxification requires daily attention. Here are some tips.