Heavy Metals are becoming such a major problem today that finding a formula that removes them has always been one of my top priorities. In 2003, I created an organic, oral chelation formula for Baseline Nutritionals®. It's one of my favorite formulas, but other than a handful of doctors who each regularly usde nearly 100 bottles a month in their practices, very few people were aware of the power of this formula the first two years it was availabel. But, with the release of the clinical studies in 2005 proving its effectiveness, that changed.
Clinical studies completed in September 2005 prove that it's possible to naturally remove an average of 87% of Lead, 91% of Mercury, and 74% of Aluminum from the body within 42 days. The study, sponsored by Baseline Nutritionals®, was conducted by healthcare professionals at The Optimal Wellness Test Research Center in Nevada.
The problem with heavy metals is that they accumulate in the body causing numerous health problems that can seriously impact literally every major organ in the body. Studies show that heavy metals in the body may be implicated in everything from Alzheimer's to cardiovascular disease, from behavioral problems to kidney dysfunction, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and even paralysis. The results of the clinical study on the formula should certainly be of interest to those looking for a proven, natural, affordable method for removing damaging heavy metals from the body.
Oral Chelation Study Summary
The study involved fifty subjects with various beginning wellness levels, age, exercise levels, race, sex, and health levels. Subjects were first tested with clean bodies -- meaning they consumed no prescription drugs, supplements, nor special diets for 1 week prior to their first use of said formula. Strict guidelines were followed during the study such as restrictions in using any other supplements, OTC drugs, or from altering their diets.
The results of the clinical study were stunning. Over the 42-day study, test subjects showed an average of 87% overall chelation of lead, 91% of mercury, and 74% overall chelation of aluminum. Five subjects showed a 100% reduction in their lead levels, seventeen subjects showed a 100% reduction in their mercury levels, and ten subjects showed a 92% reduction in their aluminum levels thereby reducing them to 0.0 µg/g creatinine for each metal.
The study also showed that nitrogen, nitrates, and ammonias increased overall to wellness numbers by 25%. This means that the product also decreased other toxic levels that are stored intra-cellular in the body. These toxins are often the cause of very low pH numbers that are difficult to move into normal wellness range. But while on the cilantro and chlorella formula, pH ranges moved an average of 33% into the wellness range. Eliminating the stored toxins and heavy metal toxins allows the cellular body to remove stored acids and other unbalancing fluids.
The researchers concluded that an oral chelation formula of cilantro and chlorella is a very effective heavy metal chelator and a great product for those that have very acidic pH intra-cellular imbalances.
The Herbal Oral Chelation Formula
The formula is a tincture of cilantro and chlorella.
Why cilantro and chlorella?
Because cilantro changes the electric charge on intracellular deposits of heavy metals to a neutral state, which relaxes their tight bond to body tissue, freeing them up to be flushed from the body. Studies have shown that levels of mercury, lead, and aluminum in the urine increase significantly after consuming large amounts of cilantro.1 It seems that cilantro changes the electric charge on intracellular deposits of heavy metals to a neutral state, which relaxes their tight bond to body tissue, freeing them up to be flushed from the body2 -- exactly the results seen in the Clinical Study.
Once free, the next step is to actually facilitate the removal of the metals from the body. And here's where chlorella comes in. Chlorella possesses the capacity to absorb heavy metals. This property has been exploited as a means for treating industrial effluent that contains heavy metals before it is discharged, and to recover the bio-available fraction of the metal in the process. In studies undertaken in Germany, high doses of chlorella have been found to be very effective in eliminating heavy metals from the body – from the brain, intestinal wall, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, and bone.3
Together, these herbs create a powerful oral chelation formula.
The bottom line is that this formula is now proven to be a major weapon in the fight against heavy metal toxicity. Once cleaned out after 42-days, a two week cleanse every 3-4 months should be enough to keep you relatively metal free – unless you eat a lot of high-mercury fish, or have more than a few amalgam fillings, in which case every 2 months is advisable. Incidentally, you do not want to use a chelation formula every day. Your body actually needs small amounts of some heavy metals.
Heavy Metal Toxicity
With the elimination of lead-based house-paint, and the increased use of lead-free gasoline, lead poisoning is certainly less prevalent. However, low-level toxicity is still an issue. Coal burning power plants still spew lead into the atmosphere, and like mercury and aluminum, the problem with lead is that it accumulates, unless you take active steps to remove it. The EPA estimates that 10 to 20 percent of human exposure to lead may come from lead in drinking water. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water. The EPA warns that if lead is not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity), slowed growth, headaches, and more. However, adults are still at risk and can suffer from reproductive problems (in both men and women), high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain.
As for aluminum, it has been known for 20 years that once it enters your body, it accumulates in your brain, where it kills off neurons, leading to memory loss. And thanks to the significant amounts of aluminum found in food emulsifiers, antiperspirant deodorants, hair sprays, baking powder, many types of toothpaste, much of our drinking water, and most of our cookware, you are exposed to a lot of aluminum over the course of your life. There has been much speculation, therefore, that aluminum may be one of the prime factors in the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease became even stronger when in 1995, Neurotoxicology reported that the widespread use of aluminum salts to purify water could account for the large numbers of people suffering from Alzheimer's.
And recently, the final piece of the puzzle may have fallen into place: the connection between aluminum and fluoride. New research has revealed that fluoride in drinking water makes the aluminum that we ingest more bio-available. As was reported in Brain Research, Vol.7 84:98, the combination of aluminum and fluoride causes the same pathological changes in brain tissue found in Alzheimer's patients.
Note: there is a significant difference between metallic aluminum and plant-derived aluminum, which is in the form of aluminum hydroxide. No studies have ever shown a connection between aluminum hydroxide and toxic levels of aluminum in the human body -- which is a good thing, because there is a lot of it in our food supply.
Like mercury, the danger from lead and aluminum is not the result of large doses, but the result of a steady accumulation over years -- as they do not easily clear from the body unless you take conscious steps to remove them.
Mercury, Deadly Beauty
People have known about the dangers of mercury since the days of the Roman Empire, when slaves who worked in the “quicksilver” mines died horribly after 2-3 years exposure. And in the 19th century, the workers who used mercury to make hats went bald and suffered from severe muscular tremors, dementia, and fits of wild, uncontrollable laughter. Thus the phrase: “Mad Hatter.”
It's no secret that mercury is one of the most toxic metals known. Numerous studies have shown its impact on health. There is strong evidence that mercury lowers T-Cell counts. This, alone, implicates it in cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergies, Candida overgrowth, and multiple sclerosis. In fact, due to other studies that showed mercuric chloride increased several types of tumors in rats and mice, and methyl mercury caused kidney tumors in male mice, the EPA has determined that mercuric chloride and methyl mercury are possible human carcinogens. It has also been shown that mercury cuts the oxygen carrying capacity of blood by half. This would account for many instances of chronic fatigue.4
Mercury also has an affinity for brain tissue and is implicated in brain tumors and dementia. And, finally, mercury has an affinity for fetal tissue, which accounts for its implication in birth defects. In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences found strong evidence for the toxicity of methyl mercury to children's developing brains, even at low levels of exposure. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Controls found that as many as 637,233 American children are born each year with mercury levels of more than 5.8 µg/L (5.8 micrograms per liter), the level associated with brain damage and loss of IQ.
Today, we face two primary sources of exposure: our food supply and our dental fillings.
48 Tons of Toxins in Our Food and Water
There is nothing complex about the process. Mercury is a naturally occurring toxin, which is found in soil, rocks, wood, and fuels like coal and oil. Simple soil erosion deposits mercury in rivers and lakes, but concentrations remain low, unless, as has been discovered in the recently deforested regions of the Amazon, erosion reaches extraordinary levels. The burning of rainforests also releases mercury that has been taken up from the soil by the trees.
But the major source of mercury in our food chain, responsible for about 1/3 of the levels found in our bodies, is our burning of coal to generate electric power. That is the single greatest contributor to the problem. Mercury that naturally occurs in the coal is released during burning and enters the air; it is then precipitated into the oceans, lakes, and rivers by rain. According to the EPA, coal-fired power plants in the United States emit about 48 tons of mercury into the air every year -- and more than half of this mercury falls within 5 miles of the plant itself. When it reaches the water, microorganisms consume it and convert it into a substance called methyl mercury.
Mercury In the Food Chain
A study at the University of Tennessee recently rated methyl mercury among the most dangerous poisons on Earth (just behind plutonium). It has no known beneficial use in the body, and it accumulates in the muscle tissue of fish, animals, and humans. When minnows eat plankton or algae that is contaminated with methyl mercury, it is deposited in their flesh; larger fish prey upon the minnows, and the toxin travels straight up the food chain to the most prized game fish -- the big predators like bass, pike, walleyes, brown trout; and to all the finest food and sport fish of the seas -- tuna, swordfish, shark, roughy, marlin, and halibut. According to the EPA, fish at the top of the aquatic food chain bio-accumulate methyl mercury to a level approximately 1 million to 10 million times greater than dissolved concentrations found in surrounding waters.
Of course, when you climb one more rung up that food chain, you find us, the people who eat fish. Just like the predatory fish that we catch and eat, we store mercury in our tissues. Just like the ancient Romans, we know that high exposure to mercury is fatal. But…
In 1997, the EPA under the Clinton administration presented a detailed study that revealed the hazards of mercury contamination, pinpointed coal-fired power plants as the leading source of emissions, and promised action. But nothing was done. The EPA had begun work on a plan to address mercury pollution in December 2000 and in a 2001 presentation, the agency said that 90 percent of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants could be cut, using what is known as the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), by 2008.
More recently, the Bush administration decided that the coal-fired power industry would be exempt. Therefore, levels will continue to climb -- not fall.
The American Dental Association has resolutely maintained for years "when mercury is combined with the metals used in dental amalgam, its toxic properties are made harmless." If this were true, it would be miraculously fortuitous.
Dentists have used amalgam, which consists of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and zinc, for several hundred years. Here in the United States, it made its appearance in the early 1800s.
From the beginning, there were a number of dentists who were concerned by the presence of mercury, since by that time it was fairly well known that mercury was poisonous. In fact, these concerns were so strong, that by the mid-1940s, several dental societies, including the American Society of Dental Surgeons, had joined together to stop the use of amalgam fillings. But the problem all along has been that amalgam is just too easy to work with, and whatever ill effects people experience are too far down the road to matter; so dentists, as a group, have fought for its continued use. And, in fact, the American Dental Association was founded in 1859 -- primarily to promote the use of mercury amalgam as a safe and desirable tooth filling material. There were no tests done. No studies. Nothing! Amalgam was promoted because it was easy to work with. The reason mercury was used in it was because mercury serves to "dissolve" the other metals and make a homogenous whole.
The early position of the ADA was that mercury reacts with the other metals to form "a biologically inactive substance" so that none of it ever makes its way into your body.
Unfortunately, numerous studies conducted in the 1970s and 80s proved conclusively that the mercury from fillings (primarily from mercury vapor created when you chew) makes its way into your body, ending up in your lungs, heart, stomach, kidneys, endocrine glands, gastrointestinal tract, jaw tissue, and brain.
Once it became irrefutable that mercury from the fillings was ending up in your body, it then became mandatory that the ADA find a new defense. Again, not based on study, it became the position of the ADA that: Well yes, maybe some mercury does make its way into your body, but at levels that are so low it has no effect on your health. Unfortunately, that's just not true either. Like so many other toxic substances, the real problem with mercury is that it is a cumulative poison. The body holds onto a significant percentage of the mercury that enters it.
Note: There is no safe way to remove amalgam fillings. Recent studies showed that even with strong air and water suctioning, water rinses, and a rubber dental dam, significant amounts of mercury were later found in the individual's lungs, kidneys, endocrine organs, liver and heart, whereas no mercury was detected in those tissues prior to removal of the fillings.
Since the government is not going to help limit your exposure to mercury in your food supply, and since your dentist and the ADA are not going to limit your exposure in your amalgam fillings, there is only one place you can turn for help -- yourself. You need to regularly cleanse accumulated mercury from your body.
The Bottom Line on Heavy Metals
When it comes to heavy metals, there are three clear steps available to you.
- Avoid exposure. Say no to new amalgam fillings and, if possible, have a dentist who understands the process replace your existing fillings. (However, you will need to detox after removal.) Avoid aluminum cookware and aluminum based deodorants. Stop eating high-mercury fish such as swordfish, shark, roughly, and albacore tuna. And filter fluoride and lead out of your drinking water.
- Regularly sweep heavy metals from your colon and draw them from the tissue lining the walls of your intestinal tract using a powerful herbal colon detoxifier. (Note: colonic irrigation will not remove heavy metals from your intestinal walls.)
- Routinely cleanse heavy metals from your body -- since they will not leave on their own. And now, thanks to this chelation formula, you have an easy, no fuss, inexpensive way to do just that.
Addendum - 6 April 2013
For some years now, the heavy metal formula described above has been extremely popular. And why not? It’s clinically tested and people love the results. Anecdotally, we’ve seen a steady stream of testimonials. Nevertheless, through the years, there have been two recurring problems experienced by a small percentage of people.
- Some people complained of getting slightly “spacey” while using the formula.
- And some people who relied on urine provocation testing to determine how well the formula worked for them would freak out when they saw higher numbers after using the formula—even though that would be expected and was a sign that metals were actually pulled out of the soft tissue and clearing the body.
As it turns out, these problems are related. What’s happening is that the cilantro is unbinding and freeing up the heavy metals—particularly mercury—faster than the chlorella can escort it from the body. Eventually, the chlorella catches up, but until then, the temporarily higher levels of metals in the blood can make you feel a bit woozy. Also, this lag time will cause the numbers seen in provocation testing to remain higher for longer periods of time.
So, the question arose, was there any way to enhance the formula that could help at least mitigate these problems, understanding that they can never be totally eliminated since they are inherent in the detox process?
Humic and Fulvic Acid
Humic acid, fulvic acid, and humin are types of humic substances or humates that are the major components of organic matter found throughout nature as a result of the action of millions of beneficial microbes on decomposing plants—a process known as humification. Humic acid and fulvic acid are considered to be the chemically bioactive compounds. They are black or dark brown in color and are of high molecular weight. Humins are the brownish amorphous substance that is produced from acidic reactions on certain sugars, carbohydrates, or the remaining residue of humate extraction and are considered less biologically active.
Because humic and fulvic acid are actually large, heterogeneous collections of polyaromatic macromolecules, and because they are so complex and their sourcing components (the decaying plant and animal matter) so variable, their molecular structures are not precisely known—but are, rather, generalized.5 The hypothetical structure for humic acid, for example, contains free and bound phenolic OH groups, quinone structures, nitrogen and oxygen as bridge units, and COOH groups variously placed on aromatic rings.
The hypothetical model structure of fulvic acid contains both aromatic and aliphatic structures, both extensively substituted with oxygen-containing functional groups.
In addition, beyond their core structures, both humic and fulvic acid incorporate other molecules into their structure such as protocatechuic acid, vanillic acid, vanillin, resorcinol, ferulic acid, benzoic acid, and other similarly structured polyphenols resulting from the breakdown of the structural lignans in plant cell walls. It’s also important to note that the exact composition of humic and fulvic acid will vary according to its source. Different sources produce humic/fulvic acid of varying efficacy.
As you may have guessed from the description so far, any time you buy a humic or fulvic acid formula for human use, you’re actually getting a mix of all three components. Theoretically, if something is called fulvic acid VS humic acid, it is merely indicative of the ratios involved in that blend. In other words, something called fulvic acid would have a higher proportion of fulvic acid than something labeled humic acid. Humic acid is naturally dominant, but the fulvic acid component can be concentrated during extraction. This is important since fulvic acid has more chelating potential than humic acid.
It is actually possible to obtain “organic” humic and fulvic acids. To call something “organic” in the U.S. requires approval by the National Organic Standard Board NOSB. In fact, it is possible to track down suppliers of high quality fulvic acid that not only matches the requirements of the USDA, but also of the European Union, and the Japanese Organic Standard Board. In addition, although there are humic and fulvic acids everywhere on the surface of the earth, only large deposits created via biotic and abiotic factors over 60 million years ago are of commercial value. In the U.S., such deposits are buried several feet below ground in pristine ancient lake beds that are known to be untouched by man until recently. These deposits are known to contain absolutely no heavy metals and were not exposed to GMOs. Thus, they’re qualified to be classified as organic or natural and suitable for organic food production. Such deposits are also a rare find in the fulvic and humic acid industry.
Fulvic Acid and Chelation
There are many health benefits associated with the use of supplemental humic and fulvic acids, including:
- Control of inflammation
- Stimulating metabolism
- Working as powerful free radical scavengers
- Regulating the thyroid and thymus glands
- Oxygenating the blood
- Maintaining optimum alkalinity
But the one we are concerned with today is their ability--and especially that of fulvic acid—to chelate toxic and/or inorganic metals and escort them safely out of the body.
The word “chelate” itself is derived from the Greek word chela, which refers to the pincer-like claw of a crustacean or arachnid, such as a lobster, crab, or scorpion. The term chelate, then, suggests the way in which an organic compound grabs onto the cation elements (in this case, toxic heavy metals) and carries them to the liver for processing and out of the body through the urine or feces.
In order for a compound to be called a true chelating agent, it must have certain chemical characteristics. It must have at least two sites capable of donating electrons to the metal it chelates. For true chelation to occur, the donating atom(s) must also be in a position within the chelating molecule so that a formation of a ring with the metal ion can occur. Humic and fulvic acid both qualify as true chelating agents.6
Humic/fulvic acid has been extensively tested for its ability to chelate toxic heavy metals from the body. For example, in one study, oral consumption of humic/fulvic acid administered daily for six weeks significantly decreased blood cadmium levels and increased urine cadmium in 31 adult workers continuously exposed to occupational cadmium.7 In the majority of subjects, initial abnormally low serum iron levels increased, and markers of kidney and liver function improved. In other studies humic/fulvic acid has been shown to decrease the absorption of heavy metals in the intestinal tract and reduce their toxic effects.8
Other studies have indicated that humic/fulvic acid may also be beneficial in helping your body to rid itself of lead, strontium, and mercury.
Adding Fulvic Acid to the Existing Formula
The problem in enhancing any formula is that you can’t just simply add something to the formula. There’s only so much room you can work with. In a 2 oz bottle, there’s only 2 ounces. If you add something, by definition, you have to take something out to make room for it, and if that something is a powerful bioactive, you have to be concerned that you’re not losing more than you’re gaining. On the other hand, in rare cases, you can find an ingredient that can be added that doesn’t require you to remove an “active” ingredient. As it turns out, we could make room for adding a sizeable amount of pristine, organic, liquid humic/fulvic acid by dropping out some of the alcohol and water base in the tincture since they play no active role in the heavy metal chelation formula. Thus, we get to add a large amount of a powerful chelating agent to the formula without reducing the amount of bioactive cilantro or chlorella even one microgram. In formulation, this has to be considered the ultimate win/win scenario.
When we tested the revised version of the heavy metal chelation formula with the added fulvic acid solution, the first thing that we noticed was that several people who had previously complained about feeling “off” or “spacey” when using the formula no longer had that complaint. They felt no dizziness or wooziness—indicating that the fulvic acid was working as expected. And under limited urine provocation testing, the numbers for heavy metals in the blood began to drop much more quickly in the days after using the formula than with previous versions. By all indications, the efficacy of the formula has been significantly enhanced.
In terms of color, smell, and taste, the new version is certainly interesting. There’s no denying that it’s now dark brown, bordering on black. Get any on your fingers and it temporarily stains them. You have to wash it off with soap and water; it won’t just rinse off. As for smell, the aromatics in it, such as the vanillin, now give the formula a slightly sweet, earthy smell—almost like a rich loam soil laced with vanilla and spices. It’s not strong, and it’s not offensive. Consider it nostalgic—taking you back to your days on the farm…or at least in your patch of your local victory garden. As for taste, it’s actually quite mild, surprisingly--when mixed with even a small amount of juice--almost non-existent.
In other words, because of the color, it’s recommend that you mix it with 1-2 oz of a dark juice such as grape or pomegranate as opposed to something light and colorful like orange juice. The taste when combined with orange juice is actually quite okay, but somehow drinking black orange juice is disconcerting.
It’s also recommended that you drink a glass of water after consuming a 4 mL serving of the formula.
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- 6. D. Gondar, R. López, S. Fiol, J.M. Antelo, F. Arce. "Cadmium, lead, and copper binding to humic acid and fulvic acid extracted from an ombrotrophic peat bog." Geoderma.2005.12.003. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/223954546_Cadmium_lead_and_copper_binding_to_humic_acid_and_fulvic_acid_extracted_from_an_ombrotrophic_peat_bog
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