Toxic Minerals to Avoid in Food and Environment - dummies

Toxic Minerals to Avoid in Food and Environment

By Christopher Hobbs, Elson Haas

Many minerals are an essential part of a healthy diet. Other minerals are toxic even in tiny amounts, leading to nerve dysfunction and memory loss, a weakened immune system, and even kidney damage.

Heavy metals are real trace elements found in industrial wastes, fillings in your teeth, fish and sea products, and in the paint of most houses and buildings — and they can cause you serious harm.

  • Aluminum: Found in underarm deodorants, cookware, and foil, aluminum occurs in the earth and naturally in foods, but excessive amounts can be a problem. Heating acidic foods, such as tomato sauces, in aluminum cookware or foil can allow high amounts of aluminum to get into your food.

    Aluminum is also an ingredient in antacids, baking powders, and salt. The best way to prevent aluminum toxicity is to avoid regular exposure to aluminum-containing products, such as antiperspirants, antacids, and cooking in aluminum foil and cookware.

    Linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other senile dementia, aluminum deposits have been found in the brains of people suffering from these mental disorders. Natural aluminum, in the 40–50 mg you may ingest daily in food, may not be a culprit. T

    The aluminum additives in salt and baking powders, and through the skin from deodorants, may lodge in body tissues and potentially cause some problems in the brain and with certain enzymes.

    Toxicity may cause skin rashes, intestinal upset, and harm to the bones and kidneys.

  • Arsenic: You may be exposed to arsenic through ocean food, weed killers, and insecticides. Arsenic is also found in the soil, and some arsenic, therefore, is contained in foods. To avoid arsenic toxicity, stay away from insecticides and weed killers that contain arsenic. In addition, if you drink well water, check to make sure it doesn’t contain any significant levels of arsenic or other toxic metals.

    Your kidneys eliminate arsenic from your body, but excess amounts may adversely affect the kidneys, the heart, and the blood cells as well.

    Small amounts of arsenic may even be essential to human health, but more research is necessary to verify this.

  • Cadmium: Exposure to cadmium comes through cigarette smoke, certain paints, water, coffee, tea, and contaminated foods, specifically refined grains. Cadmium occurs in the earth, commonly along with zinc mining. It may interfere with zinc functions in the body, affecting immunity, prostate health, and bones.

    To prevent cadmium toxicity, avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, contaminated seafood, and refined foods, while maintaining good levels of zinc in the body.

    Cadmium causes mild to moderate toxicity in humans and may affect the kidneys and blood pressure, because it is a factor in hypertension. This heavy metal is not as toxic as lead and mercury, because cadmium does not appear to get into the brain.

    Chelation therapy (an intravenous vitamin therapy to pull metal from body tissues) and zinc supplements can reduce cadmium toxicity. Copper, iron, selenium, and vitamin C can help eliminate cadmium as well.