The Immune System and Toxic Metals
Virtually all aspects of immune system functions are compromised by the inhalation of heavy metal particulates. In addition, toxic metals can increase allergic reactions, cause genetic mutation, compete with “good” trace metals for biochemical bonding sites and act as antibiotics killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria.
Heavy Metals and the Immune System
The body has not learned how to dispose of heavy metals, even in very low concentrations, and tends to store them in the lymphatic and circulatory systems, vital organs such as the brain and the liver, and also in fatty tissues. They will accumulate there for years until a point is reached when the amounts are such that they start to affect the whole body, particularly those with weakened immune systems. Common symptoms are headaches, brought on by an over-loaded liver.
Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium all depress the immune system even at low levels. Cadmium comes from cigarette smoke and as a toxic by-product of metal plating industries, which can get into the water supply. Cadmium slows down the speed of the B-cells’ producing antibodies in the immune system. Lead slows T- and B-cell response. Mercury reduces the number of T-cells and reduces activity in the immune system. All three of the metals reduces the activity and speed the macrophages, thus increasing susceptibility to infection.
Heavy metals are present in the air, drinking water, food, and countless synthetic chemicals and products. They are taken into the body by inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption. Heavy metals enter and accumulate in body tissues faster than the body’s detoxification pathways can dispose of them and eventually a buildup occurs.
Heavy metals are trace metals with a density at least five times that of water. They are stable elements that cannot be metabolized by the body and get passed up in the food chain to human beings (bio-accumulate). The most common and harmful heavy metals are Aluminum, Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, and Nickel — all successfully and safely removed by Kelatox®. There are many more heavy metals that are not as prevalent or as harmful as the previously noted elements.
Heavy metals in general have no basic function in the body and can be highly toxic. High-concentration exposure is not necessary in order to produce a state of toxicity in the body. Most cases of heavy metal poisoning result from chronic low level exposure to these hazardous environmental toxins.
In the last 50 years, human exposure to heavy metals has risen dramatically. This is the result of an exponential increase in the use of heavy metals in industrial processes and products. Today chronic exposure comes from toxic waste dump and burn sites, agriculture, chemical products, mercury amalgam dental fillings, lead-based paint, tap water, and chemical residues in processed foods. Personal care products, such as cosmetics, mouthwash, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and other hair care goods, are also sources of contamination. In addition to the hazards at home and outdoors, many occupations are subjected to daily heavy metal exposure. More than 50 professions are exposed to mercury on a daily basis. These include physicians, pharmaceutical workers, dentists, dental workers, laboratory workers, hairdressers, painters, printers, welders, metalworkers, cosmetic workers, battery makers, engravers, photographers, visual artists and potters.
Studies confirm that toxic heavy metals can directly influence behavior by impairing mental and neurological function. They can also influence the production and utilization of neurotransmitters and can alter numerous metabolic body processes. Toxic metal elements can induce impairment and dysfunction in the blood cardiovascular system, detoxification pathways (colon liver kidneys skin), endocrine (hormonal), system energy production pathways, enzymatic pathways, gastrointestinal tract, immune system nervous system (both central and peripheral) reproductive system and urinary system pathways.
Much of the damage produced by toxic metals stems from the production of oxidative free radicals. A free radical is an energetically unbalanced molecule that “steals” an electron from another molecule in order to restore its balance. Free radicals result naturally when cell molecules react with oxygen (oxidation). With a heavily toxic load or antioxidant deficiencies uncontrolled free-radical production occurs. Unchecked free radicals can cause tissue damage throughout the body. In fact free-radical damage underlies all degenerative diseases.
Toxic heavy metals can also increase the acidity of the blood. The body draws calcium from the bones in order to restore proper blood pH. Toxic metals can set up conditions that lead to inflammation in arteries and tissues causing more calcium to be drawn to the area as a buffer. The calcium coats inflamed areas in the blood vessels like a bandage patching up one problem but creating another- the hardening and progressive blockage of the arteries. Without replenishment of calcium the constant removal of this important mineral from the bones will result in osteoporosis (the loss of bone density) which leads to an increased risk for fractures of the spine and hips.
We need to remove the toxins from our body if we are to experience good health. There are a number of toxins that the body is constantly exposed to, and we have an immune system that is capable of neutralizing these toxins, providing that the system is not compromised. After all, our body (by design) is capable of mounting a successful defense against toxins originating in the body, those being consumed, and those that are airborne. Most chronic disease is not the failure of the immune system, but a conscious adaptation of the immune system to an otherwise lethal heavy metal environment.