In my search for what to do about a personal high blood lead level, I cam across the paper below. Which recommendations are valid, which strategies really work, how quickly, etc. The data seems poor at best on what to do if you are not poisoned enough to require chelation therapy.
- If the lead is in the diet, it’s about not absorbing it—that makes sense. But absorption varies hugely by foods eaten together or not.
- If the lead is leaching from bones into the bloodstream, it’s about encouraging excretion.
- How would one determine efficacy over a few months vs not following such a diet?
- How much of the recommended foods, how often, eaten/cooked how?
- There is almost certainly a complexity involving calcium, magnesium, iron, lead, etc along with Vitamin C, B Vitamins, etc... no one knows what is ideal here. Put another way, too much or too little of just one thing might wildly change the physiological outcome.
In my personal situation, I suspect lead leaching from my bones, because I have no risk factors except one (and that is minimal) of any of the three dozen or so risk factors listed on public health sites. Accordingly, and having handled lead and mercury as a teenager, I suspect stores of the stuff in my bones. I could be wrong, but I have nothing else to go on.
OTOH, if 3 months pass and my blood lead level gets cut by 87%, then that implies a one-time exposure (half life of blood lead is one month, allegedly, so it would be cut in half 3 times eg 50%, 25%, 12.5% after 3 months).
But... if it's in some food source, then it might not drop either. That seems unlikely, unless the matcha or black tea or something like that is contaminated with lead. How would one know?
I’m still waiting for the blood mercury (Hg) test results, but looks like the lab just dropped that one on the floor.
REDUCING LEAD ABSORPTION
For reducing lead absorption the key nutrients appear to be vitamin C, calcium, iron and, to a lesser degree, zinc and phosphorus. Dietary deficiencies in any of these can increase lead absorption, though supplementation of individuals with already high levels of these nutrients in their diet may not have much impact on lead absorption. Further, since these minerals compete with, or alter lead absorption during digestion, taking concentrated supplements at one point of time, unless you are deficient in that particular nutrient, may not affect continuing lead absorption, once the supplements have been processed through a particular stage of digestion. Vitamin D and folate (vitamin B9) can actually increase lead absorption, but have offsetting advantages: vitamin D can play a role in decreasing the quantity of lead stored in the bone, while folate seems to increases excretion more than it increases absorption.
INCREASING LEAD EXCRETION
For increasing lead excretion, two low toxicity B group vitamins have had widely demonstrated impacts in animal studies: B1 (thiamine or thiamin), which specifically increases excretion from the brain, and B9 (folate or folic acid); both are now compulsory additives in non–organic bread inside Australia. Vitamin B6 can increase lead excretion in animals, but there are few studies to draw conclusions from.
Vitamin C has chelating (metal binding) properties, and can increase lead excretion, but its impacts on excretion have not always been consistently demonstrated, particularly at higher lead levels. Pectin also has been linked to higher lead excretion, but questions have been raised as to its degree of effectiveness.
For reducing blood lead levels, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine (B1), folate (B9) and iron have the strongest and most consistent blood lead links.
WIND: can’t hurt to take B vitamins, as far as I know, and some Vitamin C. But since I have strong levels of Vitamin B12 (recently tested), I wonder if there is anything to add that can help unless the other B vitamins are somehow low with B12 solid.
As for iron, my Ferritin is as low as it has ever been tested so perhaps that relates to blood lead. But low Ferritin is often an issue with thyroid disease and iron levels might also relate to copper deficiency. If low Ferritin relates strongly to thyroid disease and I cannot fix that, not sure how I can fix iron+copper. I should probably start eating liver 3 times a week, for the copper and other nutrients, and hope for something.
My internist MD has no suggestions. The more I learn about medical training and practice, the more I see the profession like an old Western false-front building: puffed-up claims but not much really there, professing great expertise but having little to offer for real health issues that are not conventional like infections, trauma, etc. Nothing to offer on health.
Iron and copper are essential nutrients, excesses or deficiencies of which cause impaired cellular functions and eventually cell death. The metabolic fates of copper and iron are intimately related. Systemic copper deficiency generates cellular iron deficiency, which in humans results in diminished work capacity, reduced intellectual capacity, diminished growth, alterations in bone mineralization, and diminished immune response. Copper is required for the function of over 30 proteins, including superoxide dismutase, ceruloplasmin, lysyl oxidase, cytochrome c oxidase, tyrosinase and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase. Iron is similarly required in numerous essential proteins, such as the heme-containing proteins, electron transport chain and microsomal electron transport proteins, and iron-sulfur proteins and enzymes such as ribonucleotide reductase, prolyl hydroxylase phenylalanine hydroxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase and aconitase. The essentiality of iron and copper resides in their capacity to participate in one-electron exchange reactions. However, the same property that makes them essential also generates free radicals that can be seriously deleterious to cells. Thus, these seemingly paradoxical properties of iron and copper demand a concerted regulation of cellular copper and iron levels. Here we review the most salient characteristics of their homeostasis.
What I’m using is NDF Plus @AMAZON. Primarily to get the Mercury out which I had from my Amalgam teeth fillings. But it is reported to work for Lead as well. I can’t tell if it is working or not - those things take time.
My Chiro is overseeing this and is doing periodic hair tests (it hasn’t changed much over last 6 months). Apparently blood tests are not very good for heavy metals. My MD has done a blood test on Mercury (after I asked for it) and it was very low.
My Chiro also had a “challenge” test done with DMSA and then testing the urine before and after taking this. That showed Mercury to a significant level, but it also was a horrible experience. I was very sick for 2 week. Apparently this stuff mobilized a lot of heavy metals in the body.
I won’t be doing such chemical “Chelation” ever again, neither for a test nor to get the metals out. That’s how I ended up with NDF. How effective it is I don’t know yet, but at least I have no side effects from it. Also, I found this book helpful if you’re concerned about Mercury: Mercury Detoxification Simplified @AMAZON
WIND: chemical chelation can be a risky business.
I had all my amalgam fillings replaced 10-15 years ago, but I am still waiting for my mercury test results.
At this point, I am not taking any drastic action. First I want to retest 6 weeks or so after the last test, to see if the results have changed or not. And I want to find out if blood lead tests are even credible—I know for a fact the serum magnesium tests are highly unreliable.