Given the right conditions – heavy metal detoxification

Written by Cyndi

Cyndi is about educating. Her greatest love is to teach, both in the public arena and within the large corporate food companies, to enable everyone to make better choices so they too can enjoy greater health throughout their lives. Considered one of the world's foremost experts in Nutrition, Cyndi brings over 40 years experience, research and knowledge.

July 9, 2015

Many years ago (1990’s) I had an association with a professor Sheey; his children and my children went to the same school.  He was a specialist in using micro-organisms to clean up environmental spills around the world.  At the time I didn’t associate what he was doing to what I was doing, but I do now.  As we learn more about the functions of the microbiome (the human micro-organism community) and heavy metal toxicity, the more I wished I’d paid attention to this man.

The body’s first line of defense to heavy metals, bad bacteria, parasites, poisons, toxins, phthalates, zeno-oestorgens and virus’s is the microbiome – that amazing group of organisms that live in your gut and help you do many things, including dragging heavy metals out of your body.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been exposed to heavy metals. When a volcano erupts it releases mercury and other heavy metals; many of our soils are enriched due to volcanic activity.  Our oceans have methyl mercury, they always have.  Heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, lead and copper are all around us and our body has the capacity to either use these metals or rid the body of it.

Given the right conditions, our body has several fail-safe mechanisms.  The first line of evacuation of heavy metals is the microbiome in the gut. If these bacteria can’t get rid of the heavy metal, the toxins pass into the blood and then with the help of key chelation biochemistry the metals are chelated (joined to compounds) and either taken back into the gut via the liver or released through sweat and urine.  Failing that, the body will store the heavy metals in organs, hair and fat tissue until it can release them safely.

The last paragraph started with ‘given the right conditions’.  What are the right conditions?

1. Normal heavy metal exposure
The problem is that many of us are now being exposed to heavy metals from every angle of our life through dental amalgams, increasing concentrations in the air, polluted houses from copper piping, lead based paints, cleaners, off gases from carpets and furnishings, personal care products and makeups, air pollution and the increase of mercury in our water ways and thus in our fish and drinking water to name a few.  Our exposure is far greater than it was just 100 years ago.

2. A healthy microbiome
Through antibiotics and other medications, chlorinated water, refined foods, genetically modified corn, round up, herbicides and generations of dysbiosis, we have a weakened microbiome which in turn cannot clean up the heavy metals in the first incidence.  Improving the microbiome would be the first line of defense to stop heavy metal toxicity – using beautiful stocks and broths as well as the Changing Habits Probiotics and fermented foods begins this healing process.

3. A diet enriched with micro and macro nutrients

Once the heavy metals head into the blood system, there are several chelation (joining) pathways for heavy metals to be bound, so as not to disturb other important biochemical pathways.  Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants) help in this chelation process, as do our macronutrients (fats, amino acids and sugars).  The problem is that most people are not consuming nutrient rich foods with sufficient micro and macronutrients in order for the body to do chelation of heavy metals naturally.

4. A diet enriched with green foods containing chlorophyll
Green leafy foods contain chlorophyll – high concentrations are found in chlorella, one of the components of our Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend, a food I take daily.  Chlorella is a water-grown algae full of chlorophyll; it is highly regarded for its ability to detoxify and cleanse the body by binding to toxins and heavy metals and carrying them out of the body systems. It also cleanses and helps oxygenate the blood. I also ensure that I eat some sort of green salad mix at every meal.  By taking the Supreme Green Blend and daily greens, there is increased assistance in helping the second line of removing heavy metals.

5. A diet using seasonal herbs and spices

Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years; fresh and seasonal were used as well as dried – these were used for taste as well as medicinally. The herb coriander, which is also known as cilantro has been found to be a natural chelating agent. ‘Coriander chelation’ calls for a small amount of fresh coriander, which can be made into a pesto sauce, added to salads and very often in Asian dishes and eaten on a daily basis while in season.  Turmeric – both fresh and dried is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chelates some heavy metals.

There are probably many other herbs and spices that help with getting rid of heavy metals but these are two that have been studied extensively.  Organic dried Turmeric will soon be available in the Changing Habits Shop.

6. A diet dictated by the seasons
In evolutionary terms we ate seasonally and locally, we ate foods that we adapted to eat depending on the environment, altitude, cultures and traditions.  Typically, more food was available in the summer and less in the winter.  There was an ebb and flow on an annual basis for food and as a result, there was a gaining of weight in the summer and then a loss of weight in the winter.  This ebb and flow enabled the body to detoxify by losing fat cells and any heavy metals that may be enclosed within the fat cells or surrounding organs.   Smaller amounts of foods were consumed during this time, thus allowing the body to naturally detoxify any remnants of heavy metals or toxins that were being stored.

Fast forward to today… what happened in our evolution enabled us to survive a volcano spewing mercury and other heavy metals, but it’s not like that now.  The 6 factors ‘given the right conditions’ I’ve discussed show a very different world.

By allowing our evolutionary bodies to experience these conditions while still living in a modern world, we may be able to enhance our body’s natural ability to get rid of heavy metals on an ongoing basis as opposed to waiting until we are sick and then trying to dispose of a build up of heavy metals. That in turn may cause problems as they are dumped by the body.

An anecdotal story

The Changing Habits 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol has been a raving success for many people to understand what their individual body’s needs are, to find permanent weight loss and make peace with their plate.

Two of the phases in this protocol put the body into a hunter-gatherers’ winter food; lean meats, greens, winter fruits, very little fat and a restriction on the amounts of food consumed.  When I first did this protocol, I had about 9kg to lose and a bunch of inflammation.  I managed to lose both and managed to keep it off and the inflammation away.

Several years after I did the loss protocol for the first time, my then coach Anna (for The Healthy Living Club) said that she believed I needed to lose some more weight, to which I agreed, so I decided to do the protocol again.

I probably had 3kg to lose – for the first two weeks of Phase 2 I didn’t lose anything and then on the last week of phase two I lost the 3kg and became incredibly ill with five days of migraines. Three of those days I couldn’t get out of bed, I was light sensitive, noise sensitive and nothing would relieve my throbbing head – I believed death would have been a better option.

I had been getting migraines every month for the past 20 years, but could manage them with a very strong black coffee (vasodilator).  I always knew that this was not right but could not figure out why I was having these issues.  I believe that it was probably because I was harboring toxic laden fat that was interfering with biochemical reactions in my body, especially my hormones.

It has been 19 months since I did my second round of the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol and I have not had one headache or migraine since that day.

I know this is anecdotal and it proves nothing, but what I’m seeing more and more with people who do the protocol is that when they get down to their last couple of kilos, it is usually the hardest.

There are several Changing Habits food supplements that I ask people to consume while on the protocol; they are the Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend as well as the Changing Habits Probiotics, along with the Colloidal Minerals, Seaweed Salt and Camu Camu.  These are not just thrown into the protocol for the fun of it, but rather for very specific reasons; to help you clear out any toxins or heavy metals without it causing stress and ill health to the body.

Despite using these beautiful functional foods, you may still experience discomfort.  The longer it takes you to get rid of the last few kgs of weight, especially if you have been exposed to roundup, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals and other daily toxins – the better you will cope with the body finally dumping these heavy metals and toxins which could be up to 200+ that you may have been exposed to.  Our obsession to be thin quickly can sometimes be the undoing of a successful permanent weight loss and health solution.

If we go back to the 6 factors ‘given the right conditions’ I outlined at the beginning of this article – these are important to implement into our lives so that we can begin to expel heavy metals and other toxins without them doing us harm.

Happy changing habits,


Here is a list of possible symptoms from heavy metal exposure:

A list of the symptoms of heavy metal detox

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