Is heavy metal poisoning affecting your child?

By Raymond Chung

Allergies, poor growth, poor appetite, frequent infections, attention deficit and learning disabilities in children are most parents’ nightmares.  You might not know that toxic heavy metal (antimony, uranium, arsenic, beryllium, mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminium) poisoning or mineral imbalance may be the cause of these problems.

A research conducted jointly by the University of Hong Kong and Mineralysis (Pediatiric International, Dec 2004) discovered that the average mercury level in Hong Kong children was higher than those reported in adults in Europe, United States and China. 

This scientific research supports the argument that our children are being negatively affected by toxic metals, harmful chemical substances which are found in contaminated food, water, air and household products.

Exposure to toxic metals in children can begin as early as conception.  Environmental pollution has caused an escalating accumulation of toxic metals in the food chain.  As a result, there is an increased chance of mothers passing toxic metals absorbed in contaminated food to their babies during pregnancy or breast-feeding.  Mothers and would-be mothers must be aware of the risks and minimise toxicity exposure of their children.

How can the negative effects of toxic metals be countered?  One way is to detoxify the body through controlled diet.  Many foods are natural detoxifiers and some of which target certain toxic metals specifically.  Garlic is an effective remover of mercury and so is broccoli.  Another way is to maintain a healthy mineral balance.  Minerals and toxic metals are worse enemies.  There are some protective minerals, zinc and selenium for example, which can reduce the toxicity of heavy metals. 

By understanding the levels of toxic metals and minerals in the body, dietary plans can be drawn up to improve the overall health.  Successful clinical cases where children were clear of their allergies by bringing down their mercury levels are clearly reported.  Would-be mothers can prepare for a healthy pregnancy by clearing their bodies of toxic metals and making sure they have adequate vital minerals. 

It is first important to check your nutritional status and chronic level of toxic in the body, and the answer is in your hair.  Minerals and toxic metals are accumulated in the hair.  Finding out mineral deficiency through blood or urine tests is not always in this case appropriate because these tests only show recent mineral status, where hair test can show the mineral status over the past few months.  Hair mineral analysis acts like a radar letting you know what mineral deficiency and toxic metals you have at a very early stage due to its high sensitivity of detection, giving you plenty of time to rebalance your body holistically.  The simple graphical presentation of the hair test report allows you to appreciate the levels of nutritive mineral, toxic metal and the relative balance among them simultaneously.  Surprising though it may sound, a few strands of hair are actually the keepers of you and your family’s health.

Reference : 

1. Shao D, , Kang Y, et al.  Hair mercury levels and food consumption in residents from the Pearl River Delta: South China.  Food Chem. 2013 Jan 15;136(2):682-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.08.059. Epub 2012 Sep 

2. Ip P, Wong V, Ho M, Lee J, Wong W., Environmental mercury exposure in children: South China's experience. Pediatr Int. 2004 Dec;46(6):715-21.