5 Common Heavy Metals: About Toxicity, Exposure, Symptoms & Treatment
words by Annette Baumgart


Heavy Metal Toxicity is the accumulation of heavy metals within the body’s tissues. The symptoms experienced depend on the metal that is accumulated. The heavy metals most associated with toxicity are Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, and Aluminium. Some heavy metals such as Zinc, Copper, Chromium, Iron, and Manganese are essential nutrients required for the proper functioning of the body. But these heavy metals can also accumulate in the body at high concentrations with excessive exposure or intake, having adverse effects and potentially causing serious imbalances.

Toxicity to heavy metals occurs because of exposure to industrial, air, and/or water pollution, pesticides and herbicides on our food, medicines, lead-based paints, cosmetics, personal care products, and chemical food additives. These heavy metals compete with and replace essential nutrients having devastating effects. Heavy metals are absorbed into the body via inhalation, intestinal absorption, and contact with the skin. Once absorbed they are distributed within the organs, glands, bones, and the body’s nervous system.

Heavy metals can lower energy levels and impair the healthy functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition, and other important organs. Long-term exposure can lead to gradually progressing physical, muscular, and nervous degeneration that may imitate chronic neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Repeated long-term exposure to some heavy metals and their compounds have even been shown in research to be associated with cancer (Jarup, 2003)


exposure risk, signs & symptoms:


(Interclinical Laboratories Pty Ltd.) (The Nutrient Bible Henry – Osiecki)

Many health conditions are aggravated by mineral imbalances and toxic heavy metal excess, including cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, learning difficulties, and hyperactivity in children, to name just a few.

Toxic elements do not belong in the body as they have no known biological function. Heavy Metals will impact the absorption, retention, utilization, and metabolic function of nutritional elements.

Consequently, we need to test and monitor our nutritional status now more than ever.



A heavy metal detox aims to assist in removing excess heavy metals from the body which is commonly referred to as Chelation Therapy. Chelation can occur with the use of some foods, vitamins, and minerals, which can bind to the heavy metals to assist removal from the body via the bowel or urine. 

Some food sources that may assist in Heavy Metal Chelation via the diet including dietary fibre, chlorella, sulfur-containing foods (animal meats, dairy products, eggs, beans, peas, garlic, onion, Brussel sprouts, kale), and coriander.

Heavy metal detox is a complex process that can come with side effects and should only be attempted under the supervision of a qualified Naturopath or Nutritionist.


If you have any questions or would like support navigating Heavy Metals, Testing, and Heavy Metal Detoxing please book your FREE Discovery Chat with one of our practitioners today by visiting our team here.

Not ready to ask your Naturopath yet? Check out our do-it-yourself educational and supportive health programs, like our Gut Repair program, instead.

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Click here for research sources
Interclinical Laboratories Pty Ltd.; The Nutrient Bible Henry - Osiecki; Jarup, 2003
Words by Annette Baumgart

Words by Annette Baumgart

Annette Baumgart is a qualified Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist, and Bowen Therapist providing evidence-based alternative and complementary health care options. She is particularly passionate about helping her client's balance thyroid, autoimmune, and gut conditions, but is trained in all areas of natural health including emotional/energetic release techniques like Bowen Therapy.⠀