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Toxic Metal Elimination

By Dr. Paul C. Eck and Dr. Larry Wilson




Many health conditions originate when deficiencies of vital minerals occur in the body. As an adaptive mechanism, the vital minerals are replaced with toxic metals in critical enzyme binding sites. Elimination of these toxic metals and other toxic substances is an important and essential part of a nutritional balancing program. Using the hair analysis as a guide, nutrition programs are designed specifically to cause the replacement of these toxic metals with preferred vital minerals. This is the key to restoring optimum health and functioning.

Normally, the toxic metals are eliminated slowly and one may be unaware of the process. However, at times toxic metals may be eliminated rapidly, giving rise to symptoms such as headache, skin rashes or fatigue. These reactions are called retracing reactions or healing reactions. While they may cause temporary discomfort, it is important to remember that they are a sign of increased energy and a sign of improved health.

How Are Toxic Metals Eliminated?

Nutritional balancing programs cause toxic metals to be eliminated using four methods simultaneously.

  1. The most important method is to increase the production of biochemical energy. This enables the body to proceed with toxic metal elimination. Energy levels are enhanced by balancing the oxidation rate, correcting critical mineral ratios and improving the energy pathway.
  2. Chelating agents, such as vitamin C and sulfur-containing amino acids, help eliminate toxic metals.
  3. Antagonistic elements are given which compete with and displace toxic metals.
  4. Enhancing the efficiency of the organs of elimination assists removal of toxic metals.

Toxic Metal Elimination Symptoms

Let us now discuss the types of reactions that occur when specific toxic metals are eliminated rapidly in the course of a nutritional balancing program.


A copper imbalance is present in over 50% of the mineral analyses received by Analytical Research Labs. Therefore, copper elimination symptoms occur frequently in the course of nutrition balancing programs. It is possible that copper toxicity may not be revealed on the hair test, yet one may experience the symptoms of copper elimination. This can occur because some individuals have hidden copper toxicity. Excessive copper is present in the body tissues, but is not revealed on the hair test because the copper is sequestered in other organs and tissues. In these cases, often the copper imbalance will be revealed on the second, or third hair test as copper is mobilized from tissue storage sites.

Common symptoms associated with copper elimination include, fatigue, mood swings, depression feelings, anxiety, mind racing, insomnia, skin rashes on the face and trunk, nausea and headaches. Occasionally old fears come to mind, since copper is associated with fears. Free-floating anxiety occurs at times. Copper causes a slight detachment from reality. When the copper is eliminated, one loses that detachment and for this reason can experience temporary anxiety. Other less common symptoms include pain in the testicles in men, changes in the menstrual cycle in women and joint pains.

Symptoms of copper elimination can be alleviated by several different methods. To help lower copper quickly, adding Moly-Cu 1-1-1 (molybdenum, black radish root, kelp and parsley leaves) may be helpful. These remove copper from the blood. Zinc and vitamin B6 are also helpful for some people. A copper detox reaction may be slowed down by taking Calcium 2-2-2 and perhaps with lecithin capsules (6 to 9 caps per day).

While it may sound odd, occasionally it is necessary to take chelated copper for a few days to relieve a copper reaction. The beneficial effect of taking copper in some people occurs because copper is needed to produce ceruloplasmin, the serum protein that binds copper. If copper becomes biologically unavailable, ceruloplasmin is not produced in sufficient quantity, provoking symptoms. The copper tablet provides bioavailable copper to stimulate ceruloplasmin synthesis. It is like priming an old-fashioned water pump—adding some water in order for the pump to work. The copper also affects the mineral balance, raising sodium and lowering potassium. This may also be necessary temporarily to relieve symptoms if the sodium/potassium ratio is low.


Cadmium is a highly toxic metal that accumulates most commonly in the kidneys and the surface of the bones. When it is eliminated rapidly, symptoms can include fatigue, low back pain, general aches and bone pain, changes in the urine and upset stomach.

When cadmium is eliminated, the oxidation rate may temporarily decrease because cadmium tends to keep sodium elevated. If the oxidation rate slows, one can become tired, depressed, crave sweets, etc. Occasionally a cadmium elimination can cause a transient rise in the hair sodium level due to the effect on the kidneys. This can produce a temporary increase in energy. Although one may experience temporary discomfort due to cadmium elimination, most people feel significantly better afterwards.

Zinc, calcium, selenium and vitamin C helps eliminate cadmium. If one is experiencing cadmium elimination symptoms such as fatigue, extra B-complex may be helpful. Renamide, which contains kidney glandular substance, may also be helpful to ease symptoms of cadmium elimination.


Mercury toxicity is closely related to copper toxicity. Mercury affects the kidneys, the nervous system and the immune system. Symptoms may be similar to copper elimination symptoms and may include a wide variety of usually mild symptoms such as skin rashes, fatigue, headaches and other symptoms. Mercury toxicity is associated with timidness and fears. One could experience a transitory increase in fears as mercury is mobilized.

Mercury elimination is aided by vitamin C, selenium and may be helped by Renamide, the kidney glandular product.

Iron and Aluminum

Iron and aluminum are considered together because they are often eliminated at the same time. Often when the aluminum level rises on a hair test, the iron level also rises. Both iron and aluminum affect the central nervous system. Iron is stored in the amygdala; a portion of the brain associated with feelings of anger. Often iron elimination is associated with a greater awareness of feelings of anger. Iron may also accumulate in the joints and other tissues, provoking temporary joint symptoms when the iron is eliminated. Iron elimination may be enhanced by taking GB-3, extra manganese, or in some cases, copper.

Aluminum usually causes few symptoms as it is eliminated. Extra vitamin C can assist aluminum elimination.


Lead accumulates in the bones and nervous system. When lead is eliminated, one may experience bone and joint pain, fatigue and general malaise. Vitamin C, calcium and copper may be helpful to assist the elimination of lead.


Nickel accumulates most commonly in the kidneys and lungs. Usually few elimination symptoms are noted, but one may experience low back pain or other symptoms related to the kidneys. Renamide may be helpful for nickel reactions.

Principles of Handling Healing Reactions

In our experience with thousands of toxic metal elimination reactions, we find that they are amazingly benign. Normally, the body will not undertake a toxic metal elimination faster than it is capable of handling the situation.

When handling healing reactions, the first step is to assess whether a reaction is in fact a healing reaction or not. A few questions to ask are:

  • Is the person following the nutrition program faithfully, including the diet and supplement program? If so, it is more likely a healing reaction. Just following any nutrition program will not produce healing reactions.
  • Did one feel better just before the reaction? If so, it is more likely a reaction. This is because energy levels were rising and actually contributed to the reaction.
  • Is it a retracing of an old illness, injury or infection? Healing reactions often have an unusual character—either a flare-up of some past illness or even emotional experience, or an unusual headache or cold or other symptom.

Once one feels that it is a healing reaction, the most important thing that is needed is often reassurance that the healing reaction is a positive sign and not to be too concerned. Basic support measures are always helpful, such as more rest, eating lightly and any supportive natural therapies. However, if reactions become annoying, the following methods can help alleviate the discomfort.

  • The reaction can be sped up. To speed up the elimination in a slow oxidizer, one might take more of the nutrients which enhance the oxidation rate such as Hi-B, SBF Formula, Spartan MK or Endo-Dren.

    Other ways to speed up a reaction are by boosting a person's energy indirectly through more rest, or other natural therapies that balance body chemistry.

  • The reaction can be slowed. To slow down the reaction, one can discontinue the supplement program or take the program only once per day for several days. Lecithin capsules (1200 mg) about 6 capsules a day can also slow metal eliminations.

  • The organs of elimination can be stimulated to enhance elimination of the toxic substance. Often the reason one person experiences a reaction while another feels little or no reaction is that some people have very sluggish eliminative organs—the kidneys, liver, skin, lungs and bowels. Methods used to enhance the activity of the eliminative organs include; warm baths, saunas, steam baths, massage, enemas, deep breathing, castor oil packs, skin brushing and supplements. Supplements such as Renamide, the kidney glandular substance, GB-3, dietary fiber, apple pectin and others which can assist the organs of elimination.

  • Supplements can be used to specifically antagonize and help eliminate a particular toxic metal. One must have an idea which metal(s) are present in order to apply specific measures of this type. See the section above for more specific information on each toxic mineral.

One or more of the above procedures may be applied in any given situation. Several rule of thumb to help decide which methods to use are:

  • Enhancing elimination is good in practically every case.
  • Speeding up the reaction is especially helpful if the reaction drags on and the body is having difficulty overcoming the symptoms. This is seen most commonly in slow oxidizers.
  • Slowing the reaction is most useful when the symptoms are vigorous and the desire is to reduce the intensity of symptoms.
  • Specific supplements for specific metals can be given when the practitioner has a fairly good idea which metal(s) are involved.

Explaining Toxic Metal Eliminations

The Analytical Research Labs interpretation plan—Profile 2—has a section explaining toxic metal elimination. This is included because we find that if a person is forewarned about elimination reactions, he or she will tolerate them better and not become discouraged about the nutrition program. Most elimination symptoms are benign and disappear within a few days.

While not all individuals experience these symptoms, they are often an essential part of the healing process. Healing reactions should be welcomed as evidence of deep biochemical changes within the body tissues which are necessary for permanent healing to occur.

Copyright © 1991 - The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd.

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