There are so-called chelation medication that may be taken for acute, life-threatening lead poisoning—for example in case your two-year-old swallowed one of many little lead weights her grandma was utilizing whereas stitching curtains and the physician occurred to overlook it on x-ray, so it stayed lodged inside her till she died with a blood lead stage of 283 mcg/dcl, a case I focus on in my video Best Foods for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?.

Nevertheless, for decrease grade, persistent lead poisoning, resembling at ranges below 45 μg/dL, there were no clear steering as as to if these chelation medication have been efficient. Once they have been put to the take a look at, the medication failed to carry down lead ranges long run. Even after they worked initially, in dose after dose, the lead apparently continued to seep from the sufferers’ bones, and, by the top of the yr, they ended up with the identical lead ranges because the sugar capsule placebo group, as you possibly can see at 0:50 in my video. It was no shock, then, that regardless that blood lead ranges dipped firstly, researchers found no enhancements in cognitive perform or improvement.

Since a lot of lead poisoning is preventable and the medication don’t appear to work generally, that simply underscores the necessity “to guard kids from publicity to guide within the first place.” Regardless of the medical occupation’s “finest intentions to do one thing to help these youngsters…drug remedy is just not the reply.” Sure, we have to redouble efforts to forestall lead poisoning within the first place, however what can we do for the children who’ve already been uncovered?

The at the moment accepted methodology, these chelating medication that bind and take away lead from our tissues, “lack[s]…security and efficacy when typical chelating brokers are used.” So, what about dietary approaches? Crops produce phytochelatins. All larger vegetation possess the capability to synthesize compounds that bind up heavy metals to guard themselves from the dangerous results, so what if we ate the vegetation? “In contrast to different types of remedy (e.g., pharmacotherapy with medication), dietary methods carry the promise of a pure type of remedy that will presumably be low cost and with few to no unintended effects.” Sure, however wouldn’t it work when the medication didn’t?

We had discovered {that a} meal may significantly cut down on lead absorption, however “the actual parts of meals consumption that so dramatically reduce lead absorption” have been unsure on the time. Though the calcium content material of the meal appeared to be a part of it, milk didn’t appear to assist and even made issues worse. What about calcium dietary supplements? Some assert that calcium dietary supplements might assist in decreasing lead absorption in kids, however “suggestions…have to be primarily based on proof moderately than conviction.” What’s extra, these assertions are based partially on research on rodents, and variations in calcium absorption and steadiness between rats and people make extrapolation tough. What you must do is put it to the take a look at. Researchers found that even an additional whopping 1,800 mg of calcium per day had no impact on blood lead ranges. Subsequently, the proof doesn’t help conclusions that calcium dietary supplements assist.

What about complete meals? Critiques of dietary methods to deal with lead toxicity say to eat numerous tomatoes, berries, onions, garlic, and grapes, as they’re pure antagonists to guide toxicity and subsequently ought to be consumed regularly. Remember these phytochelatins? Maybe eating vegetation would possibly assist detoxify the lead in our personal our bodies or the our bodies of these we eat.

These pure phytochelatin compounds work so properly that we are able to use them to clean up air pollution. For instance, the inexperienced algae chlorella can suck up lead and maintain onto it, so what if we ate it? If it could possibly clear up polluted our bodies of water, would possibly it clear up our personal polluted our bodies? We don’t know, as a result of we solely have research on mice, not women and men.

So, whenever you hear how chlorella detoxifies, they’re talking concerning the cleansing of rat testicles. Sure, slightly sprinkle of chlorella would possibly assist your pet rat, or maybe you would give them some black cumin seeds or give them a sprig of cilantro, however whenever you hear how cilantro detoxifies in opposition to heavy metals, I presume you don’t anticipate the researchers to be speaking about research in rodents. If we’re interested by science defending our youngsters, not simply their pets, we’re out of luck.

The identical is true with moringa, tomatoes, flaxseed oil, and sesame seed oil, in addition to black grapes, and black, white, green, and red tea. There are merely no human research to information us.

Dietary methods for the remedy of lead toxicity are sometimes based on rodent research, however, for tofu, a minimum of, there was a inhabitants research of those who showed decrease lead ranges in women and men who ate extra tofu. The researchers managed for a complete bunch of things, so it’s not as if tofu lovers have been protected simply because they smoked much less or ate much less meat, however you possibly can’t management for all the things.

Ideally, we’d have a randomized, placebo-controlled research. Researchers would take a gaggle of individuals uncovered to guide, break up them into two teams, with half given meals and the opposite half given some sort of equivalent placebo meals, and see what occurs. It’s straightforward to do that with medication since you simply use look-alike sugar capsules as placebos so individuals don’t know which group they’re in, however how do you make placebo meals? One strategy to do disguised meals interventions is to use meals which can be so potent they are often stuffed right into a capsule—like garlic. There had been varied research measuring the consequences of garlic in rats and looking at garlic as a possible antidote for lead intoxication distributed amongst totally different mouse organs, however who eats mouse organs? One animal research did have some direct human relevance, although, looking on the impact of garlic on lead content material in hen tissues. The aim was to “discover the potential use of garlic to wash up lead contents in chickens which”—like all of us on planet Earth—“had been uncovered to guide air pollution and consequently assist to attenuate the hazard” of lead-polluted hen meat.

And…it labored! As you possibly can see at 1:59 in my video Best Food for Lead Poisoning: Garlic, feeding garlic to chickens reduced lead ranges within the “edible mass of hen” by as much as 75 % or extra. As a result of we reside in a polluted world, even when you don’t give the chickens lead and lift them on distilled water, they nonetheless find yourself with some lead of their meat and giblets. However, when you actively feed them lead for every week, the degrees get actually excessive. If you give them the identical quantity of lead with slightly garlic added, nonetheless, a lot much less lead accumulates of their our bodies.

What’s much more astonishing is that when researchers gave them the identical quantity of lead—however this time waited every week earlier than giving them the garlic—it labored even higher. “The worth of garlic in decreasing lead concentrations…was extra pronounced when garlic was given as a post-treatment following the cessation of lead administration”—that’s, after the lead was stopped and had already constructed up of their tissues. We used to assume that “the helpful impact of garlic in opposition to lead toxicity was primarily because of a response between lead and sulfur compounds in garlic” that will glom on to guide within the intestinal tract and flush it out of the physique. However, what the research confirmed is that garlic seems to comprise compounds that may really pull lead not solely out of the intestinal contents, but in addition out of the tissues of the physique. So, the “outcomes point out that garlic comprise chelating compounds able to enhancing elimination of lead,” and “garlic feeding might be exploited to safeguard human customers by minimizing lead concentrations in meat….”

If garlic is so efficient at pulling lead out of chickens’ our bodies, why no more immediately exploit “garlic feeding” by consuming it ourselves? Effectively, there had by no means been a research on the power of garlic to assist lead-exposed people till…2012? (Really, I’m embarrassed to say I missed it when the research was first revealed. That was again once I was simply getting NutritionFacts.org up and working. Now that we’ve got employees and a complete analysis group, hopefully vital research like this received’t slip by way of the cracks sooner or later.)

The research was a head-to-head comparability of the therapeutic results of garlic versus a chelation remedy drug known as D-penicillamine. 100 and seventeen staff uncovered to guide within the automobile battery trade have been randomly assigned into one in every of two teams and, 3 times a day for one month, both obtained the drug or an eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder compressed right into a pill, which is concerning the equal of two cloves of recent garlic a day. As anticipated, the chelation drug lowered blood lead ranges by about 20 %—however so did the garlic. The garlic labored simply in addition to the drug and, after all, had fewer unintended effects. “Thus, garlic appears safer clinically and as efficient,” however saying one thing is as efficient as chelation remedy isn’t saying a lot. Bear in mind how chelation medication can lower blood ranges in persistent lead poisoning, however they don’t really enhance neurological perform?

Effectively, after remedy with garlic, vital scientific enhancements have been seen, together with much less irritability, fewer complications, and enhancements in reflexes and blood stress, however these enhancements have been not seen within the drug group. They weren’t seen after remedy with the chelation remedy drug. So, garlic was safer and more practical. “Subsequently, garlic might be really helpful for the remedy of mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.


 There are additionally some human studieson vitamin C. Take a look at Can Vitamin C Help with Lead Poisoning?.

For much more lead movies, see:

To study extra about chlorella, see:

In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you happen to haven’t but, you possibly can subscribe to my free movies here and watch my reside shows: