Heavy Metal Toxicity, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease
The most scary health concern facing Americans and people worldwide is the fear of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Older people fear dementia more than cancer, and the rates of diagnoses are increasing at alarming rates. An estimated 26.6 million people worldwide suffer, and that number may quadruple by 2050.1 In the U.S. at least 6 million Americans have some form of dementia, and that number could rise to 16 million by 2050. Every 66 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The disease is affecting people firsthand, secondhand, and impacting and changing entire families.
● Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) have had a personal experience with someone with Alzheimer's and/or a serious memory loss problem.
● 61 percent of Americans feel unprepared to care for a loved one diagnosed with the disease.
● A plurality of Americans – 44 percent – cite the illness as their most feared disease compared to 33 percent who cite cancer.
● More than other generations, a majority of Americans over 65 years of age – 56 percent – fear an Alzheimer's diagnosis.3
Although dementia has risen dramatically recently, senility has been recognized since the days of Hippocrates. Neurodegenerative disease was further developed by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in the early 1900’s. Dr. Alzheimer noted the structural brain changes associated with memory loss and neurodegenerative decline, and hence the destructive disease bears his now-famous name. Today extensive brain research is being done looking for the “cause” and the “cure” of Alzheimer’s and dementia, along with increased research and discussion regarding brain injuries like those seen with concussions. What they’ve found can be startling. Even small “senior moments” can be associated with lesions in the brain, but Alzheimer’s disease in particular results in vascular degeneration, brain shrinkage, and decreased amounts of neurotransmitters - all of which decrease neuron (brain cell) function and lead to cell death, and it’s a cumulative process which begins much earlier than middle or old age.1
When you begin to research the cause of dementia or Alzheimer’s, there is much confusion and no clear answer. Several theories exist regarding intricate brain components and functions such as:
● Amyloid-B and Tau Proteins
● Inflammatory Cytokines
● Hormonal Mediators
● Tropic factors and their receptors
● Neurotransmitters and their receptors
● Prion Proteins
● Insulin and Glucose Metabolism
While a single direct cause will never be found (nor a single direct solution like a shot or a pill), it is generally recognized that the root cause is the same as so many diseases rising rapidly today - INFLAMMATION, in particular brain inflammation. Brain inflammation doesn’t just happen at old age or after a concussion, it happens throughout our lives and can even begin in utero. It’s never too early to begin preventing dementia.
“Although Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder whose clinical manifestations appear in old age, the initial events that trigger this disease may begin in early life.”
-Dr. Iman Hegazi, MBBS, MD, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
What do Metals have to do with Dementia?
One cause of cellular and brain inflammation has been directly linked to dementia and many other neurodegenerative symptoms and diseases - Heavy Metal Toxicity. The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), thallium (Tl), and lead (Pb).5 Many other metals can bioaccumulate and cause neurological interference as well, including Copper, Tin, and Manganese. Although not technically classified as a heavy metal by weight, Aluminum is often grouped with these metals and is a well known cause of brain inflammation. I will be referring to Aluminum in this article as a heavy metal.
The three most dangerous metals linked to dementia are Mercury, Lead, and Aluminum. This article is a very brief compilation of the mounting scientific evidence linking these metals to neurodegeneration and brain inflammation. It is critical to avoid exposure to these metals and if you suspect you have been exposed it’s critical to detoxify these metals or they will continue to cause cellular inflammation!
Mercury is the third most toxic substance on the planet and is a potent neurotoxin and cause of brain inflammation. Mercury comes in several different forms and each form comes from different sources - for example - the mercury from your amalgam fillings (which are 50% mercury by weight) is different than the mercury from fish and both are different from the mercury in vaccines. ALL FORMS ARE INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS TO YOUR BRAIN! Amalgams produce mercury vapor which is breathed in and accumulates in the brain. The accumulation of mercury in the brains of those with amalgam fillings is well documented in many autopsy studies - the more amalgams, the more accumulated mercury in the brain.9,10 Vaccines containing mercury (and aluminum) are given to infants and toddlers whose Blood-Brain-Barrier doesn’t fully form until closer to 7 years old, allowing the metals free entry into the developing brains. It is also a component of air pollution. In Utah our Great Salt Lake has very high mercury concentrations and as the lake dries the wind blows mercury vapor over the city, not to mention our pollution inversions. You don’t want this stuff anywhere near your brain! Autopsy studies have proven that people with Alzheimer’s Disease had higher levels of mercury accumulated in their brain tissue.6
Lead has received the most attention recently with the crisis in Flint Michigan and other communities across the country. The reason there is such an uproar is because it’s known that lead is a potent neurotoxin that decreases IQ and lead exposure poses widespread public concern. This has been known for years, leaded gasoline was decreased in the 70’s and outlawed in 1986, and the mean blood lead levels of Americans have dropped 75% since then, but there are still at least 500,000 children in the United States with dangerously high blood lead levels, according to the CDC. Occupational lead exposure has been shown to have long-term effects and dramatically increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers believe that people who have worked jobs with higher exposures to lead have up to 3.4 times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.1 Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease took infant monkeys and exposed them to lead - and this led to Alzheimer’s-like pathology in later life.8 Other studies show that early exposure to lead can affect something called methylation, which helps your body detoxify and has been associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (restoring methylation is an important component in our True Cellular Detox program). The scary thing about lead is that lead toxicity can be passed down generationally. It’s estimated it takes up to 4 generations to naturally detoxify lead from deep tissues like bones and brain tissue.
Aluminum is not technically a heavy metal but is often grouped with the others because it is equally as scary. It’s found in everything today - our air and soil, baby formulas, cosmetics, deodorants, sunscreens, drugs...frozen dinners are loaded with it. Studies have shown that cooking with foil increases the aluminum load in your food. Aluminum exposure starts early in most people regardless of diet, because it is an ingredient in many of our childhood vaccines (the ingredients are easily found on the CDC website). In the 1970’s children got only four aluminum-containing vaccines in their first 18 months, today they typically receive 18. Research links aluminum to autism and autoimmunity. While mercury receives all the attention, many scientists think it’s really the aluminum in vaccines contributing more to our autism epidemic. These exposures start early and keep coming, increasing our burden of Aluminum and increasing our risk of neurodegeneration. In fact, a meta-analysis published earlier this year in the journal Neuroscience Letters looked at studies containing over 10,000 participants with exposure to aluminum, and it was found that people chronically exposed to aluminum were 71% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.13
Don’t Forget About Your Toxic Bucket
Remember, your body is a toxic bucket that fills and fills and overflows. Each exposure is a drop in the bucket. Metals are big drops because they accumulate in the brain more than many other chemicals which your body can detoxify faster. Many toxins accumulate in the fat cells and inflame them and it harder to lose weight. Each toxic drop into the bucket seems small until the bucket fills up and overflows and a ‘disease’ results - autism, autoimmunity, chronic fatigue, MS, cancer, Alzheimer’s. Each drop didn’t “cause” the overflow. Each drop “contributed”. I’m not saying vaccines “cause” autism. I’m not saying amalgams “cause” dementia. I’m not saying lead as an infant “causes” Alzheimer’s as an adult. I’m saying that the research shows that heavy metals contribute to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and if you want to avoid losing your mind, you better take this stuff seriously.
So What Can You Do? There’s only One True Way to Detoxify!
True Cellular Detox is the only way to detoxify serious toxins like heavy metals. One of the problems with metals is they store deep in the tissues like the bones and the brain and they are really hard to get out safely and effectively. True Cellular Detox is the only program designed to detoxify your body on a cellular level, focusing specifically on the brain (and only after preparing for 2 months). It uses targeted, specific physician-grade supplements engineered to heal and restore cellular function, open and support detox pathways (liver, kidney, lymph, and gut), and uses true binders to bind and excrete toxins. Without any of these steps detox cannot fully occur. The most important part for heavy metal detox is a product called CytoDetox. Developed by a world-renowned heart surgeon, CytoDetox is a revolutionary Hydrolyzed Clinoptilolite Zeolite Fragment that can literally bind to heavy metals (and other toxins like glyphosate) and get them out of body. Zeolites have been used for years, but CytoDetox is the first and only zeolite detoxification particle that can cross the gut membrane, cross the blood-brain-barrier, and cross the cell membrane to actually get IN to the cell to get toxins OUT. Align Utah is one of the only offices in the country to offer True Cellular Detox. For more information please visit our website!
1.Lead Exposure & Alzheimer’s Disease: Is There A Link? A fact sheet for medical professionals
by Dr. Iman Hegazi, MBBS, MD. Forensic Medicine & Toxicology
2.Int Psychogeriatr. 2005;17 Suppl 1:S129-47.
Dementia associated with toxic causes and autoimmune disease.
4.J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Nov;10(2-3):303-30.
Macronutrients, aluminium from drinking water and foods, and other metals in cognitive decline and dementia.
6.Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2007 Sep;75(9):528-38. Epub 2007 Jul 12.
[Mercury and Alzheimer's disease].
7.Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2004 Oct;25(5):331-9.
Alzheimer disease: mercury as pathogenetic factor and apolipoprotein E as a moderator.
8.J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;27(4):819-33. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-111013.
Infant exposure to lead (Pb) and epigenetic modifications in the aging primate brain: implications for Alzheimer's disease.
9.Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2006 Mar;27(1):42-5.
Dental amalgam and mercury levels in autopsy tissues: food for thought.
10.Swed Dent J. 1987;11(5):179-87.
Mercury concentrations in the human brain and kidneys in relation to exposure from dental amalgam fillings.
11.J Inorg Biochem. 2011 Nov;105(11):1489-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2011.08.008. Epub 2011 Aug 23.
Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?
13.Neurosci Lett. 2016 Jan 1;610:200-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.11.014. Epub 2015 Nov 27.
Chronic exposure to aluminum and risk of Alzheimer's disease: A meta-analysis.