My blood pressure quest. Chapter 3: Mercury in my hair

by | Jan 8, 2021 | Functional Medicine, Heart Health, Nutrition & Diet | 0 comments

results of hair metals test

I had determined that testing my level of exposure to heavy metals could give me insight into the cause of my high blood pressure.

So I took a few snips of my hair and sent it to Great Plains Laboratory. You can see the results I got back. The test measures the levels of many different minerals, including generally healthy minerals like copper and zinc. But I want to draw attention to my levels of mercury.

detail of hair metals test

Ninety percent of people have hair mercury levels of less than 0.80 parts per million. My level was 1.7 parts per million. That’s not too surprising; mercury is everywhere in our environment – the air we breathe, the fillings in our mouths, and the food we eat. If there’s some biochemical weakness in my system that makes it harder for my body to rid itself of mercury, it’s likely to accumulate to a level that would raise my blood pressure.

I wanted to do something to support my body’s ability to clear mercury. about it. So I designed a detox program with five main components:

  • A healthy diet over all.
  • Limiting additional exposure to mercury.
  • Something to bind to the mercury. Supplemental glutathione is best for this.
  • Something that carries the bound mercury through the intestinal tract so that it gets excreted in the feces.
  • For good measure, loading up on extra anti-oxidants to minimize the ill effects of mercury toxicity.

My plan

So the plan I devised for myself included limiting my intake of tuna (a high-mercury fish), plus the following nutrition supplements:

  • Glutathione (in liposomal form) – Glutathione binds to mercury. The liposomal form, in which the glutathione is contained in microscopic globules, is thought to  be most absorbable.
  • Chlorella and activated charcoal – these facilitate the excretion of the mercury-glutathione complex.
  • Haritaki – an herb often used in ayurvedic medicine for its “cleansing” properties
  • Other herbs – including cilantro, ashwaganda, rhodiola, eleuthero, green tea, and milk thistle.  Why not get the extra anti-oxidant power of a diverse array of plant species?

I planned to follow this program for a month or two, and then get my hair retested, monitoring my blood pressure in the meantime.

In the next chapter I’ll let you know my results.

Dr. Lavine has been an innovator in the use of movement and touch to promote health since 1981. He practices in New York City and Princeton, NJ.


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