CADMIUM, THE PSEUDO-MASCULINE MINERAL AND A DEATH MINERAL
By Lawrence Wilson, MD
© October 2012, The Center For Development.
Cadmium is among the most toxic of the heavy metals. It is a common metal found in cigarette smoke, tap water, coffee, some processed and refined foods such as hydrogenated oils, and in foods from the sea, especially shellfish of all kinds. It is found in marijuana, and in cigarette papers.
Toxicity. Cadmium is extremely toxic, with acceptable levels one tenth that of most of the other toxic metals. Its effects are many, but it mainly affects the kidneys, the cardiovascular system, and is related to cancer. It also ages the skin.
Cadmium also contributes to many mental illnesses, particularly violence and other related disorders of behavior and mental attitude. Cadmium is so toxic to the brain that it causes what might be called ‘a small rebellion’ in the tissues of the brain, which results in violent thoughts. One notices this as one removes cadmium, that violent thoughts and even one’s violent impulses diminish. Dr. Paul Eck was the first person to teach me this, as he noticed it in himself while taking certain nutritional supplements.
A powerful crutch for the kidneys and adrenal glands. Cadmium also powerfully irritates and in this way boosts adrenal activity, although it does this in a rather violent way, not a healthful manner.
At a philosophical level, cadmium represents physical life on earth. This means that it keeps us grounded physically in this life. As one’s health improves, we eliminate more and more of this cadmium until, after a time, a strong healing reaction occurs called the agony. It is the final or close to final elimination of cadmium from the physical body. This agony is a rash that affects the face and parts of the neck in some people. It itches and burns until the cadmium is gone. When this happens, the person finds himself or herself much more positive, happy and at home in the world. This is how eliminating this form of cadmium affects us. As the rash proceeds, the face becomes rather radiant and clean-looking, compared to its former state. All manner of blemishes, warts, moles, scars and other disfigurements vanish at this time.
In fact, if a person eliminates enough cadmium at any time, one can experience this type of rash or reaction, though it usually does not last long. Cadmium has an affinity for the face because the face is where we join with others in the world to live our lives. As our world changes, so must the face.
CADMIUM TOXICITY SYMPTOMS
Degenerative Diseases. Cadmium is involved in all of the major diseases of our time, including cancer, diabetes, arthritic syndromes, heart disease, kidney disease, and others. One reason may be that cadmium replaces zinc in the body. Zinc is required for over 100 or more critical enzymes. These include enzymes needed for proper immune system activity, digestion, cardiovascular health, and much more.
Mental illnesses. Cadmium is closely associated with many developmental, behavioral and mental disorders. These include but are not limited to violence, anti-social behavior, risk-taking behaviors, and ADHD in children and in adults.
Birth defects and developmental disorders. Birth defects often are related to cadmium, when it replaces zinc and other metals in vital genetic functions and in the DNA and RNA of the body. This causes defective genetic expression, which is not the same as defective genes.
Aging. Cadmium hardens and toughens the tissues, and ages the body. It is associated with hardening of the arteries, hardening and destruction of the kidneys, and of all the organs, in fact. This hardening can actually feel good, as though one is getting stronger and tougher, which is true, but it does so in a manner that actually weakens the entire body and opens it up to more cancers, and particularly heart disease.
Sexuality. Cadmium toxicity is associated with low sperm counts, impotence in men, reduced fertility in women, and increased interest in sex in women.
Smoker’s cough. Cadmium buildup may help account for the common smoker’s cough. This is a non-productive, hacking cough. Cadmium is irritating to the delicate mucous membranes of the body.
SOURCES OF CADMIUM
Hydrogenated or hardened vegetable oils. Cadmium is used as a catalyst to harden or hydrogenate vegetable oils to make products such as margarine, commercial peanut butter, vegetable shortening and related items. Every time you eat these products, you will get a little more cadmium that is a residue from this type of food processing.
An industrial contaminant. Cadmium is widely used in industry as a plating material, in galvanizing, the semiconductor industry, inks, dyes and many other applications. It is a very hard, tough metal and it actually hardens and toughens the body and even the personality to some degree. This is why Dr. Eck sometimes called it the pseudo-masculine element.
Brake linings. Cadmium is still used in millions of brake linings of automobiles, buses, trains and airplanes. This cadmium wears off the brake lining and spews into the air, adding millions of pounds of cadmium compounds to our environment each year. Other materials could be used, but cadmium works well, so it is still used in most vehicles.
Water contamination. Cadmium also finds its ways into water supplies and especially into irrigation water and sewage sludge. From there it gets into the food and into drinking water supplies all over the world today.
Cigarette Papers. Cadmium may be added to cigarette papers and those used to roll joints for smoking marijuana because, as I understand it, cadmium may keep the paper from going out once it is lit. A small amount of cadmium may also be added to some papers to make them stiffer or for other reasons.
Congenital cadmium. Cadmium passes easily through the placenta in utero and enters developing fetuses. This is why many children are born with behavioral or developmental disorders today. Cadmium is thus transmitted from generation to generation
Shellfish and most fish. Cadmium is found in most foods today, especially shellfish from coastal waters. These foods should be avoided by everyone on planet earth. It is unfortunate that many people are virtually forced to live on these foods if they are in poor nations and live by the sea. They are highly contaminated with industrial pollutants, one of which is cadmium. Others include mercury, of course, arsenic, and lead.
Junk or refined foods. Cadmium is also found in many other foods. These include, but are not limited to junk or refined foods of all kinds. The causes of the cadmium problems are:
1. Modern hybrid and genetically modified foods such as wheat and soy products, in particular, are already low in zinc, chromium and selenium today. This allows the absorption and uptake of more cadmium by thousands of enzymes.
2. Refining of flour and sugar then removes much more of the zinc, selenium, magnesium and chromium. This is done for many reasons, including commercial exploitation of these valuable trace minerals, now in high demand in China and elsewhere. These minerals, however, especially zinc, reduce the absorption of cadmium in our bodies. They also compete with cadmium for enzyme binding sites in the body, thereby protecting a person from cadmium toxicity to some extent.
When zinc, chromium and other minerals are removed from food, much more cadmium is absorbed. Eating foods that are low in zinc and chromium, such as vegetarian diets, and fruit, in particular, may worsen cadmium toxicity. Eating meat, for this reason, is protective against cadmium because of its higher content of zinc and other trace minerals such as selenium.
3. Hydrogenation of vegetable oils adds a little cadmium, as explained above.
4. Wrapping papers and plastics used in packaging refined foods may add a little cadmium.
5. Other. Cadmium may be used in other aspects of food processing, such as plating on equipment or inks, dyes and lubricants used on and around food processing equipment.
Coffee and tea, especially strong coffees. These beverages are the major sources of cadmium for many people around the world who do not live by the sea or eat a lot of fish and seafood. The coffee and other beans, or leaves of tea contain some, and the water they are made with contains more. This is why these are not as healthful products as they once were, before the planet became polluted with cadmium.
For this reason, cultures that use strong beverages such as these are not doing well in many cases. This includes parts of Europe where cappuccinos and lattes are popular, and the Middle East, where strong coffee and even strong tea is the norm. These foster violence among the people, as we see today.
Other Foods. Cadmium has contaminated most water supplies in the United States and other industrialized nations. Its presence is very subtle and may not even be detected unless the instruments are quite sensitive.
Combined with low zinc in the soil and extensive refining of flour, in particular, excessive cadmium has contributed to the epidemic of heart disease, cancer and diabetes that now dominate the spectrum of illnesses in the Western world.
Zinc Deficiency. This is a common cause for cadmium problems. Zinc is extremely protective against cadmium absorption in the intestines and protective against the incorporation of cadmium into many enzymes in the body.
This is an important reason why zinc is recommended for everyone on their nutritional balancing programs. Many doctors fail to realize the great need for zinc today - for many, many reasons. All nutrition programs and regimens of diet should contain extra zinc for this reason alone, not to mention a half dozen others.
Zinc deficiency may be due to over a hundred factors. Among the most important ones are diets of refined foods, congenital low zinc (born low in zinc), vegetarian diets, and most of all stress from any source. Others are eating zinc-deficient food, which includes most of it. Organic food is best but is no guarantee. Vegetarian and fruitarian types of diets are particularly low in zinc.
Other reasons for zinc deficiency are foods that deplete zinc. This includes all sugars, including fruits and juices. This is a reason we do not recommend much juice.
Zinc-depleting habits such as drinking alcohol, drug use, especially marijuana, the use of any stimulant such as caffeine, and anything that sets off a fight-or-flight response in the body such as anger, rage or fear will deplete zinc.
Since meat is one of the best sources of bioavailable zinc, vegetarians have a real problem with zinc unless they supplement their diets with pumpkin seeds or zinc tablets each and every day. Even then, the amount of seeds needed is greater than most people could possibly eat, and the zinc they contain may not be as biologically available as eating a little meat. Today’s pumpkins are deficient due to soils depleted of zinc, so they are not as good a source in many cases as they were 100 years ago, for example. This is why vegetarian diets often seem to lead to a shorter lifespan and are always dangerous, even if they have many other possible benefits. For more on this topic, read Vegetarian Diets and The China Study – A Book Review.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CADMIUM
Cadmium is associated with toughness, hardness, and a need for control. This is actually how the metal feels and acts in nature. However, is a brittle hardness, and a very toxic hardness. It is a somewhat false strength at one level, and in fact, people with higher cadmium are terribly afraid of zinc strength, which is not as forthcoming, obvious or macho.
Hardness and toughness are considered masculine qualities, and Dr. Eck classified cadmium as a “male mineral”. This is a very important quality of minerals that has to do with their effects upon hormones, psychology and physiology. However, since cadmium is brittle and replaces zinc, a gentle male mineral, cadmium often is associated with violence and is considered in nutritional balancing an older and lower quality male mineral, meaning not a very spiritual male mineral.
Dr. Eck called it the pseudo-masculine mineral because it is not really a strong, secure male mineral, as are zinc and selenium. Dr. Eck also called it the macho mineral, meaning it confers or offers one the appearance of a strong male presence but really it is weak and vulnerable underneath. It is associated with cancer, a stealth disease that can be ravaging the body, but the person can walk around as if all is well, even up until near the end of life.
I sometimes think of cadmium toxicity as living on stilts - an artificial lift for your sodium and adrenal glands, but one that is very shaky, weak and not very safe.
Because cadmium drives copper back into the tissues, many sensitive, emotional people smoke to calm their emotions. The emotional quality of high copper is replaced by an apparent toughness and strength.
However, it is a second-rate compensation that does not build real strength. In fact, it weakens the body significantly and leads to far worse problems later. However, this is an important consideration, because it can help one to understand the attraction of cigarettes, coffee, alcohol and many other common addictions.
Those who have smoked for a while may be so used to the feeling cadmium provides that they feel weak, vulnerable, and emotional without it. The same is true to a degree in coffee drinkers who also need their cadmium fix, in addition to the caffeine, another adrenal stimulant.
Cadmium removal symptoms for this reason. When one reverses the decline in health with a nutritional balancing program, one may experience temporary feelings of great weakness and fatigue temporarily. Fortunately, if one stays on a corrective program, the feelings will pass. I liken it to having lived on stilts. When the stilts are removed one can feel ‘low’ for a time, but also more grounded and more steady.
If the feelings are intense, eating more meat, taking more B-complex vitamins, taking a little more vitamin C, and perhaps taking more adrenal glandular substance or thyroid glandular substance can often support a person through this particular healing reaction very easily and simply. Rubbing the feet to balance the meridian energies in the body may also help greatly to relieve the symptoms of cadmium removal.
OLD CODGERS, A MAINLY MALE CADMIUM PERSONALITY TYPE
The term “old codgers” is not meant in any derogatory way, but is used to describe a body type and personality type that is common. Their bodies are somewhat “crusty” and they often look and talk tough. Many of them smoke cigarettes, or used to smoke. Many were in the military or served in the police departments, and they are comfortable around firearms.
They are mainly good, common sense, Christian, more politically conservative and down to earth, reliable, survivor types. They may not be brilliant, and may not have the best diction and manners, but they have horse sense, meaning they have a keen intellect and can tell when someone is not telling the truth. They are mainly no-nonsense types of people in this regard.
Fast oxidizers. Their higher levels of cadmium cause them to be fast oxidizers in many cases. Most, however, do not eat well and so they have a low sodium/potassium ratio, especially as they age. The bodies are lower in copper, calcium, and magnesium. This make them a little more stern and appearing “cold-hearted” or “hard-hearted”. In fact, they are prone to heart disease and high blood pressure, two effects of cadmium excess. They are also prone to some types of cancer, such as lung cancer, often from smoking cigarettes.
More yang. Cadmium is also associated with a more yang body and personality type – harder, and warmer. These people are found more on farms and in the middle of the United States, not the coasts, which are more yin areas of the country. Many are ranchers, farmers, and some are laborers, and professionals such as tough-minded businessmen and tradesmen.
Food and diet. Unfortunately, they often eat incorrectly for fast oxidizers. They often love their bread and sweets, and do not eat a lot of cooked vegetables, which they regard as rabbit food. They prefer a steak, a baked potato with butter or sour cream, and maybe some ice cream or pie for dessert.
This is not all bad for a fast oxidizer, but when they overeat on carbohydrates, which is common, they develop a ‘belly’, and often end up with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, along with heart disease and perhaps cancer.
They cost the medical systems around the world trillions of dollars, but they could be helped with nutritional balancing science if they will change their diet to one of mainly cooked vegetables, no bread or potatoes, and less meat.
Most die of heart attacks, aneurysms, or kidney failure, also related to cadmium buildup in the kidneys and elsewhere.
Aura problems. Cadmium affects the second energy center severely. It skews it so it appears deranged to those who can see it. Men and women with excess cadmium tend to be somewhat macho in appearance and in their attitudes about sex, for instance. However, they are not necessarily more sexual, but like to talk about it.
In the area of the first energy center, they are often ‘plugged’, which means the first energy center looks somewhat flattened. However, it is quite large and healthy-looking, too. This means these individuals are often a little more grounded and centered.
Contrast to the copper types. The “old codgers” differ markedly from many of the younger generation who may be described as yeasty, spacy, ungrounded, or even mush-headed, copper types of personality. This is a sort of polar opposite of the “old codger” personality type, and copper is an antagonistic mineral to cadmium, to some degree.
Both are quite toxic in excess, but in these differing ways. While cadmium hardens the body and personality, and decreases emotions, copper softens the person too much. This leads to anxiety, spacey or floaty feelings, schizoid and unclear thinking, excessive emotionalism and sentimentality.
Many copper personality types, in fact, are very young looking for their age, though they do not live too long because excess copper is also horrendous for one’s health. The copper types tend to be slow oxidizers, and tend to prefer vegetarian-types of diets such as eating only fish and chicken, for example, and no red meat at all, which they have trouble digesting and which feels heavy in their stomachs. See the article Copper Toxicity Syndrome for more on copper.
TOUGH YOUNG BUSINESS WOMEN, A FEMALE CADMIUM PERSONALITY TYPE
Cadmium can be important for women, particularly those who want to live and work and compete in the business world or in other areas dominated by men.
Cadmium can offer women a certain toughness and hardness that opposes their coppery nature and allows them to function in so-called “male-dominated” power structures, corporations, government positions, and others. This is an interesting use of cadmium. Some of these women smoke cigarettes to toughen themselves, or they smoke pot, or they drink coffee, or they do other things to accumulate cadmium, which is not hard to do.
While mild cadmium toxicity in women is not too bad, if it is extreme it causes the following personality traits:
- A definite hardness and toughness of the personality and even one’s face and mannerisms. They may look older than their age.
- Some memory impairment, and a generally unhappy and angry demeanor.
- Sometimes a crudeness, dense, and perhaps an escapist personality type.
- Cadmium hides their copper nature, which is their feminine side. They need more zinc and copper, at times, to achieve a better personality balance.
- Increased sexual drive in many cases. Sex, for them, is a substitute for real love, which is hard for them because cadmium separates them from their Creator and from their femininity in some way. As a result, they feel unloved, even if they are with a good husband, in some cases. Sex is not used for experimentation or pure pleasure, as much as it is a substitute for love.
- A rather negative view of men, to the point that some are real man-haters, though they may enjoy sex for their pleasure. Men can be viewed as sex objects to be used by them. Some have a “burned” quality about them. This can happen after a rape, for instance. Male sexual fluid contains some cadmium.
- Some are “cowgirls” that like to dress tough and sexy, while others are more subtle and thrive in the business world. Some are bossy and overbearing, often pushing around their husbands and ruling over the family.
- Their toughness can be a thin veneer and underneath is a brittle quality to their personality. This means that under enough stress, they can fall apart .
- Some become rather psychotic, violent, and lacking in humanity. They often are not interested in children, and can abuse their children easily, as they are lacking in deeper compassion and understanding.
Modern women’s problems. Cadmium is associated with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, depression, adrenal burnout, kidney disease, lung cancer and other serious ailments. These used to be less prevalent in women, but not any more. Even worse, cadmium is associated with birth defects, ADD, and other serious problems of childhood. This, too, is the lot of so many children born to high-cadmium mothers today, and is truly sad to observe.
Also, cadmium is ungrounded, weak underneath, and really quite ill, no matter how ‘macho’ and strong it makes on feel. Many women feel this and, of course, have little idea what is going on inside their bodies ravaged by copper and cadmium.
Vampirism. Some cadmium personality types, especially women, are energy vampires. They tend to be fast oxidizers. Read more about this in the article entitled Energy Vampirism.
CADMIUM AND FOODS
Grains and meats tend to be lower in cadmium, and are for this reason more spiritually-oriented foods. Fruit can be higher in cadmium, as it can balance the sugar in the fruit. We find it is not as good a food today. The cadmium may contribute to the Beam Me Up, Scottie hair analysis pattern that can occur in those who eat a lot of fruit. Genetically modified foods may contain more cadmium.
CADMIUM AND HAIR ANALYSIS
Cadmium does not accumulate greatly in the hair, but rather in tissues such as the bones, kidneys and the brain. Thus, an acceptable amount of cadmium on a hair tissue mineral analysis that is not washed at the laboratory is about 0.01 mg% or 0.1 parts per million or ug/gm. A lower reading is even better, down to about 0.005 mg%. This is very low, but anything higher than this usually indicates excessive cadmium in the body.
The most common “poor eliminator” pattern. When one is a poor eliminator of toxic metals, a common condition today associated with adrenal exhaustion, sympathetic dominance, a low sodium/potassium ratio, or impaired eliminative organs, one’s vital energy level is low and the body cannot eliminate cadmium very well. The result is often an extremely low hair cadmium level such as 0.001 to about 0.004 mg% or about 0.01-0.04 parts per million. This we call a poor eliminator pattern.
It turns out that such an extremely low reading on a hair analysis is a reliable indicator that a person has more of the metal inside the body. What is occurring is the body cannot eliminate cadmium well, so it is building up inside the body. I sometimes call this a tell-tale indicator, because it is a bit subtle to think that a very low hair toxic metal reading indicates the presence of more of that toxic metal inside the body. For more on this very interesting topic, read Poor Eliminator Pattern.
Most people have some cadmium in excess in the body. I would never use a hair analysis or any test such as a urine challenge test or blood test to dismiss or confirm cadmium toxicity. Cadmium can be locked away in the brain or the kidneys or elsewhere, and even giving a powerful chelating drug for a challenge test may not cause the dislodging or removal of very much of it. But it is often still there, and will come out during a nutritional balancing program.
When it comes out, the hair cadmium rises, and the person may feel tired, moody, coppery and emotional, and sometimes very uneasy and vulnerable for a few days, usually. It usually passes quickly, however, as the body rebalances itself with a nutritional balancing program. In fact, nutritional balancing allows us to remove cadmium far more deeply than can any chelator I know of.
I think of the feeling of cadmium removal as having someone “pull out your electrical plug” on your television or other vital electronic device. It may feel awful – just for a day or perhaps even less, while the body rebalances itself.
I am told there is a reality to this “pulling the plug” feeling that occurs in the subtle human body or aura. That is all I know about it at this time. It has to do with the first energy center of the body, which is associated with the adrenal glands and survival in the world. This is much more common and important with women, it seems, who, as explained above, use cadmium to “live in a man’s world” today more than ever before.
Another symptom of cadmium elimination that is rather annoying can be a reddish, itchy, burning rash on the face only. It, too, is temporary and passes, after which the skin of the face often looks a lot more youthful. I do not know why it occurs.
CADMIUM AND SEXUALITY
Cadmium has a lot to do with male reproduction. Cadmium easily replaces zinc in the testicles and prostate gland. Toxicity is associated with impotence, in particular, rather than just a low sperm count. As cadmium accumulates, it is harder to have an erection, something that really bothers the ‘macho’ men.
Cadmium, women and sexuality. Cadmium makes women more sexual. This is important to know. It makes them more like the macho men. When the cadmium is removed, they may lose this quality. Some women are upset by this, but in reality it is normal and should not be a problem. They just relax more and are less “itchy” or less sensitive in the genital area.
Cadmium relationships. Women with a lot of cadmium toxicity have more difficulty in monogamous, close relationships. The reason is they are less in touch with their true, deep feminine nature. Cadmium replaces some of the more feminine minerals that they need, such as good copper, manganese, selenium and other trace minerals that are either replaced by or blocked in some way by cadmium.
This means that high-cadmium women are often less interested in marriage, and more interested in sex, casual flings, and more superficial relationships in which their macho quality can make them more “fun”. In a marriage setting, however, or a deeper committed relationship, they are expected to bring out their true feminine side, and this is hard for them with the cadmium inside of their tissues, so the marriages have more difficulty.
Other macho qualities caused by their cadmium also can cause relationship problems for both men and women. They can be short-tempered or even violent, a little angry all of the time, much less happy, and superficial, perhaps, since cadmium does not have the spiritual depth and perspective of zinc and other trace minerals which it replaces.
This is a large and fascinating subject that is discussed in more depth in a chapter on the “Sexual Aspects Of Minerals” found in the 2010 edition of Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis.
I once read that the average half life of cadmium in the human body is 27 years. This means that cadmium does not tend to leave the body very much on its own.
When a person pursues a nutritional balancing program, cadmium will slowly be eliminated, leading to many health benefits. If a poor eliminator pattern is present, (cadmium 0.004 mg% or less), the reading will inevitably begin to rise on later hair tests as cadmium begins to be mobilized and removed from the body.
This can take several years, however, and cadmium one of the most difficult of the metals to remove because it has such powerful adaptive qualities, as discussed above. That is, it is such as powerful “crutch” or support for the body, even if it is toxic, that it takes a while to remove much of it.
To remove cadmium, it is essential to support the adrenals and the sodium level and remove the need for this adaptation. We do this by giving nutrients that, in the mineral system, raise the sodium level. The mineral system is explained in other articles on this website. Among these critical nutrients to help remove cadmium are zinc, calcium, selenium, manganese, and vitamins C and E. We also often use a kidney formula such as Renamide by Endomet Laboratories in Phoenix, Arizona, to enhance cadmium removal.
Balancing the oxidation rate is also very important. Another very excellent therapy is the use of a near infrared sauna. Click here to read about this superb, inexpensive, safe and quite comfortable therapy. Sweating and the use of the sauna may also be very helpful, as cadmium can be removed through the skin.
Usually, it takes months or up to ten or more years on a corrective nutrition program before the body is able to eliminate most of its cadmium. In part, this is because cadmium is extremely toxic. If it were eliminated very quickly, a person would be in danger of dying due to the toxicity from the elimination process. Indeed, when a large cadmium elimination occurs, one may notice odd smells or tastes, a lot of fatigue and perhaps pain in the kidneys, bones or elsewhere. This usually passes in a short time, however.
One way to tell this is a healing crisis and not a problem is to test the hair at this time. An increased level of cadmium may be revealed at this time as the cadmium is often, though not always, eliminated through the hair and skin as well as through the other eliminative organs of the body.
Chelation therapy for cadmium. Many holistic doctors and naturopaths use EDTA to remove cadmium from the body. However, Dr. Eck found that EDTA used to remove cadmium always lowers the sodium/potassium ratio. This disturbed him greatly, because the Na/K ratio is the most critical ratio on a hair mineral chart and has to do with adrenal and kidney activity, among other things.
As a result, he recommended against EDTA therapy for this reason. It cost him a lot of business, but he held to the idea that any therapy that caused this effect – weakening the kidneys and adrenals – is highly suspect and should be avoided.
I agree with this perspective. Possible reasons why EDTA and all of the other chelation products lower the Na/K ratio may include: 1) toxicity of the chelator, 2) removal of vital minerals along with cadmium, 3) other. All the problems with chelation therapy are discussed in a separate article entitled Chelation Therapy on this website.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER MINERALS AND VITAMINS
Zinc. Cadmium sits just beneath zinc in the periodic table of the elements. This means their structures are similar. Cadmium can replace zinc in the tissues and in enzyme binding sites. An important cause of cadmium toxicity other than exposure, is a zinc deficiency. If zinc is deficient due to the diet, stress, or for some other reason, the body will absorb cadmium from food, water or the air and use it in place of zinc.
Interestingly, a gentleman who manufactures surgical gloves told me if they want the gloves to be more flexible, they add zinc to the rubber mixture. If they want stiffer, more rigid gloves, they add more cadmium. Cadmium has a hardening and stiffening effect on many industrial products as well.
Copper. Dr. Paul C. Eck read that cadmium drives copper into the tissues. This can reduce the symptoms of copper toxicity in high-copper individuals. It may be one reason people enjoy and can become addicted to smoking cigarettes or marijuana, and coffees.
They have a high level of usually unavailable copper in the body, which is unpleasant. The cadmium in the cigarettes or cigarette papers helps reduce the effects of copper toxicity. This is a very important physiological connection between cadmium and copper that Dr. Eck figured out in himself, among his many other patients.
Other Toxic Metals. Cadmium is found with many other toxic metals in the body. This includes mercury, aluminum, arsenic and others. This is an important fact about cadmium. That is, when one detects cadmium, one can take an educated guess that the others are present to some degree.
Sodium. Dr. Eck also wrote that cadmium raises the tissue sodium level intensely. In the medical literature this is called an aldosterone-like effect. (Aldosterone is the adrenal hormone that normally raises sodium levels in the body).
The sodium level in a person’s tissues is a very critical indicator of health. When it is excessive or diminished, it impairs healing a way that is hard to overcome without balancing the level.
Anything that raises sodium will provide an energy boost, and often a temporary feeling of well-being. This is another reason why smoking, which provides a lot of cadmium, as well as coffee and perhaps even drinking a lot of tea and the use of marijuana can have an addictive tendency.
Dr. Eck once told me that if he had less integrity, he would manufacture and sell a cadmium tablet to make people feel better, since a low tissue sodium level always makes a person feel tired and often depressed.
Cadmium in health food store products. Sadly, many health products naturally contain some cadmium, and it might even be one of the active ingredients. Examples are fulvic and humic acid products, trace mineral products from the sea, and even some herbs, particularly Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs.
Taking these for a period of time often fools people into thinking they are really getting better when they are becoming toxic with cadmium. By the time they realize there is a problem, it is often too late to remove the cadmium, because removing cadmium is a slow and sometimes difficult process.
Calcium. Cadmium and calcium are antagonists. This is one important reason why everyone is given calcium and magnesium supplements on a nutritional balancing program.
Calcium helps remove cadmium by strengthening the immune response, by raising sodium a little, and by other unusual mechanisms that are not well understood. However, calcium does not automatically do this. Cadmium must be bioavailable in a way for calcium to bind it. This does occur with nutritional balancing program that balances the oxidation rate utilizing hair mineral analysis. It does not occur just be taking extra calcium in all cases, although taking extra calcium with magnesium is protective against some cadmium in all cases.
On a psychological and metaphorical level, calcium represents life and positive structure in the body, such as the bones. Cadmium represents shortening of the lifespan and death, and destruction of the bones and other positive structure in the body. This may seem vague, but it is absolutely true.
Calcium supplements and cadmium. People with cadmium toxicity may have difficulty taking calcium and perhaps magnesium. They may do better with pure calcium in the form of MCHC (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite crystals). I am not sure why this is so, but it might be worth trying if one cannot take Paramin or a cal/mag.
Iron, manganese and chromium. Cadmium is somewhat antagonistic to iron, manganese and chromium. This is one reason for the accumulation of these minerals in a biounavailable state, as they counter cadmium toxicity in a powerful way. In other words, the body may seek to protect itself from cadmium by accumulating even biounavailable iron, manganese and chromium. This process is common in the population, and is called the accumulation of the amigos. To read more about it, read The Amigos – Manganese, Iron, Aluminum, Chromium and Others.
RELATIONSHIP TO VITAMINS
Vitamin C. Vitamin C in high doses will remove cadmium from the body through a chelation process. This is used in nutritional balancing science. However, we do not use very high doses because vitamin C is extremely yin and will remove some vital trace elements along with the cadmium. This is a serious problem with all chelation therapy. It is not necessary to use large doses of vitamin C, especially for prolonged periods of time, to remove cadmium and other toxic metals for this reason, although it works.
Dr. Eck believed that vitamin C is so effective because vitamin C raises sodium, which cadmium does as well. The vitamin C substitutes for the cadmium in some way, keeping the sodium level higher and enabling the body to more easily remove some cadmium. This is a very important aspect of nutritional balancing science that I call removing the need for adaptation.
In other words, vitamin C helps remove the need for the use of cadmium as an adaptation to raise a low sodium level, which is usually due to weak adrenal and kidney activity.
The idea that a lethal substance like cadmium can be used by our bodies as an adaptation to stress is a fascinating one that Dr. Eck loved to talk about. It sheds a much deeper light on the subject of toxic metals, what they do, why they are present in the body, and how to remove them safely, gently, and more rapidly without needing chelating drugs that have serious side effects in some cases.
The following is excerpted from The Mineral Reference Guide found in the back of Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis (2010 edition) by this author.
SOURCES OF CADMIUM TOXICITY
Š All shellfish are the main source today.
Š Food grown on cadmium-contaminated soil. Sewage sludge, fertilizers or irrigation water may contaminate soil.
Š Large ocean fish - tuna, cod, haddock.
Š Refined and processed foods.
Š Contaminated drinking water.
Š Processed meats, cola drinks and instant coffee.
Š Cigarette and perhaps marijuana smoke.
Š Occupational exposure - battery manufacture, semiconductors, welding, dental materials.
Š Solder used in food cans.
Š Motor oil and exhaust fumes from cars.
Š Artists paints.
Š Air pollution - incineration of rubber tires, plastics and paints.
Š Children today are commonly born with cadmium toxicity passed from mother to child via the placenta.
DETECTION OF CADMIUM TOXICITY
Š "...Cadmium data from blood have little diagnostic value" (Cranston & Passwater, 1983). This is because cadmium is rapidly removed from the blood soon after it is ingested.
Š Often, several months or even years of nutritional balancing therapy are required before cadmium may be revealed in the hair.
HOW CADMIUM AFFECTS HEALTH
Cancer – cadmium is a very toxic metal and usually associated with the development of cancers.
Energy - cadmium causes strong inhibition of essential enzymes in the Krebs energy cycle.
Nervous system - cadmium inhibits release of acetylcholine and activates cholinesterase. This results in a tendency for hyperactivity of the nervous system. Cadmium also directly damages nerve cells.
Bones and joints - cadmium alters calcium and phosphorus metabolism, thus contributing to arthritis, osteoporosis, and neuromuscular diseases.
Cardiovascular system - cadmium replaces zinc in the arteries, contributing to brittle, inflexible arteries.
Digestive system - cadmium interferes with production of digestive enzymes that require zinc.
Male reproductive system - prostate problems, impotence and testicular cancer can result from cadmium-induced zinc deficiency.
Endocrine system - zinc is required for growth and insulin release. Cadmium can contribute to failure to thrive, delayed growth development, and diabetes.
Excretory system - cadmium accumulates in the kidneys, resulting in high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Dental - cadmium toxicity can alter calcium and vitamin D activity, resulting in cavities and tooth deformities.
Psychological - cadmium toxicity is associated with learning disorders and hyperactivity, perhaps due to zinc deficiency or to inhibition of acetylcholine release in the brain. Cadmium is a lower “male” element associated with aggressiveness and “macho” behavior. It is also found commonly in criminals and psychopaths.
SYMPTOMS OF CADMIUM TOXICITY
bone repair, inhibited
cirrhosis of the liver
hyperactivity in children
sex drive, reduced
zinc, calcium, vitamin D, copper, iron, manganese, vitamin C, protein (particularly egg white). EDTA is used to reduce cadmium by some doctors, but not in nutritional balancing.
HAIR ANALYSIS NOTES
Š The ideal hair cadmium level is probably about 0.005 mg%, lower than most labs suggest. We can reduce it this low eventually with nutritional balancing programs.
Š Cadmium is commonly a poor eliminator or very poor eliminator pattern on a hair mineral test. A poor eliminator is in the range of 0.002 to 0.005 mg%. A very poor eliminator is less than 0.002 mg%.
Š Cadmium has an aldosterone-like action and can powerfully elevate the hair sodium level. When cadmium is eliminated rapidly, often the sodium level declines.
Š Cadmium is considered one of the most toxic of the heavy metals. It is located just below zinc in the periodic table of the elements. It replaces zinc in vital enzyme binding sites.