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How To Use an Anti Lead Diet To Detoxify Your Body

Detoxification Circuit

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

An image of lead on a wood surfaceIt is common knowledge that lead is extremely dangerous for your body and your overall health. High levels of lead in your body will lead to a whole range of problems and symptoms. But it isn’t always easy to avoid a lead diet or to remove it once it’s already in your system. Lead can be found in a whole range of places that you might not even think about. But if you want to stay healthy, then you need to find a way to rid your body of this metal. And this is even more important if you have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) because heavy metal like lead is a common cause of stress and poor health.

Where does Lead Come From?

Lead used to be in products like paint, gasoline and pesticides. However, because it causes serious health problems, the FDA removed it from these products, though it may still be found in these things in other countries. But that doesn’t mean that everything is free from lead in the US. In fact, it can be found in the food supply because:

  • It can settle on or be absorbed by fruits and vegetables.
  • Washing food before you eat it doesn’t remove the lead.
  • Animals you eat may ingest lead and pass it on.
  • The plates and bowls you put your food on may contain lead.
  • Lead can enter food during manufacturing.

So basically, you never really know if you’re ingesting lead. That’s why the lead diet is so important.

The Dangers of Lead

Lead is extremely poisonous. It’s especially dangerous for infants and children, pregnant women, and adults with chronic health conditions. Here are some of the problems it can cause in early childhood:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Learning disabilities
  • Lowered IQ
  • Behavior difficulties

The lead diet is important because even low-level lead exposure can be dangerous. Over time, it accumulates in the body and causes health problems. So, if you believe that you’ve been exposed to lead from any source, it’s important that you address the problem as soon as possible.

The Lead Diet and Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy is a conventional treatment for heavy metal toxicity. It’s often recommended for children or adults with high blood levels of lead. During the therapy, a medication is given that binds with the lead so that it’s excreted through the urine. This therapy should only be performed with medical supervision. You should never attempt chelation therapy on your own as there are a number of safety issues throughout the process. There is also a high risk of a retoxification reaction, which can be life-threatening. Chelation can be given through IV, oral, or rectally. There are multiple compounds that are used for chelation.

Using dietary changes to encourage the removal of lead from your body can be safer and gentler. However, make sure you discuss all of your options with a medical professional first before making any decisions. This is particularly important if you want to try a lead diet because of AFS, as this disorder will increase your risk of having a poor reaction to any kind of therapy.

The Lead Diet and AFS

An image of a stressed out woman holding her face in her handsLead is a toxin that will cause stress for your body. And if you live in the modern world, then you probably already experience enough stress. The modern world is full of little stressors, from relationship problems to toxic work environments. These little stressors can accumulate over time, resulting in the overuse of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response and adrenal fatigue.

The NEM stress response is a short-term solution for stress. It makes changes in your body when you’re under stress to protect it and to prepare you to respond. Once the cause of the stress is gone, the NEM stress response powers down and your body goes back to normal. But if you’re constantly stressed, then this power down doesn’t occur. This results in imbalances throughout the NEM stress response and adrenal fatigue as the adrenals struggle to keep up with the ongoing high demand for cortisol. The result is spiraling poor health and confusing, frightening symptoms and problems.

The Detoxification Circuit in AFS

The lead diet is important when you have AFS because of the declining health of the Detoxification Circuit. This circuit is part of the NEM stress response and is responsible for clearing your body of metabolites.

Metabolites are created as the body breaks down substances and in excess are very damaging to your body. When you’re healthy, the components of the Detoxification Circuit, the liver, immune system, and the extracellular matrix (ECM) work together to deactivate and expel these metabolites. But in AFS, the Detoxification Circuit becomes unbalanced and malfunctions. This can result in a buildup of metabolites as well as dysfunctions in the individual circuit components.

Lead ingestion through your environment or your food can be very dangerous when your Detoxification Circuit is malfunctioning. Ordinarily, this circuit would work to expel this toxin. But when the circuit is malfunctioning, this process will slow down. This will result in a faster than normal accumulation of lead in the body, which may bring on the associated health problems. The presence of this toxin will also prompt the creation of more metabolites as the body tries to cope. This will affect all 3 components of the circuit in the following ways:

The Liver

Liver function will slow in AFS due to the overload of metabolites and circuit imbalances. This will slow down lead expulsion, giving it more time to be absorbed into the body. As a result, more metabolites will get deposited which will further tax the liver, causing damage wherever they collect.


The ECM is the fluid-filled spaces between cell walls and it quickly becomes congested with metabolites in AFS. This slows chemical messages throughout the body and creates a kind of toxic soup that bathes all of your cells and organs. This is obviously a very damaging and dangerous situation. And the more congested the ECM becomes, the more metabolites will be produced, which will only worsen the problem.

The Immune System

Excess metabolites will worsen the overactivation of the immune system, which will already be overactive because of high cortisol levels. The result of this overactivation is usually chronic inflammation. This is not only dangerous on its own as it’s been linked to cancer, heart disease and other health problems, it will also cause the production of more metabolites, worsening the circuit malfunctions and the congestion in the liver and ECM.

The three components in the Detoxification Circuit are tightly interconnected. So, as each component declines in health and functioning the others will follow. This will increase your stress levels, cause the production of more metabolites, and worsen your adrenal fatigue. The only way to correct this spiral is to remove causes of stress, which is where the lead diet comes in.

The Lead Diet

The lead diet is based on the idea that the food you eat can protect you against toxins or make you more susceptible to them. You may not be able to avoid ingesting lead through your diet, but you can help prevent the lead from accumulating and causing health problems with some simple dietary interventions:

Reduce Lead Absorption

The first part of the lead diet is to reduce the amount of lead you absorb. You can do this by correcting deficiencies in certain nutrients including:

    An image of a woman thinking about the supplements on a small table infront of her

  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D

When you’re deficient in these nutrients, lead absorption will increase. The best foods for blocking lead absorption include:

  • Milk products like yogurt and cheese.
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Canned salmon and sardines
  • Lean organic meats
  • Iron-fortified cereals
  • Dried fruit
  • Citrus fruits

However, if you have high levels of these nutrients in your diet, then eating more probably won’t have any effect on lead absorption. You should also make the effort to get more vitamin D from sunlight as it can decrease the amount of lead that’s stored in the bone.

Increase Lead Excretion

Some nutrients have been shown to markedly increase lead excretion including:

  • B9 or folate
  • B6, which is effective in animal studies but needs more study.
  • Vitamin C, which can bind to metals but hasn’t been studied at higher lead levels.
  • B1, which increases lead excretion from the brain.
  • Vitamin E
  • Pectin

You can increase your intake of these nutrients by eating more:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Seafood
  • Whole grains like barley and oats
  • Eggs

The Lead Diet for Specific Health Complaints

High levels of lead in the body have also been linked to specific health complaints. Dietary changes may also help to correct or at least lessen the impact of these problems:


Lead interferes with your body’s production of red blood cells, causing anemia. There are several nutrients that can help protect against this problem including:

  • Iron, which protects against anemia in general.
  • Vitamin C, which positively impacts red cell production pathways.
  • Zinc, which also has positive effects on production pathways.
  • Vitamin E improves the stability of red blood cell membranes.
  • Vitamin B1, which increases lead excretion from the brain.
  • Copper, as deficiencies can produce anemia.

Brain Function

Lead severely impacts brain function, particularly in children and infants. Here are the nutrients that can help protect against this:

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Selenium
  • Glycine
  • Folate, which is strongly protective in children.
  • Iron, to protect the blood-brain barrier.
  • Glutathione
  • Cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine, which are used to manufacture glutathione in the body.

These nutrients can help protect your brain. However, if you already have lead-induced brain function loss, then studies have shown that vitamin B12, Thiamine, methionine and taurine may help reverse it.


An image of a nurse taking someone's blood pressureWith a lead diet, you can also reduce your risk of hypertension as a result of lead accumulation. Nutrients that have been shown to reduce the risk of hypertension in animal studies include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Taurine
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C

Kidney and Liver

The health of your kidneys and liver are essential for lead excretion. You can improve their health with:

  • Vitamins B1 and B6
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Garlic
  • Glycine
  • Selenium
  • Taurine
  • Methionine
  • Iron, which is especially good for the kidneys

Most of these nutrients work best in combination, so make sure you work with a doctor to get the mix right.

The Nervous System and Hearing Loss

Calcium and selenium work best to protect the nervous system from lead damage. Selenium may also impact lead-induced hearing loss.


Lead can be deposited in the bones and then released from the bones into the blood. Vitamin D, zinc, and calcium can markedly reduce lead deposits and release them into the blood. However, these nutrients need a complex combination of nutrients to be fully effective including:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin K

A Warning About Supplementation

When you have high levels of lead in your body, it’s important that you work with a medical professional if you want to supplement to try and correct the problem. Taking supplements without supervision can be quite dangerous. Certain supplements when taken in excess can cause side effects, particularly when they’re taken in high doses.

Certain conditions may also affect how your body responds to supplementation. Magnesium and phosphorus for example are easily secreted. But if you have renal problems caused by lead or other problems, they may build to dangerous levels in your body. So, make sure you work with your doctor if you want to try supplementing. It’s far safer to try to eat a balanced lead diet filled with all the nutrients you need as it’s very hard to overdose on vitamins or minerals in food forms.

This is even more important if you have AFS as your body may react in unexpected ways to supplementation or changes to your diet. At the very least, the change may cause additional stress and prompt the release of more cortisol, worsening your adrenal fatigue. At the worst, you may experience a paradoxical or sensitivity to the new element, which will undo all your good work.

The Takeaway

It seems like everything around you and everything you eat these days is toxic. This can result in a toxic overload in your body, which will cause troubling symptoms as well as a whole range of problems. If you need to detoxify yourself from a lead diet, here’s how to start:

    An image of different supplements being held in the palm of a hand with fresh fruit in the background

  1. Correct deficiencies in nutrients like vitamin C, D, iron, and calcium to prevent lead absorption.
  2. Increase lead excretion with nutrients like vitamin C, B9, B1, and B6.
  3. Make sure you work with a doctor when you’re making these changes to your diet to avoid worsening your condition.

If you want to learn how to eliminate more toxins from your body, ask our team by clicking here below or give us a call on (626) 571 1234.

© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam's Key Question

Lead poisoning, even in small amounts, can be very dangerous for your body. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to remove this harmful element from your body once it’s there. The lead diet is focused on nutrients that will encourage your body to rid itself of its lead content and detoxify.

© Copyright 2001-2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
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