This Metal Could Be Killing Your Heart
Whether you’d have lived in Ancient Rome and Greece, or in today’s society, lead has been and still is a source of disease. The Roman water system used lead pipes and its toxicity was soon realized.
Today, lead is found all over the environment. Lead paint and leaded gasoline were major sources of contamination that have been outlawed in the U.S., but the effects are still present today. The combustion of leaded gas rained down on the earth to cause soil pollution from which there is no recovery. The lead will never go away. Lead is still found in many toys, ammunition, and batteries.
I test for lead in many patients and EVERYONE has detectable levels.
If your blood pressure is high, it may be a lead issue. Studies have correlated serum lead with an increased risk for hypertension. Lead may cause hypertension by interfering with nitric oxide availability and increasing renin and angiotensin production. Lead also interferes with the action of calcium, a nutrient highly involved with blood pressure regulation (and hundreds of other bodily functions).
Lead actually looks very similar to magnesium and potassium, thus interfering with both of these life-giving elements. If magnesium and potassium can’t get to where they work, health problems will develop. A key will not fit in a lock if there is gum in it. Your body does not have a pharmaceutical deficiency causing high blood pressure, but instead may have complications due to lead.
Lead causes heart disease
Chronic lead exposure effects:
- Lipids and cholesterol
- Oxidative stress (damages tissues, cells, and molecules like LDL)
- Promotes atherosclerosis
- Elevated CRP
- Raises blood pressure
Lead is associated with a higher amount of homocysteine, the amino acid found in those with heart disease, blood clots, cancer, and dementia.
Are you getting the picture that lead is a nasty player when it comes to heart health?
An interesting fact is that blood pressure in women tends to increase after they enter menopause. Could it be that one factor leading to hypertension in these women is elevated lead floating around? You see, lead is stored in bone. As the osteoporotic bones weaken in menopausal women, lead is released interferes with bodily function.
Near and dear to me is the fact that lead causes neurologic disease. This metal is well known to cause dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. Lead also damages the brain of developing infants and is a well-known of cause learning disabilities. The higher the lead in the brain, the lower the IQ. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Parkinson’s disease have lead as a causative factor.
Since my father died from the brain disorder Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, lead is something I do not want in my body and I do my best to keep it out. Regrettably, it did not occur to me or other doctors to test my dad for heavy metals. In the days of his sickness, I was a typical medical doctor looking for the magic pill to fix him.
Dr. Jack Wolfson
Senior Editor, Clear Health Now
Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. He prevents and treats cardiovascular disease with good nutrition, not medicines and treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.