Dealing with toxic substances can be an overwhelming experience. With that in mind, it helps when things are simplified and made into relatable terms. Ready?
Imagine yourself at a busy night club and the person heading towards you is a known trouble maker. He’s been barred from the club several times in the past but he always manages to sneak back in. He does this by blending in with a sea of other people. Thankfully, there’s a burly bouncer on duty who’s just spotted him.
Before the trouble maker has a chance to cause you (or your glowy-stick) any problems, the bouncer picks him up by the scruff of his neck. He then frog-marches him to the nearest exit. No matter how much the trouble maker struggles, the bouncer isn’t about to let go of him until he’s well and truly thrown out of the exit door.
In this analogy, think of the busy nightclub as your GI tract. There’s a lot going on and not all of it is good. The trouble maker that keeps coming back is our toxic heavy metal. As for the burly bouncer, he’s playing the role of a binder.
Binders latch onto heavy metals and refuse to let them go until they reach the bodies exit door. One flush of the toilet and your toxic burden has been lowered.
But without a binder, heavy metals moving through the GI tract are quickly reabsorbed into the bloodstream. It’s the equivalent of the bouncer throwing someone out only to have them sneak back into the club via the side door.
There are lots of binders on the market. In this post, we’ll look at six of them.
As you read through this list, keep in mind that some people may find it beneficial to use a blend of binders. But the devil is the details and it’s never a good idea to take binders willy-nilly. Here’s why …
The body works best when opposing forces or influences are balanced. This sometimes referred to as being in a state of equilibrium. In plain English, this simply means that everything in the body is a delicate balancing act. The trick to getting this right is to start with a small dose and go slow. You can always add a little later, but it’s not so easy to take it away.
Without further ado. let’s kick off with our first binder which is activated charcoal, for no other reason other than my OCD brain likes to do things in alphabetical order.
#1 ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Activated charcoal is a manufactured product which means you won’t find it naturally in foods. Making activated charcoal involves heating carbon-rich materials, such as wood, peat, coconut shells to very high temperatures. Activated charcoal then becomes an extremely adsorbent fine black powder. This in turn then allows it to bind to molecules, ions, or atoms.
Activated charcoal can be helpful at treating stomach upsets and even hangovers. It’s so effective at what it does that it’s sometimes used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses. Keep this in mind as it can have an impact on any prescription medications you may be taking. When in doubt, always check with your primary caregiver.
Activated charcoal is pretty versatile. It’s sometimes found in natural toothpaste, it’s used in water filters, and to absorb toxic smells. It can even be used to extract moisture from the air. This makes it particularly helpful for anyone dealing with exposure to mold. However versatile activated charcoal is, it’s not something you want to take long term. Why?
Activated charcoal has a dark side. It can bind to important minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants found in food. Hence, you wouldn’t want to take it in excess or long term. Without wanting to sound like a broken record, moderation is key.
#2 BENTONITE CLAY
Bentonite Clay has been used for centuries to pull out toxins from the body. As with anything that stands the test of time, it’s usually with good reason. When bentonite clay is mixed with water the molecular components change. No really, it’s true.
When bentonite clay mixes with water it produces a slight electrical charge. This negative charge attracts positively-charged toxins. This works to suck up heavy metals found in the GI tract like a magnetic sponge.
Bentonite clay is also pretty good at removing a wide range of stomach bugs hence, bentonite clay can be helpful with diarrhea. If this is you, a half teaspoon of bentonite clay in water may help. It looks like a cup of mud but despite the way it looks, it’s actually surprisingly easy to drink.
Chlorella is a genus of single-celled green algae belonging to the division Chlorophyta. If that made no sense to you let’s try this. In the gut, chlorella likes to bind to mercury and lead. The problem? Not all chlorella is made equal. There is good quality chlorella out there while others are worthless junk. As with most things, you tend to get what you pay for.
Chlorella is a waterborne organism with a high concentration of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll gives all living plants it’s green pigment. Chlorella is super rich with phytonutrients, amino acids, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorous, biotin, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins.
#4 MODIFIED CITRUS PECTIN
Pectin is a naturally occurring substance found in berries, apples and other fruit. I know what you are thinking because I had the same thought, why modify something that’s already found naturally?
The short answer is this allows parts of citrus fruits to be turned into a powder. During this process, molecules are made smaller so that they are more easily absorbed into your bloodstream. The end result allows your body to benefit from more than just pectin’s fibrous properties.
Some vendors claim that modified citrus pectin may help with prostate cancer. Others suggest it can be beneficial for cellular health. From our perspective, our only interest is in its ability to remove heavy metals from the GI tract.
There are lots of options when it comes to buying modified citrus pectin but one of the most studied is PectraSol-C sold by ecoNugenics. Just so you are aware, I have ZERO affiliation with this product, I’m simply trying to save you some time.
#5 IMD (Intestinal Metal Detox)
IMD is a highly purified silica with covalently bonded elements. This simply means IMD binds to heavy metals such as mercury in the gut.
IMD comes in powdered form and does not contain any known allergens or fillers. IMD is more expensive than other binders as it’s much stronger. As such, it’s best taken under the advice of a health care practitioner.
IMD is usually only taken for 5 days at a time and then backing away from it for two days. Given that it can take years for metals to build up in your body, you can expect to be chipping away at this stage for several months.
Zeolites are naturally occurring. They form where volcanic rock and ash finds alkaline groundwater. A honeycomb structure is then formed which carries a negative charge. This negative charge bonds to positively charged toxins which become trapped inside the honeycomb structure.
This structure can help to remove heavy metals, chemicals, and other volatile compounds but unlike activated charcoal. The good news is, it does so without removing vital nutrients.
Zeolite is relatively inexpensive and easy to take. This makes it a good entry point binder for the newbie detoxer. That said, not all zeolites are made equal and many can pick contaminants during the formation process. Some of the better companies selling zeolites have developed ways to clean any contaminants from the honeycomb structure. ACZ Nano Zeolite offers pretty good value for money.
BLENDING OUR ABC’s
Before we leave this section it’s worth noting that results can sometimes be enhanced by blending activated charcoal with bentonite clay, and chlorella. Simply use less of each and mix in equal quantities. If you aren’t sure, start with the absolute smallest dose possible and work your way up. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush those toxins out.
What’s neat about blending these three is you are covering a lot of bases all at the same time. For example, activated charcoal goes after endotoxins (a toxin that is present inside a bacterial cell). Whereas Bentonite clay goes after aflatoxins (toxins produced by certain molds). This leaves chlorella free to mop up metals such as mercury. As an added bonus, pesticides and herbicides are also being reduced at the same time.
Are there other binders out there? Yes lots, but the original aim of this post was to provide you with enough information so that you aren’t feeling overwhelmed. Like what you read? Check out this book