For several years now, I’ve noticed an alarming connection between the water we drink and heavy metals accumulation in our thyroids—the large ductless gland in the neck that secretes hormones regulating growth and development.

Through Zyto testing, I’ve discovered the presence of heavy metals in the thyroid and para thyroid of every single patient I serve, young or old, and the numbers are unusually high, indicating a great deal of stress on the glands and affected organs.e9pjo_vl3e8-todd-quackenbush

Coincidently, thyroid medication is the #1 prescribed drug in the United States right now. One in eight women will develop thyroid disease, according to statistics. I wondered what was causing this epidemic in thyroid/endocrine disruption? I wondered why the majority of my patients were deficient in iodine, the chemical element that’s essential for optimal thyroid functioning and why obesity rates in the USA are so much higher than other western European countries? What’s more, I wondered, why was it so difficult to excrete and detox heavy metals toxicity even after years of taking care of my patients’ bodies?

Sources of Heavy Metals Toxicity

Heavy metal toxicity can come from a variety of sources. Patients may have a mouth full of dental amalgams or may have worn metal braces on their teeth, swallowing trace amounts of metal with every bite they take over the course of several years. They may be unaware of the hazards of exposure to heavy metals that come from cooking with aluminum pots and pans, or they may be unaware that the chemical used to prevent sweating in most deodorants is aluminum. Apples and rice products with arsenic are two more culprits that are often overlooked.

Patients over 50 often have lead in their tissues from lead gas fume inhalation in the days before unleaded gas. They may also be deficient in the glutathione and n-acetylcysteine that’s required to excrete heavy metals, or they may be overloaded with so many chemicals, pesticides and carcinogens that come from our environment and the food we eat, which prevent the body from executing the task of elimination. When toxins aren’t eliminated through the bowels due to chronic constipation—a common problem in the United States—they will try exit through the skin/epidermis.

When toxins can’t find an efficient way to exit our system they lodge in the body, where these toxins, metals, pesticides, hormones, and chemicals are stored in the organs, tissues, old injury sites, and fat cells. Basically, the body will store these toxins wherever it finds a weakness; and the thyroid is an obvious area of weakness because 750 million people suffer from iodine deficiency. Why wouldn’t our bodies absorb the iodine even after years of iodized table salt consumption? Well, as you may remember from high school chemistry, iodine lives in the same family as bromine—often identified as the blue color in sports drinks—and chlorine, which is added to our drinking water, pools and hot tubs, and fluorine, which had been added to our water in toxic amounts for 70 years.

Effect of Water-Borne Toxins On Thyroid Health

How do these water-borne toxins affect our thyroid health and why note that iodine lives in the same family as these other chemicals? These chemicals compete for the same receptor sites and are drawn into the thyroid, blocking the ability of iodine to get into the thyroid and do its job.

This is compounded by the fact that we’re receiving insufficient amounts of iodine from sea vegetables and our daily overdose of fluoride and chloride from our water supplies.

When the CDC added fluoride to our water supply in 1945 we were told that pharmaceutical- grade fluoride at 8mg/L was safe and effective, and that is was even good for decreasing dental cavities and making our teeth stronger. They lacked the scientific research we have today, establishing the fact that Fluoride is considered to be carcinogenic—a known neurotoxin causing interference with normal brain development. Recent research demonstrates that fluoride is, in fact, an endocrine disrupter causing severe thyroid disease and obesity.

Ever wonder why western Europeans have normal weight in spite of their late-night eating habits? Spoiler alert: These countries don’t have fluoride in their water. We do and, 70 years later, 70% of all Americans still suffer from tooth decay and a growing number of fluoridation- related diseases. Still fluoride remains in our water supplies at toxic levels according to today’s acceptable levels of .7mg/L, causing fluorosis, thyroid diseases, cancers and lower I.Q. levels in children who drink tap water (from a study done by Harvard in 2015).

Tracking the Growth and Widespread Use of Chlorine and Fluorine

How did this fluoride monster grow out of control so that we cannot rein it back in? In 1983, chemical companies that made aluminum had to find a way to discard the industrial waste product known as HSFA (Hexa-Fluorosilic Acid), which is what appears as the smoke billowing from chemical plants. It contains fluoride and trace amounts of harmful metals that accumulate in the body, including lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, thallium, radio-nucleotides and aluminum.

They approached the Environmental Protection Agency about a possible solution to recover this chemical by-product from fertilizing manufacturers. They would reduce the air pollution by giving it to the water utilities as a low cost source of fluoride. Voila! So where do the heavy metals come from? Our ordinary household filters don’t remove the fluoride and chlorine in our tap water, and tap water is used and contained in every household beverage and many foods, from infant formula, coffee, and tea, to soda, beer, soups and pasta—not to mention every fruit and vegetable watered with municipal water. We bathe, shower and swim in it, so that it soaks into bodies through the pores of our skin.

Other Water Toxins—Estrogen and Miscellaneous Drugs

During the Zyto testing I conduct with patients, high levels of estrogens, pharmaceuticals, and recreational drugs are often uncovered. Strange, right? I find it in patients who’ve never even thought of consuming these things, even children. Brace yourself: It’s been estimated that one glass of tap water from your faucet has been through at least six toilets! It’s outrageous but true that water municipalities simply don’t have the resources needed to purchase the sophisticated filtering systems required to remove these substances—especially hormones, which are microscopic. So—sorry to be graphic—for every woman on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) who urinates these hormones into the toilet, the public ends up with them in their drinking and bath water, if they are not properly filtrated. These trace amounts of hormones accumulate in our bodies over time, causing men, women and children to get daily dosages of estrogen. Is it any wonder why men are developing breasts and cancers in that area?

Remember the thyroid/endocrine system of most people is already in a compromised state from excessive dosages of fluorine and chlorine. Additionally, any pharmaceutical or recreational drug consumed by an individual that isn’t completely broken down and metabolized is excreted in the urine. What’s more, people flush medications down the toilet to discard them. This is another way they end up in our water supply, seeping into every unfiltered glass of water we drink.

How To Get Clean, Filtered Water

For clean, filtered water, I recommend a water system from Allini, who offer two filters that can be installed beneath the sink; namely, one to eliminate fluoride, and another to eliminate chlorine, metals, etc. (contact Vinnie Zappier for installations in the tri-state area: 914.879.6407). This approach is highly effective at removing pharmaceuticals, drugs and other known contaminants, including perchlorate, fluoride, VOCs, chloramines, chlorine, lead, arsenic, and bromine. It’s so effective that it removes some of the naturally occurring beneficial minerals in water as well though, so add a pinch of gray Celtic air-dried sea salt or Hawaiian pink algae salt to correct this mineral imbalance. But remember, salts are not created equal, so you should never use bleached white iodized salt: It’s void of essential minerals and can destroy your health. Hawaiian Pink salt is also an excellent way to help children fight tooth decay and support adrenal gland health.

The chemical composition of salt is Na+ CL-, where salt donates chloride to the body so the stomach can produce sufficient amounts of HCL, the natural stomach acid that helps us digest proteins and kill off bacteria. Adults over 30 should be tested for an HCL supplement that suits their body`s biological preference. Sufficient quantities of HCL help prevent plaque build-up up on teeth, and the probiotic for the mouth, DentaVen, can change an acidic PH to one more alkaline, preventing excessive bacteria build-up in the mouth. Adults should test to find the form and source of iodine that best suits their thyroid to achieve optimal function. Some nutrients are better than others too, so it’s best to test to determine which one will work best with your body’s individual needs.

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Photo cred: Todd Quakenbush