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Heavy Metals:

Outline of a Safe, Scientific, and Sensible Approach

Drafted: August 16, 2007

I. The Question of Aggregation:

A. What are the total amounts of a particular substance across all ingredients used in a specific compound, assembly, or environment?

For example:

1. What are the amounts of lead, arsenic, or mercury found within each ingredient?
2. What are the amounts of lead, arsenic, or mercury found within the finished product?
3. What are the amounts of lead, arsenic, or mercury found in all products consumed?
4. What are the amounts of lead, arsenic, or mercury found with environmental exposure, e.g., air, water, soil, surfaces, paint, clothes, cosmetics, toys, tools, etc?

II. The Question of Accumulation:

A. What are the total amounts of a particular substance across all ingredients used in a specific compound, assembly, or environment that are acquired over time?

B. What are biological dispositions of the total amounts of a particular substance across all ingredients used in a specific compound, assembly, or environment that are acquired over time?

For example:

1. Some compounds are not readily absorbed from the digestive tract.
2. Some compounds are readily absorbed and deposited in specific organs.
3. Some compounds are biotransformed upon absorption and excreted via the urine, feces, etc.

III. The Question of Interaction:

A. What are the interactions between ingredients of products that modify the biochemical form and function of an original ingredient over time?
B. What are the interactions between ingredients of products within the environment that modify the biochemical form and function of an original ingredient over time?
C. What are the interactions between ingredients of products within the body that modify the biochemical form and function of an original ingredient over time?

For example:

1. Citric acid interacts with lead, mercury and other metals to facilitate absorption and delivery to subcellular compartments such as the mitochondria.
2. Ascorbic acid and metals can lead to the destruction of Vitamin B-12 or its transformation into a substance that acts as an enzyme inhibitor.
3. Ascorbic acid and alcohol enhance the absorption of iron.
4. Proton pump inhibitors decrease the absorption of Vitamin B-12.

IV. The Question of Biomass:

A. What are the aggregated and accumulated quantities of a particular substance across all ingredients used in a specific compound, assembly, or environment consumed in relationship to the biomass of a particular individual?
B. What are the aggregated and accumulated quantities of a particular substance across all ingredients used in a specific compound, assembly, or environment consumed in relationship to the organ biomass for a particular individual?

For example:

1. The fetus has a rapidly changing biomass that can be subject to various toxic effects depending on the specific subject and disposition of the substance and the capacity of the fetus and mother for biotransformation.
2. The child has varying proportions of biomass over childhood between different organs.
3. Nutritional status and body mass relationships are unique to each individual and impact the question of biomass effects.

V. The Question of Biochemistry and Physiology:

A. What are the effects of the aggregated and accumulated quantities of a particular substance given the unique biochemistry and physiology of an individual?
B. How do genetic polymorphisms, nutrigenomic, epigenetic, nutritional, medical, and developmental factors relate to the effects of the aggregated and accumulated quantities of a particular substance given the unique biochemistry and physiology of an individual?

For example:

1. Does the amount of a substance result in changes in basic self-protective processes such as detoxification and biotransformation?
2. Does the amount of a substance result in changes in basic metabolic processes such as respiration and biosynthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids e.g., DNA or RNA?
3. Does the amount of a substance result in changes of the structure and function of macromolecular assemblies and processes?

Carl R. Hansen, Jr., M.D.
President and Founder of MEND
(Developmental Neurobiolology and Ecology, Inc.)

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