Tag Archive for: sleep

Are we only as healthy as … How Well We Eliminate Waste … from our bodies?

Detoxification is critical to the success or every healing program.  Since we are bombarded by environmental intoxicants 24/7 both from inside our homes, to the products we lather onto our skin, the food we eat and the air we breathe. Our bodies play host to an accumulation of herbicides, heavy metals, xeno-estrogens, all of which can be a big part in why those with chronic health issues are chronically ill. 

What I and other nutritionists/naturopathic physicians have found, is the strong correlation between those who are most sick and those who have had the most significant exposures, and are unable to detoxify so well.

Therefore, I believe educating ourselves about environmental toxins is critical.  And this can then translate into making better choices for our health, the health of our families, and it helps our planet also. Why? Because the substances that are hurting our bodies, by and large, affect our planet through climate change too. 

I consider toxins to be the number underlying causes of chronic diseases today, but sadly the doctors are NOT looking for this. It is my firm belief that when people are sick there is ALWAYS an underlying root cause.

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Heavy metals and the brain

We also have a great deal of science and a strong correlation between the toxic loading of certain heavy metals and neuro-degenerative diseases.  Therefore keeping our brains as well as bodies free from toxic levels of heavy metals is paramount when supporting neurological health 

It’s hard to know exactly what heavy metal content exists within each of our brains unless we dissect the actual brain after passing.  However, we are able to measure heavy metal burden released into the urine when challenged by a sulphur donation agent.   Signifying theoretical total body burden in terms of reasonable or unreasonable levels excreted via this drainage pathway when challenged.  (The DMSA Challenge Test has been mentioned within a previous post.) 

But firstly let’s talk about the Glymphatic System and what we do know about how this protects our brain. The glymphatic system was only recently discovered within the University of Virginia in the US.

What is the Glymphatic System?

The Glymphatic System clears metabolic waste from the brain.  It does this at night during the hours when we are asleep.   First, at night the brain shrinks by 60% of its size in order to make room for the flow of the lymph (Glymphatic System) around it. 

Lymph flows along the arteries, bathing our neurons with nutrients whilst removing metabolic waste and then flows along the veins before exiting.  A vital system for health which is protected by good amounts of sleep each night.  

Unfortunately, not everyone has a healthy functioning Gymphatic System. As it is easily compromised when challenged by toxicity such as heavy metals, but brain injuries can also damage this system. 

Clearly, a damaged Glymphatic System can become a chicken and egg scenario since heavy metals damage the Glymphatic System, which in turn a compromises our ability to detoxify heavy metals.

If an individual is predisposed to carrying an increased toxicity load of heavy metals, predisposed by their genetic makeup, and then experiences a brain injury this can be a very tough situation indeed.  When this set up arises, every attempt to live a clean life, integrating detoxification techniques on a regular basis with good quality sleep also critical to this cleansing system.  Since we know that brain injuries incur an increased risk of neurological issues.


We know that lead can be stored in the bone, as lead diametrically opposes calcium and therefore increments bone loss (post to follow), but it also interferes in our GABA production too.  As a result, a chemical known as Amyloid Beta accumulates when the Glymphatic system is not working well, causing incremental neuro-degeneration.

GABA regulates how well the lymph can flow in and out of the brain.  Therefore it is critical to our cleansing system.


Exposure to mercury in the mouth also has negative effects on the Glymphatic system. Over time the vapour gets taken up into the brain from the mouth.  There is a retrograde effect as it gets into the nerves, and then to the brain, damaging astrocytes.  This can be an appalling insult to the Glymphatic system and its optimal functioning.


When facing toxicity challenges sleep becomes all the more important. Sleep is therefore paramount in terms of reducing susceptibility to all neurodegenerative conditions.   We absolutely need to sleep in order for this system to work. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, secreted to help us have a restful deep sleep. But it also helps to cleanse our brains. I love to take a slow-releasing or sub-lingual form of melatonin before I sleep.  It is neuroprotective anti-oxidant clearing mercury, lead, viruses, etc from the brain.


Taking a step back, think about why we may have reduced melatonin?

Legally, we are not allowed to sell/buy melatonin in the UK, therefore apart from purchasing it from our US friends overseas, let’s look at what else can we do to support our melatonin levels naturally. 

Our love of technology exposes us to un-natural amounts of blue light from our phones and ipads, laptops, etc.  Blue light is the same as sunlight, which inhibits melatonin production. 

Realistically, we need to minimise blue-light once the sun goes down.  To support this there are screensavers with blue light blocker and amber glasses which also block out blue light.  By reducing blue-light after sun-down we are naturally supporting our bodies to produce melatonin in the way it is meant to.

Melatonin in pill form

Melatonin in pill form is sold readily in the US, but as mentioned not legally in the UK.  There are brands however that will ship overseas. Source Naturals and Allergy Research for instance.

Pills will need to be processed by the liver and the digestive tract before it is absorbed.  Which works for some people, but for those who are sick, this is not ideal, since they typically have compromised digestion.

Liposomal Melatonin is bound up with phosphatidyl choline. Phos choline is an essential-fat that our brains are made up of.  Therefore this is the perfect delivery system, we can harness this to get melatonin into our system and therefore brain more readily.

Setting the Bedroom Environment

  • The bedroom should ideally be EMF free. Meaning that all electronics need to be outside the bedroom.
  • Install Blackout blinds or shutters.
  • Keep the bedroom free from glues, hairsprays, and hormone-altering chemicals

Consider using Liposomal GABA and Liposomal Melatonin prior to sleeping, to support Glymphatic cleansing.

The Anti-Diuretic-Hormone (ADH)

Those with high mercury content in their bodies often have ADH (90%).  Which can be lowered easily with a drug provided from your GP.  Although I am not a huge fan of pharmacology, there is a place for using some drugs in the short term.

Those with high levels of ADH wake up in need of a pee.  The second point is to address electrolytes. Recommended products for this: E-Lyte from Allergy Research, Ocean 72 from Concentrace, and Crystal Energy from Patrick Flanigan.

Then, take a look at what is down-stream from the brain.  Do you get chronic sinusitis? And/or tonsillitis? There may have been a history of chronic Strepp?

When tonsils are removed, this leaves scars, causing stress on the nerve centre which is the Superior Sympathetic Ganglian.  The Superior Sympathetic Ganglian regulates blood flow to the pineal. Which if scarred can lead to chronic insomnia due to an interruption of blood flow both to and from the brain.

Taking it one step further

It is one thing to identify whether you have a heavy metal burden, but quite another to be Sensitive to Heavy Metals!’

This can happen too!

Our immune systems are now literally reacting to heavy metals. What this means is that not only our total body burden is an issue, but that our immune system now reacts to even the tiniest amount.  We are now hyper-sensitive to metals and therefore have an allergy.

This is a type 4 allergic reaction. When T-Lymphocites recognise and allergenic molecule in our system causing inflammation.

Common metal allergens are nickel, gold, mercury, and titanium.  Typically those who are allergic to nickel cannot wear it within their jewellery.  Nickel is within a lot of dental work, usually the origin of such an allergy.

There is various testing that can be completed to assess allergenic responses to metals.  I prefer to use Cyrex Array 11  Chemical Immune Reactivity Screen.

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Cont … 

Of course, there are forces we are never going to be able to control, and even when we do everything right there are still some people with a greater number of SNP’s and therefore higher level of biochemical over-whelm in the face of the toxic soup existing within our environments today.

As one of those people, this is why I advocate detoxification as a lifestyle, because of what we are up against. I advocate detoxification in healthy children as well as the sick one.

Things you can do however are to watch, monitor and parent control your choices.

Think again before you buy that New-Build Home, or completely re-paint, re-carpet the nursery or your home.

Think again before you choose tuna fish sandwiches re mercury or rice reference to arsenic. or too much cheese that may be processed using aluminum.

Think again before you eat trans fats, chips, biscuits, non-organic foods.

With my children, I like to use the 80/20 rule. Where 80% of the time I am on it, super clean. Then 20% of the time I let it go a bit.  However, when working with a child who already has a chronic health condition then it is important to be more rigorous, and closer to 100%, but understand that this type of application is not forever.

Looking at other sources of toxic exposure

Re-consider vaccines, and consider what else has been put into the vaccines that we give our children.  There may not be the thimerosal, the mercury preservative, but they are going to still be filled with aluminum, and perhaps other virus contaminants. Glyphosate has also been found in vaccines too.

I consider glyphosate to be a number one offender, Roundup on our crops, in our air.  Glyphosate has been patented as an antibiotic, which will perpetuate dysbiosis and leaky gut.  Glyphosate has also been found in baby formulas and baby foods. 

The key thing is to be mindful that anything we are putting into our baby’s tummies is organic.

Understanding that the first three years of a child’s life is the most critical.  It is during this time when the infant’s gut has not yet sealed over that the focus must be on CLEAN.  It is during this critical time the infant’s microbiome is going to be set and established, beyond which it is exceedingly difficult to change. The infants gut microbiome then sets the stage for a healthy immune system, a healthy immune response to chronic infections, healthy detoxification capabilities, and a healthy nervous system.  So, if we want to have healthy children, we must protect the infant’s microbiome from the very beginning. 

Think clean. The water the infant drinks should be filtered.  Unfiltered water is a source of heavy metals, microbes, hormones, medications! Consider getting your water tested.  Our water was too high in lead and other toxic compounds so we double filter our water, once at the point of entry into the house, and again through a drinking tap in the kitchen. 

EMF’S (Electromagnetic frequencies).  Our children are exposed from the time they are in the womb, when mums are on their mobile or cordless phones, when on the laptop, in a house with wifi, sleeping with wifi on.  Mums often give their mobile phones to babies to keep them quiet.  I was guilty of completing my course-work when re-training in nutritional studies all the while with baby in a sling! Secondary school children all have mobile phones, schools encourage classwork to be completed on laptops and ipads.


Sleep needs to be high up on the agenda since it is melatonin, which is synthesised from serotonin during the sleeping hours, that clean the brain from toxic compounds.  The system responsible for detoxifying the brain is called the glymphatic system, bathes the brain and critical for detoxifying the nervous system. This is supported through sleep.

Other considerations should be getting out in nature and exercise. 

Emotional Toxicity

Toxicity exposure also extends to emotional toxicity too. The Emotional Freedom Technique is one tool that can considerably lower the emotional burden and residual toxic thoughts from almost any negative experience encountered.  Social media, the pressure at school, negative family experiences. Klinghardt talks about the Detoxification Axiom, referring to unresolved psycho-emotional conflict or trauma, and the equivalent of stored toxins or pathogenic like microorganisms.  Therefore in order to successfully detoxify the body, we must address not only heavy metals and infections but also the emotions. 

Remove anything that is inf-lamming the gut

We do not need to be solely focused on allergies.  And therefore when a true allergy is NOT present then we think it automatically implies it’s OK to include the food or ingest substance (pesticide, E#). However we should be extending this out to anything and everything that may create gut inflammation, and therefore lead to dysbiosis. This includes sugar.  All refined sugars cause inflammation as well as feed parasites and unwanted microbes.  So take out the fuel for these microbes and replace the digestive tract with enzymes and hydrochloric acid.  And then repair the gut if necessary, including vital nutrients such as zinc and essential fatty acids as DHA, even re-inoculation of the GI tract with good bacteria. 


With children, we do not necessarily want to do aggressive types of detoxification or chelation when we actually don’t know what we’re trying to remove.  

Testing first is important, but again we can start slow and then progress to more in-depth testing later down the line. 

Start with the Organic Acid Test from Genova called Optimal Nutritional Evaluation, providing a really good insight into how well the child is detoxifying. What their mitochondrial stressors are like and what their methylation status is like and oxidative stress measurements too. From this, we can know whether the child is a good detoxifier or not. When issues are present, the investigation into the genetic SNP’s would then be a good idea.  Another very good test is the Porphrins test, again by Genova. When high porphrins are present we know the child is excreting toxins or perhaps has a level of chronic fatigue due to ADP excretion. Further testing for heavy metals can be done in a number of ways but my preferred way is within the urine, using a challenge agent.  Challenge agents are something with a lot of sulphur in it.  DMSA was the challenge agent of choice until it was made illegal to use within nutritional practices in the UK only a few years ago.  MSM, or even lots of coriander can be used to challenge heavy metals and liberate HM from stored tissues.  

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