New test method said to quantify metals absorption capacity of food, supplement ingredients

New test method said to quantify metals absorption capacity of food, supplement ingredients

A new method of measuring the heavy metal absorption capacity of foods and food  and dietary supplement ingredients has been developed by researcher Mike Adams of the Natural News Forensic Lab. Adams says the method measures the ability of various food ingredients to bind with toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, mercury, lead, copper and aluminum.

Up to now, the metal absorption capacity of various foods and food and supplement ingredients has only been referenced in broad terms, Adams said.  Representative statements read something like,  "Cilantro absorbs heavy metals” without quantification.  Adams said the new battery of tests shows the performance of substances in units of microgram per gram.  The new data could open up new market opportunities, he said.

“We anticipate many companies referencing this research in an effort to formulate and market supplements that have high natural binding affinity for toxic elements,” Adams told NutraIngredients-USA

Test details

Dubbed the Metals Capturing Capacity, the tests subjects candidate substances to a simulated digestion process using a synthetic acid and a process designed to simulate the time duration, acid content, temperature and physical motions of human digestion. The digestive fluids are spiked with a known quantity of toxic elements, allowing the candidate food substance an opportunity to bind with and "capture" the toxic elements.

Adams says the process is conducted using a quality control safeguards such as using stock element solutions traceable back to NIST standards as well as using multiple control "blank spikes" to determine the baseline for zero capturing capacity.

Once digestion is complete, food solids are separated from liquids using a process designed to mimic the function of the intestinal walls. The resulting liquids are then subjected to atomic spectroscopy analysis via ICP-MS conducted at parts per billion (ppb) sensitivity.

The resulting element concentrations are compared to a blank spike containing no foods or other materials, and the difference between resulting concentrations in the tested substance liquid is the amount of toxic elements which were captured by the candidate food substance.

Preliminary results

Adams found that foods with fiber portions intact tended to perform better on metals absorption.  He also found that spirulina and chlorella algae peformed especially well on many tests.

Among his other findings were:

  • Most foods have very high affinity for mercury, a "sticky" heavy metal. Even junk foods and processed foods can effectively remove dietary mercury during digestion.
  • Only about five percent of foods can bind with lead. The lead-binding potential of cilantro has been vastly overstate and is actually not very high.
  • Even fewer foods have natural affinities for cadmium or arsenic.  Aluminum and radioactive isotopes such as cesium-137 are even more difficult to bind with.

Changes in market

Adams said that as the knowledge of the presence of metals in the environment and food supply becomes more well known, changes can be expected in the way foods and supplements are marketed.

“I believe that as the public becomes increasingly aware of the presence of toxic elements (heavy metals) in foods (including organic foods), we will see more efforts to certify foods as having low heavy metals. I am aware of one certification company working on this concept already,” he said.

Adams said he hopes his data—which is all in vitro at this point—will spark future research in human models.  It could also help inform decision on regulations.

“This brings up the Prop 65 issue, which I believe needs to be repealed or reformed to reflect the actual amount of lead and other heavy metals that are ‘released’ by dietary supplements rather than the quantity of lead they merely contain in their composition. Lead in your gut doesn't harm you unless it gets absorbed into your blood, after all.” he said.

Related News

Blendhub: “This way a customer’s quality control can operate from day one."

Open source: Blendhub offers ‘fingerprint’ library for nutrient blends

Spanish firm develops probiotics with metal nano particles

Spanish firm develops probiotics with metal nano particles for tumour treatment

LifeVantage recalls product over metal contamination

LifeVantage recalls product over metal contamination

Eggshell calcium tests safe for heavy metals, says ESM

AHPA publishes heavy metals GMP guidance

AHPA promotes heavy metal references for botanicals

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.