Did you know that probiotics can bind with mercury and arsenic, helping to remove these metals from your body? Heavy metal toxicity is common. In the past it was predominantly a problem for people who worked in industries that exposed them to toxic metals. These days I typically see high levels of heavy metals in varied patients of any age.

A Canadian study has shown that a type of good bacteria commonly found in yogurt and probiotic supplements can help to protect pregnant women and children from the harmful effects of heavy metal toxicity. The research was conducted by the Canadian Center for Human Microbiome and Probiotics. The specific bacterium is called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. In their research, the scientists wanted to find out if regular consumption of the probiotic could prevent heavy metals in the diet from getting absorbed into the body.

The research was actually carried out in Tanzania, where yogurt that contained L. rhamnosus was given to pregnant women and children in the Mwanza region. The researchers measured the participants’ levels of metals before and after the consumption of the yogurt and reported their findings in the American Society of Microbiology journal mBio. This is what they had to say: “There was a significant protective effect against arsenic and mercury in pregnant women and reduction in these compounds in the mothers could presumably decrease negative developmental effects in their fetus and newborns."

Mercury and arsenic are environmental pollutants that are found in many food items, especially fish, chicken, rice and also in drinking water. You don’t need to live in Africa to accumulate toxic levels of these metals in your body. I regularly see elevated levels in blood or urine tests in my patients, particularly those who eat a lot of seafood. The oceans of most parts of the world are so heavily polluted now. It is best to vary your dietary sources of protein, so that you don’t accumulate too much of any one contaminant – try to get protein from foods such as eggs, poultry, grass fed meat, nuts, yogurt and cheese (if you can tolerate it).

It is also very important to make sure you get probiotics into your diet somehow. Some varieties of yogurt contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus, but a good quality probiotic contains much higher levels.

Gut health problems are extremely common. Irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, constipation, bloating and diarrhea are all associated with an imbalance in gut bugs. Comprehensive stool tests are now available, and patients with one of those conditions are typically missing several important strains of good gut bugs. Stress, poor sleep, a high sugar diet and infrequent bowel motions can cause overgrowth of harmful gut bugs, which crowd out good bugs. The following strategies may be helpful:

  • It is best to start off with a powerful herbal antimicrobial to kill harmful bacteria, yeast, Candida and parasites. These harmful bugs can inflame the gut lining, washing away good bacteria.
  • Take digestive enzymes at the beginning of meals. This will help you digest your food more thoroughly. If undigested food remains left behind in your digestive tract, it will act as food for bad bacteria or yeast. An overgrowth of harmful microbes can cause bloating, nausea and fatigue.
  • Ultimate Gut Health provides nourishing and healing amino acids, fibres and a live probiotic. This formula was designed to repair and strengthen the gut and improve gut bacteria.
  • Try not to snack between meals. It is best to give your digestive system a rest from having to digest food. Eating too frequently inhibits the migrating motor complex in your gut from initiating cleansing waves. This increases the risk of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
  • If you suffer with constipation it is important to remedy this because it allows bad bacteria to proliferate. Colon Detox capsules can help.


The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.