Metallothioneins ensure the detoxification of heavy metals. During the bond, zinc is exchanged for heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, platinum, aluminum, etc. Metallothioneins contain twenty molecules of cysteine and seven molecules of zinc. It occurs in high concentrations in the lining of the intestine, further in liver pancreas, stomach, brain and mouth. The most important function of metallothioneins is to protect us from heavy metals. Furthermore, metallothioneins play an important role in various other processes in the body:
- It regulates the zinc and copper concentration in the blood.
• It is essential in the development and functioning of our immune system.
• It is indispensable in the development of nerve cells (neurons) in the brain together with the omega-3 fatty acids.
• It protects against excessive growth of yeast in the intestines.
• It prevents inflammation in the intestines.
• It is involved in stomach acid production.
• It influences the taste and structure perception of the food in the mouth.
• It has a regulated effect on behavior in the hippocampus.
• It is involved in emotional development and socialization (amygdala).
Due to all these functions of metallothioneins, it comes to a spreading phenomenon when complaints occur. Presumably this is a disorder that often only comes to expression when there is a strong overload (stress). One of the characteristics is the emergence of an autistic behavior pattern. In addition, we find other behavioral disorders, concentration problems (ADHS), nervousness and fatigue complaints.
Protection against heavy metals plays an essential role in maintaining our health. We constantly receive heavy metals with our food. The intake of mercury with our food is 20 μg per day. If you have amalgam fillings, 2-60 μg will be added here. Vaccinations mainly use aluminum hydroxide (25 μg per vaccine) in the Netherlands and only the flu vaccine still contains mercury. Aluminum also occurs in all kinds of packaging of juices, the block packaging containing an aluminum foil on the inside. And there are always people who cook pans without coating on holidays in aluminum. Heavy metals can pass the blood-brain barrier unhindered.
At HPU copper is stored in soft tissue and a heavy metal problem is caused by a chronic zinc deficiency. This zinc deficiency mainly occurs in HPUs who have a fructose intolerance or a chronic bacterial infection such as post-Lyme disease or constitutional eczema.
Which characteristics indicate a problem with metallothioneins and accumulation of copper in soft tissue:
- Poorly functioning metallothioneins lead to a high copper – to – zinc ratio (high (or normally copper deposition) and low zinc) and an accumulation of heavy metals such as aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and antimony in the body.
- In case of a malfunction in the metallothioneins, it is impossible to keep copper and zinc in balance.
- The toxic effects of heavy metals due to a poorly functioning metallothionein system are disturbances of brain functions, liver abnormalities, kidney damage, blocking of important enzymes and food intolerances.
• Metallothioneins ensure the uptake of zinc in the cell, including the white blood cells (leukocytes), and a zinc deficiency disrupts the function of the immune system. There is a shift from the cellular to the humoral defense (antibodies) leading to a decrease in immunity. A shortage of zinc and metallothioneins causes atrophy of the thymus and lymphatic tissue, resulting in a severely weakened immune system in infections.
• Malfunction in the function of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 remains low even after taking a supplement. Calcitriol binds to copper deposits in soft tissue and is thus rendered inactive. 25-OH vitamin D3 is rapidly converted to the active form (1.25 di-OH Vitamin D3) so that there is little ordinary vitamin D left behind.
In a heavy metal problem, it often makes little sense to determine the load of one specific heavy metal, unless the load is present in the environment and can be easily eliminated. The cause of heavy metal problems often lies in the poor functioning of metallothioneins and the underlying mechanism. This mechanism is difficult to explain in simple language. But even if this is difficult, that does not mean that we should not do that.