Toxic Metals and Weight Loss

By Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Can’t lose weight no matter what? Could the weight loss culprit be something as inconspicuous as mercury build-up in your body?

It is widely accepted that metal toxicity can impair neuroendocrine function. Simply put, this means that normal thyroid function can be impaired from toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and others.

What are Toxic Metals?

Toxic metals are metals that are not required or of use to your bodies chemistry. Mercury is the example we are all probably most familiar with. Toxic metals can also be variations of metals for which there is a biological use, but in the wrong form are toxic.

What is the Weight Loss Connection?

For the purpose of weight loss, or an inability to lose weight no matter what, the effect of toxic metals on thyroid function and estrogen production becomes of particular interest.

Impaired thyroid function, specifically the impairment of T4 to T3 conversion will act like an invisible force field around your body fat. No amount of diet or exercise will be of use for someone with sufficiently impaired thyroid.

There is good scientific evidence that metal toxicity can impair endocrine (thyroid) function.

When we look at the scientific evidence for toxic metals and impaired thyroid function, there are numerous studies indicating lead, cadmium, and mercury with impaired thyroid function.

What we can say for sure is this

  1. Toxic Metals in your body are undesirable
  2. Toxic Metals may impair thyroid function in certain individuals
  3. If you cannot lose weight, and have high levels of heavy metals, you may consider a protocol to remove toxic metals.

The Best Test to Objectively Measure Your Level of Heavy Metals

I recommend having your physician order the 3 or 6 hour urinary heavy metal toxic test using a challenging agent such as DMSA or DMPS.

** I also recommend the QuickSilver Scientific Tri-Mercury/Toxic Metal Testing.

The following test was ordered on a patient who had an impossible time losing weight. She simply was unable to convert T4-T3.

Once the patient was treated and the mercury and lead were reduced and removed her weight problem was solved. Her T4-T3 conversion issue was again solved.

How Can You Rid Yourself of Toxic Metals?

  1. Find a doctor thoroughly trained in the evaluation and treatment of heavy metal detoxification
  2. Be certain your phase I and phase II detoxification pathways are functioning optimally
  3. Eliminate all heavy metal exposure
  4. InfraRed Sauna
  5. After a careful evaluation by your health professional, they may recommend DMSA, DMPS chelating agent or the QuickSilver Toxic Metal Protocol


Urinyova M1, Uhnakova I, Serbin R, Masanova V, Husekova Z, Wsolova L. The relation between human exposure to mercury and thyroid hormone status. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Sep; 148(3):281-91.

Gallagher CM1, Meliker JR. Mercury and thyroid autoantibodies in U.S. women. Environ Int. 2012 Apr;40:39-43

Hybenova M1, Hrda P, Prochazkova J, Stejskal V, Sterzl I. The role of environmental factors in autoimmune thyroiditis. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010;31(3):283-9.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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