Arsenic Toxicity

Arsenic is a very potent mitochondrial poison that saps your energy. You will never have the energy you desire as long as you are arsenic toxic.

Arsenic is an incredibly toxic element that is found in almost every corner of our environment.  It occurs naturally in the earth’s crust, along with some rocks and minerals, and concentrations of it may vary from one area to the next. But that’s not all: arsenic is found in the surface water, groundwater, the air, soils, and even our food (6)!

Arsenic toxicity causes rather vague symptoms that can slowly poison an individual, even leading to death.  Fortunately, with today’s technology found in hair mineral analysis, it is easy to identify the presence of this toxic metal and detox your body from this dangerous element!

Interesting, Napoleon Bonaparte was poisoned by arsenic. How was his murder mystery finally solved 150 years after his death? By hair mineral analysis!

Sources of Arsenic

The main source of arsenic is from conventional (non-organic) chickens. It is added to chicken feed around the world because it makes chickens grow 50% faster, vastly reducing the cost of raising the chickens since they bulk up faster. Additionally, arsenic is added to some commercial chicken feed to kill certain molds and fungi that afflict chickens, especially those raised in filthy conventional operations.  It then shows up in the chicken meat itself, including the eggs.  It can even find its way into all conventional pig products, as they are fed chicken “byproducts” (7).

Arsenic can also be found in (2, 6):

  • Beer
  • Burning of arsenate-treated building materials
  • Coal combustion
  • Commercial chicken feed
  • Contaminated good
  • Conventionally raised poultry
  • Cosmetics
  • Drinking water
  • Fungicides
  • Glass and mirror manufacturing
  • Insecticides
  • Paints
  • Pesticides (and even on our food)
  • Pigments
  • Soil
  • Rice and rice products
  • Seafood from coaster waters (especially oysters and shrimp)
  • Table Salt (where it is used as a non-caking agent)
  • Tap water
  • Wood preservatives / treated wood

Arsenic is used in mining operations, and sometimes is just a natural contaminant of some drinking water and soils. It is also sold as a pesticide where it can be used on such things as fruits, vegetables, rice, and tobacco. You must eat organic to avoid arsenic.

As if that wasn’t enough, inorganic arsenic was, and perhaps still is, used in the beer and wine industries.  The element was also formally used extensively as a pesticide to treat wood as a way to prevent rotting from insects and microbial agents. This includes the wood used for decks and even playground equipment (6)!  The use of arsenic for this purpose of preserving wood has apparently been diminished, as science revealed how toxic it can be (6, 7).

Certainly, as you can see, our exposure to arsenic reaches both far and wide.  That is exactly why it is important to monitor your body for arsenic toxicity.

Symptoms of Arsenic Toxicity

These are often vague, but arsenic is a powerful nerve and enzyme poison.  It is associated with hundreds of symptoms, beginning with what may be called malaise, fatigue, vague aches and pains, weakness, dizziness and many neurological symptoms. It can also cause blood disorders such as anemia, blood sugar disorders, and is implicated in several forms of cancer (6, 8).

The main symptom of arsenic toxicity is fatigue. Arsenic is a very potent mitochondrial poison. This metal poisons the enzymes that transport nutrients into mitochondria – the cell’s energy producers. Without nutrients, the mitochondria do not produce the energy you need and fatigue results.

Specific arsenic toxic symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Brittle Nails
  • Burning in mouth/esophagus/stomach/bowel
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Edema
  • Enzyme inhibition
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Fluid loss
  • Goiter
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Herpes
  • Hyper-pigmentation of the nails and skin
  • Impaired healing
  • Inhibition of sulfhydryl enzymes – Garlicky odor to breath/stool
  • Interferes with the uptake of folic acid
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle aches, spasms, weakness
  • Nausea
  • Peripheral neuritis
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Sore throat
  • Swallowing difficult/Throat constriction
  • Sweet metallic taste
  • Vasodilation
  • Vertigo
  • Vitiligo
  • Vomiting

Toxic elements, like arsenic, replace nutrient minerals in enzyme binding sites. When this occurs, the metals inhibit, over-stimulated, or otherwise alter thousands of enzymes. An affected enzyme may operate at 5% of normal activity. This may contribute to many health conditions. Toxic metals may also replace other substances in other tissue structures. The replacement weakens these tissues, such as the arteries, joints, bones, and muscles. Toxic metals may also simply deposit in many sites, causing local irritation and other toxic effects.

Health Conditions Caused by Arsenic

Inorganic arsenic is classified by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a known carcinogen (or cancer-causing agent) (6). It is also recognized as an environmental and occupational pollutant.

Regular exposure leads to cancer and other toxic health effects, including cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, and developmental disorders (2). A 581-participant study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed the association between arsenic exposure and DNA methylation, a biological process that causes many debilitating and fatal diseases (4, 5). 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has linked arsenic exposure to high blood pressure and the New York University School of Medicine cites it as a contributor to cardiovascular disease (3, 9). Also, most toxic chemicals adversely affect the male reproductive system and arsenic is one of them; Chinese research has confirmed it reduces semen quality (10).

The EPA has stated that, “Regarding human health effects, the primary target of inorganic arsenic exposure is dependent on the route of exposure” (6).  For example, when the element is exposed to the skin, the adverse symptoms manifest themselves on the dermal layer of the body in the form of lesions, skin discoloration, etc.  When ingested, it affects the gastrointestinal tract and causes such symptoms as nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, even bladder and liver cancer.  When inhaled, this toxic element has been linked to the occurrence of lung cancer (6).

How to Detect Arsenic Toxicity

If you think you’ve been exposed to this pollutant and may have high levels of it in your system, I recommended some testing to determine your level of exposure.

First, a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). HTMA testing measures heavy metal and mineral concentrations in your hair, which is one of the most common places that heavy metals like to hide. It’s a good way to get a highly accurate snapshot of what’s going on in your body without invasive procedures or expensive scans.

The HTMA testing process is simple (you don’t even need to leave your house). You get a digital kit sent to your email, then you send in your hair sample, and get your results within a few weeks. Testing is both accurate and comprehensive –– an HTMA test will give you information about a wide variety of heavy metals, including arsenic.

Once you have your HTMA test results, you can look at them with a trained practitioner and come up with a personalized plan to support your body’s natural detoxification.

If you think you’ve been exposed to health hazards like arsenic and it may be hiding in your system, order a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. From there, you can plan your next steps to reclaim your vitality.

Here are some notes regarding arsenic levels considered when reviewing your Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (7):

  • The ideal hair arsenic level is probably about 0.007 to 0.009 mg%.
  • At times, a very low arsenic reading appears on a hair mineral analysis.  An arsenic level below about 0.004 mg% or 0.04 ppm indicates a poor eliminator pattern related to arsenic. This means that a person may have arsenic toxicity, but suffers an inability to eliminate it adequately.


Presently, humanity is exposed to the highest levels of toxic metals in recorded history, up to several thousand times higher than even several hundred years ago due to industrialization. The danger of toxic metals in our environment is greatly aggravated due to low mineral content of our food supply, as well as the contamination of our food supply.

If one does not consume preferred minerals in the diet, the body will pick up whatever toxic metals it can from the food, air, and water as substitutes. A key principle to remember is that an abundance of essential minerals in the diet protects the body against toxic metals.

If you are concerned about arsenic exposure, an HTMA is a great place to start. It can give you the information you need to address the root causes of your health concerns. If you suspect you have a build-up of toxins or a micronutrient imbalance, or you have unexplained symptoms like brain fog, weight gain, fatigue, or hair loss, you will certainly benefit from getting an HTMA.

After a long search and after having worked with multiple labs, I send all of our hair samples to an internationally-recognized lab that is a world leader in HTMA laboratory services. They’ve run more than 100,000 tests, and they process hair samples without washing them, which sets them apart from many other labs (washing a sample removes minerals, which leads to inaccurate results for proper interpretation).

If you think you may have toxin build-up or a mineral imbalance and you want definitive, accurate data on your health, you can order your HTMA here.

*These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA. A Hair Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, reverse, or prevent any disease. It is not intended to replace any other medical test(s) that may be prescribed by your medical doctor.


Click Here for References+

1. Analytical Research Labs, Inc. “Mineral Information”.
2. Global Healing Center. “The Health Dangers of Arsenic Toxicity”. March 6, 2013; Updated September 10, 2013.
3. Abhyankar LN, Jones MR, Guallar E, Navas-Acien A. “Arsenic exposure and hypertension: a systematic review”. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Apr;120(4):494-500. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1103988. Epub 2011 Dec 2. Review.
4. Lambrou A, Baccarelli A, Wright RO, Weisskopf M, Bollati V, Amarasiriwardena C, Vokonas P, Schwartz J. “Arsenic exposure and DNA methylation among elderly men”. Epidemiology. 2012 Sep;23(5):668-76.
5. Sabath E, Robles-Osorio ML. “Renal health and the environment: heavy metal nephrotoxicity”. Nefrologia. 2012 May 14;32(3):279-86. doi: 10.3265/Nefrologia.pre2012.Jan.10928. Epub 2012 Feb 28. Review. English, Spanish.
6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “U.S. EPA, Toxicity and Exposure Assessment for Children’s Health”.
7. Wilson, Lawrence. “Arsenic and the USDA/FDA Cover Up”. The Center For Development, Inc.  August 2013.
8. Wilson, Lawrence, Dr. “Toxic Metals and Detoxification”. The Center for Development, Inc. July 2014,
9. Wu F, Jasmine F, Kibriya MG, Liu M, Wójcik O, Parvez F, Rahaman R, Roy S, Paul-Brutus R, Segers S, Slavkovich V, Islam T, Levy D, Mey JL, van Geen A, Graziano JH, Ahsan H, Chen Y. “Association between arsenic exposure from drinking water and plasma levels of cardiovascular markers”. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Jun 15;175(12):1252-61. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr464. Epub 2012 Apr 24.
10. Xu W, Bao H, Liu F, Liu L, Zhu YG, She J, Dong S, Cai M, Li L, Li C, Shen H.”Environmental exposure to arsenic may reduce human semen quality: associations derived from a Chinese cross-sectional study.” Environ Health. 2012 Jul 9;11:46. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-11-46.

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Dr Wendy Myers, ND is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!

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