The Toxin Solution

Appendices Introduction

The eight appendices in this section will help you:

 Determine your toxic load.

 Discover which toxins are your biggest problem.

 Provide resources to effectively help you avoid toxins in the future.

This information is not meant to be comprehensive. Rather, it consists of my recommendations based on products, services, and lab tests whose purity and accuracy I have tested wherever possible. They are also products that my family and I use ourselves. Apart from any already mentioned, I have no commercial interests in any of the products or companies listed.

I invite those wanting my most current recommendations to visit this book’s website,, which describes many more free resources, along with tools for interpreting laboratory tests and genomics. The latter is particularly useful, because knowing your genetic susceptibilities will help you determine which toxins are most toxic for you.

A brief description of the purpose of each appendix follows.

Assessment Appendices

Appendix A: Conventional Lab Tests Indicating Toxic Load. Directly and accurately measuring the levels of specific toxins in our body is recommended. However, such tests are in the early stage of development, not readily available, and very costly. Ironically, we have another way of objectively determining overall body load of toxins: we have become so toxic that many conventional laboratory tests show variations within the supposed “normal” range. The “normal” range now shows toxin exposure. That’s right, toxic is now “normal,” which helps explain why we have such a huge disease burden. These tests are very useful, since they are inexpensive and can be run by any doctor or lab.

Unfortunately, since most of us are affected by several different toxins, these conventional lab tests will not tell us precisely which toxins we are being exposed to. By using the simple assessment formula that I provide, you can estimate how loaded your body is with toxins and can track improvement over time.

Appendix B: Lab Tests for Specific Toxins. A growing number of laboratories have started to provide tests that assess body load of specific toxins. These are still to some degree controversial. Nonetheless, I have found them very helpful for a lot of patients not only to pinpoint exactly which toxins are causing them trouble, but also to then track efficacy of avoidance and elimination strategies. Most of these tests require the assistance of a doctor knowledgeable in environmental medicine.

Appendix C: Diseases That Indicate Specific Toxins. Along with my team, I have done a lot of work determining the specific toxins that cause chronic disease. For over a year, the three of us delved deeply into the research assessing the contribution to eighteen cancers and thirty chronic diseases of twenty-six toxins or toxin classes (e.g., lead is a single toxin, whereas the hundreds of chemicals categorized as PCBs are considered one toxin class). For many of the toxins we looked at, there was insufficient research, or the studies were too small. But for about one-third of them with reliable data, the results are uniformly disconcerting. Most show strong disease relationships, with the strongest summarized here. Comparing the disease(s) you or your family are suffering with the toxins can quickly tell you which toxins are the worst for you.

Appendix D: Symptoms That Indicate Specific Toxins. While all the other assessment appendices are based on strong research, this one is much more dependent upon my subjective judgment. Frustratingly, almost all the research on symptoms caused by specific toxins is based on acute poisoning or chronic industrial exposure at moderate dosages. Obviously, it’s better to recognize that we have a problem with a toxin long before it progresses to outright disease. This appendix will help you determine whether your symptoms are those typically caused by specific toxins.

Appendix E: Symptom Tracking. One of the challenges with natural therapies is that it takes time for the body to heal—as opposed to the quick symptom relief of drugs, which usually don’t treat the cause and add to toxic load. I have seen that patients are typically focused on their current symptoms and forget those that have gone away as their body heals. Having them use a weekly questionnaire that can numerically track their progress over time—such as the one in this appendix—powerfully reinforces the benefits of making the effort to live healthfully. At my website I provide some really helpful tools for objectively tracking your health status.

Resource Appendices

Appendix F: Safe Products. This appendix lists resources for determining the safest foods, health and beauty aids, yard chemicals, and housecleaning products. These are the resources my family and I use.

Again, this is not a comprehensive list, and I apologize to any company making safe products that has been left out. (If your product has been omitted and you think it should be listed here, please contact me and we will make an assessment and, if appropriate, put you on the website.)

Appendix G: Other Resources. If you have a high level of a specific toxin and want to determine where it is coming from, or just want to make your home and workplace as free of toxins as possible, these resources will help.

Appendix H: Protocol Summary. The protocol summary appendix provides an easy-to-use review of the key elements for each protocol stage.

Appendix A: Conventional Lab Tests Indicating Toxic Load

This appendix recommends conventional laboratory tests to help determine whether you are overloaded with toxins. The tests are listed alphabetically, not in order of importance.

Although these tests are typically used to detect disease and are not intended to assess toxicity, the research shows that within the supposed “normal” range they can indicate physiological adaptations to or damage from toxins. While the tests won’t tell us the exact toxin or toxins that are causing the problem, they do suggest types of toxins. Their huge value is that they are inexpensive and easily available. Finally, there is a simple scoring method to help you determine your general level of toxicity. As an example, my total score is 6.0. My family and I do everything we can to decrease our toxic exposure. Nonetheless, doing this assessment myself alerts me that I need to do a bit better.

“Normal” ranges can vary to some degree by laboratory. If your lab test range is different, then rescale the results proportionately. For example, if the top of the range in your lab is 10 percent higher, then scale the toxic ranges by 10 percent.

Some tests also vary according to a person’s nutritional status; for example, homocysteine levels are higher when people are deficient in B vitamins. Of particular importance, being high in lead makes the elevation of homocysteine due to B-vitamin deficiency even worse.

The scoring method is based on my interpretation of the strength of the predictive value of the tests.

Interpreting Lab Test Results













ALT (Alanine aminotransferase]

Cadmium, lead, mercury, DC Ps, PCBs

0-35 U/L










AST (Aspartate aminotransferase)


0-35 U/L










Bilirubin (total)


0.3-1.2 mg/dL










LDL-c ho leste rol


<130 mg/dL







GGTP (Gamma- glutamyl transferasel

Most toxins

10-50 U/L














Most POPs

4.0-8.5 percent














Cadmium, lead

4-12 pmol/L










Platelet count

Benzene, solvents











T3 (totall


0.7-1.5 ng/dL










14 (total)


4.9-11.7 ng/dL










Uricacid (blood)


2.5-8.0 mg/dL













WBC (White blood cell countl

Benzene, CO, OCPs, PCBs
















How to Score Your Answers: Low toxin load: < 5.0 Marginally toxic: 5.1-10.0

Modestly toxic: 10.1-15.0 Highly toxic: > 15.0

References for Appendix A

Gleason, J. A., G. B. Post, and J. A. Fagliano. “Associations of perfluorinated chemical serum concentrations and biomarkers of liver function and uric acid in the US population (NHANES), 20072010.” Environmental Research 136 (2015): 8-14.

Guallar, E., E. K. Silbergeld, A. Navas-Acien, et al. “Confounding of the relation between homocysteine and peripheral arterial disease by lead, cadmium, and renal function.” American Journal of Epidemiology 163, no. 8 (2006): 700-708.

Kumar, J., L. Lind, S. Salihovic, B. van Bavel, E. Ingelsson, and P. M. Lind. “Persistent organic pollutants and liver dysfunction biomarkers in a population-based human sample of men and women.” Environmental Research 134 (2014): 251-56.

Lee, D. H., M. H. Ha, J. H. Kim, et al. “Gamma-glutamyltransferase and diabetes: A 4 year follow-up study.” Diabetologia 46 (2003): 359-64.

Penell, J., L. Lind, S. Salihovic, B. van Bavel, and P. M. Lind. “Persistent organic pollutants are related to change in circulating lipid levels during a 5 year follow-up.” Environmental Research 134 (2014): 190-97.

Serdar, B., W. G. LeBlanc, J. M. Norris, and L. M. Dickinson. “Potential effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and selected organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) on immune cells and blood biochemistry measures: A cross-sectional assessment of the NHANES 2003- 2004 data.” Environmental Health 13 (2014): 114.

Shih, H. T., C. L. Yu, M. T. Wu, et al. “Subclinical abnormalities in workers with continuous low- level toluene exposure.” Toxicology and Industrial Health 27, no. 8 (2011): 691-99.

Shimizu, R., M. Yamaguchi, N. Uramaru, et al. “Structure-activity relationships of 44 halogenated compounds for iodotyrosine deiodinaseinhibitory activity.” Toxicology 314, no. 1 (2013): 22-29.

Shrestha S., M. S. Bloom, R. Yucel, et al. “Perfluoroalkyl substances and thyroid function in older adults.” Environment International 75 (2015): 206-14.

Steenland, K., S. Tinker, A. Shankar, and A. Ducatman. “Association of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) with uric acid among adults with elevated community exposure to PFOA.” Environmental Health Perspectives 118, no. 2 (2010): 229-33.

Suarez-Lopez. J. R., D. H. Lee, M. Porta, M. W. Steffes, and D. R. Jacobs Jr. “Persistent organic pollutants in young adults and changes in glucose related metabolism over a 23-year follow-up.” Environmental Research 137 (2015): 485-94.

Appendix B: Lab Tests for Specific Toxins

The number of laboratories offering testing for toxins is growing. The following are laboratories that I have some experience with and am willing to recommend. For a more complete list and additional information, please go to





Doctor's Data

Gut, metals

Excellent fortoxic metals



Gut. metals,



Excellent for gut microbial balance




www. quicksilver sc ientif ic.c om

Experts in mercury

Great Plains Laboratory

Gut, POPs, solvents

Comprehensive chemical screen





Basic toxin screen

US Biotek


www.usbiotek.c om

Basic toxin screen

To assess your body load of toxic metals, I strongly recommend the following assessment protocol, which must be done in collaboration with an environmental doctor. Basically, your first morning urine tells you current exposure, while the urine collected after you take the chelating agent assesses body load. This latter assessment is controversial, but it is the best one currently available without taking a biopsy. Please ask the environmental doctor whom you consult to assess whether or not there are any contraindications applicable to you in undertaking this protocol.

Assessment Protocol Instructions

Sample 1, for current exposure:

1. Collect first morning urine.

2. Send sample to lab.

Sample 2, for body load:

1. Take 300 mg of dimercaptopropane sulfonate (DMPS) and 500 mg of dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). Access to these drugs requires a doctor.

2. Collect all your urine for the next six hours.

Appendix C : Diseases That Indicate Specific Toxins

Although glyphosate is a common and serious toxin, as discussed in chapter 6, almost all the research has been done on the pure chemical rather than the far more toxic industrial product actually used. Therefore, it is not included here. You can see our latest compilation of the research, as well as all the references, at

Blank cells mean that either we have not yet looked at the research, there is no research, or the available research is too limited or inconsistent. An N means the toxin does not appear to increase the risk of the disease. The number of asterisks shows the relative strength of the disease-toxin association and the apparent percentage of the disease due to the toxin.

Appendix D: Symptoms That Indicate Specific Toxins

Like appendix C, “Diseases That Indicate Specific Toxins,” the following table provides guidance on how your symptoms can indicate which toxins are damaging your body. The table is the result of my looking at a lot of research on chronic exposure.

Finding solid research on symptoms caused by various toxins is very difficult, since nearly all the research is on acute poisoning or chronic industrial exposure. There are very few controlled studies on the symptoms in the general population. That does not mean toxins don’t produce symptoms. There is, however, a huge variation in each individual’s toxin exposure, in a person’s ability to get rid of toxins, and in his or her susceptibility to damage by specific toxins as well as by total toxic load.

The number of asterisks indicates the frequency with which a toxin causes a particular symptom. An effective way to use this table is to simply highlight your symptoms and see which toxins show up most frequently as potentially causing those symptoms. Combining these results with the toxins you may have found important in appendix C will be very helpful in prioritizing where you need to pay the most attention.

Appendix E: Symptom Tracking

Appendix F : Safe Products

Highest-Quality Nutritional and Herbal Supplements

Emerson Ecologies is a distributor of professional-grade nutritional supplements to the integrative healthcare community. They independently assess quality standards of the manufacturers who want them to carry their products. You can find their assessments at: I recommend buying products only from manufacturers rated Gold or better.

Safe Cosmetics

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

Safe Foods

Environmental Working Group:

Safe Cleaning Products

The Honest Company:

Safe Cookware

Use stainless steel copper-bottomed cookware. A number of companies make such products.

Appendix H: Protocol Summary

This sequence is carefully designed to safely take you through the process of decreasing toxin exposure, preparing your organs responsible for getting toxins out of your body and a final one-week intense protocol to help your cells release toxins so they can be eliminated.

Consult with your physician before beginning the protocol and do not begin the final week intensive detoxification before preparing your body to eliminate the toxins.

The following only include a few key elements from each protocol.

Weeks 1 and 2 (Chapter 3)

The purpose of these two weeks is to decrease your current exposure to toxins as much as possible. Follow the diet in table 3.2.

 Only eat organically grown foods (if you can’t afford these, only eat foods on the Clean15TM list).

 Do not eat any wheat, rye, or barley.

 Do not eat farmed fish.

 Eliminate alcohol and other recreational drugs.

 Eliminate salt and sugar.

 Eat plenty of cabbage-family foods.

 Use curcumin as a spice, not black pepper.

 Take a good-quality multistrain probiotic.

 Take a good-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.

 Take a fiber supplement (not wheat bran).

 Drink plenty of pure, clean water.

 Only use health and beauty products without phthalates or other toxic chemicals.

Weeks 3 and 4 (Chapter 4)

This protocol helps clean up your gut, a major source of toxins for most people. • Kill the bad bacteria in your gut with goldenseal root powder.

 Take fiber to bind the toxic chemicals released as the bad bacteria die.

 Reseed with good bacteria by taking a good-quality, multistrain probiotic.

 Repair your gut by drinking cabbage juice and taking the supplement quercetin and the herb licorice.

Weeks 5 and 6 (Chapter 5)

Preparing your liver, the major organ of detoxification, is critical for handling the toxins as they are released.

Follow the diet in tables 5.1 and 5.2.

 Take a good-quality B-vitamin complex supplement.

 Take the herbs dandelion and turmeric.

 Take NAC (N-acetyl cysteine).

 Take a fiber supplement.

 Apply topical glutathione.

 Avoid all forms of grapefruit.

Weeks 7 and 8 (Chapter 6)

Your kidneys are the second-most important detoxification and typically show the most damage over time from toxin exposure. Improving their function is critical for toxin elimination and long-term health.

Follow the diet in table 6.1.

 Carefully avoid all kidney-damaging agents like NSAIDs, salt, and phosphates.

 Take the herbs ginkgo biloba, ginger, and gotu kola.

 Take NAC (N-acetyl cysteine).

 Take mineral citrates.

 Drink beet juice twice a day.

 Drink plenty of clean water.

 Eat blueberries.

Week 9 (Chapter 7)

This protocol should not be implemented until the protocols preparing your organs of elimination have been completed. It is very important that you do not release toxins until your body is ready. During this week, which you can repeat as often as you want once your body is ready, you will intensely release toxins. If you become too uncomfortable, and certainly if you feel sick, please slow down the process by decreasing the length and frequency of saunas and eating more calories.

 Eat an alkalinizing diet chapter 6.

 Consume 500 to 1,000 fewer calories a day.

 Drink green drinks.

 Take regular, long saunas while drinking extra water and taking electrolytes.

 Get a massage each week on the protocol.


Expressing appreciation to the special people who taught and collaborated with me is hazardous, as too many will be left unrecognized. Nonetheless, I must thank my teachers—Drs. John Bastyr, ND, DC; Sid Baker, MD; and Jeff Bland, PhD—and those who have walked the path with me: Sheila Quinn, who was so important to the creation of Bastyr University, and Michael Murray, ND, for the landmark Textbook of Natural Medicine, which showed the scientific basis of naturopathic medicine. Thank you, Gideon Weil, for your visionary understanding that led me to write the right book, and Alison Rose Levy, for your deep understanding of the toxicity problem and magically making my writing so much easier to understand. Also at HarperOne, I would like to thank Mark Tauber, Laina Adler, Terri Leonard, Lisa Zuniga, Nadea Mina, Julia Kent, Hilary Lawson, and Sydney Rogers. I also greatly appreciate the great guidance from my agents Celeste Fine and John Fine and partner Marc Isaacson, who made this book possible. Finally, special appreciation to Chrissie Cirovic, ND, and Geoff Bender, ND, for their great help reviewing the research.

Deepest appreciation to my loving and supportive family: wife Lara and children Raven and Galen.