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Is Cilantro Extract safe for lead detox while breast-feeding?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello trusted friends of Mothering,

We are in the middle of refinishing our new home and have been encountering lead paint here and there. We have been staying at my parents' home while renovating in an attempt to protect ourselves and 2 yo dd from lead and other toxins.

Despite our conscientious decisions in regards to lead safety- I slipped up. I used a heat gun to remove lead paint from a chipping door. I was encouraged to do so by friends who said this process is safer than other stripping methods. After completing the door with a 3m respirator on (not just a dust mask) I noticed a heavy fume in the air. Although I did take a few breaths without my mask on, I spent most my time with the mask safely on. The room was also well ventilated.

Anyway... I came to find out later that stripping lead paint with a heat gun is VERY dangerous because lead vaporizes at 700 degrees. The fumes in the air were lead fumes which are even more hazardous than paint chips because fumes go directly into your blood stream.

I am especially concerned because I am still breast-feeding and I don't know if the lead could have passed through to dd.

We went to the Dr.'s office today and had our blood drawn (dd and I).No results yet... probably not until next week.

In the meantime I would like to be proactive and thought about taking Cilantro Leaf Extract from Herb Pharm at 1:5 ration. I know Cilantro is a great Chelation herb and I am really tempted to take it. I am concerned, however, that the detoxification of heavy metals might increase the level of lead in my breast milk.

Any thoughts? Is it safe to take Cilantro Extract for lead detox while breast-feeding? If anything, wouldn't the cilantro that is passed through breast milk also move the lead out of dd's system?

I am planning on being pregnant sometime in the next six months, and I want to cleanse my body of heavy metals beforehand, without risking dd's health.

Thanks mamas.
post #2 of 6
I would strongly advise against anything with cilantro. I've never read of it mobilizing lead, but it does a dandy job with mercury (we all have at least a bit, it's ubiquitous) and that's really not something you want to do while nursing. Or in the period just before TTC. I'd stay far away.

In general--anything that you suspect will mobilize metals, don't do while nursing IMO.

I'd focus on nutritional support since you're nursing, supplemental vitamin C, folate and B12 for methylation, magnesium just as a general good thing because we all tend to be low and it's involved in other detox pathways.

I'd do all those with supplements, in addition to good food. Thorne, sold online lots of places, makes multivits and B-complex and such with real folate. Don't take anything they describe as detox related, they use some supps in ways that I don't feel are safe, but for straight vit/min supps, I think they do a very good job.

Have you seen the long lead thread? Or there was another good thread as well, it had lead in the title, there's been more discussion of nutritional support to reduce lead absorption.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post
Have you seen the long lead thread? Or there was another good thread as well, it had lead in the title, there's been more discussion of nutritional support to reduce lead absorption.
I have not seen these threads. I had done some searching but nothing relevant turned up. Could you post the links?

Do you recommend not taking the Cilantro even if my lead levels are high? What about giving Cilantro to DD if she tests positive for unsafe levels? From what I was reading, it is better to detox than to not detox.

Do you think "mobilizing lead" six months before becoming pregnant would be harmful to the future baby? I thought taking Cilantro would rid it from our systems, especially if the lead exposure was very recent. I thought the sooner I rid it from my body or dd's the better- before it does any more damage to myself or dd.

post #4 of 6
The thing about detox products, of whatever sort, is that you don't get to pick what they mobilize, and we've all accumulated some level of crap just due to incidental exposure from the environment. Cilantro will grab mercury, we all have some, and that's not what you want to start moving--that will just add to your circulating metals (and it doesn't do a great job of completely excreting metals, so you're left with stuff floating around, people seem to end up with mood issues and weird things). That's the other part--products can mobilize metals, some do a better job than others both pulling them out of tissues and then getting them out of your body. All leave at least some metals circulating--this is the fundamental reason that doing this while nursing is a problem.

And I honestly NEVER think you should take this stuff while nursing. I mean--what your nurseling is exposed to is whatever is circulating in your bloodstream now. Lead settling into your bones is not good, but that's your issue, it's not really an issue for your nurseling. But a lot of detox products can pull metals from places they were otherwise stuck--sure, they may have been causing some low level (or not so low-level) problems for your health, but they weren't directly harming your nurseling, til they were mobilized. Then they turn into a big problem.

If you want a much more thorough discussion of cilantro and detox products and plans in general, for a nursing mother, do reading in autism-related circles, the subset of folks who are approaching ASD issues as health related, and specifically heavy metals related.

My health issues are due to the mercury in my amalgam fillings. Both kids got too much by growing in me, they have low level health and behavior issues due to this, but I know they would've been worse if I'd taken detox products while nursing. Most people surely don't have as much of a burden of metals as I, but everyone's got some, it's inevitable in this world. And kids really do not need more.

If you feel you need to reduce your lead levels, beyond what nutritional supps and stopping the source of exposure will do, I'd wean your LO now and chelate for a few months with oral DMSA. Read about Andy Cutler's frequent, low-dose protocol. I took DMSA, it's generic Chemet, the drug the FDA approved for acute lead toxicity. It works, it's an old drug, its risk and benefits are well known. And then leave several months between taking the chelator (DMSA or whatever you choose) and starting TTC. No drug is perfect, metals will be floating around, and it's better if they settle and your health is very stable before you consider TTC.

If your blood levels are high, well, even before you get those results, I'd start the nutritional supps I mentioned above. And now that I've used DMSA with myself and my kids, yeah, it's fairly straightforward, I think a lot easier for healthier kids and adults than unhealthy ones. The autism-mercury yahoo group discusses how to do it safely--the dosage they recommend is a lot lower than the FDA recs, and the dosing schedule is safer as well (they say every 4 hours round the clock, I think FDA says every 8 hours). Lower dosages mean fewer side effects than you'd read about if you just read about Chemet--the dosing schedule actually matters a lot too, in that regard.

I agree that getting lead out is important, it's really important, but I don't know of a way to do it safely while nursing, and I'd be extremely wary of any company that said THEIR product is safe, even though the others aren't. It is truly a buyer beware market.
post #5 of 6
Moms Dealing With Elevated Lead Levels thread:
post #6 of 6
I have not read the detoxing threads on this site, but I've had years of personal experience with this issue.

I specifically weaned my dd prior to starting detox protocols. I did not want her exposed to anything that might release while detoxing.

I did plan on making it a year, but at the same time my milk supply tanked so we officially weaned at 10 1/2 months and I had enough frozen supply to make it to 11 months and now we're using donor milk.

I had 3 silver/mercury fillings that needed to be removed and I am also taking high doses of iodine to get my thyroid issues under control.

So enough about me. When it comes to lead or any other heavy metal, I would be not want to expose my nurseling to that. I also would not want to have to give my six month old any kind of detox plan as there is so much developing in your baby at that time. One of my detox formulas indicates that it should not be given to anyone under 2 years old.

I seriously would reconsider. There is just so much brain development that is happening now I would hold off until babe is weaned.

I also agree that even though you take supplement X, whatever it is, there is no control over what it will dislodge and put in motion.

I would wean, then detox for 6 - 12 months and then TTC with the plan that you would not be doing any more detox throughout pregnancy + the length of time you plan on nursing.
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