By Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© January 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


            Thallium is a heavy metal located on the periodic table between mercury and lead.  It is a very toxic metal that causes symptoms such as hair loss, nervous system problems, neuromuscular symptoms, and fatigue.  Ingestion of too much can be fatal.

            A few recent medical journal articles indicate that kale, a common vegetable, takes up a lot of thallium from the soil.  As a result of this finding, I suggest that our clients avoid eating kale for this reason.




Problems with kale. The Townsend Letter, January 2016, Issue #390, and February/March 2016, Issue #291-392 contain articles about thallium toxicity.  The first is titled, The Re-Emergence Of Thallium As A Heavy Metal Contaminant Of Human Populations by Michael Rosenbaum, MD and Ernest Hubbard, based on an interview with Nancy Faass, MSW, MPH.  The same authors wrote the second article. 

In these articles, the authors discuss a possible link between eating a lot of kale and thallium poisoning.

The authors and their patients live in and near San Francisco, in Northern California, USA.  They tested a number of plants, including kale, as possible sources of thallium.  Some was grown organically, and some grown commercially.  About half the samples had levels of thallium that were unsafe.  The authors state that the research needs to be confirmed.

According to the authors, kale absorbs or concentrates thallium more than other plants.  No one else has reported such a connection, to my knowledge.


Detecting thallium. The Townsend article authors state that the best way to assess thallium is through a urine challenge test.  I am not too trusting of this test, although it will reveal certain toxic metals.


Thallium removal. The authors of the Townsend Letter article on thallium discuss how to remove thallium from the body.  They used a zeolite product to remove some thallium.

I donŐt like zeolite because of its aluminum content, and because it is a chelator.  Aluminum is a deadly metal, and all chelators tend to remove some vital minerals along with the toxic ones.


Nutritional balancing for thallium? Analytical Research Laboratories (ARL) does not test for thallium, at this time, so I cannot confirm that there is any problem with eating kale.   

However, I am fairly sure that a complete nutritional balancing program will remove it, as it removes all the other toxic metals.  The main reason for my confidence is that all symptoms clear up on these programs.  I do not think this would occur if we were unable to remove thallium from the body.

In the future, I hope ARL will begin to read thallium levels in the hair, and perhaps elsewhere.  This would help shed more light on a possible problem of thallium poisoning.



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