Arsenic in Apple Juice!?

via Bryce Wylde

TV & Episodes

Apple Juice

The topic of toxins can seem like new-age vagary elevated to news status by a hungry media; bowel flushes and lymph cleanses sure seem like the brain hatchlings of tree-hugging vegans and fringe health fanatics. In the face of a flood of information, what are we supposed to do, put on a radiation suit when someone walks into the classroom drinking non-organic apple juice out of china? All joking aside, apple juice purported to be contaminated with arsenic is breaking all over the news. Without being alarmist, there indeed may be a reason for concern. Perhaps this will shake up the US FDA and Canadian counterparts a bit and help people realize that the food, drug, AND supplement industry are all very much “caveat emptor” which means “buyer beware”. I believe that these government organizations do the best they can, but folks, you need to conduct due diligence whenever you can. Or, at the very least, tune in to the Dr. Oz show as well as Wylde on Health (if you reside in Canada).
Besides this recent shake up over Arsenic slipping into the North American apple juice supply, it may shock many of you that most chemicals are not even regulated let alone all the heavy metals that we contend with in our food supply on a daily basis. Since the Second World War, an estimated 85,000 synthetic chemicals have been registered in the United States alone. Toxicological screening data are available for just 7 per cent of these chemicals! What I also need you to be aware of is that a food or drink flavoring or coloring – whether it is ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ – means nothing. It is still a chemical and likely harmful to your health. Even calcium supplements and cosmetics can contain trace amounts of lead that can be harmful! Your protein shake and even your lipstick may be harmful. But, whatever you do, don’t mistake the arsenic found in apple juice or for homeopathic arsenicum. To be sure, if it is a ‘homeopathic’ dilution, it is very safe. Let me explain in some detail……
The Food and Drug Administration is criticizing our good friend Dr. Oz for his statement that apple juice contains arsenic that is harmful. And, he’s right, of course. What he brought to light recently was that a Jersey laboratory found troubling levels of arsenic in several brands of apple juice. “There is no evidence of any public health risk from drinking these juices, and the FDA has been testing them for years,” the agency said in a statement. They also claim to have tested one of the same juice batches Dr. Oz cited. The FDA said that the level of arsenic was 2 to 6 parts per billion, which is far less that the 36 parts per billion Dr. Oz mentioned on his show. Much of the debate is really about organic vs inorganic arsenic – where it is the inorganic arsenic that our body has a far worse time coping with. The FDA claims that “The Dr. Oz Show” is misleading because it didn’t break down the two types when it was tested.
To clarify, arsenic is naturally present in water, air, food and soil in small amounts and organic arsenic – the kind the FDA said is in apple juices – passes through the body quickly and supposedly isn’t harmful. But, when the word ‘organic’ is thrown around, a lot of people misinterpret it as ‘harmless’ or ‘natural’. That’s just false. Organic in this case is easier to manage, but still likely poses a threat. So too does any naturally occurring organic mercury, lead, or cadmium. High enough doses that accumulate over time (aka: bioaccumulate) are harmful if not deadly. Dr Oz does not agree – and I’m on the same page – that organic arsenic is as safe as authorities believe.
From The Doctor Oz website:
“American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60% of which is imported from China. Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer. After testing dozens of samples from three different cities in America, Dr. Oz discovered that some of the nation’s best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic. In the spirit of full disclosure, below you’ll find all the test results, statements and information you need to keep your family safe.”
More on Research Results, Juice Companies Respond, Current Standards, and the FDA Statement can be found here:
It may be most familiar to us as the innocuous powder that may be slipped into your gin if you’re a character in a mystery murder, and it is commonly associated today with groundwater contamination. It may also be found in fish and fish oil. We can distinguish chronic exposure from acute by the symptoms they cause: Acute poisoning results in vomiting, esophageal and abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea. Long-term exposure may cause skin, lung, urinary bladder and kidney cancer as well as hyperkeratoses, wart-like skin growths, with the potential of becoming cancerous. We know from recent studies that it acts by creating ‘superoxide’ in cells, a very unstable free radical species that rapidly converts into hydrogen peroxide by enzymes in the cells. The hydrogen peroxide is in turn converted into hydroxyl radicals, extremely reactive and damaging free radicals that attack cell membranes and DNA to create mutations. Free radicals are the reason you’re told to take your antioxidants and eat more blueberries. Mutations caused by free radicals are a key step in cancer development.
Protect Yourself
Research shows that antioxidants can protect cells from arsenic-induced genetic damage. You may want to consider the use of any or all of the following natural health products to combat long term low level arsenic exposure in doses appropriate for you: Folic Acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Spirulina, Selenium, Zinc, Polyphenols from Green Tea. (Speak to your health care provider before embarking on any new supplement routine). Studies provide some of the more recent and ever-increasing clear-cut evidence that environmental carcinogens such as low level chronic arsenic exposure acts predominantly through a free radical pathway and these antioxidants can help. Arsenic, by the way, is among the top environmental contaminants on the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Superfund list” – a U.S. federal government program to clean up that nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
Other heavy metal “Bad Boy’s” to consider
Mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium are among the metals known to have detrimental effects on humans. All are commonly released by a huge variety of industrial processes. Mercury, or the heavy metal often referred to as “Quicksilver”, is a potent neurotoxin and there is no known safe level of mercury in the human body. New research on the toxic effects of mercury on children has prompted Health Canada to advise Canadians to limit their consumption of certain fish – fresh and frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, escolar, marlin and orange roughy. Mercury toxicity is commonly associated with destruction of nervous system tissue. Women of child-bearing age should be most concerned with mercury contamination, since the mercury may be passed to the fetus, increasing the risk of learning disabilities and neurobehavioural disorders in newborns that may persist through childhood. The body unfortunately allows mercury into the brain through the blood-brain barrier, and mercury in the brain and nervous system – even in ultraminute amounts – prevents new and old nerve connections from forming. Worse, it takes the body years to clear even a small amount and it may never clear it entirely.
“Silver filling” is slang for an amalgam tooth restoration. Amalgam restorations consist of mercury, silver, tin, copper and a trace amount of zinc. Researchers have measured a daily release of mercury into the body from typical amalgam fillings that is on the order of 10 micrograms. Mercury is a toxic metal; the most minute amount damages cells. The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, has recently provided conclusive evidence that there is no safe level of mercury in the body. Their findings alone will alarm you.
Mercury challenges the systemic functions of every individual and of developing fetuses, so it can lead to health problems in the average person and fetal malformations in pregnant woman. Mercury leakage and its subsequent negative effects is most often a slow, insidious process. Health problems caused by dental mercury poisoning may emerge many years after the amalgams are placed. Though a mercury filling may indeed be better than a rotted tooth leading to a brain infection, modern dentistry now provides safe alternatives.
Lead is a famously toxic metal has the potential to harm the developing brains of fetuses and children, leading to learning disabilities, behavioural problems and mental retardation. Lead exposure affects the nervous and reproductive systems and the kidneys and may cause high blood pressure and anemia. Recently there has been a widespread recall of children’s toys across North America due to lead contamination in the paint. Millions of children in Canada and the United States were needlessly exposed to unsafe levels of lead. Part of the blame lies with toy companies that were trying to save a buck by outsourcing production to third-world countries, and part of the blame lies with the lack of accountability for the sourcing of work across the globe.
The propensity for lead to catalyze free radical reactions has been demonstrated in multiple studies. These lead-induced free radicals inhibit the production of antioxidants, inhibit enzyme reactions, cause inflammation in cells within the artery wall, and damage DNA and inhibit its natural repair, as well as initiate destruction of cellular membranes.
More Arsenic Facts:

  • Arsenic is an element found naturally in the earth in the form of arsenopyrite ore. Arsenic and all its compounds are highly toxic and may cause death.
  • Arsenicum album (white arsenic) is also a homeopathic remedy prepared from arsenic trioxide powder (As2O3). The powder is mixed with lactose and then diluted to a ultra low concentration and by virtue of this process no longer has any toxicity. This is NOT the same as the arsenic found in apple juice. Homeopathic Arsenicum album is available as tablets, pilules, powder, granules, and liquid.
  • Arsenicum album has been studied and used to treat asthma, inflamed eyes that water and sting, headaches with vomiting and dizziness, and mouth ulcers. Use of Arsenicum album has been studied for the treatment of anxiety and suspected chronic arsenic poisoning. There may be indication for its use in people who actually have had a long term exposure to chronic low grade arsenic exposure from apple juice. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
  • There are no reports of toxicity from the use of homeopathic Arsenicum album in adults. Its safety in children and pregnant or breastfeeding women has not been established.

Get Tested!
If you are concerned that you may have higher than acceptable arsenic levels, I’ll tell you about a few ways to get yourself tested. A woman I’ll call Maria recently came to my clinic with symptoms of both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, including debilitating fatigue and persistent muscle pain. But she didn’t have the typical history – she had never had the Epstein Barr virus (aka: Mononucleosis – which is often thought to instigate these symptoms). Her blood on a general screening showed nothing remarkable, but when I tested her free radical levels they were very high. Next I tested blood, hair, urine samples for the presence of toxins, and found high levels of arsenic and mercury. You may also want to consider this laboratory. I started Maria on alpha-lipoic acid, a strong antioxidant, immune regulator and heavy metal mover along with spirulina and selenium. I raised and lowered the dose over the course of treatment depending on her urine analysis results. I also prescribed an oral chelation protocol for three months to bind and remove the heavy metals. After six months, her free radical levels had dropped to normal ranges and the heavy metal levels in her hair and urine had dropped to almost nil. Maria said she was pain-free and that she had not been so energetic for at least ten years. In my practice, I find that both chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) and fibromyalgia are both on the rise not so much because of the virus that has been linked to them but because of our toxic diets and environment.
Further Considerations: Water and Air
Other than testing yourself, I advise you test your water. Other than for chlorine and chloroform, which are by-products of municipal water purification, and residual bacteria, I recommend you send a sample to test for the heavy metals mercury, barium, and arsenic. Arsenic isn’t just in apple juice! I guarantee that you are going to find that your water supply is contaminated at some level, and I recommend that you consider using a reverse osmosis water purifier in your home. I use a water system that promises to remove every contaminant to 0.0005 microns in size, which happens to be smaller than a virus.
I also recommend an attachment on your shower to remove chlorine, because chlorine damages and dries out the skin and is absorbed into the body.
If you can afford it, install a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter into your general ventilation to remove the environmental toxins that inevitably make their way in from the outdoors. This includes smog and the seasonal allergens that so trouble some of us.
Be Well!

  1. Belon P, Banerjee P, Choudhury SC, et al. Can administration of potentized homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum album, alter antinuclear antibody (ANA) titer in people living in high-risk arsenic contaminated areas? I. A correlation with certain hematological parameters. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2006;3(1):99-107.
  2. Datta S, Mallick P, Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing genotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: comparative studies of pre-, post- and combined pre- and post-oral administration and comparative efficacy of two microdoses. Complement Ther Med 1999;7(2):62-75.
  3. Datta S, Mallick P, Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing genotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: II. Comparative efficacy of an antibiotic, actinomycin D alone and in combination with either of two microdoses. Complement Ther Med 1999;7(3):156-163.
  4. Khuda-Bukhsh AR, Pathak S, Guha B, et al. Can homeopathic arsenic remedy combat arsenic poisoning in humans exposed to groundwater arsenic contamination?: a preliminary report on first human trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2005;2(4):537-548.
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  6. Kundu SN, Mitra K, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homeopathic drug (Arsenicum-Aalbum-30) in reducing cytotoxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: IV. Pathological changes, protein profiles, and content of DNA and RNA. Complement Ther Med 2000;8(3):157-165.
  7. Mallick P, Mallick JC, Guha B, et al. Ameliorating effect of microdoses of a potentized homeopathic drug, Arsenicum Album, on arsenic-induced toxicity in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med 2003;3(1):7.
  8. Mitra K, Kundu SN, Khuda Bukhsh AR. Efficacy of a potentized homoeopathic drug (Arsenicum Album-30) in reducing toxic effects produced by arsenic trioxide in mice: II. On alterations in body weight, tissue weight and total protein. Complement Ther Med 1999;7(1):24-34.
  9. Oberbaum M, Schreiber R, Rosenthal C, et al. Homeopathic treatment in emergency medicine: a case series. Homeopathy 2003;92(1):44-47.
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