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Watch out for Heavy Metals in Supplements

Heavy metal contamination in our food and supplements is a very real and serious issue. When I discovered how common heavy metals were in supplements and realised we need to be more careful about which supplements we take.


Heavy metal contamination in our food and supplements is a very real and serious issue. When we sort out to create a magnesium supplement, our first product, we soon discovered how common heavy metals were in supplements and realised we need to be careful about which forms of magnesium we used.  We starting out by contacting a local pharmaceutical company with our requests, we received the confirmation they would happily create the product.


Certificate of Analysis 1:

Watch Out for Heavy Metals in Supplements

The first thing that caught my eye was the heavy metal content, which we found was consistent with most figures that came out of China. We wanted to develop a supplement that we would happily take every day and feel good about recommending it to others. Knowing heavy metals were extremely detrimental to our health but not knowing what acceptable or reasonable levels of heavy metals were in supplements we did some research.

To understand why we were concerned, one must know heavy metals poison our organs and can cause a huge list of health complications, including:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nerve damage
  • Tunnel vision
  • Anxiety

We went on to find a heavy metal standard developed by Mike Adams who explained, “Neither the USDA nor the FDA have set any limits on heavy metals in foods and organic foods, meaning that products can contain extremely toxic levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper and even tungsten while still being legally sold in the USA.” He has created supplement grade levels based on heavy metal content.


n certificate analysis 1, the acceptable standard for mercury content is less than 1 ppm with the test also showing less than 1. While the result passes the companies standard, we believe that standard acceptable amount is far too high, leading to a straight F grade.

After spending a few weeks contacting bulk mineral distribution companies around the world, asking for their magnesium certificate of analysis we finally found a batch of magnesium glycinate with less than 1% of the mercury of the first magnesium I was offered.

Certificate of Analysis 2:

Certificate of Analysis 2

This batch scored extremely well in the heavy metal standards, receiving an A++ for mercury, A+++ for cadmium, A++ for arsenic and a B for lead. With less than 1% of the heavy metals from the first certificate of analysis, scoring amounts of mercuary and cadmium lower than what the test could detect.

This whole process made us wonder how many other supplements on our shelves are contaminated with heavy metals. Had we been less aware and said yes to the magnesium we was first offered like so many before us, there would be another supplement on the shelves just marked as magnesium made in New Zealand. While none of that is false, it is misleading and hides the real quality.

Don’t always assume a supplement is good for you, just because it sits on the shelf of a health store, always be wary of what you’re taking. Yes, a magnesium supplement may do wonders for most people in terms of high blood pressure or improved sleep but over a long enough period, the constant consumption of additional heavy metals can be extremely detrimental to your health, especially is your bodies detox system isn’t functioning optimally.

Most people don’t just take one supplement either, with many different supplements containing heavy metals, combined over time may start to negatively impact some people’s health.

Do a little research on the supplements you want to take. Contact the companies you buy from and ask for a certificate of analysis on the ingredients they use and avoid known contaminated products. I know I would want to know if one product contained one hundred times more mercury than the other. Anything you plan on taking long term, find out what is really in the product and make sure you’re not doing more harm than good.


Ron Goedeke MD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM

Dr. Ron Goedeke, an expert in the domain of functional medicine, dedicates his practice to uncovering the root causes of health issues by focusing on nutrition and supplement-based healing and health optimisation strategies. An esteemed founding member of the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine, Dr. Goedeke's professional journey has always been aligned with cutting-edge health concepts.

Having been actively involved with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 1999, he brings over two decades of knowledge and experience in the field of anti-aging medicine, making him an eminent figure in this evolving realm of healthcare. Throughout his career, Dr. Goedeke has been steadfast in his commitment to leverage appropriate nutritional guidance and supplementation to encourage optimal health.

This has allowed him to ascend as one of the most trusted authorities in the arena of nutritional medicine in New Zealand. His expertise in the intricate relationship between diet, nutritional supplements, and overall health forms the backbone of his treatment approach, allowing patients to benefit from a balanced and sustainable pathway to improved wellbeing.


Wojcik, D.P. et al. Mercury toxicity presenting as chronic fatigue, memory impairment, and depression: Diagnosis, treatment, susceptibility, and outcomes in a New Zealand practice setting (1994-2006). 2006. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 27(4): 415-423.

Sterzl I., et al. Mercury and nickel allergy: Risk factors in fatigue and autoimmunity. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 1999; 20: 221-228.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read on this website.

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