What I am writing today might not win me any popularity contests, but that’s too bad because I tell it like it is.
If you are among the one out of five people in the US that currently has at least one tattoo, there is much more going on behind the scenes than your body’s “pretty artwork.”
Here’s what I mean:
First the obvious concerns
The most obvious concern with tattoos is infection. About one in 10 people who get tattoos experiences infection, itching, swelling and/or redness that may persist long after the tattoo has healed.
Dirty needles can also pass infections from one person to another, including hepatitis B and C, and HIV.
In addition, your immune system can see your ink as a dangerous invader and launch an allergic response. And scar tissue may also form when getting a tattoo.
Not for the not-so-obvious…
The inks are not regulated in any way
Amazingly, although the FDA steps in and ardently tries to control the safety of what you eat and the medications and supplements you take, they are mum as far as tattoo ink goes.
Plus tattoo ink manufacturers don’t have to disclose the ingredients in their products.
So what that means is in many cases, you have no earthly clue what is now a permanent part of your structure…but let me clue you in as to what has been learned so far.
Tattoo inks contain toxic heavy metals
Tattoo dyes have been shown to contain lead, cobalt, iron, titanium, nickel, beryllium, barium, aluminum and MERCURY.
Mercury is the most deadly, potent neurotoxin known to man—meaning it poisons your brain and nervous system.
Here are some of the primary health concerns associated with mercury:
- Mercury harms your cells and their functioning. This can lead to failure of organ systems such as the lungs, kidneys and especially the nervous system.
- Mercury can cause fatigue, poor memory, decreased senses of touch, hearing, and vision, ringing/noise in the ears, depression and emotional problems.
- Mercury acts as an immunosuppressant in the body, weakening your immune system and/or triggering autoimmune conditions.
- It stirs up inflammation and can increase your risk of heart disease.
It boggles my mind that we are warned about unsafe levels of mercury in fish, yet we’re getting it injected into our skin in record amounts.
Aluminum is no better. As another lethal neurotoxin, aluminum has been found in high concentration in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients—that should tell you something.
Other ingredients in tattoo inks can include plastic, formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), alcohol, and antifreeze.
You wouldn’t dare drink these substances—well, it’s even MORE dangerous when they are injected into you because with injection they have direct access to your bloodstream!
To ink or not to ink?
If you are considering a tattoo, I urge you to carefully weigh the risks. There have been no appreciable studies to date proving tattoo safety, and the potential for exposure to infection and toxins is great.
If you do already have tattoos, please ask your doctor to do a heavy metals test. If you have known or suspected exposure to mercury or other heavy metals, here are some ways to help detox:
Have a healthy diet of real foods and consider a multi-vitamin
The nutrients found in wholesome real foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and poultry are essential for your body to be able to rid itself of mercury.
When your nutrient levels are low, mercury has much greater access to your cells and can even "lock out" your nutrients as it starts on its path of destruction.
Adequate fiber is crucial too. Fiber binds to heavy metals and toxins and helps move them out of your body.
If you feel your diet may be lacking, or you just want to be sure to have all bases covered, consider supplementing with a top-notch multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core.
In addition to a full array of nutrients, Super Core also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which can help counteract inflammation you may already have brewing from your tattoos.
Consider chelation therapy
Chelation therapy helps clear heavy metals from your body. It can be done by an IV or with oral chelators.
Supplement with probiotics
Probiotics like Super Shield help the digestive process, strengthen your gut wall and encourage regular bowel movements--which are all vital to eliminating mercury.
Also, probiotics can help counteract any effects that mercury may have already had on challenging your immune system.
Think twice before removing a tattoo
Tattoo removal can be very tricky, it likely will not provide any health benefits to you, and it may carry additional risks such as skin damage, more infections, and increased inflammation.
The biggest step you can take from a health perspective is just to not get any more tattoos. Yes, I know people love them and the designs can be beautiful but is it worth the risk to your health?