Momentum in the Mountains 2024


Identify Arsenic Poisoning Through Your Nails

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Did you know that you can identify arsenic poisoning through your nails?

Arsenic is a potent toxin that is very hard on your body. It can cause all sorts of problems and symptoms. And it can affect all of the systems in your body. Over time, high levels can increase your risk for disease and cancer.

So it is important to reduce your risk as much as you can. And to know the symptoms to watch for.

In this article, I will cover:

Magnifying glass over Arsenic element on periodic table of elements. Arsenic symbol As.


What is arsenic?

Arsenic is an element that is a potent, toxic carcinogen. This means that it can wreak havoc in the body and promote cancer and disease. When exposed to this toxin, we can get all sorts of symptoms and health problems.

There are two types of arsenic: organic and inorganic.

  • Organic arsenic refers to the kind that is naturally occurring. It is an element of the Earth's crust and can be found in our soils.
  • Inorganic arsenic, on the other hand, is man-made. It is found in industrial products and things like pesticides.

Organic arsenic is less toxic. And it does not accumulate in the body like the inorganic form. Our bodies can generally deal with the organic form much better. Inorganic arsenic is the major problem. It is the one that is such a potent carcinogen.

List of carcinogen substances with arsenic toxin at the top. Crumbling paper, unhealthy.


Fingernails can be a clue for arsenic poisoning

When arsenic levels build up in our bodies, it can lead to various symptoms. One clue that you have arsenic poisoning is to look at your fingernails.

You see, this element has an affinity for keratin. And keratin is found in your fingernails. So the poison can accumulate there and cause a visual symptom on the nail bed.

Close-up image of hand looking at fingernail on thumb, fingernail health and symptoms.

This presents as horizontal, white bands across the nails. These bands are referred to as Mees' lines.

This is just one indicator of chronic arsenic exposure. And until you actually get tested, you won't be able to know for sure. However, the white bands are a common symptom of arsenic poisoning. And they can alert you that you might need to go get checked. Work with your doctor to get a urine test to find out.


Other symptoms to watch for

This kind of poisoning can be quite dangerous. Long-term arsenic exposure can affect all of the systems in your body. It can impact everything from your skin to your heart to your liver to your immune system.

So you'll want to know what to look for in case you've been exposed. Along with white lines across the nails, symptoms of arsenic poisoning also include:

  • Skin issues like rashes or swelling.
  • Warts.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Headache.
  • Peripheral neuropathy.

Woman in purple shirt on couch with abdominal pain and headache, arsenic poisoning symptoms.

This poison can impact a wide range of organs in your body and can lead to a variety of symptoms. And chronic exposure is linked to serious diseases like cancer and heart disease.

If you have any of the symptoms above and suspect poisoning, get a urine test to find out for sure.


Where does arsenic come from?

Unfortunately, there are high levels of arsenic in our environment. Some of it is natural and comes from the soil. But that is the organic form, which is less toxic and not as big of an issue.

The bigger problem is the large amount of inorganic arsenic we are putting into our environment. The US has been the leading user of arsenic since 1910. It is used in many products like pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, and more.

This poison can end up in many of our food sources. For example:

  • Rice. 17% of arsenic in the environment comes from rice, especially brown rice. Rice is grown in a wet environment, which allows the plant to pull in this toxin.
  • Fruit and fruit juice. These contribute to 18% of our arsenic exposure.
  • Vegetables. 24% of all arsenic exposure comes from veggies.
  • Fish. Fish contains a small amount, but it is the organic form and so it is less toxic.

Reducing exposure as much as possible will help you prevent poisoning from occurring in the first place. Next, I will share with you a few things to keep in mind to reduce your risk of poisoning.


What can you do to reduce your risk?

If you want to stay safe from arsenic toxicity, make sure to keep these tips in mind:

  1. Eat organic foods. Eating organic means you are staying away from food produced with pesticides or insecticides. These are some of the main ways arsenic gets into our foods. So it is a good idea to eat organic veggies and organic meat.
  2. Do Healthy KetoTM. When on the keto diet, you don't have to worry about fruits, fruit juices, or rice. Those are some of the top arsenic-contaminated food sources. My Healthy KetoTM eating plan puts a focus on pure, natural ingredients and organic foods. This will also help you steer clear of chemicals like pesticides that can increase your arsenic levels.

Organic food concept, green silverware images with label for organic food on white background.

Eating a varied diet is always a good idea. And when you focus on whole, pure foods that support your body in boosting its health? Even better.


Natural remedies for arsenic detox

If you have been exposed to arsenic and have signs of poisoning, you will want to support your body in getting rid of this harmful toxin.

Below are a couple of natural remedies that can help support you.

  • Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). ALA is a powerful antioxidant that helps support detox. It can be taken as a supplement to boost your health.
  • Choline. Choline supports your liver, and it can be useful for detox. It is one of the 7 supplements I recommend on the keto diet. And it is great for your liver.
  • B complex. Taking a vitamin B complex is another great choice. Look to get your B vitamins from a natural source like nutritional yeast. Stay away from fortified or enriched supplements.

Eating healthy foods, supporting your liver, and adding the nutrients listed above to your diet can all help.


Key takeaways

Man-made arsenic is a toxic carcinogen, and it can be quite dangerous to your body. Over the long term, it can be linked to disease and cancer.

Unfortunately, the US leads the world in using products with arsenic. So it is important to watch out for arsenic poisoning. And looking at your nail beds is one way to do just that.

White lines on the fingernails are a sign of poisoning. Other symptoms to watch for include skin issues, digestive upset, headaches, and more. Look out for these signs, and if you have them get urine testing to find out.

When it comes to arsenic exposure, these are the key takeaways to remember:

  • The US puts high levels of this poison into our environment through things like pesticides and fertilizers.
  • To reduce your risk of exposure, try to:
    • Avoid arsenic-containing foods like rice, fruits, and vegetables that aren't grown organically.
    • Go organic, eating only foods grown naturally.
    • Do the keto diet, so you don't have to worry about rice and fruits.
  • And give natural detox remedies a try such as:

Chalkboard in frame with Ketogenic written in white chalk, keto diet foods in background.

Did you know about the arsenic poisoning, fingernail link? Have you ever-experienced exposure or poisoning? Share your thoughts on this topic by leaving me a comment down below.


Up Next: -

Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan