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Kale Can Actually Be Poisonous; Financial Education Benefits Center Advises Caution With This 'Superfood'

Kale Can Actually Be Poisonous; Financial Education Benefits Center Advises Caution With This 'Superfood'

PR Newswire

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 11, 2018

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Remember when kale took over? A few years ago, the leafy green took America by storm as if it were for sale for the first time and quantities were limited. The honeymoon may be ending, however, because a new study has shown kale, when eaten often, can contribute to unhealthy levels of heavy metals in a person's body that can lead to chronic fatigue, skin issues, hair loss, cognitive impairment and digestive troubles. Financial Education Benefits Center (FEBC), a member benefits company specializing in health and financial wellness, offers benefits featuring non-urgent medical and nutritional advice and discounts on groceries that could be useful in a world where even kale can be bad for a person's health.

Jennifer Martinez, manager at FEBC, said in response that "kale can still be healthy, but I guess moderation is important with all foods. Balanced meals are always going to be a good idea, always going to be in style. Maybe kale was just a fad, but maybe scientists need to study this more."

The culprit is a rare and heavy metal called thallium, which is a known poison. Kale, along with other "cruciferous" vegetables like broccoli, mustard greens and cabbage, acts as a "hyperaccumulator" of thallium. This means the plant can carry a concentration of thallium from the soil 100 times higher than a different type of plant grown in the same soil. If there is thallium in the ground where kale is grown, there is metal in the kale.

Molecular biologist Ernie Hubbard discovered this issue while testing a detoxification formula at the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in California. During his trials, several of his test subjects registered high in thallium and cesium, two heavy metals Hubbard did not expect to find. One particular test subject, a 52-year-old woman whose daily routine included working out and eating lots of kale and cabbage, had thallium levels at .7 parts per million (ppm) or seven times what is considered the "threshold" in a workplace. For perspective, one of the main studies of thallium's effect on the body showed that .02 ppm of thallium would cause adverse effects. With levels of thallium 35 times higher, her hair fell out in clumps and she routinely felt fatigued and "foggy in the brain." 

Though he knows his data is limited and preliminary, Hubbard has found kale samples with as high as 1.14 ppm of thallium as well as containing nickel and an alarming amount of aluminum. The FDA prohibits the sale of food products containing more than 1 ppm of "mercury, lead and all other such toxic metals."

Scarier still, the organically grown kale had higher concentrations of metal than conventionally grown kale. Efforts are being made to breed a new form of kale that does not hyperaccumulate trace metals.

"It's good that scientists have found this problem and now it's up to scientists to solve it, it seems," Martinez began, "because kale has too many positive nutrients to just call it unhealthy. I'm sure more studies will come out and we can take it from there."

For those concerned with nutritional health, FEBC can help a person with meal planning, grocery discounts and, should the need arise, non-urgent medical and nutritional advice. However the future of kale unfolds, members will have options when facing the wide array of foods that may or may not be a wise nutritional decision. 

About Financial Education Benefits Center

Financial Education Benefits Center is located in San Ramon, California. The membership company has already helped thousands save money and obtain the necessary education required to live a financially healthy life.

Financial Education Benefits Center has partnered with several name brand third-party companies to expand the financial and educational products and services available to its members and to provide a variety of wellness services as well.

Financial Education Benefits Center Newsroom


To learn more about Financial Education Benefits Center, please contact:

Financial Education Benefits Center
2010 Crow Canyon Place Ste. 100
San Ramon, CA 94583

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Last Updated: 11-Oct-2018