Why do my number 2's smell metallic?

If your number 2’s smell like metal is could be because you are eating clay. Clay is another one of those traditional therapeutic remedies that has been back on the shelf because of its ‘health’ benefits. Clay can bind heavy metals in your body and take them out with your number 2’s which is why they smell metallic.

Yes, we have contaminated a lot of our beautiful water ways and environments with heavy metals so they may have accumulated in our body. This would depend on where you were born and grew up and where you worked so it’s very individual. What we do know is that we need some metals in our body to help our enzymes perform reaction that are vital to our growth, development and repair so taking clay could be detrimental to our gut health and overall health. Let’s first look at a couple of examples of why we need metals in our body and why our gut bugs are affected.

Zinc is a great example of how a metal is required by our bodies and does not need to be collected by the clay number 2 train. Zinc is required in a number of reactions in your body that protect you from cell damage by free radicals. Zinc is also involved in protecting your cells from stress and actually improves the natural excretion of metals such as lead and arsenic from the body. If there is an increase in stress and your body has limited capacity to deal with it because it has no access to zinc then this not only affects your health and damages cells and has a knock-on effect to your gut community.

Bacteria (and some other microorganisms) need metal for reactions in their life as well. Because of their capacity to breakdown heavy metals and to transform materials bacteria and their friends are being used in a variety of areas for bioremediation. Bioremediation is an eco-friendly and efficient way to reclaim environments that we’ve contaminated with heavy metals. We can do this by using the metabolic abilities of microorganisms and even plants to remove hazardous contaminants like heavy metals.

Having a diet high in antioxidant foods such as wholegrains, coloured vegetables and berries can certainly help with stress and other inflammatory processes in the body. Have a look at your diet and see if you have enough anti-inflammatory food in there. Mix it up and add some more variety for you and your gut bugs.

I think we often forget that our bodies have their own detoxing system and if we look after our body and eat well we may not need to take things like clay. If you have lived in an area that is heavily exposed to heavy metals then it is best to get tested and diagnosed to see what heavy metals you have in your body. This makes more sense than just taking clay and hoping that it works as you may be stripping away essential metals your body needs.


JAN, A. T., AZAM, M., SIDDIQUI, K., ALI, A., CHOI, I. & HAQ, Q. M. R. 2015. Heavy Metals and Human Health: Mechanistic Insight into Toxicity and Counter Defense System of Antioxidants. International journal of molecular sciences, 16, 29592-29630.