The Truth About Mercury

Human Exposure To Mercury

Exposer to mercury has increased dramatically over the past 100 years or so.  Industrialization has played a major role in the rise of environmental mercury through the operation of coal-fired industrial plants and the use of mercury in the production of plastics and pesticides.  Mercury regularly used in dental fillings has also contributed to increased exposure as mercury vapors released by the fillings end up being absorbed in the body.  Further, as our oceans become more polluted, we ended up being exposed to organic mercury (methyl-mercury) by eating fish–a healthy diet choice, according to many nutritionists.

Ramifications Of Mercury Exposure

What are the?  Medical literature has linked mercury toxicity to many chronic diseases such as dementia, ADHD, autism, heart disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and some types of cancer.  As with any toxin, the health effects depend on the dose or amount of exposure. The tricky thing with mercury, however, is that it is lipophilic–which means it is absorbed by and accumulates in fatty tissues.  Many of our vital organs are made mostly out of fatty tissues.  Thus, mercury can affect nearly all of our organs, but is especially damaging to the brain, heart, kidneys and gut.  Not surprisingly, children (including fetuses) and aging populations are especially vulnerable to mercury toxicity.

What To Do About Mercury Toxicity

Obviously the best way to avoid mercury toxicity is to avoid mercury!  If possible, stay away from living and work environments that have exposure to mercury.   Avoid coal heated homes and businesses. Having mercury dental amalgams removed by a biological dentist who has trained in the procedure is important.  Avoid eating fish with the highest and most dangerous concentrations of mercury: Tile fish, shark, swordfish, large tuna, Chilean bass, among others.  It is safe, however, to consume some of the smaller varieties of wild fish as they have much lower levels of mercury.

How To Detoxify

If you suspect you have elevated levels of toxicity, you should go to your doctor and request the medical test that assesses your total body’s load of mercury.  This test, typically called a provocation or a challenge, involves taking a prescription medicine (DMPS) and then collecting your urine for at least 6 hours afterwards. This is because mercury is partly excreted through urine, so the DMPS provokes the mercury to bind to it and then is eliminated when you empty your bladder.  This test can only be carried out under a doctor’s supervision, but not all doctors are familiar with the protocol, so be sure to check around.

There are many ways to detoxify your body, and many of them are useful in promoting mercury detoxification.  These include eating clean and taking probiotics and enzymes to promote gastric health, taking B vitamins and methylators to increase liver detoxification, and using sauna therapy.  However, since mercury binds to fatty tissues, it is also necessary to use specific binding agents to pull the mercury out of the body.  Again, this can only be done under the supervision of a doctor.  Of course, drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fiber will always help in any detoxification effort. And, of course, find a doctor who is familiar with and has experience with heavy metal detoxification.

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