The amount of clients who have come to see me with heavy metal toxins over the past year has been alarming. In particular, mercury levels over 5ng/ml in a blood test.
You may be wondering where the exposure comes from and why in this day and age mercury toxicity is still a concern.
- The use of mercury-free fillings is more common, but approximately 46-47% of dentists in the U.S. are still using mercury containing (amalgam) fillings.
- Our “sushi culture”, the accessibility of fish as a grab-n-go dish and our proponent to view canned fish as a healthy and quick option, with fish being our highest food source of mercury.
- Mercury and its compounds are used in medicine and vaccines. Less common today than it once was, three of the most common in use are:
- Thimerosal is used as a preservative in vaccines and is metabolized into ethyl mercury in trace amounts.
- Mercurochrome is still used as a topical antiseptic (although mainly outside of the U.S.).
- Cinnabarand a is still used in Chinese medicine and can lead to toxic doses
- The FDA allows mercury in cosmetics and skin care as long as the concentration remains below a certain amount. In 2013, 140 countries signed a United Nations ban on the use of mercury in skincare, soap, and makeup but they left out mascara as “no effective substitutes are available”.
What symptoms does mercury cause?
Mercury can reach and affect nearly every cell in the body and symptoms are vast for this reason. The symptoms you experience first depend on your genetics and other toxic suppressors, but can range from immune system issues to brain development and reproductive issues.
The existence of mercury can increase toxicity in the body, making it more difficult to cleanse and detox other toxins!
How is the immune system affected?
Mercury rapidly depletes the immune system and contributes to auto-immune diseases. Mercury can cause an increase in the number and severity of allergies, another incorrect immune response.
How does mercury toxicity affect the reproductive system?
Infertility, miscarriage and premature delivery can all be caused by mercury toxicity. Mercury lowers zinc levels, which then lowers progesterone levels. Since progesterone is needed to bring pregnancy to term, lowered progesterone levels can lead to infertility.
Low sex drive and PMS are examples of other problems whose root cause is mercury toxicity. Mercury lowers zinc levels, which in turn leads to lower testosterone levels, lowering libido as well.
Are babies at risk?
Mercury can cross the placental barrier. This has been shown in both human and animal studies. Birth defects, especially involving the brain, can be caused as mercury can pass through both the placental and blood-brain barrier.
Mercury can also be transmitted via breast milk.
What about mental affects of mercury toxicity?
Mercury accumulates in tissues, especially the brain. Within the brain, mercury is stored preferentially in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Mental symptoms of toxicity affecting the posterior pituitary include: depression, rage, phobias, anxiety, indecisiveness, low self-confidence, compulsions, and mood swings.
Because of mercury’s affinity for the brain, mental affects are common. Mercury inhibits the effects of certain neurotransmitters including:
- Pain control & well-being
- Relaxation & sleep
- Energy & stamina
- Sleep cycles
Why is fatigue and lack of energy a side effect of mercury toxicity?
Mercury binds to nitrogen and sulfur in proteins, oxygen from the lungs, sulfur from the liver’s detoxification systems, and selenium from the colon.
This can lead to:
- Fatigue caused by low blood sugar and low blood oxygen
- Opening the door to parasite infestation by creating a low oxygen environments, diminishing levels of good bacteria which fight off parasites
- An anaerobic environment that favors development of yeast infections and cancer
- Less oxygen reaching the tissues
Fatigue associated with mercury toxicity can be due to several of mercury’s effects, including reducing adrenaline and neurotransmitter effects, reducing oxygen to tissues, and interfering with the process which converts sugar to energy.
What other types of symptoms are caused by mercury?
- Mercury acts as an antibiotic and kills off beneficial bacteria which repel parasites and aid in digestion.
- Mercury combines with bile and can cause bile from the gallbladder to become more alkaline, providing a favorable environment for parasites. These parasites plug up the bile duct preventing necessary digestive and other enzymes from the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas from being released.
- Digestive problems can be caused by parasite or bacterial infection such as helicobacter secondary to immune system suppression by mercury.
- Yeast overgrowth and symptoms of fatigue, sugar cravings, and vaginal infections is often traced to the antibiotic effect of mercury. When yeast is a continuing problem in spite of repeated treatment, often the symptom will not likely go away until the root cause (mercury) is dealt with.
- Other mineral levels can be lowered by mercury’s tendency to fight for site. A deficiency of any of these minerals can further contribute to fatigue and other symptoms.
- Zinc is needed for the manufacture of adrenaline
- Deficiencies of zinc, copper, or potassium can lower adrenal activity
- Cobalt, usually obtained from vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) prevents pernicious anemia, a cause of fatigue
- Mercury blocks magnesium and manganese transport required for memory, resulting in lowered ability to concentrate
Mercury increases the toxicity of other poisons/toxins and makes it harder to detox!
- Mercuric ions bind to sulfur containing groups that have an important detoxification function in the body
- Increased toxicity from chemicals and metals other than mercury can result from mercury binding these sulfur groups and preventing them from detoxifying the chemicals. In addition, mercury binds to bile lowering the ability of the body to absorb fat, leading to increased absorption of toxic oil-soluble chemicals such as solvents and pesticides.
- Selenium is an antioxidant which binds in place of oxygen and which protects against free radical damage from chemicals which can lead to cancer. Mercury can bind to selenium, making it useless for this protective purpose.
So…how do you combat mercury toxicity and cleanse it from your body?
- Advanced Bionutritionals Pectasol Formula – Modified pectin molecules bind to heavy metals toxins and assist with elimination of these toxins. Research conducted by Advanced Bionutritionals showed that in a study over the course of 6 days, mercury excreted in urine increased by 150%. In adition the alginate in this product may help decrease the body’s absorption other of heavy metals.
- Take a Spirulina supplement (preferably from Hawaii) daily. It draws out heavy metals from your brain, central nervous system and liver. Take 2 teaspoons mixed in water, coconut water or juice daily.
- Add Cilantro to your daily diet. It goes deep into hard-to-reach places, extracting metals form yesteryear. Blend one cup in a smoothie or juice, or add to salad or guacamole
- Add Atlantic Dulse to your daily diet. Unlike other seaweeds, it is a powerful force for removing mercury on its own. It goes into deep, hidden places of the body, seeking out mercury, binding to it, and never releasing it until it leaves the body. Eat 2 tablespoons of flakes, or an equal amount of strips if it’s in whole-leaf form.
- Limit fish intake and follow EPA guidelines for low, medium, and high mercury fish: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp
- Optimize your diet to support your detox. You will need to remove inflammatory foods, while eliminating sugar, processed foods, fast foods, simple carbs (think “white” foods), and grains. A diet low in carbohydrates, low-moderate in protein, and high in healthy fats (think avocado, pumpkin seeds oil, coconut/coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, nuts & seeds). This eating protocol greatly aids in detoxing.