by The Writers Group
© January 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Mercury is among the most toxic elements known. It is also the most common heavy metal on the earth today. One could easily write a book about its sources and its many toxic effects. Here let us introduce the subject, followed by a brief discussion of how to reduce exposure and remove it from our bodies.
SOURCES OF MERCURY
Medications. Mercury is found in some prescription and over-the-counter remedies. The most important are vaccines. These may contain thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative. One can easily get hundreds of times the safe amount of mercury due to vaccination. No mercury is safe! Contact lens solution may also contain mercury.
Dental Materials. Studies demonstrate that each time one bites down on a mercury filling, some mercury vapor, the most dangerous form of mercury, escapes. The amount that escapes is tiny, but it occurs thousands of times each day. It can quickly travel directly to the brain, an organ easily damaged by mercury.
The word ÒquackÓ originally referred to doctors and dentists who advocated mercury amalgams. When mercury amalgams were invented in 1819, most medical professionals, including the AMA and the ADA, rejected their use as too dangerous. However, those who wanted cheap, quick fillings that did not become infected used them anyway.
The word for mercury in German is ÒquacksalverÓ. The mercury dentists and doctors were nicknamed ÒquacksÓ by the more respectable doctors. Eventually, mercury amalgams were accepted by the AMA and the ADA. We can only hope these groups return to their original opinion of this abominable practice.
Is amalgam safer than the toxic composite materials? Our experience is the mercury in the mouth is much worse. The composites are certainly a little toxic, but when they cure and harden, which just takes a few seconds or a little longer, it seems that the toxins are locked in the resin or glue and there are few problems with them.
Also, strange as it may sound, the human body seems more able to eliminate the toxic chemicals than it is able to eliminate metals such as mercury. This may be due, in part, to widespread mineral malnutrition in the population. When a person is low in all minerals, the body will sometimes hold on to a toxic metal like mercury because it may be able to be used, to a degree, in some enzymes. This is certainly true of cadmium and some other toxic metals.
In contrast to the composites, the mercury keeps leaking out of the amalgams for years until the whole filling falls apart. Usually, by then there is infection in the area, as well, often necessitating more drilling and more damage to the tooth. Also, the amalgam weakens the tooth, leading to more breakage of teeth. We suggest having amalgams replaced, if one can afford it, in all cases.
Large Fish And Shellfish. In addition to drugs and amalgam fillings, the major sources of mercury exposure for most people are foods from the sea. In particular, large fish that eat smaller fish concentrate mercury up to one million times in their body fat and other tissues. Tunafish is the most common source. However, all fish are somewhat contaminated.
Shellfish, including clams, mussels, oysters, lobster and shrimp all tend to contain excessive mercury and may also contain other toxic metals such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, and even radioactive waste and other contaminants. This makes them basically unfit for human consumption today.
Other Sources. Many industries use mercury because it is cheap and has many excellent properties as a fungicide, an excellent electrical conductor and more. These industries include electronics, gold mining and the manufacture of paper, chlorine, adhesives, fabric softeners and waxes.
Among the hundreds of other common sources of mercury in our environment are bleached flour, a few Chinese herbs, cleaners including Ajax, Lysol, Comet, Derma Scrub, Dove Soap, Ivory Liquid, some bleaches, some cosmetics, dyes, paints, inks, embalming fluid, engraving supplies, exhaust fumes, fabric softeners, feeding tubes, felt, fertilizers and many more. For a complete list, go to www.mercuryexposure.com.
As a result of all this exposure, most children today are born with excessive mercury in their bodies. Vaccines add much more and the results are predictable. Mercury easily passes through the placenta so that each generation today is worse than the previous one. This source (congenital mercury) can be reduced if young women make an effort to reduce their mercury load before becoming pregnant.
Hundreds of symptoms may be due to chronic mercury toxicity. The organ most affected is often the brain, and children suffer the most from many mercury-related disorders. Mercury may be a factor in increasing birth defect rates, autism and other developmental delays, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxieties, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior, panic attacks, neuroses and paresthesias. A medical colleague reports that every case of multiple sclerosis he has seen involves mercury.
The Òmat hattersÓ of the Alice In Wonderland story were real people who worked in the hat industry in the nineteenth century. Many became mentally ill due to rubbing mercury on felt or hides to soften it.
Here is a long list of symptoms and conditions that may be associated with mercury. Note that mercury toxicity is usually found with copper toxicity, and perhaps other metal toxicity. So it is not always possible to separate the cause of the symptoms exactly:
á Acne - Opportunistic infections cause by general immune suppression.
á Addiction. (see below for details about this)
á Adrenal insufficiency and burnout.
á Allergies - Gut wall deterioration via mutated intestinal flora)
á Apathy, Feelings of (especially toward property and personal affairs)
á Autism (contrary to popular belief, there is very strong medical evidence linking autism to mercury)
á Nearsightedness & Farsightedness (by altering intraocular fluid eye pressure)
á Autoimmune Diseases (through methionine mimicry and other processes)
á Amylotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
á Ankylosing spondylitis
á Arterial Sclerosis
á Mercury activates an enzyme called phospholipase D (PLD) in cells which line blood vessel walls (endothelial cells). This activation causes the release of phosphatidic acid which damages the cells.(2) These damaged cells then accumulate cholesterol-based plaque leading to arterial sclerosis.
á Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) study: 2,005 men (ages 42 to 60) without heart disease are divided into four groups based on hair-mercury content and tracked for an average of 12 years. Those in the top 25 percent for hair mercury had a 60% increased risk of death from CVD. Those same men had a 70% increased risk of coronary heart disease.(7)
á Myasthenia Gravis
á Parkinson's Disease
á Acid Reflux - Caused by reduced digestive fluid production.
á Alzheimer's Disease (See Beating Alzheimer's) Quote From Book Review: "He had the mercury removed from his teeth and it did not change things. However,some time later when his gums were x-rayed a tiny sliver of mercury was found in the gum tissue. He had surgery to remove this minute piece of mercury and at the moment of its removal he experienced complete lucidity."
á Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
á Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
á Blood in the Urine
á Borderline Personality Disorder
á "Brain Fog"
á Bruising, Easy (and other vitamin C deficiency diseases as mercury displaces vitamin C)
á Calcium, Elevated Blood
á Chronic Fatigue
á Circadian Rhythm, Shifted (inability to sleep on a normal schedule)
á Crohn's Disease
á Dizziness (loss of equilibrium)
á Elevated Homocysteine (increases risk of heart disease)
á Endocrine-Related Issues
á Environmental Illness
á Enlarged Prostate (Elevated DHT)
á Flatulence (gas)
á Floaters In the Eyes
á Grinding Teeth While Sleeping (Bruxism)
á Hair loss (Balding—Elevated DHT)
á Heart Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
á Heart Disease (see Arterial Sclerosis)
á High Cholesterol
á Hyperacusis (sensitivity to certain sounds)
á Immune Suppression (weak immune system leading to frequent general illness or numerous opportunistic infections)
á Iodine Deficiency
á Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
á Juvenile Arthritis
á Kidney Damage
á Leaky Gut Syndrome
á Learning Disabilities
á Loss of Self-Control
á Lupus Erythematosus
á Magnesium, Deficiency
á Manic Depressive Disorder
á Memory Loss, Short-Term
á Mole Formation (especially on the neck, underarms, inner thighs, and feet)
á Mood Swings
á Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)
á Multiple Sclerosis
á Nausea and Vomiting
á Numbness and tingling,Oily Skin (Elevated DHT)
á Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
á Outbursts of Anger
á Pain In Limbs
á Panic attacks
á Phobias, General
á Photophobia (sensitivity to light from weak iris response)
á Rheumatoid Arthritis
á Salivating, Excessive
á Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders
á Self Esteem, Lack of
á Sleep Disorders
á Social Separation/Isolation
á Suicidal Thoughts
á Spider Veins
á Selenium Deficiency
á Thyroid Disorders
á Tinnitus (Ringing In the Ears)
á Vision, Loss Of Peripheral vision
á Vitamin C Deficiency
á Weakness, Muscle
á Weight Gain
á White Coating On the Tongue
á Yeast Syndrome/Candida
á Zinc Deficiency
Symptoms may be ill-defined because the exact location and the amount of mercury vary with each individual. Metal toxicity is unlike many infections that have well-defined symptom presentations.
Chronic mercury toxicity does not receive more attention because it is difficult to detect. Simple blood or urine tests are practically useless because the body quickly removes mercury from the blood. It often settles deep in the tissues of the brain, kidneys and liver.
Urine or feces challenge tests. These are common methods for detecting chronic mercury. Commonly, a dose of DMPS, a chelating drug that is not very safe, is often administered. Then urine is collected for 24-hour hours and analyzed for mercury. The test is almost always ÒpositiveÓ. This is likely because mercury is high in many sick people.
A problem with this test are that it misses a lot of mercury. The drug does not penetrate the blood-brain barrier very well, so it often misses this key organ where mercury accumulates.
Hair tissue mineral analysis. Any hair level of mercury above about 0.035 mg% is too much, in my experience. However, mercury does not tend to accumulate in large quantity in the hair, in most cases. So the hair level alone is not always a good indicator. Mercury accumulates in the kidneys and brain, where it can be difficult to identify.
However, there is a subtle sign of toxicity on a hair analysis called a poor eliminator pattern. This is a mercury level below about 0.03 mg%. It indicates a problem eliminating mercury and it is significant, especially if the level is at 0.01 mg% or less. The lower the level, the worse the toxicity, we find. I also find that all the dentists are loaded with mercury, just from the vapors if nothing else.
Even when mercury comes out of the body on a nutritional balancing program, it usually does not show up in the hair because it may be eliminated more through the urine than through the skin and hair, so we can't read it in the hair, unfortunately.
Other detection methods. A few practitioners use electrical machines or applied kinesiology techniques (muscle testing) to identify mercury overload. These methods are not reliable enough, in our view, but may help.
1. Eliminate ALL fish from your diet except for 3-4 cans of sardines per week for adults and less for children. Once in a while you may have other tiny fish such as smelt, anchovies or herring. This is sad to have to suggest, but we find that anyone who eats fish, other than up to 3-4 cans of sardines weekly, will show high mercury in the hair. For much more information about sardines, which are an excellent food, please read Sardines on this site.
2. Avoid All Shellfish. Mercury is just one reason to avoid all shellfish, even though they are tempting and formerly were one of my favorite foods. Shellfish are also often high in cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and many toxic metals found in the coastal areas of every nation.
3. Avoid ALL vaccines. Please avoid ALL vaccines, including flu shots. This may sound extreme, but I do not think so. ALL Vaccines are filthy concoctions that all contain stray viruses, toxic metals, preservatives and perhaps other chemicals. It is bad enough to eat these poisons, but it is much worse to have them shot directly into the body, bypassing the normal methods the body uses to detoxify poisons.
If you study vaccination objectively, you will learn that vaccines are promoted falsely, with very bad science behind them. The companies that make them are exempt from legal responsibility because otherwise they would quickly be sued out of existence.
A number of vaccines are still preserved with Thimerisal, a form of mercury. It is difficult to know which vaccines have this preservative in them, and which do not. Reports on the television news indicate that most doctors and nurses do not know if their vaccines contain Thimerisal or other toxic preservatives, so asking your doctor about it is usually not worth the trouble.
In addition, there are many other reasons to avoid vaccines, no matter what is promoted on television and elsewhere. To read much more about vaccines, please read Vaccination on this site.
Be careful researching vaccination on the internet because hundreds of medically-oriented websites promote vaccines and deride anyone who questions them. However, they are not correct, no matter how fancy are the websites and how many websites they own.
4. Replace dental amalgams. I suggest replacing most dental amalgams. This need not be done by a holistic or biological dentist. It can be done by any dentist who can do the job without vaporizing too much mercury in your mouth. We say this because there is misunderstanding about this, in our view. It can be costly if you have a lot of them, but it can be done in stages. For more on dentistry, read Biological Dentistry on this site.
1. If you know or suspect you have an active cancer, do not replace amalgams. The extra mercury vapor that is released has proven lethal for some cancer patients. It is far better to wait until your cancer is controlled, or preferably gone altogether before replacing amalgams. With the Kelley metabolic cancer therapy or Cantron, or maybe other methods, some cancers can be handled naturally without drugs and their side effects. Read Introduction To Cancer for more information about this important disease.
2. Do not do amalgam removal during the first trimester of pregnancy. Otherwise, the extra mercury from drilling out the fillings could harm the unborn baby.
All the above are simple, but important steps anyone can take to limit mercury exposure.
REDUCING MERCURY IN YOUR BODY
Very briefly, we never recommend chelators such as DMSA, DMPS, chlorella, cilantro, bugleweed, zeolite and the others. They are not needed, they can be toxic and they all unbalance the body chemistry. For details, read Chelation on this site.
A far gentler, and often more effective method is nutritional balancing science. It is discussed in several articles including Nutritional Balancing, Why We Recommend It. This method is not specific for mercury because in most instances mercury is just one of a dozen toxic metals and hundreds of toxic chemicals that plague us.
This method, however, removes most or all of the toxic metals at once, plus hundreds or thousands of toxic chemicals as well. It does this by the following methods, among others, used in a coordinated and integrated way that maintains the body is an excellent balance to increase its energy level. These methods include:
1) Loads of rest and sleep. This is critical. Detoxification always takes energy.
2) A diet rich in vitamins and minerals. These nutritional factors help the body remove mercury through the liver, bowel and kidneys, in particular.
3) NO fruit or other sweet items in the diet, including fruit juices or honey. Sweets, especially for children, tend to unbalance the body chemistry severely, which hampers detoxification. Unfortunately, many children eat so many sweets that it can halt mercury elimination in some cases.
4) Increase Adaptive Energy. This greatly enhances the bodyÕs ability to excrete all toxic substances. Nutritional balancing science increases energy production by balancing the electrolyte levels on a properly performed hair mineral analysis.
5) Activate the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and an excellent eliminative route for mercury. The best way I have found to enhance skin elimination is daily use of an infrared light sauna for several years. After this, one should only use a sauna once daily several times a week, as one can overdo any therapy.
Saunas deserve special mention because they are not part of regular medical care. However, they are highly effective, very safe if done right, extremely cost-effective and a comfortable therapy for most people. We do not recommend them for children under 4 or 5, however, because children can dehydrate faster than adults. For details, read Sauna Therapy by this author or work with a professional trained in sauna use.
6) Balance The Autonomic Nervous System. Most people overuse their sympathetic or fight-or-flight nervous system. This powerfully inhibits the activity of the eliminative organs such as the liver, kidneys, bowel and skin. Many simple methods can reduce sympathetic activity, primarily saunas, meditation, relaxation, biofeedback, prayer, massage and some forms of bodywork.
7) Strengthen The Eliminative Organs. An excellent diet, extra nutrients, herbs, reflexology and other natural methods can help restore the activity of the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin and intestines. Once again, the sauna excels in this area by dramatically improving circulation and decongesting the liver and kidneys.
8) Antagonists. We also use mercury antagonists such as zinc, chromium, manganese and selenium as supplementary nutrients. Our diets are deficient in these elements in most cases.
This is a rather unusual addiction that may be more common than one might imagine. Those with this addiction like the feeling they get from eating high-mercury fish, usually, such as tunafish sandwiches or swordfish steaks.
As their tissue mercury level builds from ingesting too much mercury, these individual experience:
1. A spacy or detached feeling that is pleasant. It helps them forget their conflicts and problems.
2. They do not think as clearly, but the mind works fast, which they also like.
3. They also develop yeast in the brain without having to eat much sugar or starch. The yeast, a candida species, produces alcohol and other neurotoxins that also mellows them and helps them forget their problems. These are common effects of mercury toxicity.
As a result, these people continue to eat more tuna or other large fish, usually, or perhaps seafood such as shrimp or clams. Unfortunately, mercury is very toxic, so it build up in the brain, the liver, the kidneys and elsewhere. Eventually, it will cause serious physical and mental disease.
CHELATION FOR MERCURY TOXICITY
Some physicians use chelating drugs such as the sodium salt of 2,3-dimercapto-1-propane sulfonic acid (DMPS) and dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA). These remove some mercury. However, we have never needed to recommend them for the reasons listed below:
1. They all remove beneficial minerals along with the mercury. Thus they can easily upset the delicate balance of body chemistry. Anything given intravenously has a much greater chance of doing this, by the way. Anything taken orally must be regulated by the intestinal lining, which allows only a certain amount to pass into the body. This is helpful in many cases, though not all, as mentioned above.
2. They can pull mercury from storage sites in the body, but the body may not be able to eliminate the mercury fast enough. The storage sites may be relatively benign such as fatty tissues. But the mercury may redeposit in vital organs such as the brain or liver.
3. They may be somewhat toxic in other ways. For more on chelation, see the article on this website, Chelation Therapy.
Mercury is with us. Everyone needs to be aware of it and take at least basic preventive steps to reduce it in their bodies, and in those of the next generation as well. Mercury will easily come out of our bodies in a safe and controlled manner using a complete nutritional balancing program.
1. Casdorph, H.R. and Walker, M., Toxic Metal Syndrome, Avery Publishing, New York, 1995.
2. Dental Truth Magazine, published by DAMS International, 1079 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN 55101, (800) 311-6265.
3. Droesti, I.E. and Smith, R., Neurobiology of the Trace Elements, Vol II, Neurotoxicology and Neuropharmacology, Humana Press, 1983.
4. Huggins, H., ItÕs All In Your Head, The Link Between Mercury fillings And Your Health, Avery Publishing, NY, 1993.
5. Pfeiffer, C., Mental And Elemental Nutrients, Keats Publishing, Ct., 1972.
6. Schroeder, H.A., The Trace Elements And Man, Devin-Adair Company, Old Greenwich, Ct., 1973.
7. Wilson and Eck, Toxic Metals In Human Health And Disease, Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergeteics, Ltd., Phoenix, AZ, 1989.
8. Wilson, Sauna Therapy, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc., 2006.
9. Wilson, Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis, 2014.
www.mercuryexposure.com - a long list of mercury sources.
10. www.dmpsbackfire.com - This is an excellent site about problems with DMPS and DMSA.
11. www.iabdm.org - This is the International Academy of Biological Dentistry And Medicine.