10 Truths and Tips about Mercury Toxicity

10 Truths and Tips about Mercury Toxicity

  1. 1. Industrial exposure to mercury is significant and mostly comes from coal burning (220 million pounds a year) and chlor-alkali plants.
  2. 2. The main ways that humans are exposed to mercury are from contaminated fish and dental amalgams or silver fillings.
  3. 3. Mercury can affect nearly all your organs, especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and guts.
  4. 4. Many chronic diseases may be caused or worsened by mercury, including neurologic disease, ADHD, autism, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and more.
  5. 5. Some of us are genetically better adapted to detoxify mercury than others, leading to variable effects within the population.
  6. 6. You should reduce your exposure by avoiding large ocean fish (like tuna, swordfish, shark, and tilefish) and river fish. Eat only small wild fish. If it fits in your pan, it is probably okay.
  7. 7. Blood tests are relatively worthless for analyzing mercury toxicity, unless you have had a significant recent exposure or eat a lot of sushi or tuna.
  8. 8. Hair tests only check for mercury from fish, not from fillings so they only give you a partial picture.
  9. 9. The only way to find out your total body load of mercury is to take a medication with sulfur molecules that binds to the mercury like fly paper. This is called DMSA or DMPS. This test should ONLY be done by a trained physician and involves taking one dose of this medicine, followed by a 6- or 24-hour urine collection to see how much comes out.
  10. 10. If you are toxic and sick, you may consider addressing your dental health by seeing a biological dentist who can safely help you deal with mercury in your mouth. Going to see a conventional dentist who drills out your fillings without any precautions or protection can lead to serious health consequences. I strongly advise against it. However, amalgam filling removal CAN be done safely and effectively done by a dentist trained in the correct techniques.

To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.
References

(i) Lindh U. Removal of dental amalgam and other metal alloys supported by antioxidant therapy alleviates symptoms and improves quality of life in patients with amalgam-associated ill health. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 2002; 23(5/6):459-482.
(ii) Stejskal V. Metal-specific lymphocytes: biomarkers of sensitivity in man. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 1999;20:289-298.
(iii) Sterzl I., et al. Mercury and nickel allergy: Risk factors in fatigue and autoimmunity. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 1999; 20: 221-228.
(iv) Prochazkova, J., et al. The beneficial effect of amalgam replacement on health in patients with autoimmunity. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 2004; 25(3): 211-218.
(v) Stejskal, J. and Stejskal, V. The role of metals in autoimmunity and the link to neuroendocrinology. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 1999; 20: 351-364.
(vi) Holmes, A.S., et al. Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children. International Journal of Toxicology. 2003. 22(4): 277-285.
(vii) Wojcik, D.P. et al. Mercury toxicity presenting as chronic fatigue, memory impairment, and depression: Diagnosis, treatment, susceptibility, and outcomes in a New Zealand practice setting (1994-2006). 2006. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 27(4): 415-423.