Your body is designed to detoxify mercury and other heavy metals. An impaired metabolism can lead to mercury toxicity
Your two principal sources of mercury exposure are inorganic mercury from dental amalgams and methylmercury from seafood consumption; these two types of mercury differ in their toxicity levels, biological effects and detoxification pathways
Traditional mercury testing that only relies on blood, urine or hair is riddled with problems, but a new test that combines all three methods is far more accurate. The new test uses mercury speciation (the separation of different forms of mercury during analysis, which tells you what types of mercury you have on board, from what sources, and which of your natural detoxification pathways may not be working properly
Our revised mercury detoxification protocol is presented in detail; this protocol, incorporating the work of Dr. Chris Shade, supports your glutathione system and all of the enzymes and transporter proteins that must be working properly if your body is to efficiently cleanse itself of mercury.
The two primary sources of mercury exposure are dental amalgams (mercury-based fillings) and seafood consumption, followed by thimerosal-containing vaccines and mercury pollution from coal-burning power plants.
Other significant environmental offenders are chlor-alkali plants (which make products like chlorine bleach and PVC), trash incinerators, cement kilns, and gold mining1. These industries are loading our environment with inorganic forms of mercury that are then converted in the soil and water to a type of mercury called methylmercury (MeHg)-- which then accumulates in the fish you eat.
This form of mercury evaporates from the surface of the amalgam and is inhaled, absorbed into the blood, and then converted to inorganic mercury, the most toxic form of mercury to cells. Inorganic mercury builds up far more in your organs of elimination-- it's 100 times as high in your kidneys and liver than in your brain.
It is likely you are accumulating mercury and other heavy metals at a disturbing rate. This is occurring at a time when your body is already bombarded with multiple chemical assaults, making it harder to keep its natural detoxification system working smoothly and efficiently.
Dr. Christopher Shade, a mercury and glutathione expert from the University of Illinois, explains how your body's natural heavy metal detoxification system works. I also previously interviewed Dr. Shade about mercury detoxification, which you can listen to here:
Your brain is a primary target for heavy metals, which results in many neurological symptoms, including depression and memory, anxiety and irritability loss. Mercury overload can even lead to major neurological conditions like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
It's important to realize that people are either fast detoxifiers or slow detoxifiers, and a small genetic subset are super slow detoxifiers. If you are in the super slow group, your detox system is significantly impaired and the result can be mercury overload.
In the case of zinc, a billion times! This means mercury fiercely grabs onto these groups and refuses to let go, depriving you of the good metals and stopping your normal biological processes in their tracks. Mercury will also grab onto cell membranes, which leads to shattering of the membranes, vascular leakage, and subsequent "spackling" of the damage with cholesterol.
Instead, mercury is always paired with a ligand, a molecule or group of molecules that binds to other molecules to form a larger complex. Mercury will also grab onto cell membranes, which leads to shattering of the membranes, vascular leakage, and subsequent "spackling" of the damage with cholesterol.
Mercury Marches into Your Body and Takes Prisoners
Instead, mercury is always paired with a ligand, a molecule or group of molecules that binds to other molecules to form a larger complex. Mercury's favorite ligand is sulfur, especially a reduced form called a thiol.
It's an interesting fact that some people with high mercury exposure don't become toxic, yet others with relatively low exposure do. You already have a system in place for removing mercury and other heavy metals from your body. If you are in the super slow group, your detox system is significantly impaired and the result can be mercury overload.
The difference lies in your ability to detoxify naturally. You already have a system in place for removing mercury and other heavy metals from your body. Mercury's half-life can range from 40 to 120 days, and the faster you can clear it out, the less you'll be affected.
Heavy metals also target your kidneys, liver, heart, pituitary and thyroid glands, and increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A mercury detoxification protocol can significantly improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic syndrome. Mercury, especially from dental amalgams, can accumulate heavily in your digestive tract where it attaches to your gut epithelium.
Additionally, people who are hypersensitive to metals will have toxic effects at much lower levels than other people. The news is all bad when it comes to the buildup of heavy metals in your body. Heavy metal toxicity produces a wide range of adverse biological effects.2.
Mercury has a far higher affinity for the thiols than do beneficial metals like zinc. How much greater?
A Two-Headed Dragon: Toxicity and Inflammation
It's an interesting fact that some people with high mercury exposure don't become toxic, yet others with relatively low exposure do. Why is this? Why does one person get really sick from her amalgams while another is perfectly fine?
Amalgams BATHE Your Brain and Digestive Tract in Mercury
Creating a significant environmental burden, the biological damage from amalgams is two-fold. Mercury vapor emitted from amalgams passes readily through your cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier, and into your central nervous system where it causes immunological, neurological, and psychological problems.
Well, if you have a mouthful of amalgams and a laundry list of health challenges, chances are mercury is a factor. According to Dr. Shade, there is 2,000 times more mercury coating the inside of the mouth (and thus the whole GI tract) of people who have amalgams than in those who don't.
Additionally, mercury shuts off the ability of your liver and kidneys to move mercury into your gut for elimination. If you have amalgams in your mouth, you are bathing your digestive tract AND your brain in mercury every day, poisoning your brain while at the same time blocking its route out of the body ... the perfect recipe for mercury poisoning.
At the same time, mercury is leaching into your saliva and being swallowed, making its way down your digestive tract where it causes inflammation and damages your immune system-- because the frontline of your immune system is in your gut. This blocks one of your body's major detoxification pathways: passage out of your GI tract.
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