Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
June 28, 2016
I have been doing a lot of research. Getting to the truth has been confusing and difficult. Although in 2015 I wrote about my personal journey with mercury, I have changed by views because of new information. Fortunately, I found Chris Shade, PhD, who is an expert in mercury toxicity in the human body. He was able to open my mind and clarify the facts. HERE is a recent detailed and lengthy interview of Dr. Shade by Dr. Mercola about mercury toxicity. And, these two published studies show how mercury is harmful to the body. HERE. HERE.
Although there is compelling evidence of mercury toxicity in the body, there still is controversy. In my opinion however, the research suggests, and common sense demands, you should avoid any exposure to mercury in whatever form.
Let’s get down to the important questions:
- What are the forms of mercury?
- Where does mercury come from?
- What does mercury do to you?
- How do you avoid mercury exposure?
- How do you get rid of toxic mercury?
Here are some answers:
- What are the forms of mercury? In general, mercury primarily exists in the body as methyl mercury and inorganic mercury. Inorganic mercury is the most toxic form of mercury in your body. Small amounts of elemental mercury, which is the third form of mercury, is released as vapor from existing dental amalgams (silver fillings). Mercury vapor is then converted into inorganic mercury.
- How does mercury get into you? The majority of mercury in your body got there by eating specific fish and by having dental amalgams placed in your teeth. Most large fish are contaminated with methyl mercury. When you eat these large fish, their methyl mercury gets into your system. Some of this methyl mercury may become oxidized in your body to become inorganic mercury. However, the majority of inorganic mercury in your body came from dental amalgams. You can inhale free mercury vapor, which is continuously released in small amounts from existing amalgam fillings. Free mercury vapor can be changed into inorganic mercury.
- What does mercury do to you? This is the major problem. Mercury can cause so many symptoms because it affects almost all normal biological functions. Here are three of the many symptoms of mercury toxicity you might experience:
- Fatigue from mercury damaging energy production in all cells
- Weight gain and decrease in metabolism from mercury damaging normal thyroid function
- High levels of anxiety from mercury affecting the brain
- How do you avoid mercury exposure? Avoid eating large fish like shark, tuna, and swordfish – all of which are high in methyl mercury. Eat fish that are small-sized and low on the food chain. Examples of healthy fish that are low in mercury are wild caught salmon, sardines, kippers, and anchovies. Also, tell your dentist not to place dental fillings that contain mercury in your mouth.
- How do you get rid of toxic mercury? Getting rid of mercury toxicity can be difficult, and treatment can take many months. It is important to understand that your body has biological mechanisms in place to remove mercury from your body. But, these systems can become damaged from poor lifestyle and poor diet choices.
To assist your natural function to detoxify from mercury exposure, you must make your gut healthy. Eating a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way in healing a damaged gut. This type of diet also can stimulate your body’s natural mechanisms to push out heavy metals from individual cells, to filter these toxic metals out of the blood system, and to bind them for excretion through the feces and urine. (I wrote an article about this mechanism in 2015.)
You may have existing silver fillings in your teeth (dental amalgams). As I already mentioned, these fillings emit a small amount of free mercury, which forms a vapor and then oxidizes to become inorganic mercury. To remove this risk, a dentist who is trained in the proper removal of amalgam fillings could take them out of your teeth and replace them with healthier dental materials. It is important to remove existing amalgams properly or else their improper removal could cause increased levels of mercury exposure.
To sum it up:
- Be proactive.
- Review my 4 Pillars of Health, which support healthy, natural detoxification.
- Eat healthy fish.
- Don’t allow dental amalgams to be put in your mouth.
- Consider removing existing dental amalgams by a dentist who is knowledgeable in its proper removal.
- If you have symptoms that might be a result of mercury toxicity, you should consult a healthcare professional who understands how to test for, and treat, heavy metal toxicity.
- Some nutritional supplements might be necessary to assist your body’s normal processes to excrete not only mercury but also other heavy metals.