Mercury – A Hidden Poison

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
June 28, 2016 [printfriendly]



Mercury - A Hidden PoisonDo you have “silver fillings” in your mouth? Do you eat large-sized fish like tuna or swordfish? Hidden poison is in these.


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 my 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.


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My Mercury Journey

evolution rAfter going Primal about two-and-a-half years ago at the age of 66, my life changed for the better. My blood chemistries, weight, and blood pressure improved. Energy has been terrific; gut and bowel functions have been without incidents. At that point, I was not aware of any toxicity built up in my body over my lifetime. I wanted to investigate if any heavy metal toxicity was present from my exposure to mercury as a dentist and as a sashimi lover.
Here is my history:
As a child and young adult, I had several amalgam restorations placed in my teeth. Who knew? I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Then, while a dental student from the years of 1968 to 1972, I unfortunately handled pure mercury by touching it and unknowingly inhaling its vapors. I still had no idea about mercury toxicity. Regrettably, there was no formal instruction in dental school at that time about mercury hazards.
In retrospect, I believe my lifetime exposure began as a dental patient. Then, years of exposure in dental school and continued exposure from eating sashimi at least once a week for the last two decades added to the problem. The raw fish I ate included some of the species I now know to have potentially high levels of methyl mercury contamination.
Several years ago, I had the few amalgam fillings in my mouth replaced. Once I began my Primal quest and learned about ancestral nutrition and cellular health, I felt compelled to determine my personal levels of heavy metal toxicity. A few months ago I took a DMPS Provoked Urine Challenge test that was evaluated by Doctor’s Data Inc. Lab. The report from Doctor’s Data identified that I had extremely high levels of mercury, which actually went off the chart. I also had high levels of arsenic and lead. While I couldn’t link my mercury toxicity to any specific manifestation in my body, I knew that mercury could negatively affect my body in numerous ways that were not easily detectable.
Here is a detailed review published in March 2014 that documents the way mercury has profound cellular, cardiovascular, hematological, pulmonary, renal, immunological, neurological, endocrine, reproductive, and embryonic toxicological effects. This should open you eyes to the latent threat of this potentially destructive toxin.
With all this knowledge, I wanted to rid myself of these high levels of heavy metals. I began an oral detoxification program to chelate mercury, lead, and arsenic from my system using DMPS (dimercapto-propane-sulfonate) as well as various supplements to support the process. DMPS has been shown to be one of the most effective and simplest methods to remove mercury from the body.
My first three days of oral chelation resulted in some uncomfortable reactions and side effects. I developed joint aching as if I had the flu. Also, I felt very tired and had itching and rashes on various areas of my skin. Most likely I was mobilizing my storage of heavy metals too quickly. I stopped the oral capsules and allowed the symptoms to recede. Within a week I was back to normal. I then went back to the program with no further complications or side effects. I will complete my chelation program in another 30 days.
From this point on, it will be interesting to determine how my overall health continues to improve beyond the improvement I have experienced since my lifestyle changes from more than two years ago. I will report on my continued success.
To help my patients with their potential mercury, lead, or arsenic toxicity, I offer my patients the DMPS Provoked Urine Challenge and the DMPS Oral Chelation Program. If you would like information, email me with questions, and I will reply by return email. The company that provides the challenge test as well as the oral chelation program is MercOut, which is run by Bruce Dooley, MD.