Dr. Chris Shade outlined the basics of mercury toxicity and what can be done to remedy the problem. It is my hope that I can condense his wonderful knowledge into a concise, understandable and usable format without getting too technical.
Mercury toxicity presents a problem in the body because it is more binding than other metals. It never exists as a free ion and attaches itself to enzymes in the body making them inactive. It is a billion times more attaching than zinc and will bind to cell membranes including the vasculature, causing holes in arteries and triggering cholesterol production to spackle these holes. Messing with enzymes messes up the body chemistry and can cause depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue and other neurological conditions.
Mercury toxicity can come from coal burning, dental amalgams, vaccines, fish consumption and flu shots. Fish get loaded with mercury from coal burning fertilizing the air with mercury, which then falls to the oceans as acid rain.
There are several forms of mercury toxicity with ethyl mercury being the most toxic followed by methyl mercury, as these penetrate quickly into the body. Inorganic mercury from dental amalgams, aka silver fillings, are very slow to break out. Seventy-eight percent of people have amalgams and 50% of dentists do not use amalgams.
There are several ways to test for mercury toxicity. Urine tests show more inorganic mercury, such as from paint. Blood tests do not make much sense for elemental mercury vapors. Hair analysis is a good marker for methyl mercury in blood but not good for inorganic sources such as dental. Testing from various labs can differ considerably. Some tests are 50 times more sensitive than others.
People with numerous dental amalgams who do not eat fish will show low mercury in the blood. People who are sickest from mercury will show lower mercury in urine because problems with the kidneys will not let mercury pass into the urine. How well you excrete mercury makes a difference in the tests.
Inorganic sources, i.e. dental, are more toxic but do not accumulate well in tissues, while the organic/fish sources accumulate more.
Detoxification from mercury should be done slowly, often over a period of several years, requiring several rounds of detoxification along with lifestyle changes.
Some ways to consider eliminating the hazards of mercury toxicity include chelation and removal of dental amalgams which should be done under the care of experts. Other lifestyle changes that can be employed even without the benefit of testing include adding the following items to your diet: vitamin C, chlorella, N-acetyl cysteine, garlic, lipoic acid, CoQ10, astaxanthin and other powerful antioxidants, plus cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or cabbage and also whey protein, but be sure they contain no hormones or BHT. Eating a diet high in antioxidants and low in carbohydrates emphasizing good quality proteins and good fats is highly recommended.
I have found a detox diet kit that is great for helping rid the body of heavy metals, although any fasting diet will help.
Recent lectures and reading that I have done point to statistics that cognitive decline is on the rise and surpassing other ailments in costs and concern over the utilization of resources in the future. The brain and the nervous system once damaged is hard to treat and return to normal, and studies are showing that development of these structures in the womb is influenced by nutritional factors that will set the course for the individual’s life.
Never has it been truer as wisely stated by Ben Franklin in his Poor Richard’s Almanac that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Researchers are putting more attention on diet and how it influences health as well as expression of good genes and bad genes. It is showing more and support that you are what you eat.
There are studies that are showing that the highest carbohydrate diet is linked to a 90% increased risk in dementia and the highest fat diet is linked to a 44% decreased risk in dementia. A recent study looking at 3 groups of diets, the first allowing people to eat anything they wanted, the second eating a Mediterranean diet high in lean meats, vegetables, fruits, olive oil, and the third group eating a Mediterranean diet plus extra good fats, showed that the third group had a 30% reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and death compared to the other two. The researchers ended up stopping the study since the results were so significant in preventing heart attack, stroke and death, that they wanted to make sure the other two groups could also benefit from the third diet.
Another study looked at long term effects of high carbohydrate diets and found that in 10 years, diabetes and obesity tripled. Some people are considering Alzheimer’s to be a form of diabetes of the brain, which doesn’t allow the fuel of the brain, glucose, to get into the cells and hence causes death of the brain cells.
Higher levels of cholesterol are also being shown to be associated with lower risk of dementia, so much so that the FDA is now requiring pharmaceutical companies to put warnings on statin medication that lowers cholesterol since these are putting people at risk for dementia. There is also an increased risk of diabetes for women who are post-menopausal who are taking statins.
Statins also reduce the body’s ability to produce co-Q 10, which is important for muscle energy production, hence the warning of muscle weakness as a side effect with statins. The heart and the brain uses a lot of co-Q 10.
Cholesterol is also the raw material for developing vitamin D, which is now touted as the number 1 vitamin since it is important for bone health, immune function and acts more like a hormone than a vitamin.
Gluten is a pro-inflammatory protein that is found in wheat, rye, oats, barley and spelt. It has been associated with muscle cramps, bone and joint pain, leg numbness, chronic fatigue, foggy brain, eczema/rash, gastrointestinal symptoms and depression. Gluten is like glue and interferes with the intestinal tract in absorbing nutrients. Since the gastrointestinal tract is also important in producing much of the neurotransmitters that are needed for brain function, this may be one reason for foggy brain.
Exercise is a great way to produce antioxidants in the body that help give a protective effect for the damaging effects of free radicals, which can damage cells, cause accelerated aging, and can contribute to inflammation.
Lifestyle habits can lead to health or illness. My experience has shown that it is not easy to make changes in your daily routine, but it can be done and done with great results. Find a way to make positive steps in the right direction, no matter how small a move you make. Be consistent and surround yourself with a good support system, helpful information and keeping your motivation high. Start eating more fruits and vegetables, take more walks, laugh more often and robustly, sleep more and drink more water. Don’t wait until you “have to do something or else you will die.” Do it now, while you are in the pre-disease state. You will live healthier and happier and will live a fuller life.
I focus on the topics you care about most.