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Removal of mercury amalgam fillings

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Athene, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Just want to make a quick mention that mercury from outgassing amalgams is not only inhaled into the lungs, but a significant amount is also swallowed and ends up in the stomach and GI tract. This is why I believe anybody who has amalgams should always have some kind of clay like material, such as bentonite or zeolite, in their bodies at all times.

    Even though I've not had amalgams or metal crowns for many years now, I always have bentonite in my system to absorb any "sequestered" mercury that is slowly outgassed from my gum tissue. My understanding is that sequestered mercury can remain for many years after amalgam removal, which is the primary reason why I do oil pulling on a regular basis. I think regular use of bentonite also protects from various other kinds of toxicity in our environment.
    SickOfSickness and Lotus97 like this.
  2. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    If we have bentonite or zeolite or other things like sodium/alginate in our system at all times to absorb metals, won't this also absorb our mineral supplements? Do we need to take higher doses of the mineral supplements? Also what about non-mineral supplements and prescription drugs? I'm taking a lot of both and I don't want to reduce their effectiveness. I've seen warnings clay and similar supplements about taking things a few hours apart.

    Also, If I'm eating a lot of fiber does that reduce the amount of clay I need to take? I don't drink a lot of liquid during the hours leading up to going to bed because if I wake up to go to the bathroom I have a hard time falling back asleep. I'm assuming you're supposed to drink a lot of water with clay supplements so I don't know if taking it before bed is a good idea for me. If I'm taking enough during the day is that sufficient?

    I was reading that algin/sodium alginate is also good for absorbing mercury in the gut/GI tract. Does anyone else have any experience or knowledge about this? I've also seen algin/sodium alginate sold together with modified citrus pectin (MCT), but I haven't had time to research that yet. I'm planning on creating a thread about algin/sodium alginate because there doesn't seem to be much information about it on this site. I've already ordered some, but I'm not sure if sharing my experience will be useful to anyone because I tend to take a low dose of a lot of different things so I don't know for sure what's working.
  3. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    An individual with 8 amalgam filings in their mouth will release 8 to 87 mcg of elemental mercury vapor per day. It is estimated that 80% of this mercury vapor will be absorbed into the body. Ref: 1.

    Some of this elemental mercury from amalgam fillings may get converted to the more toxic methylmercury by oral and intestinal bacteria (methylmercury is 100 times more toxic to neurons than elemental mercury).

    But look at the mercury content of these high-mercury fish in the table below.

    These fish contain mercury primarily in the much more toxic methylmercury form. Methylmercury is also more easily absorbed by the body than elemental mercury.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    FISH ............... MERCURY PER 200 GRAM PORTION
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Tilefish ........... 290 mcg
    Swordfish .......... 199 mcg
    Shark .............. 196 mcg
    King mackerel ...... 146 mcg
    Restaurant sushi ... 100 to 200 mcg
    Grouper ............ 90 mcg
    Bass (Chilean) ..... 71 mcg
    Fresh tuna ......... 29 to 138 mcg
    Canned tuna ........ 40 mcg
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Since these fish have mercury in the methylmercury form, which is 100 times more toxic that elemental mercury, as far as as far as toxicity as concerned, you would have to multiply the above fish figures by 100 to compare them to the amount of elemental mercury coming from dental amalgam fillings.

    These figures suggest that eating these high methylmercury content fish is a more serious problem than the elemental mercury coming from amalgams. But a lot depends on how much elemental mercury from amalgams gets converted into methylmercury by gut and oral bacteria.

    Staphylococci, streptococci, Escherichia coli, and yeasts in the human gut can synthesize methylmercury. In contrast, few strains of obligate anaerobes could do so. Ref: 1. Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast can convert elemental mercury into methylmercury. Ref: 1

    But paradoxically, another study found that antibiotics, by killing gut bacteria, may increase the amount of methylmercury absorbed in the gut . Ref: 1


    Notes:

    Inorganic mercury compounds are formed when mercury (symbol Hg) combines with elements other than carbon, such as chlorine, sulfur, or oxygen. Elemental mercury (pure mercury) is a form of inorganic mercury.

    Organic mercury compounds (sometimes called organomercurials) are those containing covalent bonds between carbon and mercury. Methylmercury is a form of organic mercury.
    Lotus97 likes this.
  4. Ian

    Ian Senior Member

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    So you eat fish 365 days of the year ???
    According to the WHO the majority of mercury exposure in people is from their fillings. Fish isn't a big deal. Plus you don't inhale the mercury that comes off fish like you do from amalgams.
  5. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Very informative post. I have a few questions. First, what about "low mercury tuna"?
    http://www.swansonvitamins.com/wild-planet-low-mercury-wild-albacore-tuna-5-oz-can
    Also, a serving is only 56 grams and the chart is per 200 grams. After reading your post I agree that it's better not to eat tuna and I don't eat it very often because I take fish oil. Actually, on that subject, has fish oil been independently tested for mercury? I know some companies say it that it's been tested.

    For yeasts, if we take natural anti-fungals which have antibiotic properties such as oil of oregano, garlic, olive leaf, grapefruit seed extract, or caprylic acid which kill yeast and bacteria should those also be avoided? There's a very good possibility I have Lyme disease so I might have to take those. I was also thinking about taking Thorne Research, Formula SF722 (10-Undecenoic Acid) for candida and Candex anti-candida digestive enzymes.

    And where do prebiotics fit in with all of this since they cause more bacteria to grow?

    Another thing about bacteria, there was a thread discussing whether probiotics methylate mercury. I haven't had a chance to read it, but here's a link:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...ethylate-mercury-and-other-heavy-metals.7687/
  6. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The issues here are very complex, and I don't claim to know the definite answer; I am just throwing out a few facts.

    Let's try to compare the toxicity of elemental mercury vapor from amalgam fillings, to the toxicity of methylmercury from fish.

    Lets assume a person with quite a few fillings off-gases an average of of say 40 mcg of daily elemental mercury vapor from their fillings. Around 80% of this vapor is absorbed, so your blood and tissues are receiving 80% of 40 = 32 mcg of elemental mercury daily from you amalgam fillings. Let us assume for the moment that none of this elemental mercury is converted into methylmercury by your gut and mouth micro-organisms.

    Now lets assume a person eats one 70 gram portion of tuna (around half a can of tuna) each week — a portion which will contain 14 mcg of methylmercury — but that he eats no other mercury containing fish in his diet. That equates to eating 2 mcg of methylmercury daily. At least 90% of this methylmercury will be absorbed, as methylmercury is very readily absorbed from the GI tract (ref: 1), so that means your blood and tissues are receiving 90% of 2 = 1.8 mcg of methylmercury daily from your fish diet.

    Now, in terms of neurotoxicity, as mentioned my above post, methylmercury is 100 times more toxic to neurons than elemental mercury.

    So this means you are only getting 32 / 100 = 0.32 mcg of daily "methylmercury equivalent toxicity" from your amalgam fillings, compared to 1.8 mcg of methylmercury from your your fish diet.

    So in this example, you are getting 1.8 / 0.32 =
    over 5 times more mercury toxicity from your once weekly 70 gram (2.5 oz) tuna fish portion than from your amalgam fillings.

    But this simple answer does not take into account that some of the elemental mercury from your fillings may be converted to the more toxic methylmercury.

    Also, that figure of "100 times more toxic" is just something I have seen bandied about, rather than coming from a solid scientific reference. I have also read here that methylmercury is "1000 times more toxic" than inorganic/elemental mercury.
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Hi Lotus97

    I was not able to find any good info on how much elemental mercury is converted to methylmercury by your gut and oral microflora. No doubt it will depend on lots of factors, including which microbial species you have in your mouth and guts.

    In my case, I had all my amalgams removed several years ago, just as a precaution, so this does not concern me. I had 7 or 8 amalgams. I noticed no improvement in health, though.

    Regarding the low mercury tuna: Wild Planet Low Mercury Tuna has almost 3 times less mercury than the average tuna can. Ref: 1.

    I tend to eat canned tuna very rarely now, also as a precaution; I perhaps eat half a can once every 3 months.
    Lotus97 likes this.
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Hip,

    You seem to be wondering whether or how much pwCFS should be concerned with outgassing of mercury from amalgams. And whether the concern is enough to warrant our attention or draw on our financial resources. Your comparison of the amount of mercury in food as compared to what is outgassed from amalgams seems to be an attempt to provide context in this regard.

    I guess I would start out by saying I'm quite skeptical about the figures provided indicating the amount of mercury that can be assumed to outgass from amalgams. I could not fully determine how they arrived at these numbers, but my guess is it did not involved consideration of hot fluids and/or chewing in their equation, both of which significantly increase outgassing.

    But I think looking at how much mercury exposure results from amalgams or from food sort of misses the main consideration. This considertion for me is how much mercury can pwCFS tolerate, and/or readily detoxify. My best guess is that almost all pwCFS have a methylation cycle block, in which case even small amounts of mercury exposure can be hugely detrimental.

    Speaking from my own experience, I had about a dozen or so amalgams and another half dozen metal crowns when I began my metal removal. I started doing only one at a time, and then waiting a few weeks before doing another. In all instances, I noticed a "shift" in how I felt in the weeks following even a single amalgam filling. So in my case, it was clear that each one was burden on my already weakened system.

    Another point that I think needs to be highlighted is that amalgams do not only harm us to one degree or another because of the mercury toxicity, but because of the electrical currents they generate in our mouth. These currents are very close to our brain circuitry, and some people believe they can have a significant impact on our brain function. Since brain dysfunction is such a major symptom of CFS, I don't think this consideration should be minimized.

    The news program 60 Minutes did a segment on this topic back in the 90's, and highlighted a woman who had become completely disabled and almost unable to walk because of a neurological dysfunction. After having her amalgams removed, she was able to walk normally. The results were immediate, and she was able to walk normally leaving the dental office. There are numerous other examples of significant improvement in any number of symptoms, most likely resulting from removing the discordant electrical impulses resulting from metal in a person's mouth.

    My partner mentioned several times to me in the weeks following the removal of my last metal crowns how much better my brain was functioning. As I've mentioned other times, I honestly don't think I would be alive today had I not removed all the metal that was in my mouth.

    I think it's important to keep in mind that all pwCFS are unique, and what helps or harms one of us may not necessarily be true for all of us. We can all look at various amounts of "objective" evidence to help us with our health care decisions, but in the end, I think our own intuition will generally be our best gauge as to whether to do various health improvement protocols..

    Best, Wayne
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  9. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    The only time I eat tuna is when I run out of meat, but I guess I should avoid it when I eat out since it probably isn't reduced mercury. My parents told me that they eat sardines and Alaskan salmon because they're supposed to be lower in mercury. I found a chart that lists the mercury of a lot of different types of seafood. It appears that sardines have 1/10th the amount of mercury as canned light tuna and Wild Planet tuna. And canned salmon has 1/15th the amount. If they eat a couple servings a week is that still an unsafe amount? I think they eat salmon more than sardines.
    http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/...ogenscontaminants/methylmercury/ucm115644.htm

    There was a study of Alaskan Husky sled dogs though which found that Mercury interferes with endogenous antioxidant levels in Yukon River subsistence-fed sled dogs. It compares mercury levels of those fed primarily salmon (90% of their diet) with those fed a meat-based
    commercial dog food as a reference sample. I don't know how to interpret the data so I don't know if this is significant.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044015/pdf/1748-9326_6_4_044015.pdf

    Also, another study analyzing mercury content in sushi restaurants. So many people have told me to try sushi so now I have a good excuse not to :p
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/boo...shi-may-be-lower-than-those-fancy-places.html
    I was also wondering if there's any precautions we can take when eating tuna like using things that will bind to the mercury such as zeolite/bentonite or algin/sodium alginate. I just realized that no one is going to be able this question since it's completely theoretical, but I thought I'd throw it out there in case someone wants to try it. I suppose the best strategy is avoidance.
  10. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I was already pretty bad before I got my amalgams. I did get worse afterwards, but it was a very gradual declined. And then a year ago I was actually beginning to make a recovery until about 3 months ago one of my teeth containing an amalgam cracked. I was taking high doses of NAC and ALA along with glutathione, molybdenum, selenium, MSM, and Taurine. I have been very cautious as far as supplementation since my recent exposure to mercury, but it seems like if I was tolerating them in the past they might be ok now. I am still going to do things slowly and look into some of the things mentioned in these forums.

    I should also point out that I'm also dealing with a possible Lyme infection. I suspect this because about a month or two I had a rash on my ankle and I had the same rash on my ankle 3 years ago. I was bitten by a tick 17 years ago, but I didn't present any acute symptoms so I wasn't diagnosed although my health did gradually decline since then. I don't want to take this thread off track, but what sort of connection is there between Lyme, mercury, and methylation? I realize this question is vague and answer is probably long enough to fill an entire book, but could someone at least point me in the right direction?

    I've also started methylation. If someone has been exposed to mercury could that make them more sensitive to the components used in methylation? I was tolerating Jarrow's B Right just fine before my tooth cracked, but after that I become very sensitive to it. However, around the same time my tooth cracked Jarrow added methylfolate to B Right so maybe that was what I was reacting to. I assume my B12 levels were low so that could make me more sensitive to active folate. It's especially confusing since B Right just says there's 400mcg of folate (including folic acid and methylfolate) and doesn't specify between how much of each. I decided I'm going to start folinic acid before I try methylfolate again since maybe I'll tolerate that better. Also, about a year ago I was taking around 1200 mg of TMG a day and I tolerated that ok too, but I decided to try it again and I'm not sure how cautious I need to be because I've read that some members have a lot of problems with TMG.
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    HI Wayne

    You make some very interesting points.

    In terms of the rates of mercury vapor out-gasing from dental amalgams: I read here that "when the amalgam surface was brushed with a medium bristle toothbrush the amount of mercury released increased 5-10 fold." But it is not clear from this statement whether this increase was just during the few minutes of brushing, or whether this remains 5-10 fold increased throughout the day. By guess is the former.

    Though I agree it is possible that even small amounts of mercury might be detrimental in ME/CFS patients, if they have a decreased ability to detoxify. As there do not seem to be any studies on the ability of ME/CFS patients to detoxify mercury, we can only speculate here. As as a precaution, it may be wise to avoid mercury. The moot point here is whether mercury from fish such as tuna, or from dental amalgams, constitutes the major source.


    As far as electric currents in the mouth are concerned, these electric current only arise if you have two or more dissimilar metals in you mouth — as you do when you have say gold crowns and amalgam fillings. If you just had amalgams alone (of the same material), or crowns alone (of the same material), then electric currents would not arise.

    This is because these electric currents are generated from the battery effect (galvanic effect), which occurs when you have two different metals placed in a solution containing electrolytes. Saliva is such a solution.

    You can demonstrate the "battery effect" in your mouth very easily yourself, by placing a tiny piece of aluminum foil over an amalgam filling. All of a sudden, you will feel an unpleasant sensation in that tooth, which is due to the electric current generated by the aluminum metal and the amalgam metal. You have probably experienced this before, when biting into a chocolate bar which still had some metal foil wrapper on it.

    Note that it is only if you have metal crowns and amalgam fillings in close proximity that you can get an electric current flowing between them.

    Just how problematic such an electric current is to the general population, I am not sure.

    I also wonder if this oral electric current might pull out more mercury from amalgams via an electrolysis effect. I have not seen any studies on this, though.
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  12. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Your understanding on this is the same as mine. I had my amalgams removed before I had my metal crowns removed (which I've heard are mostly made of nickel, and can be even more toxic than mercury). But regarding the amalgams being of the same material... That's a key question. My understanding is there are an amalgam of amalgams out there, and how are we to know what's in each of them?
    Hip likes this.
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    A critical question to consider! Since it seems virtually any kind of agitation can cause a significant increase in mercury outgassing, it seems quite likely that an oral electric current could cause quite a lot. How much could that be? Who really knows unless testing is done on a variety of materials that may be in a given person's mouth. And I think we all know that's not likely to happen soon. I wouldn't be surprised if these oral currents increased outgassing by as much as ten to one hundred fold.

    I guess the bottom line for me is: Mercury in the mouth cannot do any good. Mercury in anybody's mouth is going to cause damage to some degree or another. If a person is relatively healthy, they can probably live a normal life for many decades. But it seems the chronic burden of detoxifying mercury is eventually going to wear a body down quicker than if it didn't have that load. What about people who are "relatively healthy", but then start getting Alzheimer's, sometimes at an early age.

    I read a book once that was entitled something like, "How I completely reversed my Alzheimer's". The author developed it in his early 50's, and spent several years desperately trying to find the cause and a possible solution. Though he had no scientific studies to draw on, he concluded the mostly likely cause was his fillings, and had them removed. He improved about 95%, and eventually to 100% when he had some lingering "amalgam tatoos" removed from from gum tissue. Amalgam tatoos are a whole other interesting topic. --- I could probably find the book title and author if you're interested.

    Best, Wayne
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  14. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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  15. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Thanks for that book reference, Wayne.

    I just found a couple of studies that found no link between mercury and Alzheimer's (see at the bottom of this page), and one more recent study saying mercury does play a causal role in Alzheimer's (see here).


    Having had my mercury amalgams removed about 8 years ago in one session, my only concern now is how long my composite material fillings will last before needing to be replaced. They are only supposed to have a lifespan of 10 years. I just hope that on each occasion they need replacing (every decade), I don't lose too much of the teeth through new drilling. It seems to me that you may end up needing crowns, if the teeth eventually disintegrate from repeated drilling and refilling of composite material fillings every decade.
  16. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Hip,

    If you have access to and/or can afford laser dentistry, this is one way to avoid the pitfalls of drilling and refilling old worn out composites.

    Best, Wayne
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  17. tyson oberle

    tyson oberle

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    I had all 3 of my mercury amalgam fillings removed a few years ago and I have not noticed any difference at all.
  18. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    I just found the following:
    I guess that's why these fillings are called amalgams, as they contain an amalgam of "dissimilar" metals. It seems this would imply that you can't have amalgam fillings in your mouth not producing electrical currents. Does that make sense?
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  19. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Could that cause copper toxicity? I've never had my minerals tested and I'm not sure I want to pay for a test if it's expensive even if it's accurate, but I've been trying to trace down the cause of symptoms I've experienced in the past few years since getting my amalgams and one of the things I've suspected is copper toxicity based on the symptoms.
  20. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Lotus,

    I've heard of copper toxicity, but have not delved into it deeply. That it even exists however, would lead me to believe it's highly probably it could leach from amalgam fillings, just as mercury does.

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