I remember the days of high school science class when the teacher showed us mercury for the first time. It was definitely one of the more exciting days since science class was typically drawing letters and numbers with arrows pointing various directions on a piece of paper. Not that day though. That day we got to play with a dish of mercury that looked like the liquid metal bad guy in Terminator 2. I remember when the teacher poured a whole vial of the stuff into a wide dish and swished it around; it looked like it had a mind of its own.



Mercury is a very rare element on earth. There are only a handful of countries on earth that have actively producing mercury mines, the two largest producing countries being China and Kyrgyzstan. This is rather ironic since mercury, in its various forms, has become one of the most prolific toxins in the industrialized world. It is in the air, water, soil, and in many stages of the food chain. In 2009, a research study conducted on 291 fresh water streams in the US tested fish from these streams for levels of mercury and other heavy metals and toxic substances. Health impacting levels of mercury were found in EVERY SINGLE FISH. What in the heck is going on?



The largest source of mercury pollution comes from the exhaust of coal-burning power plants. Similar sources are from the burning of fossil fuels, as well as run off from landfills where waster products that contain mercury can drain into the soil and groundwater. Fluoride bulbs contain mercurial vapors and when these are not properly disposed of can also release these vapors into the atmosphere or contribute to the contamination from landfills and other waste disposal processes that do not specifically remove the mercury compounds.



An example of both the latent danger of accumulating mercury toxin exposure and government ineffectiveness are the new ‘green energy’ requirements that demand that many commercial buildings use only compact fluorescent bulbs in their light fixtures in order to reduce energy consumption and thereby reduce mercury emissions into the atmosphere…. I’m waiting for Captain Obvious to jump out at any minute and say, “What happens when people throw away their old CFL bulbs? All of THAT mercury is going to wind up in our landfills!” Also, what type of power do the plants run on that make all these CFL bulbs? Coal power! While CFL bulbs may be energy efficient, they have no effect on the mercury pollution problem we now face. 



I’ve seen many scientists talk about the paranoia surrounding mercury and they like to point out that only certain forms of mercury have high toxicity to humans. There are even videos on the Internet that show people playing with mercury in their bare hands with no apparent harm befalling them. The reason for this is because typical laboratory mercury is called ‘elemental mercury’ which is pure mercury in its normal liquid metallic state. The skin does not absorb this type of mercury. There have been some documented cases of attempted suicide where individuals swallowed this type of mercury, but the worst that happened was they had some digestive discomfort and other minor ailments. In fact, back in the nineteenth century, mercury was thought to aid digestion. The medicine was called ‘blue mass’ and even President Lincoln used it.



Pure elemental mercury may not be easily absorbed through the skin, but there is extremely high toxicity when mercury is combined with other substances and forms compounds. There is a rather famous anecdote about the toxicity of mercury involving the ‘mad hatter’. In Alice in Wonderland, one of the more nutty characters is the Mad Hatter, which was a farce based on a stereotype that hat makers had a tendency to be a little “off” in the head. It is known that in the production of top hats and fur hats, mercury compounds were used to treat the hat materials often applied with the maker’s bare hands. The theory is that the mercury compounds had an effect on the nervous system and created odd behaviors.



Besides being the only liquid metal, it has another unique property and is the reason why no one stumbles upon pools of liquid mercury out in nature. Mercury has the unique property that it binds with almost every other metal on earth with only a few exceptions. It binds with silver, tin, gold, aluminum, and so on. This is one of the reasons that it is used in gold and silver mines as a method of extracting the gold and silver from ores. This is also why workers in gold and silver mines are at a much higher risk of mercury poisoning. The mines themselves are also a large contributor to global mercury pollution as well.

Mercury that has bound with another metal becomes an amalgam. This is a substance made form the combination of mercury and another metal. Amalgams are extremely popular in the dental industry for tooth fillings because of their simplicity to make and mold. However, the toxicity that comes from mercury vapors and leeching fillings is becoming more and more apparent. Interestingly, for quite some time, dentists had one of the highest rates of suicide among medical professionals. A theory is that being exposed to mercury amalgams, and amalgam vapor, and other forms, this toxic exposure created psychological disorders, which increased the risk of suicide.



If you require a dental filling, it is critical that you choose a filling material that is not toxic, which basically means non-metal. Not silver, gold, mercury, porcelain, etc., but substances like Belle Glass and DiamondLite that are a polymer resin compound that are non-toxic. Though it may seem like an insignificant difference, it could literally save your life. 



The type of mercury that is the most toxic and is currently the source of greatest concern is methyl mercury. This substance is highly reactive, and highly toxic and is made when elemental mercury comes in contact with bacteria, and other natural organisms that are found in soil and water. It can also be created as an industrial byproduct in the manufacture of certain chemicals. It’s this type of mercury that has the entire fish-eating world in an uproar. Because industrial pollutants in the atmosphere eventually make their way into the eco-system, the oceans, lakes, and rivers are becoming the areas with the largest amounts of methyl mercury, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. This mercury has been working its way up the food chain and has popularized a common scientific term: bioaccumulation.



Bioaccumulation essentially means that when a smaller fish is eaten by a bigger fish, the bigger fish absorbs all the nutrients AND the toxins of the smaller fish. That means that for each step up the food chain, the concentration of methyl mercury in their bodies increases exponentially. This means that if you ate a minnow, or a sardine, you would consume x amount of mercury. If you ate swordfish, the amount of mercury present in its tissue could be anywhere from 10x to 100x because of the bioaccumulation that occurs as you progress up the food chain. 



Back in 2008, a popular television actor named Jeremy Piven collapsed in his home and was rushed to the hospital. The doctors ran extensive testing and found that he had six times the healthy mercury limit for a human being. The culprit? Sushi twice a day for over twenty years.



While it took twenty years for an adult male to have a serious medical condition, pregnant women and children are at much greater risk of serious health problems relating to mercury poisoning. Children with developing nervous systems are at great risk of developing neurological conditions that affect both their emotional well being and motor skills. This is for several reasons, firstly mercury retards the growth of myelin, which is the protective covering that nerve fibers need in order to properly function and relay impulses. Secondly, mercury tends to bind with many of the trace metals in the body, which prevent them from being utilized causing systemic problems in the body.



Fish, amalgams, and the polluted environment aren’t the only places where mercury can enter the body. Beauty products and cosmetics have often contained mercury compounds that are used as a preservative and a germ-killer. Federal law permits up 65 parts per million of mercury in cosmetics and only a handful of states require that the use of mercury be disclosed to consumers. While most manufactures will claim that the amount of mercury is not a health risk, they cannot guarantee that cumulative long term exposure will not lead to symptoms in all people. 



Just a small cross-section of the symptoms associated with mercury toxicity and other heavy metal accumulation is:



Crohn’s disease

 

Grave’s disease

 

Colitis

 

Tinitis

 

Depression

 

Suicidal tendencies

 

Fatigue

 

Headaches

 

Dizziness

 

Insomnia

 

Heart murmur

 

Angina

 

Tachycardia (racing heartbeat)

 

Arthritis

 

Osteoporosis

 

Asthma

 

Poor memory and concentration

 

Poor physical coordination

 

Canker sores

 

Metallic taste in mouth

 

Sinus problems

 

Sneezing attacks

 

Bloody nose

 

Acne, pimples

 

Hair loss

 

Unexplained rashes

 

Compulsive eating

 

Water retention

 

Erratic, painful menstruation

 

Numbness or tingling

 

Muscle twitches



One of the reasons that mercury toxicity can be difficult to detect is because it manifests differently in various individuals. Thousands of factors, the rate and type of exposure, genetics, environment, lifestyle, etc. can create varied symptoms and can often look like different diseases, but in actuality are just another manifestation of mercury toxicity. That is why it is crucial to get tested for toxicity if you have regular exposure to pollutants from nearby industrial facilities, car exhaust, seafood diet, dental amalgams, or other environmental sources of mercury pollution. You may even have a medical condition that you have attributed to a hereditary cause or as something else but is actually derived from mercury toxicity.



However, it is impossible to know if mercury is the culprit unless proper testing is done. Many doctors, though aware of the toxicity of amalgams, do not always properly test their patients to determine if they are heavy metal toxic. One of the more common tests is the analysis of packed erythrocytes, which are red blood cells that have been pressed together through a centrifuge and are analyzed as an entire volume. This testing method is quite useful for gauging various aspects of one’s health since the red blood cells are both the suppliers of nutrients and the couriers of waste, by analyzing them you can determine with relative accuracy how the body is functioning. It is not, though, a reliable indicator of heavy metal toxicity. This is because heavy metals have a tendency to become deeply deposited inside of cell tissues of various organs, including bone and the central nervous system. Because red blood cells are destroyed and rebuilt so often, they tend to store very little mercury, if present and since what mercury may be in your body can be stored deep in the cells, far out of reach of normal circulation, that a packed erythrocytes analysis can show a false negative.



What may be more important to test than your current mercury levels, which is a multi-step process in itself, is to test your body’s natural ability to process mercury and heavy metals. The real question in Jeremy Piven’s case is, why did he get mercury poisoning and all the people of Japan are just fine? If mercury were severely toxic to all of man, why aren’t the Japanese dropping like flies and passing away at 25 years old?



The simple answer is genetics. Some people can and some people can’t. While this might sound like a lottery, or sophisticated guesswork, there is actually a real and accurate test that can see if you have the proper genes that give you some protection against heavy metals, or if you don’t have them, how your body deals with it. This kind of information is invaluable to anyone who is serious about preventing toxicity and cleansing their body of heavy metals.



If a genetic test determines that you are at risk, or if you are exhibiting the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity, the best way to test your toxicity level is to do a challenge test. This test is a multi-step process that forces your body to give up any heavy metals that are  

 

The challenge test procedure is an effective and proven method and has been used by the Wellness Center for over 20 years. The test is a two-phase process. The first phase mobilizes the heavy metals that are stored deep inside your tissues and inside of the cell walls. This is done through oral supplementation of cilantro through tincture and highly potent and quality produced chlorella.

 

Cilantro, also known as Chinese Parsley, is one of the only known substances that can actually entice heavy metals to shift from intracellular storage to extracellular circulation, even in bone tissue and the central nervous system. It also absorbs heavy metals and allows them to be processed and excreted, but it draws out many more toxins than it can absorb. This is why co-supplementation with chlorella is necessary.



Chlorella is a micro-alga that has the highest concentration of chlorophyll of any known-plant species on earth. Chlorophyll, the key ingredient in photosynthesis, has a high affinity for heavy metals and other toxins, but chlorella also has the unique property of having a very fibrous outer layer that creates strong binds to heavy metals specifically. It is this layer that binds to and allows excretion of mercury, uranium, lead, tin, aluminum, cadmium, and a score of other toxic metals. Because chlorella does not draw out these metals, but strongly binds to any it encounters, is the reason it is co-supplemented with cilantro.



Oral supplementation of these tow ingredients is done over a two-week period to allow for maximum mobilization of toxins. Then, what is called a “provoking agent” is administered intravenously that binds with the mobilized toxins (if any) and flushes them out through the urine. Urine collection is done over the course of the next six hours and then analyzed to assess heavy metal content.  



This test, though normally safe, cannot be done on individuals who have amalgam fillings. The provoking agent will draw the mercury and other poisonous metals out of the filling and create a false positive, or worse: toxicity and more symptoms.



The provoking agent that is used is called DMPS, which is a sulfonic acid salt that has an extremely high affinity for mercury. Second to mercury in affinity are other toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium, antimony, cesium, and several others. It does bind with essential minerals and nutrients, but it has a greater affinity for toxic metals and this also makes it ideal as a method of removing the heavy metals from the body safely with very little discomfort.



DMPS was first invented in China and then introduced in Russia in the mid 1950s where it was used to recover workers that had become tremendously ill from exposure to heavy metals. Then it was used in West Germany by Professor Max Daunderer of Munich who published numerous papers on the use of DMPS as an effective detoxifier for those poisoned by amalgam fillings.



Because DMPS can also remove essential minerals when administered, part of the protocol of the Wellness Center is to require an intravenous vitamin and mineral solution taken the next day to prevent deficiency. This protocol has been successfully applied to people of all levels of exposure for decades. It is important to keep in mind though that the amount of time it takes for someone to get rid of all the mercury that has become stored in their body is different for every person based on their genetics and exposure length and that there is no way to give anyone an accurate estimate of the amount of time it will take before seeing the results of the challenge test.



For some individuals who had extreme exposure to tremendously high levels of toxic metals, i.e. worked in a silver mine, crop duster, etc. sometimes these people require DMPS every two weeks for over a year, but these people also can experience a tremendous improvement with their symptoms disappearing and their energy and vitality returning.



Besides just people who are concerned with their own health and symptoms, mothers who do not want to run the risk of passing their mercury toxicity on to their children may do well to consider such a cleansing program prior to pregnancy.



When one is toxic, there are methods to cleanse the body. But what is equally important is to live a clean and healthy lifestyle and prevent the problems and conditions that come with toxic exposure. What is the point of living a life where you feel miserable all the time when all it takes are a few simple changes to turn it all around? Buying organic food, buying non-toxic cosmetics, clean water, exercise, and so on. These are the choices that make for healthy and happy living. Keeping a sharp eye and being wary of products and environments that may increase your exposure to heavy metals has now become a requirement for survival in the modern world. But if you didn’t know, and you are toxic, something can be done about it.



Before you make any major decisions about modifying your supplement protocol or beginning a heavy metal detox therapy like DMPS, you should always consult a qualified medical professional who is familiar with your medical history, and your genetic uniqueness and can properly advise you about what the best options are for you.