Friday, May 6, 2011

Mercury and its effects on the Body.

It can be confusing to decide what to do about eating fish and shellfish. Fish and shellfish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is the building block for hormones, including sex hormones. It is important to have Omega 3 in the diet because if your sex hormones become deplete then symptoms like low sex drive, infertility, low mood and energy levels just to name a few, may occur. Omega 3 is also a precursor in making a strain of hormone known as prostaglandin type 3, which reduces inflammatory cursors and thus overall pain in the body. Inflammatory cursors are elevated in arthritic conditions and other painful conditions like long standing period pain and migraines.
Fish is a good source of quality protein and low in saturated fat. Eating fish can contribute to a healthy heart, and is also important in the brain growth and development in children.
Unfortunately, along with the protein and fatty acids, many types of fish and shellfish contain methylmercury. Mercury is a toxic metal with significant effects on the thyroid.  While large doses of mercury can induce hyperthyroidism, smaller amounts can induce hypothyroidism by interfering with both the production of thyroxin (T4) and the conversion of T4 to T3. Mercury disturbs the metabolism of copper and zinc which are two minerals critical to thyroid function.  Gray hair can be an indication of mercury accumulation, more so in females than males.
Mercury causes disruptions to the immune system functioning and promotes the production of IgG and IgE autoantibodies which also are involved in autoimmune thyroid disease and inflammatory conditions.
Mercury has a very long half-life in the body and has been found in cancerous tissues.
It also has a negative impact on the brain and nervous system, specifically affecting memory, attention span, cognitive thinking skills, language development and visual and fine motor skills especially in children. This is seen particularly in babies who were exposed to methylmercury in the womb through their mother's eating of fish and shellfish during pregnancy.
Methylmercury can build up in your body. This means that even if you aren't pregnant now, methylmercury buildup from overconsumption of fish could still be present if you become pregnant up to a year later. For this reason, any woman who plans to become pregnant in the future should try to follow the same recommendations as those who are pregnant or nursing.

Select Freely from this list   
Crab (Domestic)
Croaker (Atlantic)
Haddock (Atlantic)*
Mackerel (N. Atlantic, Chub)
Perch (Ocean)     Plaice
Salmon (Canned & Fresh)**
Sole (Pacific)
Squid (Calamari)
Trout (Freshwater)

eat six servings or less per month
Bass (Striped, Black)
Cod (Alaskan)*
Croaker (White Pacific)
Halibut (Atlantic)*
Halibut (Pacific)
Mahi Mahi
Perch (Freshwater)
Tuna (Canned
chunk light)
Tuna (Skipjack)*
Sea Trout

Eat three servings or less per month   
Avoid eating:
Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)
Sea Bass (Chilean)*
Tuna (Canned Albacore)
Tuna (Yellowfin)*   

Avoid Eating
Mackerel (King)
Orange Roughy*
(Bigeye, Ahi)*

Least mercury: Less than 0.09 parts per million, Moderate mercury: From 0.09 to 0.29 parts per million, High mercury: From 0.3 to 0.49 parts per million, Highest mercury: More than .5 parts per million (not suitable for human consumption)
* These fish are endangered due to overfishing   ** Farmed salmon contains higher levels of PCBs (in  the fat portion)
*** Fish are high in purines – not recommended for gout sufferers

Where has the fish been farmed?
Look or ask where the fish has been farmed or what part of the worlds ocean has the fish has been pulled from. Buying fish from Australia and New Zealand is always safer than parts of Asia and South America where Mercury levels in the water are higher.

Amalgam Fillings and Mercury
There is ample evidence that mercury leaches from dental amalgam fillings and contributes to thyroid disease and anemia.  If you have any amalgam fillings in your teeth the mercury is known to leak into the body after many years.  It is advisable to pull out amalgam fillings at least a year before you fall pregnant. If you have many fillings then you should pull them out one at a time, as it has been found that pulling the filling out also releases Mercury. So as to not overload the body with mercury toxicity during the removal, do not get them removed all at once.

Perhaps the negative effects we see from vaccines are at least partially the result of toxic metals. The association of autism with vaccinations may be related to mercury toxicity. Please think about how many vaccines you administer to your child at one time, as there are studies showing sudden autistic behavior after a large vaccination course administered in close succession.

Contact Lens Solution
Thimerosal is the mercury-containing preservative that was used in contact lens solutions. Hopefully there are no more of these solutions on the market but if you use contact lens solutions check the label.

How do I clear Mercury from my Body?
Milk and quite likely estrogen cause an increase in the absorption of mercury., so removing dairy or reducing dairy consumption may help. Also, doing a hormonal test to see if your estrogen levels are in a good range and not elevated is also advisable. Elevated estrogen levels, also known as estrogen dominance is quite common these days with so many xeno-estrogens in our foods, food containers, and with the use of hormonal contraceptives.
Selenium is the key mineral which protects the body from mercury toxicity.  One study showed that cilantro (Chinese parsley) helps remove mercury from the body and protects the body from pre-cancerous lesions. Also, Zeolites can remove heavy metal toxicity from the body if taken consistently for a few months.

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