The most common source of heavy metal toxicity is from dental amalgam fillings and other metal dental appliances. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law. Scrap dental amalgam was declared a hazardous waste in 1988 by the EPA. Outside of your mouth it has to be: 1. Stored in unbreakable, tightly sealed containers away from heat. 2. It is not to be touched. 3. Stored under liquid glycerine or photographic fixer solution. So, once it is taken out of the mouth it is toxic, but when it is placed in the teeth it is labeled “nontoxic.” You can’t throw it in the trash, bury it in the ground or put it in a landfill, but they say it’s okay to put it in people’s mouths. It sounds like truth decay! Lead, mercury and cadmium exert most of their toxicity by destroying important proteins, many of which are enzymes, hormones, or cell receptors. Mercury will attach to sulfur amino acid building blocks in proteins. The sulfur amino acids are methionine, cysteine, and taurine. Sulfur is present in all proteins. Numerous enzymes require intact sulfur groups and many are inactivated by mercury.
Lead binds with the sulfur groups on proteins and inactivates them.
Lead suppresses neuron clusters in the brain, hindering brain development in children by stunting the mapping of sensory nerves. One of the primary ways the body gets rid of metal compounds is through a pathway that goes from the liver into the bile where it is then transported to the small intestine and excreted in the feces. Inorganic mercury is complexed with glutathione in the bile, suggesting that glutathione status is a major consideration in the biliary secretion of mercury. This same pathway is affected by a mercury induced reduction of available taurine needed to produce bile acid (taurocholic acid). When the microflora of the intestine has been reduced through stress, poor diet, use of antibiotics and other drugs, fecal content of mercury is greatly reduced. Instead of being excreted in the feces, the mercury gets recirculated back to the liver. The person that is under stress, eating a poor diet, and/or taking antibiotics will tend to maintain a higher body burden of mercury derived from dietary sources–especially if they are eating diets high in fish.
Disposal of the body’s burden of mercury is via the urine and feces, although minute amounts are detectable in expired air. Excretion via the liver occurs in bile and reabsorption of some of this mercury does take place. However, the kidney is equipped with an efficient, energy-dependant mechanism for disposing of metals such as mercury. Kidney tissue contains a thiol-rich protein called metallothionein; exposure to toxic metals triggers the production of this protein which binds tightly to the metal, retaining it in the kidney tissue in a relatively harmless form. As long as the kidney’s capacity for production of metallothionein is not overwhelmed, mercury excretion can eventually balance intake, thereby limiting worsening of symptoms. However, acute high doses of mercury, or an increase in the chronic dose level can readily precipitate renal failure, one of the classic symptoms of mercury poisoning.
Detoxification systems such as metallothionein, cytochrome P-450, and bile are adversely affected by mercury. Metallothionein binds toxic metals in the body to prepare them for excretion. Mercury ties up this material so it cannot clear out other metals such as lead, cadmium, and aluminum. Mercury from amalgam binds to -SH (sulfhydryl) groups, which are used in almost every enzymatic process in the body. Mercury therefore has the potential to disturb all metabolic processes.
A small proportion of total body mercury is excreted in various forms directly in the urine without being bound to protein. In low dose, steady state conditions, such as the dentist who has worked at a similar exposure level for years, the urinary output very accurately reflects the total body burden and this is why urine monitoring is so important.
The following is a list of nutrients that facilitate the removal of heavy metals.
Mega H-: The negative hydride ions in Mega H- alter the water consumed with the food and supplements in our diet, to have a lower surface tension and an increased conductivity. A low surface tension in the extra cellular fluids is also important in the removal of toxins from the cells and into lymph and venous blood for removal from the body. Tap water has a surface tension of approximately 73 dynes/cm. The water around our cells has a surface tension of approximately 45 dynes/cm. It is necessary, that the body reduces the surface tension of water we consume in order for nutrients to pass through cell walls, and for toxins to pass out of the cells. Mega H- in water expedites this process. Glutathione: Contains cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid. The liver manufactures glutathione whenever extra cysteine is available. Blood glutathione levels change in direct proportion to the amount of cysteine is in the diet. One 50 milligram capsule or tablet, three times a day taken on an empty stomach.
Individuals with insulin deficiency should not take glutathione. Methionine: Methionine levels are a major determinant in the liver’s concentration of sulphur-containing compounds, such as glutathione and cysteine. As methionine is the precursor for the manufacture of cysteine in the body, extra supplementation of this critical amino acid should increase available cysteine. Animal studies have shown that methionine protects rats from the toxic effects of lead and mercury. Chelating agents such as DMSA (dimercapto succinic acid) and DMPS (dimercapto-propane sulfonic acid) bind to cysteine for excretion. L-cysteine bound to mercury (L-penicillamine, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, DMSA and glutathione complexed with methylmercury) resembles the L-methionine molecule and can cross the blood brain barrier. L-methionine inhibits the transport of these complexes into the brain. Methionine increases the bioavailability of glutathione. Most of the cysteine required for the resynthesis of glutathione must originate from methionine and not from cysteine generated by the catabolism of glutathione. Patients taking only D-L-methionine increased mercury excretion in the urine by 60% over the excretion rate before taking the methionine. Lead excretion was also increased. The L-form is rapidly metabolized by the liver and does not offer a sustained antioxidant level. Over half of the D-form is slowly metabolized by the same pathways as excess L, and acts identical to L as an antioxidant. The benefit of the D-L form of methionine is the D form provides sustained blood levels allowing he L-form to be converted to other sulfur antioxidants. Babies need 22 mg/Kg body weight of methionine on a daily basis while adults need 10 mg/Kg of body weight daily.
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC): NAC forms L-cysteine, cystine, L-methionine, glutathione (GSH), and mixed di-sulfides. Stimulates the body to produce large amounts of cysteine and glutathione, thus greatly augmenting plasma and red blood cell content of both cysteine and glutathione; Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): MSM, like fresh garlic, provides a bioavailable dietary source of sulfur. MSM exerts a direct beneficial effect in ameliorating a variety of allergic responsees and pain associated with systemic inflammatory disorders.
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