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Free Radical Therapy Blog » mercury

Posts Tagged ‘mercury’

Is Mercury a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Many years ago (about 1984) I had the good fortune of being introduced to Dr. Tadeo Takuchi of Minamata, Japan, who was first to observe that the mysterious “Minamata Disease” affecting so many of the Minamata Bay area people was due to methyl mercury that had biotransformed from inorganic mercury being dumped into the bay from a vinyl chloride factory. What he had noticed was that the people with “brain involvement” had high levels of a particular serum marker, Beta-2-Microglobulin (B2M). Those who had the highest level in the urine, as well, were the people with the most severe brain problems. So he recommended that B2M (serum and urine) become part of my routine chemistry profiles. We’ve used it ever since with great satisfaction. Then, in 1995 OSHA adopted B2M as their multi-tier indicator for when to issue a medical advisory or remove someone from the workplace due to mercury exposure, irrespective of the chemical species of mercury.

Per Alzheimer’s Disease: It is known that B2M comprises a large portion of the shellac-like amyloid that is laid down to cover the broken microtubules that characterize the severity of dementia. Important to the Free Radical Therapy clinician: B2M is a government-approved marker for the most serious of exposures to mercury, which could be important to doctors who desire to assess mercury. At IHR, 20+ years of including B2M in our chemistry profile has confirmed that you really can’t provide a full assessment of mercury exposure and body burden without it. Too, a rise in urine B2M indicates some degree of damage to the functioning of the renal tubules where (similar to what is seen in Alzheimer’s Disease) amyloid accumulates at the site of injury so as to maintain some integrity until a degree of repair can occur.

The chemistry reveals other “footprints” of mercury exposure, which include high or low serum BUN, a reduction in fasting cortisol and G-6-PD, along with a slight rise in the MCV and the eosinophilic white blood count. A moderate rise in IgA with a slight rise in total bilirubin indicates exposure, but also indicates good genetics and better protection. A rise in Beta 2 Microglobulin in serum and/or urine indicates a highly serious circumstance.

Chemistry also provides information that demonstrates and predicts who will react to their mercury or not. Typical markers include the acid/base balance, protein status, and the level of total cholesterol. Per cholesterol, a high reading is initially protective of the brain and nerves (possibly at the expense of the heart), while a low reading leaves the brain and nerves at risk of reactivity.

Understanding how to interpret the toxic footprints of chemistry and respond to the markers provides the essence of Free Radical Therapy, whether the problem is mercury or exposure to some other toxic agent. Hopefully this information is of use to the veteran as well as anyone new to this health model-based system.

Thanks again to the IAOMT and to Consumers for Dental Choice for their dedication towards doing what they can to ban any further use of mercury in our dental fillings. Thanks also to a recent California opinion that a local (if not broader) ban on amalgam should now be imposed:

What you see at work here is the effect of “reasonable people” doing the reasonable and correct thing, allowing us all a better chance to win at life.

FDA Advisory Panel To Review Dental Amalgam

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The panel will convene December 14-15, 2010.

For many years our own Institute For Health Realities (IHR) was intensely involved in helping to secure funding for research on the safety of dental amalgam, publishing on the topic and arguing before state dental boards and doctor groups against the continued use of amalgam dental fillings. Today, this fight continues through two highly regarded organizations: The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and Consumers For Dental Choice, headed by consumer advocate and former Attorney General for West Virginia, Mr. Charlie Brown.

The IAOMT and Consumers For Dental Choice have pushed long and hard, and with great success, against the really bad idea of placing mercury in the mouths of our people. As a consequence, fewer amalgam fillings are being placed today, but it nevertheless remains the most commonly used restorative material in dentistry. Whoever can afford the better materials routinely get them, but for anyone who is on a budget or who depends upon welfare, amalgam is what they get.

Now, however, with the continued pressure from the wonderful organizations just cited, and with the recent reporting of a link between mercury and the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, there is now adequate hope that some type of agreement can be reached at the new Advisory Panel discussion that can soon take us on the road to forever change for the better.

Charlie Brown says that “if you are tired of the FDA protecting horses and dogs from mercury but claiming that dental mercury is good for the public health, we urge you to comment now”. You can do this by visiting:

Thanks from all for your support!

Amalgam 2 B Classified by FDA

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Charlie Brown, legal attache for Consumer’s For Dental Choice,has just reported that the FDA has agreed to Classify Dental Amalgam Fillings, effective August of 2009. So what does this mean?  Well, dental amalgam fillings, which contain 50% mercury, had until the FDA’s action been allowed to exist without evidence of safety.  It has flown under the “assumed to be safe” umbrella.  Now, the FDA has come around to the realization that sufficient evidence exists to warrant this new Class II status.  While you may not see a lot in the press for a few more months on this, especially while the American Dental Association is given a little time to think about how to announce the transition, it essentially serves as the death knell for the continued use of mercury fillings among dentists.  Problems that are certain to arise in the coming months will involve the following:  1) The training of dentists on the placement of alternative materials.  2) The need to train dentists on the safest means of removing old fillings.  3) What alternative materials are to be used for indigent patients, especially children.  Certainly, we don’t want mercury, but the cost to the government for placing alternative materials is cetain to rise.  Too, there are many dentists currently placing amalgam fillings who may find it difficult to develop the technical skills required for placing the alternative materials.  AT THE INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH REALITIES, and for followers of Free Radical Therapy, it is recognized that the indiscriminate removal of amalgam without consideration of risky factors identified in the chemistry has the potential of potentiating a person’s current health problem(s).   So, the advice from here is to not gloat over this victory, but rather to put on your head your wisest of the wise thinking caps.  There is no victory if a plan is not put into place to address all of the challenges listed here, and the additional challenges that dentistry is already trying hard to solve.

Dentistry Now Faces a Toxic Lead Problem from China

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

It is really quite ironic that after dealing for 150 + years with the potential health risk from adding mercury to dental fillings, there is now a threat of lead poisoning due to the ever-increasing tendency to outsource our dental laboratory work to China and other countries where our own FDA has little to no control.  To get the full story from the Chicago Tribune go to the following web site:,1,3943982.story. The lead story is just one more example of our ongoing saga of “Poisoning from China”. If your dentist doesn’t know where the materials come from, you had best shop your dental work around. There’s really no end to the creative ways that unscrupulous individuals will employ to exploit the trust and assumptions of well meaning dentists and the American consumer. Someone once said, if you don’t know the formula then your health depends upon you getting to know the philosophy of your dentist and his supplier. In all matters we never outgrow our need to know.

Alzheimer’s Risk and the APOE gene…there IS something you can do.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

The thinking of doctors, researchers, and patients alike is so tightly wired to the disease model concept of health that they can’t see the true value of genetic testing. They are mired in the belief that the outcome should always be a new drug tailored to fit the needs of your genetic makeup. Ho hum. Such thinking is at times a real bore.

For the latest “poor us, nothing can be done” attitude I refer you to the February 22, 2008 issue of Science (319), where they announce the forthcoming availability of APOE genetic testing. The reality, is that KNOWING YOUR APO E genotype can result in a better outcome than depression and anxiety. It gives you an appropriate strategy for altering your diet and lifestyle to reduce your risk, while providing great benefit towards better health.

A few years ago I contributed a chapter in a book on Egg Nutrition, edited by Ron Watson, Ph.D., and published by Iowa State University Press. The chapter title was something like “Whole Eggs: The Magic Bullet”. A second version was published in our own Health Realities Journal. In both of those instances references were given of foods that could upregulate or downregulate the expression of this gene.

Depending upon your phenotype, the four key purposes of Apo E are:

(1) To redistribute cholesterol in the body from areas of high concentration to where it is most needed;

(2) to provide a means of transporting mercury and other heavy metals out of the body (via. cysteine residues);

(3) to provide the arginine residue necessary for the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) to bring about control of smooth muscle and to kill bacteria; and

(4) to repair nerve myelin.

Eggs and butter are known to be most effective in upregulating the gene, while no eggs and butter may be the best way to downregulate its expression. People with Apo E 4/4 should certainly be given this information. Dr. Robert Mahley of the Gladstone Foundation in San Francisco was first to report this, references for which are in the publications mentioned. So, while it is the person with the Apo E 4/4 who must be most careful about avoiding eggs and butter, most people benefit from eggs and butter. These people who express Apo E 2/3, and Apo E 2/2, can not only eat eggs and butter as often as they’d like, but could also expect to control the onset and progression of arterial disease by doing so (as long as they have followed the standard rules for eating eggs). For people who have the Apo E 2/2 reading they should know that the excess arginine leaves them at higher risk for Type II diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, which should give them incentives to really work on this. For people who find they have the Apo E 4/4, Apo E 4/3, or Apl E 4/2 phenotype they are likely to benefit greatly from following FRT and improving glutathione status in the process.

Remember, free radicals that lead to Alzheimer’s are most likely to occur when you are acid. Addressing this is most important for the person with Apo E 4/4, as they will have an abundance of the nitric oxide-producing arginine. So when a bump occurs on the head and inflammation results in the making of excess nitric oxide in the brain you can see how the excess acid from this event could result in the enormous amount of free radicals from mercury (for instance) in causing the initial damage. OK, so you can keep on listening to the poor souls who cannot see beyond the disease model, who are afraid that the testing will cause people to go commit suicide or develop deep depression, or you can get with it and realize that THE HUMAN BODY IS DESIGNED TO WIN, NOT TO LOSE. Knowing allows you to develop a winning strategy. Incidentally, my forthcoming book on FRT will carry that very title, Designed To Win.