The messenger god Mercury is widely adored by runners, including Lorraine Moller who based the name of her autobiography on the deity. But a murkier Mercury exists: the highly toxic substance you find in your dental fillings.
As part of my current drive back to perfect health, I have studied the research on dental amalgams made of mercury and concluded that the five or six old fillings I have are posing a very real risk to my overall health and that my body spends every day wasting precious vitamins and other resources fighting off a slow, but certain, mercury-poisoning.
A recent World Health Organisation study has shown that the lowest exposure to mercury, in terms of urinary secretion, is so low that the amount of leakage occurring from your dental amalgams are well above it. In my case, with around six amalgams, I could be dealing with over 120 micro-grams of mercury per day but it could be as high as over 240 micro-grams per day. The point where signs of a toxic effect start occurring has been shown as low as 10 micro-grams, so in the worst case scenario my body is detoxifying 12-24 times the tolerable amount.
I will not list the quite technical reports here but suggest those interested watch this video: http://www.toxicmercuryamalgam.com/
My home country Denmark, Sweden and Norway banned the use of mercury amalgams in the early Noughties so at least our future generations are safe-guarded in those countries but for those of us with old fillings the only solution is to have them removed and replaced by fillings of other materials.
In recent years a new type of dentist, called “holistic dentists”, have sprung up around the world specialising in this. However, normal dentists may oblige so I have booked myself in with my regular dentist at the Carysfort Clinic next week to take count of the mercury amalgams and get a pricing on what removal and replacement will cost.
Obviously, I want my body to focus on keeping me healthy and performing to peak ability. What’s the point of eating tons of C vitamins if my body is spending the majority of them fighting off the damage of mercury, a potent cytotoxin which interferes with the normal functioning of cells. Autopsies on dead monkeys with amalgams showed accumulation of mercury in organs such as the kidneys, brain, lung, liver, gastro-intestinal tract, and exocrine glands. You cannot have two things in one space so as long as your system is full of lead, mercury, and other toxic substances, there is less room for vitamins, minerals and other beneficial trace elements to be absorbed and benefit your health and performance.
Multiple sclerosis patients with amalgam fillings showed significantly lower levels of red blood cells, haemoglobin, and haematocrit, among other things, clearly factors athletes would be concerned about if it affected them similarly. Removal of amalgams in have shown immediate beneficial effects on a range of chronic conditions. The WHO risk analysis in 1997 concluded that amalgam fillings posed the following health risks:
- Impairment of the functions of the central nervous system
- Impairment of kidney function
- Impairment of the immune system
All in all, not something you want in your mouth if you care about being at in absolutely perfect health. Any resource spend by your body fighting toxins is resources that could be spend fighting disease or building you faster and stronger.
Even if there were no studies to support the danger of mercury does it not strike anyone as funny that a substance that is handled with great care before it goes into the mouth and after it is taken out is suddenly safe when inserted in a tooth?
Even if the toxicity was minimal would we really want any kind of toxin permanently embedded in our body? The ban imposed in the US in 2003 of mercury fever thermometres should tell us something. It was discontinued for the treatment of syphilis because the symptoms of its toxicity were sometimes so bad it was mistaken for the disease itself. Consider just the two first lines about its toxicity on Wikipedia:
Mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic and must be handled with care; in cases of spills involving mercury (such as from certain thermometers or fluorescent light bulbs), specific cleaning procedures are used to avoid exposure and contain the spill.
Mercury is not the only toxin that we are being subjected to on an almost daily basis. In my view we must minimise our exposure to these whenever possible. So if you are an athlete sharing my concerns, get a dentist to replace your mercury fillings. Next instalment on this topic will talk about the chlorine content of 90% of Irish drinking water, its toxic effects and how to protect yourself from it.