If you have been reading my series on mercury, and more specifically the sub-series on detoxification, you are already aware of the three critical steps to successfully treat chronic mercury toxicity. In my previous articles, I addressed steps one and two – removing the source of the exposure, and supporting your body’s own ability to remove built up mercury stores. Today I want to begin to write on the third step in the detoxification process – providing your body the proper nutrients it needs to repair and recover from chronic mercury exposure.
Before I get into the specific nutrients your body needs to repair and restore itself from mercury toxicity, I want to clear up a few misconceptions about mercury.
First, mercury does not have a half-life. The concept of half-life only applies to material that is radioactive. For example, the half-life of plutonium is about 24,000 years. If you put a pound of it on your table today, in 24,000 years there will only be 8 ounces and so on. Because mercury from amalgam fillings is not radioactive, it will not disintegrate over time. Some people may be misled in that if you put mercury on the counter, it will disappear over time into vapor form, but what many do not realize is that once it is back in the body it is converted to a type of mercury that is not radioactive and therefore will not disintegrate. In other words, unless you physically remove the mercury from your body through supplements and proper chelators, the mercury will forever be lodged inside your cells.
A second misconception about Mercury is that it actually cannot be detoxified. Typically, when people speak of detoxification, they are referring to the process on how the body removes toxic substances. However, as I stated above, mercury does not break down overtime, and therefore the idea that the body will detoxify mercury is incorrect. To accurately define detoxification, it is the process whereby the body uses antioxidants to neutralize and rid itself of toxins and other harmful substances. With the aid of antioxidants, toxins are transported to the liver where they are then broken down into water soluble and harmless particles that can be appropriately and safely eliminated.
Again, because mercury cannot be broken down into water-soluble harmless substances, it must be physically escorted from the body by aid of its primary chelating agents. These “master” antioxidants are known as Glutathione and Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Another difference in the “detoxification” of mercury verses other toxic substances is that in chelating mercury from the body, the antioxidants glutathione and alpha lipoic acid are permanently gone. When detoxing other harmful substances that can be converted into harmless water-soluble substances, glutathione and alpha lipoic acid are simply harmed, but later repaired. With mercury, these master antioxidants are permanently gone, and therefore need to be replenished all the more.
In my next article I am going to get into more detail on the first and primary antioxidant, Glutathione. There is so much that can be said about it, and so many wonderful resources to ensure your body is adequately supplied each day.