Mercury and your Health
Hypothyroid? Overweight? Autoimmune disease? High trigylcerides? High blood pressure? Chronic fatigue? Inflammation? Cancer?
Do any of these sounds like you? Or maybe all of them?
I find the connection to mercury toxicity and health to be so relevant and under- appreciated it. When I first started to investigate my own health, my mercury levels were through the roof! I also used to have 6 silver fillings, but removed them all out in 2014. I guess I hadn’t detoxed properly, because in 2016, here were my levels.
I recently viewed a lecture in the Heavy Metals Summit and Dr. Pompa talks about how mercury accumulation can accumulate in your brain that could also cause HPA axis dysfunction. According to Pompa, the amalgam mercury can leech into the brain and disrupt the HPA axis function. What I found most interesting was the association with mercury toxicity and hypothyroidism. My thyroid has never been optimal. The dysfunction has 4 prong mechanism of action (Pompa, 2018):
- It disrupts the T4 to T3 conversion
- Blocks the T3 receptors (so even if the conversion occurs, the T3 cannot get into your cells)
- Drives up inflammation
- Hinders pituitary function
I found it interesting that, according to Dr. Pompa, that selenium can attract mercury and the immune system can recognize it as foreign and make antibodies against it. This can create inflammation and also sets the person up for autoimmune disease. Therefore, even when the blood work looks good when someone is taking thyroid medication, they may not actually feel good. The cellular inflammation prevents the T3 from getting into the cells (Pompa, 2018).
In addition, the food supply can also exacerbate the situation. Although a big source of mercury is in the amalgam fillings, the glyphosate in the food supply can also allow heavy metals to move deeper into the brain (Pompa, 2018). Essentially, the glyphosate is acting like a facilitator. And glyphosate it hard to avoid, residues of it are found in all our foods. Even organic foods have been contaminated.
Interestingly, he discusses how mercury can induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Many people do not have healthy cell membranes, due to a deficiency is fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. A protein in the mitochondrial membrane, called cardiolipin, can be to blame for much of this energy deficit. Toxins from mercury can oxidize the cardiolipin in the mitochondrial membrane and exacerbate the condition. This is where the fats come into play: they can restore the mitochondrial membrane, particularly omega-6 (Pompa, 2018). I read a few studies to confirm this. According to Houston, “mercury induces mitochondrial dysfunction with reduction in adenosine triphosphate, depletion of glutathione, and increased lipid peroxidation, which can induce oxidative stress and inflammation (Houston, 2011).
Mercury toxicity can also be associated with vascular conditions such as hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, and dyslipidemia (Houston, 2011). The association with hypertension was interesting. According to Houston, inactivates catecholaminei-0-methyl transferase, which increases serum and urinary epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine (Houston, 2011). This, in turn, will increase the blood pressure. So elevated blood pressure may be a clinical clue to mercury-induced heavy metal toxicity. According to Houston, mercury toxicity should be evaluated in any patient with hypertension or coronary heart disease.
If you are hypothyroid and /or hypertensive, these are two clues that your mercury levels of should be evaluated more deeply, and a through detox program may be warranted.
Houston, M. C. (2011). Role of mercury toxicity in hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich), 13(8), 621-627. doi:10.1111/j.1751-7176.2011.00489.x
Pompa, Dan.(2018, Feb 1). Dangers of Mercury Poisoning. [Presentation] Retrieved from https://healthmeans.com/talk/b19ec0a5-aec1-4050-9ee5-fa0a9d547982/3891aaed-e0cc-4f9e-9407-8ea98b3f3d2e/620