Detoxing Mercury: Making The Right Diet ChoicesAugust 20, 2017
At Laser + Holistic Dental we are regularly asked how to detox mercury following the removal of mercury amalgam dental fillings. Despite the messages from the mainstream dental institutions, the science is clear and the public is becoming increasingly aware of the risks surrounding ‘silver’ dental amalgam fillings.
For those who have, or have had mercury amalgam fillings - it is important to understand that mercury affects people in a range of different ways due to factors like exposure size, length of exposure, genetics and allergies. Mercury has complex chemistry which plays a big role in understanding the best way to remove it from the body.
There are three phases to mercury detoxification:Converting the toxin:
This involves the liver converting a toxin into another substance (reactive bioactive compounds), so that it becomes available for binding in Phase 2.Binding the toxin:
Phase 2 is where a chelating agent enters the cell membrane, binds with the mercury compound before moving it out through the cell membrane.Excreting the toxin:
Phase 3 involves the transporting and excretion of the modified toxin out of the body.
High levels of glutathione are needed to convert a fat-soluble mercury toxin into water-soluble mercaptates - a sulfur containing compound that binds mercury. Only mercury that is bound to glutathione or selenium can leave the cells.
If you still have your amalgam fillings or have recently had them removed - the most important thing to do is protect your body from the damage that the mercury causes. Mercury is one of the most potent oxidative chemical compounds known - producing a huge amount of free radicals in the body. To protect your body, this means removing the sources of mercury exposure and consuming a diet high in antioxidants to neutralise free radical activity.
Once you have taken steps to protect yourself, you need to release the mercury from where it is bound in the body, and excrete it. Mercury needs to be excreted quickly to minimise any damage after it has been released. The high levels of antioxidants assist in this process, as they help protect your body from the free radical damage.
The idea is to eliminate the toxic mercury burden that has occurred over your lifetime as safely as possible so that no damage is caused. However, because of the continuous attack of mercury from different environmental influences, it is an excellent idea to detox heavy metals at least once a year - even after your fillings have been removed.
Foods to help a mercury detox:
The most important compounds to assist in detoxing mercury are glutathione, selenium, sulphur and zinc.Glutathione rich foods:
- Meat of young animals like lamb and veal.
Vegetarians would be strongly advised to consider supplemental or intravenous glutathione as bioavailability is poor in plant based foods.Selenium rich foods:
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheat/rice/oat bran
- Selenium is high in lots of seafood – although seafood is not recommended as a source of selenium because of aquatic mercury contamination.
- Green vegetables like kale, cabbage and broccoli.
- Garlic and onion.
- Zinc from animal sources may be more bioavailable during digestion.
- Pumpkin and squash seeds
- Beans (legumes)
- Cacao powder
- Beef and lamb
- Seafood – not recommended as a source of zinc because of aquatic mercury contamination.
- Turmeric: An everyday detox superfood that influences detoxification processes, provides organ protection and should reduce the common side effects of any retoxification.
- Coriander/cilantro: Mobilises mercury from extracellular binding sites and facilitates transport and excretion. Cilantro tincture is more powerful than the fresh herb.
- Grapefruit: Has a unique and amazing feature that can stop extra free radical formation during Phase 1 detoxification. Eating the whole fruit – flesh, seeds, pulp and thoroughly scrubbed skin – is extremely beneficial. Warning: Grapefruit may dangerously interfere with pharmaceutical medications.
- Pea protein: A fantastic source of cysteine, which forms glycine and glutathione. We need high levels of cysteine to conjugate mercury across the blood-brain barrier. People with metal binding genotypes need lots of cysteine.
- Vitamin D foods: Vitamin D dramatically increases intracellular glutathione, assisting brain detoxification. It can be obtained from cod liver oil (only if distilled of mercury) and from mushrooms as vitamin D2 which is then metabolised to D3.
- Butter: Derived from A2 protein, for example, Jersey or Guernsey cow’s milk. Rich in butyric acid, which is metabolised to glutamine and is essential for good colon function and detoxification. It also stimulates bile and cholesterol production – important for binding with mercury.
Devices and treatments to help with detoxing mercury:
- Sweat: Sweating is a natural process designed for body temperature regulation and excretion of toxins. If safe for you, get up a sweat regularly through exercise. Steam baths and saunas are good too.
- Salt Baths: Bathing in Epsom salts, an inexpensive source of magnesium sulphate, promotes relaxation and also supplements the body with sulphur. (please only use pharmaceutical grade epsom salts for this, as bulk forms can be contaminated with heavy metals from the fertiliser industry.
- Lymphatic Drainage: Acupressure, acupuncture, dry needling, specific massage techniques and shiatsu may enhance circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage to aid with the detoxification process.
Extra detoxing tips:
- Collect Data: measure your detoxing progress with a baseline assessment of mercury tissue levels and a DNA profile before starting the process.
- Safely Remove Mercury Amalgam Fillings: Find a dentist*link who is SMART Certified by the IAOMT*link to remove your mercury amalgam fillings using safe protocols.
- Protect Yourself With Antioxidants: undergoing the removal process use foods and supplements that are rich in antioxidants to repair and protect the major organs.
- Use A Professional: detoxing can be potentially dangerous if done incorrectly and unsupervised, it is best to have support of your doctor/naturopath/other health professional.
Laser + Holistic Dental is a holistic dentist based in South Yarra, Melbourne.
Our dentists treat patients with a comprehensively holistic philosophy - embracing technology for a new approach to dentistry.
We take a strong position on mercury dental amalgam fillings - advocating their complete phase out worldwide.
Learn more about our philosophy on mercury dental amalgam and other toxins in commonly found in dentistry here.