Mercury is a metal found in the environment, our food (mostly seafood), and amalgam dental fillings (R). It occurs in two different forms — methylmercury, the organic form found in fish (R), and elemental mercury, the non-organic form.
Methylmercury is fat-soluble, so is stored in our fatty tissues, including our brain. Its presence disrupts many cellular processes, including energy production in our mitochondria. It also creates an excessive amount of oxidative stress, which damages tissues and leads to disease. For these reasons, it’s wise to remove this metal from our body (R).
Here are some ways to prevent the damage this toxic metal can cause and remove it from our body.
- Increase your glutathione-s-transferase enzyme (GST) activity. This is the enzyme that transfers glutathione, one of the main detoxifying molecules to areas of the body that need detoxifying. One reason that the Japanese, who eat a lot of seafood, don’t report many cases of mercury toxicity, may be because they also eat lots of horseradish and wasabi (most US “wasabi” is really just horseradish with green food coloring). Both wasabi and horseradish contain beneficial chemicals that can strongly boost the activity of GST and lead to the excretion of mercury from the diet. Other molecules and foods that increase this enzyme activity include mustard, green tea, coffee, and cruciferous vegetables (R, R2).
- Take a selenium, and vitamin c, e, and different sulfur-containing molecules, such as ALA, liposomal glutathione (better absorption), MSM, NAC, and/or garlic (Se, ALA, ALA2, Glut, Gar).
- Get your mercury-containing amalgams safely removed and replaced with safe alternatives. (dentists)
- Take a break from fish and get your omega 3’s from fish, krill, or algae oil supplements which have less mercury.
- Eat smaller or short-lived fish. Good choices include; salmon, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. If you like tuna, consider switching to skipjack tuna, it’s a smaller variety and contains roughly 3 times less mercury than albacore tuna.
If you already have seen a doctor and got tested for the presence of mercury and now know that you have an excess amount of it in your body, the next step would be to find a doctor to help you remove it. Dealing with this on your own with strong chelating agents like DMPS can cause more danger than it’s worth (R). There are medical professionals that have the training to make sure you remove it without causing more harm in the process.