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The half life of mercury in the body
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James Offline

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The half life of mercury in the body
I was recently reading an article on Mercola's website where Mercola was making the claim that the half life of mercury in the body is between 15-30 years.

Mercola also claims "The average individual has eight amalgam fillings and could absorb up to 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgams"

Mercola has overlooked a number of basic facts. For example, many compounds in the average diet such as phytates (grains, seeds), alginates seaweeds, common food additive) and pectins (fruits, vegetables) all bind heavy metals preventing their absorption and/or promoting their elimination. This includes mercury from amalgams. Since most mercury is going to be released upon chewing this also means that most of it will be bound by these compounds during the chewing and thus not absorbed but rather bound and eliminated from the body.

Some of the mercury vapor created from amalgams during chewing is also removed from the body as we exhale pushing the vapors out of our mouths.

It has also been shown that the majority of mercury release from amalgams occurs within the first 2 years of the amalgams being put in to place. Therefore, after several years the tiny amount of mercury still being released from the amalgams would likely be near completely if not completely bound by dietary phytates, alginates and pectins.

Furthermore, why is it people are claiming to be getting sick from their mercury amalgams decades later instead of when they first receive the amalgams and the mercury release is at its peak?

Mercury is also bound by sulfur compounds that are extremely abundant in the human diet. Bound to sulfur the mercury becomes very difficult for the body to absorb.

Mercury is also readily displaced by numerous other metals due to its low reactivity. More reactive metals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, etc. will also readily displace mercury.

So what does the actual research say about the half life of mercury in the body?:

Blood and urine mercury levels in adult amalgam patients of a randomized controlled trial: interaction of Hg species in erythrocytes.

"The integrated daily Hg dose absorbed from amalgam was estimated up to 3 microg for an average number of fillings and at 7.4 for a high amalgam load"

There is a massive difference between the 7.4 micrograms the researchers found even for a high load of amalgams and the 120 micrograms hyped up by the website.

And what did this abstract say about the excretion rate of mercury?:

" It was the aim (1) to investigate the internal exposure to amalgam-related mercury from the kinetics of inorganic Hg in plasma and erythrocytes after amalgam removal, and (2) to estimate the amalgam-related absorbed dose. Dietary coexposure was monitored by determination of blood organic-Hg. Postremoval steady-state Hg concentrations were measured for 18 months. Eighty-two patients had been randomized into three groups: (A) removal of the fillings; (B) removal and non-specific detoxification, and © a health promotion program without removal. After amalgam removal, inorganic Hg dropped rapidly in plasma and red cells, stabilizing at 27% of preremoval levels after 60 days. Concentrations of organic Hg in plasma remained unchanged, indicating no change in dietary uptake of organic Hg."

Wow, dropped that much in 60 days!!! That is a far cry from 15-30 years claimed by the website!

And yet there are more studies disproving the hyped up claims of the website:

Mercury in biological fluids after amalgam removal.

"An exponential decline of Hg was seen in all media. Sixty days after the amalgam removal, the Hg levels in blood, plasma, and urine had declined to approximately 60% of the pre-removal levels. In seven subjects, who were followed for up to three years, the half-lives of Hg in plasma and urine were calculated. In plasma, a bi-exponential model was applied, and the half-life was estimated at median 88 days (range, 21 to 121). The kinetics of Hg in urine (nmol/24 hrs) fit a mono-exponential model with a median half-life of 46 days (range, 35 to 67)"
Steady-state transfer and depletion kinetics of mercury from amalgam fillings.

"In 29 volunteers with a low amalgam load, the number of amalgam-covered tooth surfaces and the occlusal area of the fillings were determined. Before and at select times after removal of all amalgams, concentrations of total mercury were measured by cold-vapor atomic absorption in plasma and erythrocytes as well as in urine together with the excretion rate. Absorbed daily doses were estimated from intraoral Hg emission by two separate methods. The transfer of Hg from the fillings via the oral cavity and blood to urinary excretion was evaluated according to the most representative combination of parameters. This consisted of occlusal area (1), absorbed dose (2), Hg concentration in plasma (3) and urinary excretion (4). Pairwise correlation coefficients were 0.49 for parameters 1 vs. 2, and 0.75 each for parameters 2 vs. 3 and 3 vs. 4. Within 9 days after removal of the fillings, a transient increase in Hg levels was observed in plasma only; in the group without a rubber dam, concentrations increased significantly above pre-removal values at days 1 and 3, whereas they decreased significantly below pre-removal values at day 30 in the rubber-dam group and at day 100 in both groups. Excretion rates decreased significantly at day 100 in the protected group. Peak plasma-Hg was 0.6 ng/ml on average at day 1 and decreased with halftimes of 3 and 43 days in subjects protected by a rubber dam. The results indicated that concentrations of total mercury in plasma responded rapidly to changes in the amalgam status and reflected the actual absorption most reliably. Notably, plasma-Hg levels were sensitive enough to detect a transient attenuation of the additional exposure after using a rubber dam during the removal of only a few fillings. However, being small in magnitude and lasting 100 days at best, the rubber-dam effect had minor toxicological relevance."
Systemic transfer of mercury from amalgam fillings before and after cessation of emission.

"Peak plasma Hg was 0.6 ng/ml on average and decreased with halftimes between 5 and 13 days."

The absorption, blood levels, and excretion of mercury after a single dose of mercury vapor in humans.

"Nine healthy volunteers without amalgam fillings were exposed to 400 micrograms/m3 mercury vapor (Hg0) for 15 min, corresponding to 5.5 nmol Hg0/kg body wt (median range: 4.4-7.2). Frequent sampling of blood, urine, and exhaled air was performed for 30 days after exposure. The median retention of Hg0 was 69% of the inhaled dose. During the first 3 days after exposure 7.5-12% of the absorbed dose was lost by exhalation, with the median half time of Hg0 in expired breath being 2.0 days. In blood and plasma, a rapid absorption phase of Hg was seen, followed by a biexponential decline of the curves in both media. A substantial interindividual variation was observed in the area under the concentration-time curves of Hg in blood and plasma. In plasma the median half time of the second phase was 10 days. About 1.0% of the absorbed Hg was excreted via urine during the first 3 days after exposure, whereas the estimated amount excreted during 30 days ranged from 8 to 40%. In order to evaluate the chronic exposure to mercury from dental amalgam in the general population, the daily Hg dose from the fillings were estimated based on the plasma Hg levels found in subjects with amalgam fillings and on the plasma Hg clearance obtained in the present study. The daily Hg dose was estimated to 5-9 micrograms/day in subjects with an ordinary number of amalgam fillings."

There is no doubt that mercury is toxic to the body. The the mercury amalgam issue has reached a point of severe paranoia among some groups. And the paranoia they promote is causing even greater harm than the traces of mercury that may actually make it in to the body's tissues for a short time. The stress alone of people worrying about the health effects of their amalgams can lead to immune suppression just from the elevated cortisol alone.

And ironically, the removal of amalgams causes a sudden release of mercury leading to surge in mercury levels in the body.
(This post was last modified: 09-03-2013 04:48 AM by James.)
06-18-2012 06:20 AM
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