Ever since the FDA’s turnabout on the health risks of mercury fillings, we’ve seen a steady stream of articles on the topic, such as this one posted this week at US News and World Report. Like so many other MSM articles, it cites a pair of studies published in 2006:
A large 2006 study found no statistically significant differences in IQ, motor function, or memory in children who had numerous mercury-containing amalgams. It did find that kids with amalgams had significantly higher mercury levels in their urine, but researchers observed no problems in kidney function that could have resulted from mercury poisoning. Another study, published in February in the Journal of the American Dental Association, supports the 2006 findings. Its Portuguese authors found no significant differences in brain function between a group of children whose cavities had been treated with amalgams and a group treated with composite resin material.
Note that the information about the second study is wrong. The study referenced was also published in JAMA, not JADA, and its authors included six US- and five Portugal-based researchers.
In any event, both studies have been cited time and time again, as if they were the final word on mercury safety. They are not.
Dr. Verigin commented on these studies in the May 2006 issue of Biosis:
In both current mercury studies, the researchers annually plotted their subjects’ urinary mercury levels. For the first two years, as expected, the results showed a steady increase in the mercury levels of the amalgam group children. Then the results turned strange. These elevated mercury levels actually dropped until they were almost the same as those of the mercury-free children.
How could this be?
Writing in Clinical Preventive Dentistry, Chew, Soh, Lee and Yeoh noted that each average sized 1 gram amalgam filling contains 500,000 micrograms of mercury – about 53% of the total volume, on average. Through research, they concluded that with such a filling emitting a toxic 5 micrograms of mercury per day – emissions generated by chewing and grinding – it would take 100,000 days for all the mercury to be vaporized. As they say, “Do the math!” (Answer: about 274 years!) And how long is the average lifespan of an amalgam filling according to insurance standards? About 10 years.
So why the drop in mercury levels? The kidneys are the primary route of excretion here. I surmise that they are taking a major hit, becoming less effective at removal. I would expect more mercury to be stored. After all, the urinary mercury levels were measured without the intake of chelating agents, thus making the data unreliable. Moreover, recent research shows that over 90% of excreted mercury goes through the fecal rather than urinary route.
Most likely, the children’s basic regulative systems became less flexible, more rigid. The autoregulatory pathways – liver, kidneys, skin, mucous membranes – all take part in the excretion of any toxin, including mercury. However, the detoxification process depends on variables such as genetics, gender and nutritional status. Thus, some people are less able to excrete mercury than others, even if they live in the same city, region or country, as in the current studies. Each will have a different diet with vastly different antioxidant and mineral intakes, as well as many of the chelators of mercury found in high quality protein.
A better measure of the effects of mercury would involve the immune system – something that was not mentioned in either study. The literature is packed with research on this. Mercury and other heavy metals with negative magnetic charges are powerful immune system suppressors. Under such conditions, the friendly microbes in our tissues undergo drastic changes. The major scavenging cells and immune response recognition cells, such as macrophages, have a lessened ability to render antigens harmless.
But instead of looking at this, the researchers focused on IQ.
They also focused on otherwise healthy children, even as the Centers for Disease Control report that 1 in 6 American children have some form of neurological disorder such as autism. Children so affected do not effectively excrete mercury. To exclude them – the individuals most susceptible to mercury toxicity – from the study is yet another major failing.
That said, it is my conviction that neither study as designed should have been performed at all. If living beings needed to be tested, then the experiments should have been done on some other form of primate, not human children. To subject unsuspecting children and their parents to such experimentation is the very definition of cruelty.
I question the ethics of these studies. I wonder if these researchers even remember the humanitarian motto of our profession: Doctor, do no harm unto your patient.
You can read the rest of Dr. Verigin’s commentary here.
We also recommend you check out the Toxic Mercury Amalgam site, which contains a wealth of solid information on the problems mercury fillings can cause, as well as safe and reasonable measures you can take to have them removed and replaced with nontoxic, biocompatable materials. The free report “How to Avoid the Dangers of Having Your ‘Silver’ Mercury Amalgam Fillings Removed” (PDF) is a must-read for anyone considering the procedure.
You may also be interested in checking out a blog we recently discovered: The Adrenal Fatigue Nightmare. It’s written by a 24 year old woman who was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and is now chronicling the process of having her mercury fillings removed. We wish her the best and look forward to reading of her progress…