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What You Need to Know About the Different Forms of Mercury, the Next Generation of Mercury Testing, and How to Detox Safely

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  • Two primary forms of mercury are ethylmercury (inorganic mercury) which is primarily from dental amalgams, and methylmercury (organic mercury), which is they type found in fish. In terms of toxicity, ethylmercury rates the highest. Methylmercury penetrates your body very well, but is slightly less toxic than the inorganic form, which is what you absorb from your dental amalgams.
  • The two primary sources of mercury exposure are dental amalgam, and fish consumption, followed by thimerosal-containing vaccines, and mercury pollution from coal-burning power plants
  • Traditional mercury testing includes hair, blood, and urine testing. Challenge tests using a chelating chemical such as intravenous DMPS or DMSA are also commonly used. However, all of these tests have drawbacks and shortfalls. A newer testing method called mercury speciation far surpasses all of these earlier tests. While these older tests primarily measured total mercury load (and inaccurately at that), this newer technology is able to separate and measure the different forms of mercury in your system, which allows you to determine both kidney function, and your primary source of exposure—either fish-based methylmercury, or the dental-based inorganic ethylmercury
  • Your body is designed to detoxify naturally, and will do so quite efficiently as long as your entire detoxification system is working properly. Your glutathione system is an important part of your detox system, and foods high in glutathione precursors, such as whey protein, and sulfur-rich foods like garlic, are important for maintaining optimal functioning of your glutathione system

By Dr. Mercola

Dr. Christopher Shade, a former organic farmer, received his PhD from the University of Illinois. His education included the study of metal-ligand interaction in the environment, and for a long time, he specialized in environmental- and analytical chemistry of mercury.

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