Mercury and the Immune System

Mercury toxicity. A topic of interest brought to my attention again by Dr. Susan Blum in her book The Immune System Recovery Plan.

According to Dr. Blum, too much mercury in the body is linked to autoimmune conditions. While it is still questionable if endometriosis is an autoimmune condition, it is most definitely impacted by poor immune functioning, so I think it worth delving deeper into this topic.

When the body has too many toxins in the body then the liver gets clogged and eventually overflows, transferring these toxins into the bloodstream set to gather in the tissues in the body.

Once inside the cells mercury creates free radicals, which are molecules ready to do damage to enzyme activity, cell membranes and DNA.

Mercury in the Environment

Mercury is found in dental amalgams (silver fillings), cosmetics, pesticides and some vaccines.

According to Dr. Blum, most commonly used dental amalgams contain approximately 50%  liquid metallic mercury. Every time you chew, brush your teeth or drink hot beverages a mercury vapor is released, inhaled in the lungs and distributed in the bloodstream.

Mercury is also released into the air especially from coal burning factories. From here it settles into the soil and the bottom of the ocean, lakes and rivers.

Metylmercury exposure comes from seafood and accumulates in the tissues of the body. Small fish eat the algae which contain mercury and this continues up the food chain. The biggest fish, like tuna and swordfish have the highest levels of mercury.

Symptoms of Mercury Toxicity

Mercury can have toxic effects on the nervous system and kidneys and can also accumulate in the brain. Chronic low level exposure to mercury can cause: tremors, gum disease, irritability, depression, short term memory loss, fatigue, anorexia and sleep disturbances.

High levels of methylmercury (from seafood) affects the central nervous system causing numbness and tingling, difficulty with balance, walking and speaking, hearing impairment and changes in vision.

Mercury alters or damages the cells in the tissues, which makes them appear foreign to the immune system. This stimulates immune cells called lymphocytes which attack directly or create antibodies to attack your own tissue.

According to Dr. Blum, people with higher mercury exposure have an increased risk of getting an autoimmune thyroid disease. If you have issues with your thyroid then you likely have high levels of mercury in your body.

Ways to Remove Mercury

Dr. Blum suggests the first and most important way to remove toxins from the body is to optimize liver function. The liver is filled with enzymes that help with the detoxification process.

One important component to helping release mercury is to ensure the body has enough glutathione levels. Without enough glutathione the liver can have issues removing mercury, which can build up, harm cells and cause auto immune diseases.

Glutathione helps the body safely excrete this mercury through the kidneys or into the bile. Glutathione is a super important component for a lot of things and shall be a topic for a later blog 🙂

Other ways to remove mercury and other heavy metals from the body include:

  • chlorella — helps eliminate methylmercury in the urine and stool
  • cilantro — serves as an antioxidant and boosts glutathione levels.
  • fiber — helps move out unwanted toxins
  • chelation — a process that should be conducted with help from a functional doctor or naturopath

On the Positive Side?

I know after reviewing this information that I am a bit iffy about eating fish and especially tuna. I went through a sushi phase where I was eating raw tuna three or four times a week (seriously).

Before swearing off all fish, it is positive to note that Wild King Salmon are the most immune fish to mercury because these fish are vegetarian. This fish is also a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps with inflammation.

I got my mercury filling changed when I started on my healing journey. If you still have one or more of these in your mouth then please look into finding a dentist that can safely remove them from your mouth.

Have you had any treatments to have heavy metals removed from your body? Have you suffered from mercury toxicity? Feel better after having your filling(s) removed? I’d love to hear from you….

Much love.


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