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Thread: Mercury confusion

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Mercury confusion

    Found in a 10/14/19 mercola.com article:
    "If you have poor tolerance for foods high in sulfur, it may be an indication of an overgrowth of sulfur-reducing bacteria in your gut. These bacteria, such as Desoulfovibrio and Bilophila wadsworthia, produce hydrogen sulfide gas from sulfur-based food sources, which can destroy the gut lining and cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
    "A defect in the enzyme that oxidizes sulfur to sulfate, called sulfite oxidase, will lead to an overgrowth of these sulfur-reducing bacteria, and toxic chemical exposures may disrupt sulfite oxidase.
    "Furthermore, these bacteria also convert mercury to a toxic organic form called methyl mercury. When sulfite oxidase is deficient, mercury cannot be converted to mercury sulfate, which is the nontoxic form of mercury that can be excreted by the body. Thus, disruption of sulfite oxidase results in impaired sulfation capacity and increased mercury toxicity."

    Methyl mercury (thimerisol) is present in the multi-dose flu vaccine. I understood that not only is any amount of mercury toxic, but that it's cumulative and cannot be detoxed or excreted. Either I've been misled, or I've misunderstood a great deal of what I've read. Can someone clarify?
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    I'm not sure I know enough to answer your question. But, as I understand it, methyl mercury can be detoxed. In fact, I read recently of a 15 yr. old boy so overtaken by mercury toxicity that he experienced significant weight loss and could not stand up. A detox regimen consisting of selenium and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reversed his condition when nothing else would. Much has been made of mercury binding with sulfur. However, the primary target of mercury is not sulfur but selenium, specifically selenium proteins or selenoproteins. When the body is deficient in selenium, then mercury forms a covalent bond with sulfur.
    Read more about selenium and mercury detox here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full...6.2017.1392076

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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    And remember, Brazil nuts are high in selenium, which is also good for eye health. I try to eat a few almost every day.

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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    I wish I could eat Brazil nuts, but I have a reaction to anything other than plain old cocktail peanuts. I do supplement with selenium 2 or 3 times per week, depending on my diet.

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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    Do you have a reaction even if you eat just one? I've read that you shoudn't eat a lot, as some people get headaches from them. Of course, I imagine the one which is said to give you the 'daily recommended' amount of selenium is a big one. I suspect Brazil exports its biggest Brazil nuts, as the ones we get here aren't as big as the ones I usually see in the U.S.

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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    I keep selenium on hand and take it from time to time as it occurs to me. I have found Brazil nuts to be frequently moldy which has discouraged me from buying even small quantities.
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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    Of interest might be this interview with Dr Christopher Shade (I may have posted this previously, or it might have been another one). I thought the differentiation between methyl mercury (usually from fish consumption) and inorganic mercury from amalgam tooth fillings was particularly instructive.

    https://chriskresser.com/dr-chris-sh...cury-toxicity/

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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    Thx, Maurya. I'll come back to this later — it's a long one.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    Thanks Maurya. This was long, but super super interesting. I learned a lot. My key takeaway: Dr. Shade disagrees with other experts who believe selenium fully protects you against mercury toxicity. He asserts that selenium is protective against mercury in only those who are "significantly" deficient in selenium. But, once selenium stores are raised to a point where one is no longer deficient, selenium provides no further protective effect beyond that level. In other words, selenium does not block ALL toxicity from mercury, but it blocks the "extra toxicity" that comes from being deficient. Again, this is in contrast with other experts, but this is what makes nutrition exciting. He has sparked an even greater curiosity in me to learn more about how the body handles mercury. Thanks for sharing.

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mercury confusion

    Yes, I found that bit about selenium to be quite intriguing. Once I heard Dr Shade speak at a forum with others, and got to hear him go head to head with Andy Cutler. They disagreed about almost all the details of proper mercury detox. It really was exciting for a nerd such as myself.

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