Mercury detoxification: nutrition and confounding factors.

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A brief lecture from Dr Christopher Shade, founder of Quicksilver scientific, a company specialising in mercury detoxification using natural methods.

The detoxification of most toxins is a three step process which Dr Shade demonstrates using his water bottle and the door.  The toxin, in this case mercury,  needs to be prepped by the body, phase 1, so it can be grabbed onto, phase 2, and shuttled out of the body using appropriate transport proteins, phase 3.

As Dr Shade points out, this process relies on not only the major detoxification agents, like glutathione, but also co-factors being present in both the diet and the body.  It is a large orchestra playing a complex tune.

Foods like garlic, broccoli, green tea or pomegranate are called superfoods because of their antioxidant activity, but, as Dr Shade says, they assist in the detoxification of mercury.  The main player is glutathione.

Glutathione is made in the body from cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine.  These building blocks are found in a broad based, omnivorous diet.

As mentioned in the previous blog, there are problems with mercury detoxification, one being genetic.  So for some of us, no matter how superb our diet – no matter how much we stick our fingers up to the holier than thou vegetarian brigade – we still have difficulties detoxifying the heavy metals like  mercury.

Genetics apart, there are other confounding factors to mercury detoxification.  Each of the three phases of detoxification has to be up and running.  If we only poop once a week, we can be sure that the toxins in our body are not leaving as effciently as they should.

Inflammation in the gut also lowers phase 3.  This is a real double whammy since mercury toxicity itself can cause inflammation in the gut, as well as eating foods that don’t agree with us, or our gut bacteria being out of balance in favour of the nasty ones.  We can be sure that if we have a distended gut, toxins like mercury are trundling round and round the system – we become a closed circuit.  A distended gut can easily be mistaken for a fat gut – but distension is firm to the touch and unbendable.  Fat is wobbly – or like old leather. 1 So a layer of flab over a tight balloon is scary.

In the absence of sufficient precursors to glutathione or assistant nutrients, phase 2 breaks down.  For most of us, though, phase 1 can trundle on regardless of whether phase 2 or 3 are working and so toxicity builds up.

The main organs of detoxification are the liver and kidneys.  Many things damage the liver as well as toxins and too much booze; a quick google search shows there are over 100 forms of liver damage!  Mercury itself can damage both the liver and the kidneys.  If the liver and/or kidneys are fried, again mercury detoxification will not be happening.

Depressingly, here is a list of other confounding factors:

  • Age.
  • Parasites
  • Lymes disease
  • Root canal infection
  • Infection in the bed of an extracted wisdom tooth
  • Cranial traumas

The detoxification of mercury cannot be undertaken lightly.  For instance, cranial traumas need addressing, even if no symptoms are apparent currently, before we can succesfully lower the toxic load in our body.  And our guts need to be working efficiently, at both breaking down nutrients and pooping out the rubbish at the other end.  I wish there was something that could be done about aging – however, no matter what we hear in the media, taking high quality supplements, not the cheap stuff easily available, will help slow down the aging process, along with good exercise and a well rounded, well digested diet.  Therefore, on the other hand, when we are healthy enough to detoxify mercury, we will be like spring lambs when the process is over.




  1. Wobbly fat:  a diet containing a large amount of fried foods/crisps and so on will make fat go hard; the fat cells harden meaning nothing can get in or out – including the stored fat.   Hard fat is like a bit of old leather, although hard to bend, bending is possible.  Distension is drum like – you can’t bend distension. []

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