The level of mercury that is entering the food chain may still be on the increase according to a recent study undertaken in the Great Lakes region, and published in the journal Ecotoxicology.
The study showed that although levels of mercury seem to have been declining in the region over the last forty years, they are now on the rise again in some fish, and that this could lead to greater exposure for people that eat contaminated fish. They studied six commonly eaten game fish and discovered that their average mercury concentrations were higher than the criterion for human health established by the Environmental Protection Agency in around 61% of the study area.
Although the exact cause of the increase is unclear, the study puts it down to atmospheric emissions, so it would appear that however hard we try, avoiding contamination with mercury and other heavy metals is becoming impossible. Even breast milk, considered by far the healthiest option for babies, is now almost guaranteed to contain a significant amount of lead and other heavy metals. As well as looking for ways to reduce our exposure to heavy metals, we should also be looking for natural ways to rid our bodies of heavy metal build up.
Six Ways To Detoxify Mercury
We are exposed to mercury in a number of ways. Although mercury is released into the atmosphere as part of the Earth’s natural process of degassing, humans add greatly to mercury release through industry and coal burning. Mercury vapor is also released from the amalgam fillings that many of us have in our mouths, and we may be exposed to it through vaccinations. By far the biggest source of mercury toxicity, however, is through contaminated fish. Algae absorb mercury from water and are then eaten by smaller fish, which will be eaten by larger fish, which will then be eaten by humans.
Mercury is toxic to humans for a number of reasons but the main problem is that it can pass through the blood brain barrier, where it is oxidized making it difficult for it to pass back out. When mercury accumulates in the brain it can lead to a number of neurological disorders.
Here are six ways to get the mercury out of your body:
* Antioxidants are a great way to help your body get rid of heavy metals such as mercury. Vitamin C is the most effective all-round antioxidant for treating mercury toxicity and Active C Tabs are a superb choice.
* Chelating agents are substances that bind with mercury in the body, allowing it to be excreted. Chelating agents that are known to help with mercury detox include aged garlic, selenium and glutathione.
* Bioaccumulators are substances that soak up toxins such as heavy metals, again allowing them to be excreted from the body. Examples of bioaccumulators include hulmic and fulvic acids, and clean algae.
* Mobilizers are agents that dislodge toxins from wherever they are collecting within the body. Cilantro from the coriander plant is a very effective mobilizer that will dislodge mercury. However, this may need to be used alongside a chelating agent, or the mercury may simply be redistributed.
* Adsorbers do what the name suggests and adsorb heavy metals such as mercury. The absorbers are then excreted along with their toxic load. Primitive man often used an adsorber in the form of clay to allow him to eat otherwise poisonous plants, and clay is still one of the best natural adsorbers available.
* Saunas are a great way to rid the body of heavy metals as they allow the body to eliminate toxins by the most direct method, through the skin. A dry, low temperature sauna is most effective as high temperatures will simply release toxins into the bloodstream rather than allowing them to be gradually sweated out.
Editor’s note: Eating fish that contain high levels of selenium may actually be beneficial to your health because selenium purifies the blood of heavy metals even when the fish contain them. Fish that are high in selenium include salmon and tuna. The best non-fish source of selenium is Brazil nuts.