All About Nutrition & Mercury Toxicity |

Do you have a nutritional dilemma? What about about mercury toxicity? Are you curious about many of the things you’ve heard or read but aren’t sure what they mean? Does the idea of “mercury toxicity” just make you feel overwhelmed and confused? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this blog is for you!

Mercury toxicity is a special kind of metal poisoning that can be caused by consuming too much mercury in the diet, usually in the form of fish.

Mercury toxicity is a serious health issue that effects a lot of people. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed. It is important to get a proper diagnosis to find the cause of mercury toxicity. The help of a physician is a very important part of the treatment.

Mercury is a heavy metal that occurs naturally in the environment and has a variety of negative health consequences.

What exactly is mercury?

Mercury is a heavy metal that occurs naturally in the environment (soil, fossil fuels, minerals). Mercury may be absorbed via inhalation, skin contact, and food consumption.

Mercury may be found in three different forms:

  • fundamentals (e.g. in thermometers, dental fillings)
  • Substances that are inorganic (e.g. batteries, disinfectants)
  • Pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, and certain vaccinations, for example, contain methylmercury.


Part I: The function of glutathione and alpha lipoic acid in the treatment of mercury poisoning. Source: Patrick L. Mercury toxicity and antioxidants: Part I: The role of glutathione and alpha lipoic acid in the treatment of mercury poisoning. Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 456-471, 2003.

In our diet, mercury is not required. It is, in fact, detrimental to our health.

Where can you find mercury?

Mercury may enter the food supply in a variety of ways, the most common of which is as a result of pollution. Inorganic mercury vapour is released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and mining (mercury is utilized in gold mining). This mercury floats and ultimately finds up in the water, where bacteria convert it to methylmercury.


The Mercury Cycle explains how mercury enters the food system.

In North America, mercury poisoning is the second most frequent hazardous metal poisoning. Mercury, which we absorb via our diet, poses the biggest danger (methylmercury).

The most frequent dietary source of harmful methylmercury is seafood. However, it may also originate from:

  • tainted fishmeal given to cattle
  • Plants that have been cultivated on soil that has been polluted by mercury.
  • Products that have been painted with mercury-containing paint and kept in ceramic
  • Eggs from ducks
  • Chemicals used in food production (e.g. pesticides).
  • Powdered protein (see here)
  • Fish oil is a kind of omega-3 fatty (check with the company to see if they test for toxins).

China is the world’s leading source of mercury contamination from human activities (mostly coal and metal mining). In the 1970s, an Iraqi farmer employed a methylmercury fungicide to treat his crops, resulting in 450 fatalities and 5,000 sicknesses.

Mercaptoide and seafood

Mercury builds up in the tissues of both fish and people. Fish that are larger and older consume more and amass more. Because farmed fish have shorter lives and develop quicker, they have lower methylmercury levels (thus reducing bioaccumulation).

If you consume fish, you can find out how much mercury is in it here.

Methylmercury consumption recommendations

  • The FAO/WHO acceptable weekly intake is now set at 1.6 g/kg.
  • The EPA’s daily intake safety limit is 0.1 g/kg.
  • Daily consumption should not exceed 15 g, according to the US Pharmacopoeia.

Because methylmercury is not broken down during the cooking/cleaning process and is mostly deposited in the muscle of the fish rather than the fat, there is no need to remove the fat.

The fetus suffers permanent difficulties as a result of high mercury intake during pregnancy. Fish, on the other hand, may be helpful to the developing fetus in certain regions where protein and omega-3 fatty acids are scarce.

Fish intake during pregnancy is now restricted by the FDA (some experts think these recommendations are too lax). See this page for further information.

When we consume mercury, what happens?

When we consume methylmercury, it is readily absorbed and disseminated throughout the body; it passes through the gastrointestinal system with ease and is spread throughout the body within 30 hours. Mercury has the ability to influence virtually all organs and can penetrate the blood-brain and placental barriers (which can cause irreversible problems for the growing fetus).

Mercury poisoning has been linked to severe health issues, particularly in the brain system and kidneys. Mercury may have an impact on cardiovascular health, DNA transcription, calcium homeostasis, and protein synthesis, among other things. Mercury has also been linked to autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and autism, as well as oxidative stress and inflammation.

Mercury poisoning may cause a variety of symptoms, which represent the various effects of mercury on the body. These are some of them:

  • Trembling (shaking), balance issues, numbness, and acrodynia are all neurological symptoms (pain in limbs).
  • Shyness, emotional instability, personality changes, and sleeplessness are all symptoms of poor mental health.
  • Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia Insomnia Insomni
  • Headache and acrodynia are two types of pain (painful, discolored limbs, especially in children).
  • Gingivitis and loss of taste are two common oral health problems.
  • Hearing issues

Because the symptoms of mercury poisoning are not immediately apparent and build up over time, it is also known as an unseen pandemic.

After a few days or months, the mercury may begin to exit the body. This changes significantly based on the deposit’s body and the mercury’s form. Although the body is capable of excreting mercury via urine, feces, perspiration, saliva, breast milk, and tears, it is inefficient. In the human body, the half-life (the time it takes for something to return to half of its initial value) is 45-70 days.

To put it another way, if we eat mercury quicker than we can eliminate it, it builds up in our bodies.

Mercury toxicity is diagnosed.

Because of the range of tests available, diagnosing mercury excess may be challenging. Biomarkers of mercury exposure include hair, nails, and blood. Because blood readings only show recent exposure, they aren’t very helpful. And there’s a 1 to 2 month wait for the mercury to emerge with her. If mercury concentrations in blood and urine are less than 100 g/l, clinical damage is questionable.

Testing for mercury overload using DMSA (succimer), DMPS (unitiol), or penicillamine may be the most accurate technique. ASD (Unitiol) has been used in Germany for more than 50 years. Because the test is usually positive, these tests should be done by a competent physician.

Is it possible to detoxify mercury?

Mercury detoxification must be done with extreme caution by a trained expert. – Brian Walsh, MD

We all like a good cleanse. When we mobilize mercury from other tissues, it may easily move to another organ and/or provoke an immunological response, increasing the toxicity. Not at all. The body must be prepared to cope with mercury that has been detoxified.

At different stages in the body, including absorption, excretion, transport, binding, metabolism, and oxidation, the nutrients we eat may interact with hazardous metals. To put it another way, the nutritional value of one’s food may have an impact on the risk of mercury poisoning. As you’ll see in the chart below, a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as uncontaminated omega-3 sources and mineral-rich meats, may aid mercury detoxification.

Other nutrients and mercury

Zinc and selenium are two minerals that are essential for good health.

Mercury binds zinc and selenium, making them worthless in the body and preventing them from performing their functions. At the same time, mercury’s binding to zinc and selenium may reduce mercury’s toxicity in our cells. Keep in mind that although selenium and zinc are important minerals for human health, excessive quantities may be harmful.

Vitamin E

Free radicals are formed when methylmercury is broken down in the body. Vitamin E in the diet may assist to fight these issues and restore cell membrane stability.


Methylmercury-induced cell damage may be mitigated by pyruvate and catalase. Apples, beer, and wine are all good sources of pyruvate, but you’d have to eat a lot of them to receive the same dosage as a pyruvate supplement. Catalase is found naturally in all living creatures and may be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and offal.


Glutathione (the activity of glutathione peroxidase drops after mercury exposure), catalase, and cysteine may all help to reduce the neurotoxicity of methylmercury. Glutathione has the ability to bind mercury and prevent it from harming tissues, as well as boost our cells’ antioxidant capability and bind mercury, eliminating it from the body.

Whey protein may aid in the restoration of glutathione levels and the chelation of heavy metals in the body (other protein supplements can also help, but make sure the protein supplement itself is free of heavy metals).

cruciferous veggies, cysteine, and methionine

Because mercury may bond to sulfur-containing amino acids, eating more sulfur-containing foods (particularly cruciferous vegetables and allium products like garlic, onions, and leeks) can help reduce mercury accumulation in the body.

Foods high in cysteine may help the body produce metallothionein, a protein that binds heavy metals (the addition of NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) may assist here).

Methionine may help to prevent methylmercury-induced weight loss and liver impairment.

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a kind of fatty acid that

Heavy metals may be chelated and removed from the body with the assistance of alpha lipoic acid. It may also raise the glutathione levels in our cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids.

Seafood, on the other hand, may be a double-edged sword…. Swordfish, mmhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (Sorry.)

On the one hand, the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and shellfish may assist to reduce some of the negative health consequences of methylmercury exposure (particularly on the cardiovascular system). The protective qualities, on the other hand, are lost if seafood is the primary source of methyl mercury.

Choose seafood sources like krill, seaweed oil, or tiny fish that are high in omega-3 but low in mercury.


Protein intake, both in terms of quantity and kind, may make a difference: Mercury’s neurological effects may be exacerbated by a low protein diet.

Fruit and vegetables with a dark color

Flavonoids are compounds found in colored fruits and vegetables that influence the biological balance of metals (especially zinc and copper).

Conclusions and suggestions

Controlling the power (use)

We may avoid eating mercury-containing seafood and avoid biting into our mercury thermometers, but this does not solve the issue. Mercury enters the food chain as a result of contamination from industrial processes and fossil fuel combustion (mainly coal). To permanently remove mercury from our bodies and food, we must address the underlying issue of mercury in our ecosystems.

Reduce your reliance on power and fossil fuels (particularly coal) if possible. You may, for example:

  • Car;
  • to go by public transportation;
  • Bike;
  • Go ahead and do it.
  • When you’re not using a light, turn it off.
  • reduce the amount of hot water used
  • Reduce the temperature in the winter;
  • Turn up the heat (or don’t use the air conditioner) in the summer.
  • Showers should be shorter;
  • Alternatively, wash your clothing in cold water; and/or
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on technological gadgets.

Eating the appropriate meals in the proper quantities is essential for good health.

Consume less calories. Consider this: even if the food you eat has less methylmercury, the poisons may still accumulate if you consume a large amount of it. It’s all the more incentive to stop the habit if you overeat.

Reduce your intake of seafood and increase your intake of mercury-free plant-based meals. Instead of eating fish three times a week, you may eat fish once and then supplement with additional plant-based omega-3 sources (seaweed oil, chia, hemp, flax). Fish consumption may be reduced as a result of this. (Note: I contacted multiple seaweed oil supplement businesses, and they all tested for mercury.)

Consume a wide range of fish. Rather than big predatory fish, eat smaller, non-predatory fish. Check local sources for potential mercury exposure if you catch local seafood. Fishing is prohibited in over 3,000 lakes throughout the United States due to mercury pollution.

Consume a variety of nutrient-dense plant-based foods. These meals may aid in the removal of mercury from your body. Some of the nutrients mentioned above are abundant in the foods listed below:

  • Cruciferous vegetables, avocado, asparagus, and acorn squash are examples of vegetables.
  • Watermelon and strawberries are two fruits that come to mind.
  • Brazil nuts, cashews, and coconuts are among the ingredients.
  • Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, linseed, and chia seeds are among the seeds available.
  • Oats are a good example of a whole grain.
  • Lenses : Legumes
  • Garlic, turmeric, and other herbs & spices

Remove all mercury from your environment.

Mercury-containing dental fillings should be avoided. Find a dentist who has removed and replaced old mercury fillings before.

If you’re acquainted with technology, you’ll recognize the Jerome Meter as a portable gadget that measures mercury levels in indoor air.

Examine your protein powder, fish oil, and/or seaweed oil to see whether they’re in good shape. Request a heavy metal test from the business.

Even in the case of something as basic as shoes.

For you, individually.


To view the sources of information used in this article, go here.

  1. Mercury in fish and shellfish: What You Should Know The month was March 2004. FDA.
  2. The American Dietetic Association’s stance on food and water safety is as follows: 109:1449-1460 in J Am Diet Assoc.
  3. Protein shakes have health concerns. July 2010, Consumer Reports.
  4. Comparison of urine mercury levels in children with autism spectrum disorders with children in the control group. Wright B, et al. PLoS One, vol. 7, no. 7, e29547, 2012.
  5. The working committee on the ritual use of mercury has produced a report. December 2002, Environmental Protection Agency.
  6. Mercury, fish oil, and the incidence of acute coronary events, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality in males in Eastern Finland, Virtanen JK, et al. 228-233 in Arterioscler Thromb Vaasc Biol, 2005.
  7. J Nutr Biochem 2007;18:75-85. Virtanen JK, et al. Mercury as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  8. What should you advise your customers about eating fish? Petit L. 518-519 in J Am Diet Assoc, 2005.
  9. Methylmercury exposure and the health consequences of rice and fish consumption: a review. Li P, et al. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 2666-2691, 2010.
  10. Graham J. Dickinson, PhD, is a professor at the University of California in Berkeley, California, United States. Multiple sclerosis therapy that is natural. 2010. Healing Arts is the publisher of this book.
  11. DB Boyd, avoiding a hazardous missile. Graystone Books, 2010.
  12. HA Roman et al. Assessment of the cardiovascular effects of methylmercury exposure: Current data suggests that a dose-response function should be developed for regulatory benefit analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 119, no. 6, pp. 607-614, 2011.
  13. Mercury poisoning and treatment: a review of the literature, Bernhoft RA. 2012;10 p. J Environ and Public Health.
  14. Effect of trace elements on metal toxicity, Peraza MA. Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 106, no. 1 (suppl 1), pp. 203-216, 1998.
  15. Occupational health, mercury contamination, and environmental justice: Lessons from Tanzania’s experience. Spiegel, SJ. S550-S558 in American Journal of Public Health, 2009.
  16. Maternal fish intake during pregnancy, blood mercury levels, and cognitive performance of children at age three in a US cohort, Oken E, et al. Am J Epidemiol, 2008, vol. 167, no. 11, pp. 1171-1181.
  17. Oken E & Bellinger DC.  Fish consumption, methylmercury and neurodevelopment in children.  Curr Opin Pediatr 2008;20:178-183.
  18. Mercury poisoning and antioxidants: Part I: The function of glutathione and alpha lipoic acid in mercury poisoning therapy. Patrick L. Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 456-471, 2003.
  19. Remove this heavy metal poison from your body, Hyman M. Mercury. May of this year.
  20. CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder, CG Elinder
  21. Amino acid content and antioxidant characteristics of enzymatic protein hydrolysate fractions from pea seeds, Pownall TL, et al (pisum sativum L.). 58:4712–4718 in J Agric Food Chem.
  22. Low maternal methylmercury exposure from rice intake and potential health consequences on children, Rothenberg S.E., Feng H., Ping L. 159:1017-1022 in Umweltverschmutzung (2011).
  23. T. Dovydaitis, T. Dovydaitis, T. Dovydaitis, T. Dovydaitis, T. Dovydaitis, T. Do J Midwifery and Women’s Health, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 325-330, 2008.
  24. Ambio 2007;36:45-61. Swain EB, et al. Socio-economic consequences of mercury usage and pollution.

Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin. It is present in a wide variety of man-made products such as dental amalgams, vaccines and certain brands of fluorescent lighting. It is also found in fish, soil and the air. Infants and children are particularly exposed to mercury, as they are most likely to consume formula or food prepared with mercury-containing products. However, mercury is also naturally present in the human body, which makes it even more dangerous.. Read more about nutrition articles and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are 5 facts about nutrition?

1. The human body is composed of approximately 60% water, 25% protein, and 15% fat. 2. A persons caloric intake depends on the number of calories they burn each day through physical activity. 3. The average American consumes about 2,000 calories per day. 4. The recommended daily allowance for adults is between 2,500-3,000 calories a day depending on age and gender. 5. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets

What are the basics of nutrition?

Nutrition is the science of providing people with the right types and amounts of food in order to maintain or improve their health.

What are the 7 elements of nutrition?

There are 7 essential nutrients that the body needs to survive and function properly. These are water, carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins A, C, D, and E.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • mercury poisoning from fish
  • safe levels of mercury for humans
  • benefits of mercury in the body
  • foods high in mercury
  • mercury poisoning