By Dr. Corinne Allen
MERCURY THE MOST TOXIC SUBSTANCE:
Mercury is the most toxic substance according to The Agency for Toxic substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It creates free radicals and free radical damage when there is too much of it. When exposure is great enough and long enough the body may not be able to recover quick enough in producing enough free radical scavenging aid to help assist the body in dealing with this attack. It is important to supplement one’s diet with a high quality glutathione accelerating supplement that can raise the body’s own natural ability to produce more glutathione quickly.
ANTIOXIDANTS AND FREE RADICALS
Taking antioxidants combats excessive free radical damage. Molecules become free radicals when the oxygen atom loses an electron and starts to “attack” surrounding molecules, seeking a replacement electron. When exposed to mercury a chain reaction of cell damage results until an antioxidant halts the process by providing a spare electron.
Free radicals play an important role in both health and disease and have been implicated in countless human disease processes. Free radicals are vital to human health. These molecules (Reactive Oxidant Species) are extremely important to human metabolic processes.
Any molecule can become a free radical by either losing or gaining an electron and molecules containing these uncoupled electrons are very reactive (unstable). Once free radicals are initiated, they can propagate by becoming involved in chain reactions with other less reactive (stable) types. The resulting chain reaction compounds generally survive longer in the body and therefore increase the potential for cellular damage.
A free radical has three stages: the initiation stage, propagation and finally, termination. They are terminated or neutralized, by nutrient antioxidants enzymatic mechanisms or by recombining with each other. The aim is to balance free radical activity and antioxidant activity to achieve a state of balance (homeostasis).
THE DANGERS OF MERCURY
The Agency for Toxic substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists mercury as the most toxic substance in the Unites states and the third-most frequently found metal (lead and arsenic are first and second).
More than 25 percent of children in utero in the United States are exposed to levels of mercury above the EPA safe reference dose (o.1 microg methylmercury/kg body weight/day) for at least 30 days during gestation and leading to an increased risk for neurological damage.
(Environmental working Group. What women should know about mercury contamination of fish. Washington, D.C. Environmental Working Group; 2001:1-4)