On my googling journies I have read about the connection of mercury fillings and infertility. Lisa posted a great article in the welcome thread last week about it as well.
I know that I have bugged DH in the past to find out if his fillings were mercury or not. Well during this weeks dental visit he remembered to ask and indeed all of his fillings are mercury. He is getting a crown next week and one of the fillings replaced. He's supposed to ask how much time/money it's going to take to replace them all.
I am really beginning to think that this may be what is causing our problems. I told him this morning that I would yank them out of his mouth if I could - LOL!!
The FDA and EPA have advised that women who might become pregnant, women who are pregnant, nursing mothers and young children should limit their intake of fish. Why? Because of the mercury levels in fish.
As we will see, mercury has profound effects on fertility.
What everyone seems to ignore when the topic of mercury is discussed is the fact that according to the World Health Organization the major source of mercury for a human being is from dental "silver" fillings. You get more mercury from your mercury laden dental fillings then you do from your food or from the environment.
The mercury in a silver amalgam filling accounts for about 50% of a dental restoration. If you have these fillings, then you are inhaling toxic mercury vapor every day. Anything you do to stimulate the filling will cause large increases in the amount of vapor coming off the filling. If you chew, grind, brush, bleach your teeth, have them polished by a hygienist or have them touched with a drill you greatly increase the amount of mercury coming from the filling. It comes out in a vapor form which allows it to easily pass to all your tissues and organs, including those of reproduction.
Men, Mercury and Reproduction
Mercury has an affinity for sperm. Mercury and other heavy metals are found in male ejaculate and seminal fluid, with the heaviest amount in the sperm.
Besides the fact that mercury disrupts all living systems via many different pathways, there are two ways mercury in male reproductive fluids may be a problem with respect to infertility. 1) A women may be hypersensitive or allergic to mercury and thus have antibodies to mercury which will then react with the sperm and kill them. 2) Sperm with low motility are low in zinc and manganese; these are needed in the enzyme systems necessary for sperm motility. Mercury inhibits zinc and manganese. Thus there can be an indirect effect of mercury on sperm. Selenium is also involved in sperm motility as well as in normal development of sperm. Selenium has a very high affinity for mercury and is one of the body's natural protectors against mercury. If the selenium is tied up with mercury it is not available for other important functions like healthy sperm.
Another side effect of mercury in humans is loss of libido. We can all appreciate how this can have an effect on fertility! Guess what was always used in contraceptive gels because it kills sperm? Right ... mercury. Mercury also inhibits the synthesis of DNA in sperm forming cells. DNA is what carries our genetic information.
I had a patient who came to remove his mercury fillings specifically because of his low sperm count and motility. He was a chiropractor and had researched the issue. He and his wife had been trying to have a baby for a few years and finally went for testing. His wife was fine, but he was not. Six months after removal of the fillings and detoxification of metals from his body, his wife became pregnant. They now have three beautiful children.
So much for the men, what about the other half?
Women are not as simple as men (but all you women know that). There is a lot more going on and therefore a lot more areas mercury can have an impact. Remember mercury from fillings comes off in the vapor form. It has no electrical charge-it is elemental mercury. It goes to the blood and in one minute circulates to the whole body. Having no charge it easily passes to various tissues and organs and then becomes charged. It then binds to proteins and is thus called inorganic mercury. Mercury can destroy the biological function of any protein it binds to.
According to the Center for Disease Control one in twelve women of child-bearing age already have unsafe blood levels of mercury. This is scary because blood is not even a good indicator of mercury-it is when it leaves the blood and binds to proteins that it becomes a problem.
Remember a woman's body is very complex. With all the rising and falling of various hormones, mercury accumulates in the hypothalamus and pituitary. Both of these hormone producing glands are responsible for the proper functioning of the female hormones. Fertility is based on the functional integration of the hypothalamus, pituitary, ovaries and uterus. The hypothalamus produces Gonatatrophin Releasing Hormone which tells the pituitary to release the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). Studies on women who work around mercury show menstrual cycle disturbances, hypomenorrhea, or hypermenorrhea. I know from my own experience in practice, that many women have all sorts of problems with their periods. Very often they report tremendous improvement when the mercury is removed and chelated out of their bodies.
Also with mercury poisoning we know there is an increased rate of spontaneous abortion and neonatal mortality. We especially see this in female dentists and assistants.
Some studies suggest endometriosis is linked to abnormal immune function. Mercury weakens the immune system. One of the ways it does this is by depleting the adrenal glands of B-5 and ascorbic acid. This causes a decrease in adrenal hormones which then leads to decreased immune function. Add stress, which can also ultimately decrease adrenal function and you have a recipe for problems. I find it is helpful to supplement all mercury-toxic patients to support the adrenal glands. Also the pituitary is important in adrenal functioning. Mercury loves to accumulate here. Mercury interferes with an enzyme called cytochrome P450. This enzyme is important in the production of progesterone, a major female hormone. The list goes on and on.
A study was done in Hong Kong on 150 infertile couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization versus 20 fertile couples. The infertile couples had significantly higher blood mercury then the fertile group. Over 1/3 of infertile men had abnormally high mercury and about 1/4 of the infertile females had high mercury levels. They blamed it on sea food consumption. Considering they looked only at blood, fish may have been the culprit. Mercury in the blood often will reflect fish intake. However, fish is not usually a major source of one's mercury. Too bad they did not run tests to check on the tissue burden of mercury. Nevertheless, this study reinforces the fact that mercury levels need to be investigated when dealing with infertility, both in the male and the female.
Suffice it to say, I believe that any couple having trouble conceiving should be checked for heavy metal toxicity.
As one new patient said, "When I decided to become pregnant I did all I could to be as healthy as possible. I made sure I ate healthy foods, abstained from all alcohol and stopped eating fish. I am really upset that nowhere did I read or did anyone tell me that "silver" fillings are a major source of mercury. Maybe that is why I had trouble getting pregnant and when I did I lost two babies in utero."
The American Dental Association likes to say that mercury in a filling is no longer mercury and therefore is safe. This is absurd. Just remember mercury is mercury and mercury is toxic.
P.S. The patient who had two miscarriages had her fillings removed, chelated for the mercury and heavy metals and got pregnant on the first try when I gave the green light. All is going well with the pregnancy.
A controversy has existed about the safety of "silver" dental took fillings ever since their introduction in 1819. The term "silver" is a misnomer in that 45-60% of the filling is mercury and only about 30% is silver. Within the dental profession, the materials is called amalgam, which means mercury and a alloy.
Mercury is one of the most toxic metals humans are exposed to, being even more toxic than arsenic or lead. Dental authorities long-maintained that the mercury was "locked" into the filing and, therefore, presented no danger to human health. Research has subsequently shown that this statement was patently false, as mercury vapor is released for silver/mercury dental fillings 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will continue to release mercury vapors as long as the filling remains in the tooth.
Research has also shown, that 80 to 100% of the mercury vapor inhaled into the lungs enters the blood and is subsequently transferred to the brain and all organs and tissues of the body. Over 75% of the population are believed to have mercury dental fillings. In the U.S., this amount to over 145 million individuals who are constantly exposed to a poison that has been implanted in their body, and in most instances, without their knowledge.
At this point you are probably wondering what the aforementioned facts have to do with "fertility." In 1984, we wrote the book "Infertility & Birth Defects - Is Mercury From Silver Dental Fillings An Unsuspected Cause?" Citing almost 500 scientific research studies, we outline and define how dental mercury could be the cause of the explosion in infertility and birth defects being experienced throughout the industrialized world. Since the, a great many studies have been published augmenting the information contained in our book and further confirming our hypothesis that, in many cases of infertility, the woman or the man or both have become infertile because of exposure to amounts of mercury from their dental fillings, their food and the environment, at levels their bodies were not able to accommodate. In the woman, this is usually manifested in the form of some type of hormonal disorder preventing conception, while in the man it is usually related to causing a defect either in sperm motility or vitality.
Although I have never been give a "sane" reason why the American Dental Association and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are so closed-minded and almost paranoid in espousing their position that dental mercury fillings are safe, I suspect it may be that if they were ever to admit they have been wrong all these years and that dental mercury really is a dangerous poison, the liability would be beyond normal comprehension. In spite of this "ostrich" attitude, and the lack of government or ADA funding, medical scientists and researchers around the world, led by the University of Calgary Medical School, have been actively investigating the potential health effects of dental mercury. However, medical scientists in this country have not devoted a great deal of research effort to the possibility that dental mercury may be one of the primary etiological factors in ever-increasing infertility rate. Unfortunately, and perhaps more importantly from the infertile couples¼ standpoint, if you broach the subject to your physician or dentist, be prepared to receive a "closed-mind" response quoting the establishment position.
In other areas of the world, however, research is being conducted more openly and aggressively without excluding any rationally possible etiological factors. In Germany, Professor Ingrid Gerhard, M.D. and her colleagues have been seriously investigating the effect of heavy metals as well as pesticides on fertility. Associated with the University of Heidelberg Gynecological Clinic, Professor Gerhard[s group has examined more than 1,000 patients for mercury, fertility problems and symptoms. Patients were also examined for pesticide contamination. Urine mercury levels were measured after administering an oral celation agent (Dimaval), and blood was examined for various polychlorinated compounds. The high mercury group had more hormonal disturbances, immune disturbances, recurring fungal infections, alopecia and allergies. A number of different hormonal disturbances were found, sex hormones among them. These differences were all statistically significant and some were very marked. Allergies and hair loss were 2-3 times more common in the high-mercury group. The doctors at the clinic have successfully treated fertility problems with a combination of vitamins/minerals and amalgam removal.
Professor Gerhard believes that women with hormonal irregularities or specific fertility disorders should be examined for heave metal and pesticide contamination prior to being subjected to any treatment modalities. We also believe that the male partner of any infertile couple, especially if the man has a mouth full of mercury dental fillings, should have his sperm evaluated for mercury and other toxic heavy metals, even if there doesn¼t appear to be any problem with sperm motility.
Here in the U.S., millions of dollars are being spent to convince the American people that "silver" dental fillings are safe. However, other countries are moving to do something about the mercury contamination problem. Sweden is in the process of stopping use of amalgam as a dental filling material. It must be phased out by the end of 1997. Sweden has previously limited its use in children and pregnant women. Germany has already banned the use of one type of dental amalgam and has limited the use of amalgam dental fillings in children and women of child-bearing age. Austria is to ban the sue of all amalgam by the year 2000.
If you would like to learn more about the potential health effects of dental mercury fillings and receive a catalogue of books that are available on the issue, send a #10 SASE with 78¢ postage to: Foundation For Toxic -Free Dentistry, P.O. Box 608010, Orlando, FL 32860-8010.
Extremely important aspects of the amalgam issue documented at the FDA forum were not covered by reporters, such as
1. the major widespread environmental effects affecting all in florida documented in the forum, since amalgam is documented to be the largest source of mercury in sewers and sewer sludge, and a major source in water bodies, the environment, fish, etc. Note that a Scientist there demonstrated that mercury proliferation from such use is increasing and affecting the environment, animals, people all over the world. (Sam Queen)(I have similar documentation)
And this is a reason cited by some countries as a major factor in why their country banned amalgam use.
2. the statement of the 4 mercury free dentists and a dental hygenists with documentation that there are better options than amalgam and that use of amalgam affects not only patients but dental staff and that there is as much as 90% difference in the mercury exposure of patients having amalgam work depending on the training and protocol of the dentist, www.flcv.com/dental.html
The Dean of the Florida Dental School apparently is more influenced by Special Interests than public concern. Assoc. Dean Boyd Robinson made a knowingly and blatantly false statement to the reporter covering the Orlando FDA forum on dental amalgam safety. (Robinson said "scientific evidence hasn't shown harm from mercury fillings. " This is a repeat of statements commonly made by special interests such as the ADA but the statement has been well documented many times in formal hearings of the FDA and Florida Dept. Of Health and Florida Dental Board and at Congressional Hearings and by many hundreds of peer-reviewed and clinical studies to be blatantly false, with the medical studies and clinical studies documenting amalgams are not stable and cause high mercury exposure (www.flcv.com/AmalgamP.HTML ) Documentation was also provided from the medical literature that amalgam is the largest source of mercury in people with such fillings, and commonly causes over 30 chronic health conditions (www.flcv.com/damspr1.HTML & www.flcv.com/indexa.html) Also there were well documented cases of harm demonstrated at the forum that had medical test support including statements by Mayo Clinic and the FDA demonstrating clear major harm . Also see over 60,000 cases of recovery/improvement after amalgam replacement (www.flcv.com/hgremove.HTML) & that dental authorities have always been aware of the problems and harm caused by amalgam (www.flcv.com/AmalHist.html)
Bernard Windham, President and Research Director, DAMS International,
Participant in FDA Orlando forum on amalgam safety
note: mercury from amalgam has also been found to cause hair loss and greying of hair due to hormonal effects. accumulates in hormone glands and affects most of their functions.
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