Monday, July 17, 2006



Mercurial Madness:
The Grave Dangers of Dental Fillings and Other Sources of Mercury
by Mike Godfrey, M.D. for

Mercury is one of the most toxic elements, and it is accumulative (meaning it does not pass easily out of your body but instead accumulates there). It is even more neurotoxic than arsenic. However, when a person displaying symptoms of mercury poisoning is clinically diagnosed as having mercury toxicity from their dental amalgams (commonly known as 'fillings") or from a vaccine preservative -- and even if the source and elevated body levels have been confirmed -- the medical establishment, insurance companies and regulatory bodies still invariably deny the diagnosis. No one would logically accept that one could safely ingest a little arsenic every day as it accumulates and eventually causes poisoning. Unfortunately, this illogical reasoning is used by the American Dental Association (ADA) in relation to mercury, who still publish that you cannot be harmed by mercury from amalgam unless you are allergic to it (and according to the ADA this is very rare). However, logic would dictate that an accumulative poison is indeed a poison and you don't have to be allergic to it to be affected. That said, there is a difference in people's individual tolerances to mercury exposure, with some remaining apparently unaffected for many years and others becoming severely ill even within days of amalgams being placed or polished.
Signs of Mercury Poisoning You Should Be Aware Of
It should be noted that according to the World Health Organization (1991), brain mercury levels are directly proportional to the number of amalgam fillings a person has (1). Furthermore, according to Health Canada (1996), the maximum 'Tolerable Daily Intake" (TDI) of mercury vapour would be reached with just 4 average sized fillings in a 70kg adult and only one in a small child (2)!In 1997, two amalgam manufacturers -- Ivoclar-Vivadent and Dentsply-Caulk -- altered their Safety Data Sheets to include the symptoms and signs of chronic mercury poisoning as listed in toxicology literature (3), and other manufacturers have since followed suit (e.g. Kerr). These included:
Mood swings
Mental confusion
Memory loss
Chronic fatigue
And 'resistance to criticism"
The last item in the list above is typical of the average mercurial dentist's short-fuse response when questioned about amalgam safety. The fact that all of these symptoms are predominantly non-specific, as well as affecting different systems, makes the correct diagnosis very difficult for the unaware physician trained in N2D2 medicine (i.e. Name of Disease = Name of Drug).
Dentists and Doctors Should be Warning You of the Risks of Dental Amalgams
There have recently been some important U.S. court actions regarding amalgam toxicity. In Tennessee, a dentist sued a manufacturer for his own illness, and although the manufacturer avoided liability (on appeal) as the dentist could not prove that all his exposures were due exclusively to their product, an important ruling was made; namely, ' ... dentists will be required to explain to their patients the dangers acknowledged in Kerr's warnings." (Kerger vs. ADA et al.) Not only is this most certainly not being done but dentists and doctors are falsely reassuring patients that amalgam is safe. Thus, many mercury-toxic patients end up on a merry-go-round of specialists all having a turn at doing inappropriate tests on them, only to fail to identify the real underlying cause. These patients usually end up at the psychiatrist's office with a diagnosis of 'It's all in your head," although in the case of dental amalgam, it was literally right under their noses. Does short-term memory loss, mental confusion and undue irritability suggest something? These are the common early symptoms of senile dementia of the Alzheimer's type (SDAT), or Alzheimer's Disease (AD) if of early onset (i.e. before the age of 70).A number of University researchers in the USA and Canada have now scientifically proven that mercury -- and only mercury out of all the heavy metals-- causes the unique brain lesions that typify the AD brain, namely the neuro-fibrillary tangles or aggregates and the so-called "amyloid plaques." The final proof came in July 2001 when the research team from Calgary University published the effect of exposing a growing nerve in a culture to a minute amount of mercury. The 'melting away" of the nerve sheath and subsequent nerve fibre tangles was graphically shown on the web (5). However, prior to this, Prof. Boyd Haley, Chair of Chemistry, Kentucky University, Lexington, had revealed that the Apo-E mystery was resolved once one looked at the chemistry. The E2 containing sulphur was able to bind to mercury and remove it from the brain whereas the E4 could not.
Why It May Be Critical for You to Remove Your Dental Amalgams
My subsequent research with Dr. Wojcik into 400 of our symptomatic amalgam bearing patients then confirmed that there was a higher percentage with the apo-E4 than in the average population(6). Our recently completed follow-up research (yet unpublished) into 600 patients has now confirmed that protected removal of amalgam combined with appropriate medical detoxification, results in a statistically significant decrease in the symptoms of memory loss, depression and chronic fatigue. We have thus independently confirmed the findings of another research group at Uppsala University, Finland, who also investigated the effects of protected amalgam removal (7). We consider that all patients with memory loss and the other symptoms listed above need to be evaluated for mercury toxicity from dental amalgam. AD or SDAT could be either preventable or at least prevented from deteriorating in those with dental amalgam. Proper advice and where to get the best treatment in the USA is available(8), and it is of paramount importance that the process is done correctly. We are currently seeing the legacy of the over-enthusiastic socialised dentistry of the post second world war. The children of the 1950-70 decades who had inordinate amounts of amalgam fillings placed, are now entering their senior years with an average of 10 or more fillings. I consider that those who perchance inherited Apo-E4 are at a far greater risk of SDAT, and for them, one amalgam filling is one too many.
There is nowadays no need for dental amalgam as stronger and equally durable light-cured micro-crystalline restorations are available (provided the dentist is properly trained). Dental amalgam was a useful restorative material as it was cheap, durable and, as it was as easy to place as a piece of putty, one could get away with sloppy dentistry. It is a pity it poisons people.
About the AuthorDr. Mike Godfrey trained at London University, graduating in 1963, and moved to New Zealand with his wife and two daughters in 1971 to take up a family practice. In 1985, he gave up general practice after attending some U.S. conferences that revealed that the hidden causes of chronic illnesses were neither being identified nor properly treated by allopathically trained medical personnel, including Dr. Godfrey. At one of these U.S. meetings he was introduced to Hal Huggins, the Colorado Springs research dentist, who informed him that there was mercury in amalgam. As a consequence, probably over 2,000 New Zealand and Australian patients have subsequently regained their health as Dr. Godfrey has been passing Hal's message on to their doctors in both countries. Dr. Godfrey is Board certified in Clinical Metal Toxicology and a Fellow of the Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine.
WHO Environmental Health Criteria 118:115.
Richardson GM., and Allan AM. Monte Carlo assessment of mercury exposure and risks from dental amalgam. Human Ecol.Risk Assess. 1996;2(4):709-761
Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Directions for Use (DFU) Dentsply/Caulk and Ivoclar (Europe) Accessed February 1998
Roses AD and Saunders AM. Apolipoprotein E genotyping as a diagnostic adjunct for Alzheimer's disease. Int. Psychogeriatr. 9 (Suppl.1)(1997):277-288 and 317-321
Leong CW, Syed NI and Lorscheider FL. Retrograde degeneration of neurite membrane structural integrity of nerve growth cones following in vitro exposure to mercury. NeuroReport 12 (2001):733-737
Godfrey ME, Wojcik DP and Krone CA. Apolipoprotein E genotyping as a potential biomarker for mercury neurotoxicity. J.Alz.Disease 2003;5:189-195
Lindh U, Hudecek R, Danersund A, Eriksson S, Lindvall A. Removal of dental amalgam and other metal alloys supported by antioxidant therapy alleviates symptoms and improves quality of life in patients with amalgam-associated ill health. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2002;23(5-6):459-482

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