Friday, January 29, 2010
Mercury is a naturally occuring element that is found in soil, water and air. There are three forms of mercury: elemental, mercuric chloride (inorganic mercury), and methylmercury (organic mercury). Most people have some exposure to mercury as a result of daily activities. The distribution of mercury throughout the body is highly dependant on the form of mercury to which an individual was exposed.
The absorption of Elemental Mercury occurs rapidly through the lungs, but is poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. One elemental mercury crosses the blood-brain barriers, it can be stored in brain tissue. This form of mercury may be eliminated through urine, feces, exhaled air, sweat, and saliva.
Inorganic Mercury absorption is dependant on the particular mercuric salt involved. Absorption may also vary according to individual factors such as intestinal pH and diet. Inorganic mercury has a limited capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier and is generally excreted through feces and exhaled air.
Organic Mercury is rapidly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. This form of mercury easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is distributed throughout the body. Organic mercury is thought to be distributed via a neutral amino acid carrier protein, and has a relatively long half-life in humans: estimates range from 44-80 days. Elimination of this form occurs through feces, breast milk, and urine.
The effects of mercury on humans are fiercely debated. Many people have reported significant health improvements after performing a mercury detox. These benefits must of course be considered anecdotal, because the FDA does not endorse the benefits of natural remedies. With all of the mercury-free products available on the market today including everything from automobile airbags to acceleration switches, there's no need to potentially put your health at risk.