There is a section in Amalgam Illness titled ‘How Mercury Hurts You. "Mercury” Andy tells us does its damage when it gets inside your cells-particularly the cells of your brain. When you are exposed to mercury for a short time, he says, nothing will happen, because your cell membranes have the job of keeping the mercury out. (They also, unfortunately, keep it in if it happens to get in.) You get into trouble if you are exposed for a long time and the mercury leaks into your cells and fills them up. It will stay stuck in your cells and will be unavailable to show up in a blood or urine. The doctor checking you who doesn’t understand about the physiology of mercury will think you are just crazy because he doesn’t see that you have much, and he knows about people who have had big exposures and nothing happened to them.
Mercury does its damage mostly by catalyzing oxidation of the membranes which surround the cell and the membranes that are inside the cell, too. It attaches to molecules called sufhydral groups that are part of these membranes and then causes oxidization of the unsaturated compounds that are present in these membranes. An unsaturated compound, if I understand correctly, is a molecule that is in a position to be transformed by a chemical reaction. There are plenty of these vulnerable, so to speak, molecules in the cell membranes. The mercury destroys the essential fatty acids that make up the structure of the membranes. It also destroys the phospholipids like phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidyl serine that hold the membranes together.
Mercury also oxidizes the proteins inside the cells. Some of these proteins are enzymes that make reactions happen, and some are receptors that receive messages. Enzymes have what is called an “active site” which allows them to react with what they are supposed to affect. These “active sites” are often configured with sufhydral groups to hold a particular mineral in place. Mercury will knock the mineral that is supposed to be there out of place and deactivate the enzyme. So whatever chemical reaction the enzyme is supposed to make happen in the vast chemical machinery of your body, does not happen. The minerals in question are magnesium and zinc, and that is why we tell you to supplement them. Mercury is making you not be able to hold on to them properly and you need a lot more of them kicking around than an ordinary person.
The cell membrane passes messages back and forth to the machinery of the cell and when it is messed up, a lot of these messages get garbled. This particularly affects your brain because that is your body’s main message center and it can’t deal with a whole lot of garbled messages. Andy’s theory on how to test for mineral transport derangement is based on the fact that mercury has messed with the cell membranes ability to pass minerals back and forth appropriately. The whole, fabulous, messenger system of the human body depends on the cell membranes being whole and healthy and mercury messes with cell membranes and tears them up.
As part of the oxidization process, mercury also causes free radicals to form and these can attack you DNA and mutate it. This will either cause the cells to not work properly, to die, or worst-case scenario, turn cancerous.
The hypothalamus in the brain is part of your endocrine system. It is the master controller for the chemical messenger systems that regulates how your memory, moods and emotions, hormones, breathing and heartbeat work. It is one section of the brain that is not protected by the blood brain barrier and is extremely susceptible to being injured by mercury. Your endocrine system is an exquisitely complex messenger system which measures and assesses and zaps hormones around to get your body to do the things it needs to do. If the messages coming in and out are garbled, much can go wrong. So many mercury toxic people are wracked with anxiety, and/or in constant fight or flight, not sleeping properly, jumping out of their skins, dragging their asses around. That is why we are always on about “support your adrenals, support your adrenals.” Andy said they are the biggest issue for mercury toxic people, produce the widest range of weird symptoms and are the last thing to recover.
Mercury also tends to concentrate in the liver which is responsible for clearing out natural and synthetic chemicals. It is also absorbed by the immune system which can wind up misfiring and attacking innocent bystanders and causing problems ranging from allergies up to autoimmune disease.
Mercury messes with how your body works. To what extent it will make you sick depends on how susceptible you are, how much exposure you got, and where it wound up. It is astounding how our wonderful bodies can keep on functioning even when they are poisoned to such an extent. Your body will work, but in a crippled sort of way.
You can protect yourself from the damage mercury does by taking lots of antioxidants to quench the oxidative fires it sets off, and essential fatty acids that the cell walls use to repair themselves. You can also take a lot of the essential elements that mercury tends to displace. That is why we have you take the core four of magnesium, zinc, E and C. Two minerals and two antioxidants. The most profound thing you can do to counteract this stuff is chelate, which means provide your body with chemicals with lots of sulfhydral groups that mercury can latch on to so it can be excreted.
There are ways to chelate properly and ways to make yourself horribly irreversibly worse by moving mercury around when you would have done better to just let it alone. So learn about the Andy Cutler protocol and how to chelate properly and get this volatile, oxidative, enzyme deactivating crap out of your body.