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Mercury: Get This Heavy-Metal Poison Out of Your Body

Mercury: Get This Heavy-Metal Poison Out of Your Body

IF YOU ARE HEAVY, it could be making you sick and tired and age prematurely. And I don’t mean heavy with fat … I mean heavy with heavy metals–like mercury. Unfortunately, toxic mercury problems are common. Along with polar bears, beluga whales, ducks, otters, panthers, and all river fish as well as most large ocean fish, we humans are poisoning ourselves with mercury at ever increasing rates.

There’s no doubt about it, mercury is the most alarming, disease-causing source of environmental toxicity that I see daily in my practice. Many of patients have toxic levels of mercury–and they’re not alone. I personally suffered from mercury toxicity and chronic fatigue syndrome–which I cured myself from, in part by getting rid of the mercury in my body. So I know about this first hand.

I became toxic because I polluted myself by growing up on tuna fish sandwiches, eating sushi, living in Beijing, which heats all its homes with coal–the major source of environmental mercury load–and having a mouthful of amalgam (a.k.a. mercury) fillings.

All of these exposures, combined with genes that prevent me from effectively detoxifying metals in my body, led to a slow and significant poisoning of my cells and mitochondria. And the effects were obvious …

I felt weak, tired, and couldn’t think. I had muscle pain and twitches, insomnia, digestive problems, food allergies, depression, and anxiety. And it was only by discovering high levels of mercury in my hair and urine — and slowly detoxifying myself — that I was able to get better.

I have seen this over and over in my patients, too. From chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, to depression, anxiety, obesity, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart failure, and heart disease, the message is clear …

We are being poisoned!

Mercury is lipophilic, meaning that it concentrates in fatty tissues, especially in the brain, which is made mostly of fat.

This is such an important public health and personal issue for so many people I want to fully explain the extent of mercury issues and give you a comprehensive plan for reducing your exposure and healing from mercury toxicity. I’ll show you the science behind mercury toxicity, share some stories about my patients who have suffered, and talk about the way we need to deal with this major health problem.

First, I’d like to share with you what I learned at one of the most important international conferences on mercury yet to be held. It was called “The Impact of Mercury on Human Health and the Environment” and was presented at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

There, a unique international group of policymakers, environmental scientists, toxicologists, biochemists, journalists, academic physicians, practicing pediatricians, neurologists, and dentists gathered.

We were there to make sense of the environmental impact, toxicology, basic science, public policy and health implications of one the least studied and perhaps greatest potential threats to our long-term health–mercury. And I want to share some of what I learned at that conference with you.

Mercury Levels Are on the Rise

Barry Kohl, Ph.D. is an adjunct professor in the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University. At the conference he provided a unique overview of the impact of industrialization on environmental mercury levels through a description of the levels of mercury in the ice core extracted from the pristine Freemont Glacier in Wyoming.

There were small peaks in mercury concentration in the ice core from the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption in Indonesia, the 1850-84 gold rush in California where mercury was used for smelting, the eruption in 1883 of the Sumatran volcano Krakatau 10,000 miles away, and the more recent Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980.

Over all, the changes in environmental mercury levels have been dramatic. Over the past 100 years, there has been a 30-fold increase in mercury deposition, 70 percent of which is from human sources. In fact, there was an exponential peak in mercury occurring in the last 40 years due to major industrialization. Much of this mercury comes from coal-fired industrial plants and from chlor-alkali plants that use mercury in the process of making chlorine used in plastics, pesticides, PVC pipes, and more.

One note of hope was the reduction in industrial mercury emissions from 220 million pounds to 120 million pounds a year over the last 10 years. But that’s small consolation when we’re talking about a substance that is toxic in parts per million, not in millions of pounds.

And the more mercury we are exposed to, the more we are likely we are to be toxic.

Risk Increases with Dose

Harvey Clewell from the ENVIRON Health Sciences Institute, Ruston, Louisiana, reviewed the epidemiologic studies from the Seychelles and Faroe islands. He showed that your risk of toxicity increases with higher doses of mercury.

Now, there are different types of mercury. Nearly all human exposures to one type, methylmercury, come from fish.

In the Seychelle Islands, there seemed be little effect on kids from mercury; however their fish consumption was predominately from low-risk small reef fish that don’t contain much mercury.

On the other hand, in the Faroe Islands people eat whale blubber, which contains high levels of mercury — over three parts per million. There, high levels of mercury were found in umbilical cord blood and correlated with reduced performance in neurologic testing in 917 mother-infant pairs.

The health effects from methyl mercury upon infants and children depend on the dose. Severe symptoms start with exposure to doses of 100 mcg/kg/day, mild symptoms with more than 10 mcg/kg/day, and sub-clinical symptoms with less than 1 mcg/kg/day. These symptoms include late development in walking and talking and decreased performance on neurological tests.

Dr. Clewell also reviewed the limitations of various forms of testing for mercury.

Methylmercury (also called organic mercury) is found predominately in red blood cells, which is what doctors check when they do a blood test for mercury. But unless you’ve been eating fish with mercury recently, you won’t see your total body level of mercury.

Plus, mercury is lipophilic, meaning that it concentrates in fatty tissues, especially in the brain, which is made mostly of fat. That means that blood levels aren’t an accurate measurement of total body burden of mercury.

Inorganic mercury from dental fillings (amalgams) is found in plasma but is rapidly cleared and stored in your tissues. Inorganic mercury is also converted from methylmercury by the body and is the main form of mercury in brain, which can lead to dementia, autism, ADHD and more.

All of these are reasons you need to get comprehensive testing done to assess you total mercury load. I will review the test you need in a moment, but first I want to talk about how mercury gets in your body and what it does to your body and brain.

Health Effects of Mercury

We get mercury in our bodies from many different sources including mercury vapors in ambient air, ingesting it via drinking water, fish, dental amalgams, vaccines, occupational exposures, home exposures including fluorescent light bulbs, thermostats, batteries, red tattoo dye, skin-lightening creams, over-the-counter products such as contact lens fluid and neosynephrine, and more.

You absorb about 80 percent of inhaled mercury vapor and nearly 100 percent of the mercury in fish through your gut.

Once this mercury is in your body it is then primarily distributed in the kidneys and brain and can be readily transferred to the fetus via the placenta.

The only way it can get out of your body is via urine, feces, expired air, and breast milk. The major reason it is toxic to human biology is because mercury has the ability to bind to sulfur-containing molecules in the body (found in nearly every enzyme and in the mitochondria), as well as other chemical binding sites in the cells.

We’ve learned a lot about how this mercury effects us and our children from reported exposures to mercury over the last 100 years. These include epidemics such as the Minimata Bay exposures in Japan, acrodynia or pink disease in children from calomel (HgCl) used in teething powder, “mad hatter syndrome” or erethism, and methylmercury fungicide grain seed exposures in Iraq and Pakistan.

The symptoms and diseases these exposures have caused are varied and mimic many other conditions. Nervous system toxicity can cause erethism (“mad hatter syndrome” as mentioned above) with symptoms of shyness; laughing, crying, and dramatic mood swings for no apparent reason; nervousness, insomnia, memory problems, and the inability to concentrate.

Other neurologic symptoms may include encephalopathy (non-specific brain malfunction), nerve damage, Parkinsonian symptoms, tremor, ataxia (loss of balance), impaired hearing, tunnel vision, dysarthria (slurred speech), headache, fatigue, impaired sexual function, and depression.

Kidney toxicity leads to proteinura (protein in the urine) and acute renal failure.

Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and colitis.

Skin toxicity causes allergic dermatitis, chelitis (cracked corners of the mouth), gingivitis (gum disease), stomatitis (sores in the mucous membranes of the mouth) and excessive salivation.

Clearly, mercury toxicity is VERY serious business!

Dentistry and Mercury

One of the more controversial sources of mercury toxicity is dental fillings. Silver dental fillings, or amalgams, contain inorganic mercury. Mercury exposure from amalgams is estimated to be between 3 to 17 micrograms per day from chewing, brushing, grinding, and even slow corrosion.

Questions have arisen about whether or not this amount is toxic … I am going to clear up the confusion here.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no significant neurologic or behavioral changes in children who had mercury amalgam (silver) fillings, compared to kids who had composite (white) fillings placed. But there were significant problems with that study …

First, the duration of the study was short and the effects subtle. Second, they failed to emphasize the significance of the fact that the kids who had the silver fillings had much higher levels of mercury in their urine than the kids with white fillings.

This is one of the most important details of that study, because it proves that mercury fillings in your mouth release mercury vapor that is absorbed into your body, ending up in your urine. It is deposited in your organs, including your brain, where it accumulates over time.

Whether your fillings are new or old, the mercury in them is constantly absorbed into your body. And even if you stop being exposed to that mercury, it sticks around. It takes up to 18 years for the body to clear half of the dose of mercury from the body. Once mercury is in the body it comes out only VERY slowly.

In fact, people with amalgam fillings have significantly elevated blood mercury levels, three to five times more mercury in the urine, and two to twelve times more mercury in their tissues than those without amalgam fillings.

However blood and urine mercury levels don’t necessarily relate to the mercury load in your body tissues or severity of clinical symptoms.

Research on sheep and monkeys with dental amalgams has shown that blood mercury levels remained low — even though their tissue mercury levels were raised.

Urine mercury levels aren’t much better as an indicator of your total mercury load. They mainly reflect the cumulative dose of inorganic mercury in the kidneys and there exists only a very weak correlation with levels in other target tissues.

Another speaker at the conference, Mike Robichaux, a practicing dentist, reviewed his experience with removal of amalgams fillings. He showed a remarkable video of mercury vapor being released from a 25-year-old tooth. You can watch it on the website of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

But other dentists aren’t so concerned. In fact, the American Dental Association still says it is safe to use mercury or silver fillings. That’s something I’ve always wondered about, since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers old mercury fillings that have been removed from the body toxic waste that has to be disposed as such.

Let me put this another way. It’s apparently all right to put mercury fillings in your mouth — but not to throw them out in the garbage!

The danger of amalgam fillings has been confirmed by research from around the world.

At the conference, Anders Lindvall, M.D., from the Foundation for Metal Biology in Sweden, reported his work on the health effects of dental amalgams and presented a review of the controversial literature on dental amalgams and human health.

Many of his patients reported a symptom complex consistent with chronic fatigue syndrome that they believed were related to dental amalgams. So in 1990, Dr. Lindvall began a study at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden to diagnose and treat 796 patients with suspected amalgam-related illness and to develop and evaluate diagnostic tools to assess toxicity from dental amalgams. (i)

Besides conventional measures of quality of life and symptoms, unique laboratory assessments were used to determine the presence and immunological toxicity of metals.

One was PIXE, an accelerator-based test on single blood cells that assesses intracellular levels of trace elements, which showed that, in lymphocytes (white blood cells), mercury is found in the nucleus, particularly in places where zinc is low.

The other was MELISA, a test of lymphocyte reactivity to metal compounds. (ii)

Dr. Lindvall’s patients were treated with antioxidants (B complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, and selenium); infections and jaw dysfunction were addressed; and selective removal of any incompatible dental material was performed using low-emission amalgam removal techniques and bio-compatible materials to replace the amalgams.

The cost of these procedures was covered by national health insurance.

Laboratory follow up at one year showed over 70 percent of patients reported significant improvement in symptoms after amalgam removal!

Unfortunately, this study had some problems too …

The clinic was closed after the study was published, so there was no further access allowed to the records, which contained over 1,000 untreated patients who could have served as a control group. And since 1999, amalgam dental restorations in Sweden are no longer covered by insurance.

But Dr. Lindvall’s study still suggests that silver amalgams can cause health problems — and that removing the fillings can help relieve these problems.

And other studies have had similar effects.

Research has found that patients with chronic fatigue and autoimmune thyroiditis show improvement in their health status after their amalgam fillings are replaced with composites. (iii)

In another study, 71 percent of people with autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, improved after amalgam removal. Low-dose exposure to inorganic mercury may be a contributing factor in the development of autoimmune diseases. (iv)

Animal and lab studies suggest that exposure to metallic mercury may cause nerve cell damage and promote the production the plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. (v)

Plus, we know that mercury levels in the human placenta correlate with the number of maternal amalgam fillings — and a substantial amount of mercury from amalgams reaches the fetus.

Worse, mercury from dental amalgams in pregnant women may also contribute to development of autism in their children. In one study, mothers of 94 autistic children had statistically more amalgam fillings during pregnancy than 49 mothers of healthy kids. (vi)

In contrast to their higher mercury exposure during pregnancy, these autistic children had reduced mercury levels in their first haircut (mercury exposure can be measured in human hair). This may reflect a reduced capacity to excrete mercury from their body, which in turn may lead to elevated brain mercury levels.

And approximately 20 percent of the general public may experience sub-clinical central nervous system and/or kidney function impairment due to amalgam fillings.

When taken collectively, the research forces us to question the safety of dental amalgams. In my view, there is no doubt about it … they are a danger.

But before you start yanking out your fillings, there is something else to consider …

Genetic Variations in the Ability to Detoxify

Some of us are very good at detoxifying mercury and other toxins, while some of us store toxins like a toxic waste dump. Genetic variations (called polymorphisms) make some people more prone to metal toxicity.

One gene in particular is very important because it’s related to the body’s production of glutathione, our most powerful detoxifier and antioxidant. Your body can only excrete mercury when it’s bound with glutathione.

The polymorphism of the gene that controls the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase (GSST) prevents excretion of mercury. That is the gene problem I have that led to my mercury toxicity. When that happens, the mercury stays in tissues and does damage. Plus, mercury also binds to key enzymes that help us produce glutathione — in effect helping itself accumulate in our bodies.

Research also shows that people suffering from symptoms like fatigue, irritability, mood disorders, poor concentration, headaches, and insomnia due to their amalgam fillings are more likely than their peers to have the apolipoprotein E 4 (ApoE 4) gene. (vii)

ApoE 4 is known as the “Alzheimer’s gene.” It also promotes heart disease. ApoE 4 reduces detoxifying activity. This means that people with this gene can’t get rid of mercury from their brains, contributing to its toxic effects on this organ.

I know this all sounds very depressing. And it is. But the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your exposure — and identify if you have toxic levels of mercury. So let me sum up what we learned in this week’s blog and offer some suggestions for reducing your exposure.

10 Truths and Tips about Mercury Toxicity

  1. Industrial exposure to mercury is significant and mostly comes from coal burning (220 million pounds a year) and chlor-alkali plants.
  2. The main ways that humans are exposed to mercury are from contaminated fish and dental amalgams or silver fillings.
  3. Mercury can affect nearly all your organs, especially the brain, heart, kidneys, and gut.
  4. Many chronic diseases may be caused or worsened by mercury, including neurologic disease, ADHD, autism, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and more.
  5. Some of us are genetically better adapted to detoxify mercury than others, leading to variable effects within the population.
  6. You should reduce your exposure by avoiding large ocean fish (like tuna, swordfish, shark, and tilefish) and river fish. Eat only small wild fish. If it fits in your pan, it is probably okay.
  7. Blood tests are relatively worthless for analyzing mercury toxicity, unless you have had a significant recent exposure or eat a lot of sushi or tuna.
  8. Hair tests only check for mercury from fish, not from fillings so they only give you a partial picture.
  9. The only way to find out your total body load of mercury is to take a medication with sulfur molecules that binds to the mercury like fly paper. This is called DMSA or DMPS. This test should ONLY be done by a trained physician and involves taking one dose of this medicine, followed by a 6- or 24-hour urine collection to see how much comes out. (In my opinion, the most reliable testing is done by
  10. If you are toxic and sick, you may consider addressing your dental health by seeing a biological dentist who can safely help you deal with mercury in your mouth.

Going to see a conventional dentist who drills out your fillings without any precautions or protection can lead to serious health consequences. I strongly advise against it. However, amalgam filling removal CAN be done safely and effectively done by a dentist trained in the correct techniques.

In this related post, I’ll give you more advice on how to safely eliminate the mercury in your body if you find you are toxic. Finding out if you are poisoned by mercury, limiting your exposures, and getting the mercury out of your body is absolutely critical if you want to achieve lifelong vibrant health.

If you would like to read more of the extensive research on the biologic effects of mercury and toxins on human health, please link to this extensive online bibliography. If you have any doubt about the evidence of harm across a broad range of health conditions of mercury, you must do your homework and review the research yourself.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Do you think mercury toxicity is a legitimate health concern or a bogus problem?

Do you have any symptoms of mercury toxicity and what have you done about them?

Have you asked your doctor about mercury toxicity and if so, what was his/her response?

Are you exposed to many sources of mercury? What could you do to reduce your exposure?

Please let me know your thoughts by adding a comment below.


(i) Lindh U. 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. Neuroendocrinology Letters 2002; 23(5/6):459-482.

(ii) Stejskal V. Metal-specific lymphocytes: biomarkers of sensitivity in man. Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999;20:289-298.

(iii) Sterzl I., et al. Mercury and nickel allergy: Risk factors in fatigue and autoimmunity. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 1999; 20: 221-228.

(iv) Prochazkova, J., et al. The beneficial effect of amalgam replacement on health in patients with autoimmunity. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 2004; 25(3): 211-218.

(v) Stejskal, J. and Stejskal, V. The role of metals in autoimmunity and the link to neuroendocrinology. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 1999; 20: 351-364.

(vi) Holmes, A.S., et al. Reduced levels of mercury in first baby haircuts of autistic children. International Journal of Toxicology. 2003. 22(4): 277-285.

(vii) Wojcik, D.P. et al. Mercury toxicity presenting as chronic fatigue, memory impairment, and depression: Diagnosis, treatment, susceptibility, and outcomes in a New Zealand practice setting (1994-2006). 2006. Neuroendocrinology Letters. 27(4): 415-423.

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (88)


  • I have many health problems among them asthma, Graves disease, fibromyalgia, MCS, etc. I have mercury amalgams, some of which have been removed by simply pulling infected teeth. Over the past couple years I have had maybe 5 teeth with mercury extracted. Though I am still not well, I have noticed higher tolerance of substances that normally would have nearly killed me after removing teeth. I keep wondering if all the amalgams were out of my mouth, if I would become a lot healthier.

    After having some major mercury fillings, in 1981 my health became much worse. It is one of the things I have suspected as at least in part causing my health problems.

  • Hi! I have a 2 year old and am newly pregnant. A neighbor, who has us over to her house about once a week (we drink coffee, my two year old plays on her floor with toys she keeps in her house for her), recently broke a fluorescent tube in the room where we sit – all over the carpet where my 2 year old plays. She hadn’t even considered mercury, was just telling me “guess what I did”, and I immediately raised my concern. She hadn’t vacuumed – had actually used tape to pick up all the pieces, but that’s it. Since I told her, she said she would ventilate the space, but it is the dead of winter and where we live, the highs are in the twenties and lows subzero, so I doubt she can do much of that right now. Being pregnant, and having a 2 year old who plays on that carpet – should we avoid going over there? If so – for how long? Forever? THANK YOU!

    • Hi Sara,

      We can’t give you advise of this type over the internet, but you should exercise caution and get a professional opinion in this matter.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Dr Hyman,
    My wife has been going through, what we believe to be, mercury poisoning. Some of the prominent symptoms are; can’t watch TV, can’t view the computer, slurred speech (mostly in the morning), almost constant thoughts of suicide, extreme back pain, she says she can feel her adrenals dumping, violent behavior, anxiety, panic, fear, and the list just goes on and on. I have been on this journey with her going on three years next month. I have spent well over $30,000 and I’m still not sure if mercury is the true enemy. Because of the back pain, we have been to over 12 different chiropractors (all mean well, but find they can do nothing to help), the medical community who consistently say they don’t believe it’s mercury, and a handful of naturopaths who think every one can just do the dmps or dmas chelation. My wife gets back pain or nervous reactions from just about every food that’s on the market. Naturopaths just have you buy a bunch of different supplements, most of which sit on my kitchen table when my wife experiences reactions to everything they are prescribing.
    My question to you is… you know of any reputable doctor, such as yourself who has had the toxicity and will know how to honestly help someone, located in the Portland,Oregon, or Vancouver, Washington area? It seems Dr Dietrich Klinghardt located in Seattle is very good with heavy metal patients, but he is approx 3 hrs drive from where we live, and that’s another problem……my wife can’t travel in a car because this (?) has so screwed her up.

  • Dr Hyman, thank you so much for having the courage to speak up on this issue. Your testimony in your book, The UltraMind Solution, provided the tip I needed to find my previously undiagnosed heavy metal problem.

    After 1.75 years of chelation (Cutler protocol) my bone density was almost back to normal and I was off all medications, including ADD medication. I’m getting a second chance at a normal life.

    I am still taking many supplements and expect to chelate occasionally for some time longer since lead comes out of bone slowly and since mercury comes out of the brain so slowly.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Joe,
      I’m happy for you getting this far.
      I started recently with Cutler’s protocol I’m on my second round 🙁
      I have a question for you, did you have any digestive problem because of mercury?
      if yes, did the chelation after 1.75 years helped it or cured it ?


  • Kindly tell me how can we get rid of mercury from our body. What should be consumed- the prescribed diet, to flush out the mercury. I shall be highly obliged.

    • Hi Shilpa,

      Eating a whole foods diet with plenty of cruciferous vegetables, purified water, lemon and antioxidants from spices, berries and vegetables is a great start. There are also certain nutrients and herbs useful in proper detoxification.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • Dr. Hyman staff,

    My wife has been sick for 2 years. She has had every blood test and exam known to man. She feels tired all the time with ache coming and going. She used to be able to walk circles around me and not get to tired. Now she walks around the block and she is pooped. She has headaches too. One day two years ago she was eating and a sharp pain shot through her head (like lightning. She cracked her tooth and has progressively gotten worse in health. No one was able to help her, until she came across this Dr. who believes in, the gut is the root of our health problems. She started eating vegitables only and graduated to fruit. She started feeling better, but still felt like she had the flu. She found a bio dentist and we have a date to get the mercury out of her mouth, but the Dentist will not submit to the insurance company because they say no insurance company will cover this operation. Is there any financial help out there. This surgury will be about 15,000 dollars. It is kinda hard to come up with 15,000 dollars and it is something that may help. (its not a for sure that it will help). I and she are willing to try anything to help her feel better. If you know of any financial help we would appreciate it. Any advice would be helpful too.


    • Hi Genevieve,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Just make sure of your source to get the cleanest fish you can.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hello! I have a mouthful of amalgams and I cannot afford to have them removed right now. I’m certain that I’m toxic…chronic diarrhea and rapid hair loss, brain fog, fatigue…you name it.

    My question is this: can I begin slowly detoxing while I still amalgams, or will that just drag mercury from my teeth and aggravate the problem?


    • Hi Judy,

      You can certainly begin eating a diet suggested by Dr.Hyman in this article. Bulking up on nutrients known to promote the body’s innate ability to detoxify itself is key. Eat your fiber-rich vegetables, low glycemic berries and fruits such as apples, raw nuts and seeds and your B vitamins (hint: foods like salmon are a powerhouse of vitamins and healthy cleansing fats!).

      All other detoxification should be monitored by a professional well experienced in heavy metal detoxification.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

      In good health,
      The Nutrition Team

  • I have been experiencing many symptoms for years. In the past year or so it has become elevated. In the past week or so, almost unbearable. I thought it was just my thyroid, my age, but about 2 weeks ago I started a bit of a detox diet. I eliminated dairy, grains, and refined foods (most of which I don’t eat anyway) and started to feel better. I was exercising, had more energy, more alertness/cognitive function. I was losing fat and gaining muscle. Then I went on a bit of “binge”… raw mahi mahi… wild. Within two days all of the symptoms were back… tenfold. I woke with a sinus migraine that took almost an entire day to recover from… I had toothaches, mouth ulcers, muscle cramps, fatigue, adema, poor circulation, muscle cramping, arthritic like symptoms in my hands, non-stop sinus congestion and drainage, blurred vision, dark rings around my eyes, and my skin… blackheads and odd rashes. When I was in the sauna, I literally smelled like metal and could taste it in my mouth. At first I assumed it was some weird “release” (a by-product of the detox) and hoped it would pass. Today I noticed what looked like tiny broken blood vessels at the surface of my skin, there was a strange rash around my eyes and every pore on my face seemed to be turned into a blackhead. I literally thought “it looks like I’m sweating lead”. Then I thought “metal toxicity!” and the internet search began… I stumbled on mercury toxicity and suddenly it all “clicked”… I have an amalgam filling in the back of my mouth. It was sealed by my dentist but the seal broke, leaving the filling exposed. I have raw mercury sitting in the back of my mouth! Between that, and the raw fish? No WONDER! I am calling a biological dentist in the morning and having those removed. In the meanwhile? No more sashimi for me! Then begins the long detox process…

  • My 13 year old daughter has been diagnosed with mercury poisoning in February. She is on her 7th chelation treatment (EDTA). My main problem is that we are not sure how she got mercury poisoning. There are two things that I am looking into – she never had a problem until she got dental braces put on (from the day they were put on in January until now she has had severe dizziness). Also, there was an incidence in church where they were using incense and about 16 kids passed out and one had a seizure (but after a CAT scan the doctors said he did not have a seizure). I don’t know of incidence of mercury in incense being used in a Roman Catholic church or in the metal in braces. She did find out that she is severely allergic to titanium and also very allergic to nickel. All of this happened at the same time. Please let me know if anyone has ever heard of mercury poisoning from these types of sources. She has had no other types of obvious exposures to mercury, i.e., seafood, industrial, etc.

    • Hi Jamie K,

      It’s over a year since you posted, so I don’t know if you’ll see this. However maybe it will help someone else.

      I had stainless steel braces put on when I was 18, and distinctly remember the metallic taste from my fillings. It was strongest if my tongue touched the braces and a filling at the same time, and I could literally feel the metal flowing from the fillings into my saliva. So I used to absent-mindedly do this just to taste the flavor! 🙁 Unfortunately I did not think of mercury at the time.

      Over the following years I suffered a lot of from auto-immune dysfunctions like eczema and later IBS, but didn’t link it to mercury poisoning.

      Earlier this week I had my first amalgam removal by a dentist who specializes in this. During the procedure, he mentioned a young woman he’d known, who’d become very sick after having braces fitted. She then got breast cancer and died. This caused him to realize that when a person has two different metals in their mouth (like with braces), it creates an electrolytic cell which pulls the mercury out of their fillings and deposits it in the saliva. Very, very bad for health.

      Also, I find it amazing that so few dentists are aware of the mercury problem! If it’s bad for us patients, how much worse for them, breathing mercury vapor every working day? No wonder so many end up with mercury poisoning and premature death! This should be the OH&S scandal of the decade, but it’s quietly swept under the carpet. I just don’t get it.

      • Dear Peter,

        Thank you so much for your reply!. I did get it even a year later. My daughter is mercury-free now but is still not totally healthy. She was doing great all summer long and just this weekend had a severe allergic reaction and I feel that we are back to the beginning of the nightmare again. She never had any type of allergic reaction to anything before the mercury poisoning. I was wondering if anyone knows of how to get rid of the complication of mercury poisoning. She has had desensitization treatments for the known allergies, frequency specific microcurrent treatments (which have been very helpful) and accupunture. I really don’t know where else to turn to get her completely well again. I am not even sure what we are looking for: she is extremely dizzy, hands/feet go numb and has trouble breathing. If anyone has experienced the same please let me know. Thanks again Peter!

        • Hi Jemma — I’ve been suffering from mercury poisoning the last half year, at least. At first I had no idea what could be causing my symptoms. I was dizzy almost every day, felt light-headed, and had difficulty breathing. The only thing that made me feel better was exercise. I went in for a round of tests and no one could figure out what was wrong: my doctor said my blood tests were fine, my lungs were fine, my heart was fine. I went to a nutritionist who put me on all sorts of diets but nothing cured the symptoms. Then, finally, I saw a doctor I’ve known of for a while who does intense blood work. When the results came back from the lab he informed me I had mercury in my blood. Not a lot, but enough, apparently, to make me feel the way I was feeling. I’ve since done all sorts of things to rid my body of the mercury, including chelating therapies. The main thing that seems to work, though, is losing weight. Mercury hides in fat, and so losing weight rids the body of mercury. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that as I lose weight the mercury circulates through my system and makes me feel like crap. I’d love to know if anyone has experienced the same thing: really nasty symptoms while detoxifying. I hope that helps. It’s no fun at all to deal with this. Right now I’m feeling pressure in my chest, and I’m assuming it’s the mercury. My doctor says it takes on average 6 months to get rid of the stuff — but it can take longer — and it can take years to get mercury out of your brain. Great, huh?

          • Hi Joel,
            Interesting I came across your comments tonight searching the web. You and I have similar symptoms. Daily dizziness and light headed. Feel like crap! I was diagnosed with HIGH levels of mercury. Your comments about losing weight are interesting. I have been losing weight on purpose not realizing it may be contributing to my crappy feeling. Have you gone through any detox processes? I to go to the gym and excersise, although some days I have to drag myself there. My doctor has mentioned chelation, but so far I am not doing anything. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!

  • Is there a common source of mercury in older homes? I feel that I have mercury toxicity. However, the symptoms are stronger at home than when I am away from home. When I go away for a few days, I end up feeling great. When I get back home, within an hour my heart is racing and I am spitting in a cup because there is so much saliva in my mouth!

    My neighbor recently had a new driveway put in….

    My daughter is extremely moody when we are home for a while, she could cry at the drop of a hat. Her muscles hurt and she gets cracks in the corners of her mouth.

    Please help.

  • I have been on a quest lately to determine the cause of my overall decline in health, mostly digestion related. Thinking back… February 2006 I am in the best shape of my life and finally decide to visit the dentist after close to 5 years. I have a filling replaced and my digestive issues and subsequent decline begins. March 2009, I crack a tooth with an amalgam and have it drilled down and replaced with a crown. Digestive issues increase dramatically. April 2011, 3 months after successfully quitting smokeless tobacco, I am feeling good about myself and I decide to visit the dentist to make sure I haven’t done too much damage. He determines I need two crowns and proceeds to remove two amalgam fillings and replaces with crown build ups. I am to come back in a few weeks to get the crowns. Before that time comes, I spend 5 days in Intensive care with unexplained pneumonia. Doctors have no idea of the cause and test me for everything until prednisone finally clears up the lung inflammation almost instantly. I have read of a pneumonia case from someone deliberately ingesting mercury to take their own life, so I am guessing it is a possibly cause of pneumonia. Not once did any of the ICU doctors consider this possibility even though they felt it necessary to check me for HIV and TB.
    It is quite possible that these are all coincidences. Maybe I picked up a parasite at some point and it eventually got into my lungs around the time of my next dentist visit. I would rather not wait for proof that the amalgams may be causing the problems and have them removed.
    I hear “only have them replaced if you feel you have health issues related to them”. I have the financial means to pay for this and plan on consulting with a biological dentist this week. I have 5 amalgam fillings, Do you have an averages/ranges on what private out of pocket cost would be with a biological dentist?
    I have not consulted with my regular Doctor or Dentist on the subject.

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Sorry but we don’t have this information.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Difficult for me to minimize all my thoughts and associations with mercury and other heavy metals, but after having undiagnosed Lyme disease, I found out many other things, related. Heavy metals, I believe, allow pathogens to take hold and destroy our health. Candida is one systemic and dibilitating disease, almost impossible to get rid of, especially if you have heavy metals in your system. But now I recently began researching the thyroid (and believe Candida affects the thyroid, and Lyme, and heavy metals, obviously are involved)

    I recently had my 3 mercury fillings removed. If you don’t remove the amalgams, any chelation could recirculate the vapors and metals into your system. I had major palpitations which sometimes lasted up to 12 hours. I was hoping that removing the fillings would help and I believe they have, but if I have ANY MSG, from unknown sources if I eat out (and I’m really careful, bringing my dressing, etc) I will get them in the morning. I also know that inflammation can precipitate it. The other thing I wonder about is that I have crowns in my teeth (I was a candy freak as a child, unfortunately) and my biological dentist said she doesn’t know if there is mercury underneath, which is a bummer. It’s so expensive to pay for all of this to find out for sure.

    But once, I touched the spot where my thyroid is and it brought about the palps right away, making me focus on the thyroid. Then the other day I saw some info I don’t know is true or not stating that tongues with scalloped edges indicate hypo-thyroidism. I’m tending to go along with this and intend to keep researching.

    I came to Dr. Hyman’s site to see what he knows about it, but can’t take the time to go through all the archives right now, unfortunately.

    I really don’t want to injest hormones derived from animals, so I’m going to focus on ridding myself further from heavy metals and getting rid of Candida. My diet is freakishly healthy (so I’m told 🙂 and I do all the right things. I’m 65 and in spite of the Candida, metals and Lyme still in my system, I’m doing pretty well, walking about 5 miles almost every day. Once I get this resolved, I’ll be super woman!

    Thanks for any info possible on non-animal hormone supplements! 🙂

    Love your newsletters and knowledge!

  • Just to add something I forgot: Doesn’t it make perfect sense that if they use mercury in vaccines to preserve them, it is obviously keeping the attenuated pathogens allive and the mercury in our systems are doing the same to the viruses, bacteria, fungi pathogens in our systems? DOH?

  • I discovered that I had a pungent scalp odor in 2005. It took months to find a doctor to diagnose me as having mercury poisoning. He suggested that I take the Doctor’s Data test to determine which heavy metals were present in my body. Mercury and lead were at high levels. This same doctor suggested that I undergo chelation with the amalgams still in place. I did 2 chelation sessions before seeing a reputable biological dentist who told me to stop chelation before amalgam removal. I followed his sound advice and had them removed before resuming chelation, however it has been 8 years and I still have a pungent, expansive scalp odor. Since 2005, I have undergone chelation therapy, neural therapy, frequent dose chelation using the Cutler protocol, FCT/bio-resonance, O3 therapy, homeopathy, saunas, and tapping. I take supplements like DHLA Nano Plex, A, B, C, selenium, etc.

    After spending a fortune and a vast amount of time on doctor’s visits, treatments, supplements and feeling like I’m getting no where, I read on an autism website called, that part of my problem might be a blocked PST enzyme. “The PST sulfation pathway is necessary for the breakdown and removal of certain toxins in the body. This includes the processing of a type of chemical called a phenol. Phenols are a regular and necessary part of life. All foods contain some phenol compounds. However, some foods have a much higher content than others do. If the sulfation pathway is not functioning well, a person may not be able to process out the phenolic compounds as fast as they consume them. There is a cumulative effect. When the phenols start backing up in the system, it can cause a myriad of negative reactions. Symptoms of phenol intolerance include night waking, night sweats, irritability, eczema, and other skin conditions. The symptoms of phenol and yeast may be very similar because they both involve the body trying to deal with toxins.” None of the doctors that I’ve seen have ever mentioned a blocked PST enzyme as a problem even after telling them the difficulty I have metabolizing sulfur foods and the body smell of sulfur, eczema, skin rash, fungal and dirty hair smell, and candida.

    Another irritating issue is that while the most recent Doctor’s Data test showed a small percentage of mercury in my urine test back in 2009, contrary to that test, a December, 2012 bio-resonance/fct test measured high levels of mercury still in my body. Obviously Doctor’s Data testing may not be the most reliable indicator of heavy metals body burden.

    I feel like I am wandering around in the woods with a blindfold. Do you know of anyone in the NYC area who is knowledgeable about removing mercury and assisting me with the issues I have raised?

    Most thanks and appreciation for everything.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Thank you for posting about Mercury. I read your work thoroughly about 6 years ago when I was trying to figure out how to find help for my 6 year old son. I was very close to coming out to see you, when I found a local doctor of integrative medicine who has gotten pretty close to the root of his troubles. At that time, if we couldn’t find answers, we were on the verge of heavily medicating him for mental health issues. He continues to be free from meds (except some thyroid medication) today and is doing beautifully. His brother is also doing well and we no longer wonder if we need to look into a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum for him. I clearly remember looking into the face of the Psychiatrist as she said we would have to agree to disagree when we decided to take the path of integrative medicine. I have seen in the proof that our choice was the right one.

    I, personally, experienced a multitude of health issues this winter. I’m being evaluated for MS. Thankfully, the MRI was pretty clear (one suspicious spot that the dr can’t call). I am waiting for my lumbar results. However, our wise Integrative Medicine doctor who has been treating my sons, ran a number of tests on me, including heavy metals. Among other things, I have high lead and mercury levels. I have an appt to see a world class Neurologist who specializes in functional medicine to discuss a treatment protocol for my current health issues. I am starting a DSMA protocol, but am finding tips you have posted that I am adding (laxative agents). I have an appt to see a dentist who specializes in mercury safe filling removal after my appt with the Functional Neurologist next week. As I ponder the importance of this expense, I am very happy to see your thoughts on this.

    Thank you for posting on this topic. Your wisdom has helped my two sons down their path to regaining their health. I see that your insight is meaningful to me now, too. Thank you.

    • Leah, what was your sons diagnosis? And what was his treatment? I’m so glad he’s better. My daughter has similar issues (I think) & we are close to treating with psychiatric meds as nothing is helping enough
      Thank you,

  • Brad,

    Regarding your dentist, if the surgery that costs $15,000 is to have the amalgams removed from your wife’s teeth, you are being ripped off….find someone else! I had mine removed by a dental office that specializes in natural dentistry, and removes the fillings with many precautions to avoid absorption of mercury during the removal process. The cost was a fraction of yours. I think it was around $4000 or so, and the office did submit it to our insurance, along with the close-up photos they took, which showed the deterioration of the fillings and the decay under them. The insurance covered most of the cost, I am happy to say. I had quite a lot of amalgams in my mouth, and a few were large and required caps on the new fillings.

    Here is their site: Perhaps you could find out about a similar dentist in your area that will file with your insurance, and not overcharge you. They use what is called the Huggins method of removal of amalgams. The whole issue is somewhat controversial, but after I researched it, I decided to get mine removed. They are near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    I hope that whatever you do, you are able to find answers to your wife’s problems. God bless you for your dedication to her.

  • I have a mouthful of amalgam fillings, & much as I hate the look of them, I can`t afford to get them removed. What am I supposed to do? Articles that say amalgams are poisonous are doing nothing for people like me, they just scare us to death. I`m losing sleep wondering if my fillings are going to kill me, & the isn`t a thing that I can do about it!

  • As I wrote just now in a Twitter message to you, “Illuminating”.

    You have written so much good stuff to educate us about health matters which has undoubtedly helped thousands. I have a suggestion that could be even more impactful.

    Given your education, research and clinical experience, no doubt you can identify the X most significant deleterious health issues challenging the average person. I know you have pinpointed “diabesity” as one of them, perhaps the most pernicious. But I wonder if there are some number of root causes of most degenerative health issues.

    For instance, (and just winging it here) could mercury (and other heavy metal toxins), wheat/sugar consumption, hormone balance disruption, and prolonged sitting collectively be creating generations of unhealthy people?

    If something like this were true, a truly valuable resource would be to reveal these X causes with corresponding solutions.

    I’m thinking that you already have this written, and all that would be needed is some integrative exposition/course.

    My 2 cents.


  • Yes, I think mercury toxicity is a serious health problem, and I have many symptoms, including chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, depression, occasional dizziness, poor memory etc. I have five amalgam fillings, most of them for 45 years. I have decided not to have them removed because the risk of mercury exposure during removal is too great. There are other factors, such as cost, further destruction to the teeth, the fact that replacements can also be toxic, and that they do not last very long, requiring further replacements. My hope is that, by drinking pure well water, breathing clean country air, and eating organic foods, the effects of metal toxicity can be minimized. But also, there are scientific studies on both Inuit children and on mice that show that tomato (or lycopene) consumption more or less neutralizes the harmful effects of mercury (see, eg. the study done at Universite Laval in Canada.) So I am embarking on eating a tomato dish (juice, paste) or taking lycopene daily to see if that helps.

  • Can you please help me. I’m 27 weeks pregnant and I just found out that flu shots contain mercury. I had a flu shot at 14 weeks. I was planning on changing my childs vaccination schedule to possibly cut down the risk of autism. Now I find out that I put mercury in my baby while still in the womb. I’m so worried this may cause him a future of autism. Is there something I can do while still pregnant to combat the mercury? Mad at myself for not doing more research and mad at the government for all their lies.

  • Thank you for this insightful article and bringing this ‘swept under the carpet’ subject to light. I had experienced debilitating mercury poisoning for over 12 years before it was properly diagnosed, plus two more years of detoxing via DMSA. Along with the more mild symptoms it caused, I had intermitent paralysis, muscle rigidity, seizures, and severly impaired cognitive abilities. Most doctors thought it was a conversion reaction/psychosomatic disorder (all in my head).

    Since my recovery my story has been published in two anthology books, I’ve written my own book about it called, ‘Rising Above Mercury’ and have started the first online support site for people with mercury poisoning,

    I feel that there may be mercury still in my brain as I occasional have, what I call ‘mercury moments’, difficulty with memory and thought processing.
    My questions are: Does all the mercury come out of the brain using chelation? Is the body able to purge the mercury out of the brain on it’s own over years of time? Or is does mercury stay once it passes the blood brain barrier?If not, is there anything I can do for this?

    I’ll be adding your name to my directory of physicians who are educated and treat mercury poisoning on my support website.

    Thank you for your help.

  • I definitely think I have trouble with methylation / sulfation. All the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. I had acute anxiety as a child soon after getting nitrous oxide for tooth extraction. I may have had mild ADHD as a kid but it got way worse after having 3 children and receiving 2 -3 rhogam vaccines with each pregnancy due to Rh negative blood. I just learned that Rhpgam has thimerisol.
    All 3 of my children were born with what I now know to be midline defects – dental dysphasia, aortic stenosis, and pectus excavatum. Each also has a chronic condition, namely ADHD, Crohn’s disease , and neurofibromatosis.
    My husband and 2 sons have gluten intolerance which took 8 years of Prevacid and finally ignoring doctors to figure out.

    My mother has Alzheimer’s and my father had fybromyalgia. Their doctor said they didn’t have elevated homocysteine so it wasn’t related to the MTHFR gene.

    I’m hoping to get myself and my kids tested for metals and genetic polymorphisms so we can detox, and supplement as needed.
    I am floored at how little doctors and psychiatrists null now about methylation and the affect it can have on our mental and physical health. The answer is always, try cutting it from your diet to see if it helps, but here’s a prescription in the meantime.

    I find the different diets to be contradictory and really want to know specifically what I can’t break down or get rid of. Salycilates? Phenols? Gluramates? Is bone broth good for my intestines but bad for my brain ?
    I am hoping I will have more answers after getting tested and will certainly look to Dr Hyman if I don’t.

  • I am in Australia and I would dearly love to have some help. Read your advice with hope. I have what has been called fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue symptoms, headaches ( not currently) that can last for months, fog head and worryingly microscopic hematuria ( atleast 1 years). I have a mouth full of amalgam for maybe 50 years or more. I worry too that removing amalgam may cause more mercury damage and wonder about the safety of porcelain fillings. Do you know anywhere here in Melbourne Australia that I could go to for help?
    I have had recent 24 hour urine test which confirms high levels of mercury.
    Thank you for your column

  • I read someplace online that removal of amalgam fillings and detox could put ALS in remission. I am unable to find it again. Was that in your information? If so, could you please direct me to that article?

  • Dr Hyman, do you know anything about red tattoo ink and mercury? I’ve read that is another way mercury can get into the body. I have a small tattoo with red ink and wondering if I should do anything about it? Is it just a matter of detoxifying or would the tattoo need to be removed in order to stop mercury from getting into me? Thanks

  • Dr. Zamm wrote extensively about using selenium for mercury detoxification. Wondering if you have reviewed his work including his book on amalgam fillings “The Toxic Time Bomb” ?

  • I had some of my amalgam fillings removed by a regular dentist who assured me that it was safe. But that was a year ago and I now have many symptoms Dr Hyman has discussed, symptoms I didn’t have before. It’s very depressing because I feel like there’s nothing that can be done now, I am older and my immune system has never been that strong. Is there something I can do on my own, as money is an issue?

  • Hi,
    I live in the Boston,Ma area, and would like to know an alternative doctor who would be willing to advise me on getting mercury out of my body, using your method, or another safe alternative to the conventional way. I have an appointment to see a holistic dentist next month to start the process.
    Thank you.

  • 7 yrs ago i was getting a crown over an amalgam filling. The dentist dropped the syringe then proceeded to just pick it up and move it while the needle was still in my jaw so the needle was moving 3 inches in my cheek area. He put the crown on and after that I got Bells Palsey a week later. Dentist said not from him and dropping needle. A long story short. I’m getting all silver and metal out of my mouth. Yeah. Its expensive. I need to replace 9 crowns with non metal ones and add a bridge because I’m missing a tooth. Anyway. I just got the crown off and silver filling removed. Boy do i feel better. I had a clicking noise in my bells palsey side ear. And it is gone after 7 yrs. i feel a helluva lot better. Still have more to go. That was just one crown and two other teeth on same side. I’m so tired of being poisoned by the dentist. How can they sleep at night?
    I’m very pleased with this process.

  • I was in the Air Force in 1965 and have to this day four (4) Amalgam dental fillings, I had more fillings, but they had to be pulled and I had many health, problems Prostrate Cancer, Reflux disease, over weight, right colon removed and arthritis.
    What can I do now to help my health problem?

    • Hi James,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Superb posting. I became examining frequently this web site with this particular encouraged! Extremely helpful information exclusively the last element 🙂 My spouse and i cope with these kinds of information and facts considerably. I’d been seeking this kind of details for your incredibly extended moment. Thank you so much and also with chance.

  • Thank you for your article and video. I have been suffering from chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia for 5 years. I am going to have my physician check my mercury levels.

  • Mercury is no doubt bad, but I think cavitations and hidden dental infections seem just as bad. Could you write in how to find dental infections and how to treat?

  • Does mercury toxicity affect you more when you are menopausal? I have one old amalgam filling left and that has to be crowned because the filling is huge and it has put a small crack in the molar because I grind my teeth in my sleep. I do seem to get things that are termed as auto-immune responses to things that I used to be able to just fight off when I was young. A recent bout of bronchitis caused my saliva and mucous to dry up completely, which eventually corrected itself, the right side of my knee has developed numbness, I developed horrible joint paint in the mornings (which for the most part stopped once I stopped eating bread) My doctor tested my mercury levels and thyroid/auto-immune and didn’t call, which means she has nothing to tell me. Should I just get the filling removed and see what changes?

  • I know I am mercury toxic, as well as one of my daughters. Currently I am going through a host of neurological testing and am awaiting a loan to remove the mercury from our mouths. I am also a registered nurse and disgusted that our government is not doing more to educate the public especially professionals. There is strength in numbers so please continue to get the word out!

  • Removing amalgams and replacing them with composite is like jumping out of the fry pan into the fire.
    Composites are PLASTIC! Check out the chemicals/poisons they are made of. (75% of today’s fillings are plastic)

    Gold and porcelain are options but cost 3 times as much as composites (resins/plastic)

    Glass ionomer is also an alternative but not real strong.

    Also most sealants are plastic….request glass ionomer.

  • I was a few days pregnant with my daughter now 3.5 yrs old and my dentist took out a mercury filling. It was just like any other time at the dentist. They didn’t seem to know the dangers of mercury. I wasn’t aware that I was pregnant at the time. I wasn’t tested or anything. I am very concerned for my daughter and her health. Is there any recommendations on how to detox her and myself?

  • First, I totally love everything you’re doing to bring about an American Health Renaissance. I became sick immediately following 4 amalgam fillings, and my health deteriorated until I became disabled, suffering seizures, infected with 2 diseases (one of which was the dreaded Valley Fever, disseminated), and in chronic pain. I was only 36 at the time and enjoyed great health prior. Only after having the fillings removed in an unsafe way unfortunately, and detoxing with essential oils and diet, have I regained my health. I did test high for blood mercury levels too. I believe mercury is the single most significant obstacle to my health past and present.

  • I am now in my early 30’s and I’ve always had this feeling, no pun intended here, that my silver fillings were causing me, not only physical symptoms, but also mental ones. From what I can gather, and there may be more there, but just not aware because of my amalgams, lol jk, but seriously Ive always wondered why my memory was so bad and why it was so difficult for me to articulate simple info that I’ve recently viewed or read. I also have experienced fatigue, depression, anxiety and the big one for me, which I’m not fully sure if this is relation to my amalgams, but a gush of bad breathe that seems to come from deep in me, not some byproduct of bad oral hygiene. As of now I’ve changed my diet to a healthy one and I take probiotics, digestive enzymes, and glutamine. I’ve only been doing this routinely for about 2 months now and I do feel physically better, but this doesn’t seem to fix the memory and occasional breathe thing(fart breathe). I forgot to include I’ve noticed dry mouth a lot too. And I’ll add I drink nothing but water(bottled) and noncaffienated teas. I really think if I replaced my dental amalgams that my overall health would improve. So I was curious about info and any recommendations in dental amalgam removal/replace and if that isn’t necessary, then recommendations in getting rid of the toxins out of my body. Thanks for your article and valued time. Sorry for any misspellings, it’s frustrating to type on a “smart”phone.

  • Just had my last amalgam removed today… I only had two, and I’m so glad they have only plagued me for 5 years rather than 25!! I went to a dentist who does it properly even though it was a hike, and I cannot tell you how important it is to go to a safe one. If it doesn’t follow the ioamt protocol, go somewhere else that does! I am disturbed that I have the opportunity to be poisoned in so many other ways, but it is a huge relief not to have that pair of suckers in my mouth… my mum is in denial about the mercury poisoning, she doesn’t believe her thyroid, digestive, headaches and anxiety issues can have anything to do with it… I despair! Seriously, you invest in your life doing this. I also believe in a vegetarian diet. No fishes! And I always knew I was bad at maths – cognitive function! Now I can say its not my fault, lol 😉

  • Hmm,
    I am a 53yo woman with a mouthful of amalgam fillings. I am a product of my time, if I could start over I would change my diet and not eat the types of foods that cause cavities in the first place and I would take more time to clean every little bit of plaque from my teeth using plaque disclosing fluid.
    however, removing the amalgams at this stage of my life would create another problem..the possibility of creating further cracks in the teeth etc. a study was done on a large number of people who had their amalgams removed and most of the experienced other troubling issues associated with the removal. for us oldies, if something isn’t broken don’t try to fix’s just a lilt let too late for us. no one has ever died from mercury tooth poisoning. having said that if I was a young person and was offered a mercury filling I would say DEFINITELY NOT.

  • I had the exact opposite reaction. I am very upset at all the dentists and doctors ignoring the large amount of people like me that are allergic to the plastics and resins used in our dental work today. I can no longer swallow normally. If I had been able to locate a dentist who still did the silver fillings, it would have been a blessing.
    There are large numbers of people with the same problem all over America, yet our doctors keep pushing more and more plastics on us in all types of procedures. I would have been glad to keep the Mercury!
    My most extreme reactions to these new plastics in my mouth were extreme swollen lymph glands, yellowing of my eyes, dizziness, choking on my own saliva, and not being able to swallow any foods.
    From searching around the internet, I’ve found dozens of sites where people are all experiencing the same horrible reactions to these new white fillings, and no one will do anything about it.
    I felt just fine with the Mercury in my mouth, and wish it was still available.

  • I would like to know what fish are safe to eat. Salmon,,Roughy, Mahi Mahi? Also I used to work in a dentist office and I handled the mercury with my hands at times.

  • What an exceptional article! I am so happy to finally read something that makes sense and helps me understand what occurred to be in 2014! I firmly believe that mercury toxicity is a legitimate health concern and should not be swept under the rug so to say. I have never known that a. amalgam fillings were made up for 50% elemental mercury, nor b. that mercury could cause such a havoc on my nervous system and body if I was exposed to it either in one big lump sum or over the course of a long time period. Unfortunately, last year, in 2014, I had a cracked amalgam filling and at 28 I thought I was dying from a heart attack, hallucinating and thinking I will commit suicide, and wondering what happened to the woman who was career driven, confident, happy and content, loving life, her child, her family and friends? It wasn’t until summer of 2014 that I realized what happened to me – after replacing my cracked amalgam filling for yet another amalgam filing. Suddenly it dawned on me to begin researching about what is being placed onto my teeth in my mouth. Thank God for the internet and thousands of different pages where you can find and filter information. I know not to believe EVERYTHING I see and read on the Internet, but suddenly everything started to make sense, and I was slowly connecting the dots. All the symptoms which were described in this article I have experienced first hand and some I still continue to experience till this day on occasion. Usually they are worse when my menstrual cycle is about to begin as my hormone levels are changing, but it gets better with each month so far. I went to one dentist here in the US and they never even advised me of possible health issues from my cracked filling, yet, when I walked into the dentist office back in Europe when I was visiting my homeland, I was right away put into a chair to repair the damages and told that I was lucky it was not worse! Therefore, I can only imagine under what pressures the Swedish facility must have been put under to close its doors and never share the final findings back in 1999. It is very unfortunate to see and read something like that being shut down since amalgam fillings make the most money in the dental industry. When I went to visit my primary caring physician, he looked at me with disbelief and in a sense with sarcasm. He did, however, mention that my mercury poisoning could also be the reason why I had a 1.9 cm lesion on my Spleen. No surprise there for me. I have never in my life been exposed to any type of mercury in any shape or form until I had my amalgam fillings placed into my mouth when I was young. It was not until just recently that it affected me in a serious way and I am still doing my best to recover from it. I have stayed away from eating fish, and changed my diet for the better and healthier. I have researched cheleating my own body in natural ways and have found that Cilantro, Garlic, Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds help push the mercury out of your body naturally, safely, and in a faster way by process of elimination. However, I know that the effects of what happened to me over the course of a whole year, will definitely continue to impact me for the rest of my life. I also have recently began my research on having all amalgam fillings safely and quickly removed. However, it’s very unfortunate that even with insurance, I may never be able to complete that in the US, but rather in Europe. Thank you again, Dr. Hyman for your article and I look forward to reading more articles and information on your page!

  • Hi,
    My 2.5 yr old daughter has a mercury problem, I believe. She has many food sensitivities that seems to have caused a rash on her arms and cheeks. We tested her for heavy metals and she was positive for organic mercury. We have started her on a probiotic, chlorella, cilantro, glutathione, and a few other supplements. She’s always had a lot of gut issues including candida. We’ve been following a VERY strict diet but still get nowhere.
    We’ve been trying to rid her body of mercury for a few months now. Her skin has improved, but it still has a ways to go. Could all this be from the mercury?
    Since starting chelation, I have to mention, her mood swings have lessoned. She used to cry uncontrollably over nothing. Now, she seems much, much happier.
    She is extremely shy and has anxiety when we’re around other kids or adults, especially people she’s never met before. Could this be caused from the mercury as well?
    Please help,

  • After reading this article and all these post, I’m pretty sure mercury is the cause of my issues as well..I joined the military in 1981 where they immediately put in at least 8 fillings. I honestly believe they put fillings in teeth that were not needed. I visited the dentist regularly before joining the military and never needed fillings. I believe the procedure was done as precautionary in case I was sent out to sea on deployments later on. Over the past few years I’ve developed Alopecia Areata and lost 85% of my hair and I’ve also developed Solar Urticaria where I break out in several hives on any parts of my body that’s exposed to the sun anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Where can I get tested in my area and what dentist are experienced in removing these fillings? I live in Central Florida.

    • Hi Linda,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • In response to Dr. Hyman’s questions:

    1..Amalgam Illness is legitimate. My evidence is anecdotal however Norway, Sweden and Denmark have banned amalgam fillings.

    2. My symptoms were extreme deficits in all senses (touch, sight, smell, hearing and eyesight), pain in feet, seeing colors different, couldn’t follow directions, didn’t understand what I read, facial paralysis, dehydration, low thyroid syndrome, estrogen dominance, extremely low neurotransmitter levels, worse and worse memory loss………the list could go on and on.

    3. My docs response was mostly psychosomatic – depression. I had seen upwards of 12 doctors in 5 and half years. I started seeing a CAM doc and he fixed my thyroid and hormones. Once that was fixed it was clear to me that something was seriously wrong. I contacted his office with my suspicion of low level mercury exposure and he immediately tested me. I was more than double the allowable amount.

    4. My solution has been to use Mercout. I just finished a 30 day detox and it was clear after a few weeks of using it that this was what was causing so many of my problems. I AM NOT ADVERTISING NOR RECOMMENDING ANYTHING. If my thyroid and hormones were not in “Optimal Health” (through the CAM doctor I see) I would have suffered from the detox a lot longer. The first 10 days were not pleasant. I was nauseous, couldn’t eat at all, headaches. I felt very sick like a bad cold with food poisoning. However I also felt the, what I call, the block of ice I felt from the top of my forehead to my neck slowly melting away and the sensations, I cannot describe to anyone, began to leave my knees, feet and elbows. I am also looking into having my amalgams removed but worried about tooth loss. I know I will lose at least 2 teeth. I am looking into solutions to that. I already have 2 dental implants. I read the above post about a 53 yo woman who also would lose teeth and doesn’t want hers removed however my symptoms were so bad that I never want them to return. Please note I am not 100% better. I obviously have work to still do . I feel If I dealt with micromercurialism I can deal with anything.

  • My son started having psychotic episodes at 20 seemingly out of nowhere. He was diagnosed with bipolar after being healthy and happy his whole life without any mood swings prior. It took me 4 years of research to realize it was mercury. I have many amalgams…I nursed him 6 months….he had many vaccinations including Hep B shot right before college. In college they offered sushi which he ate (tuna) almost 4 times a week. He has been chelating using Cutler Protocol for 6 months now and is having huge improvements….no more episodes and he is almost off all medications for bipolar.

  • I have had lead and mercury poisoning. I took DMSA for almost a year and both heavy metal levels dropped significantly. Five of the seven silver fillings have been removed. Since then, I have been taking Chlorella and drinking dandelion tea for the mercury. The skin on my face is full of inflammation, presumably from mercury. Lately, I’ve been going to a steam room. I do have the ApoE 4 gene that has apparently made detoxifying more difficult. Is there anything I can do to help drain my skin? I am in New Orleans – could come to your office.

    • Hello Mary,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. If you would like information on becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center, please see “How to Become a Patient” at You may also feel free to call The UltraWellness Center at (413) 637-9991.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I am a 47 year old female. I have suffered from cfs, fms, and MS symptoms for 17 years and have not been able to work. It has taken over my life. I’ve gone from dr. To dr. Trying to get answers and cures. I’ve tried physical therapy, accupuncture, and live at the chiropractor 3 to 4 times a week. Spent countless numbers of dollars out of pocket. I know it was only by the grace of God that I stumbelled upon dr. Emadian a neurosurgeon. He hasked if I had ever heard of mercury posioning because one of his friends had same symptoms and that’s what was wrong with her. I got tested and couldn’t believe the high levels of mercury in my body. I’m now in the process of getting 6 amalgam fillings removed that I’ve had since the 1980’s. And going through extensive detoxing of mercury. Although I’m just starting this journey I have the faith and trust in God that I found this out for a reason and that it’s going to make me better. I will let you know in a few months. I’m sure it won’t totally cure me because I do have the audioimmune gene but I feel like it will give me pain free days, and a better quality of life without chronic daily fatigue.

  • 16 years ago I had my first child, shortly after I started having panic attack going over large bridges. Tried everything from hypnosis to natural remedies. My dentist recommended to take my amalgam fillings out as they were pulling away from my teeth. After I had five out of the ten removed I started feeling better, more energy, clear thinking. I am on cipralex now but hope to be off of it soon now I have all ten amalgams changed to the white fillings, just re cooperating from last two. I had the urine Mercury test done just waiting for results. I think doctors and dentists should let patients know about Mercury poisoning especially if they have any kind of problems out of the ordinary.

  • Dr. Hyman,
    I am a 44 year old woman with 2 copies of the APOE4 gene. Does this mean that the metal, that has made it to my brain, can never be detoxed out? Would I benefit from any type of therapy, including chelation? Anyone else with this gene have experience in this?
    Thank you!

  • I am a 26 year old man with mercury fillings. I have always suffered from really bad anxiety, depression, bad memory and bad concentration. I am starting to believe that the mercury fillings are causing these problems.

    How can I find a dentist in the UK that safely removes these fillings without causing more harm? Please help. Thanks.