How can you protect yourself from the neurotoxicity of mercury?
Everybody agrees that having a well-functioning nervous system is of great importance if we are going to function well and be healthy.
There are several things that can damage the nervous system, and mercury is one of these toxins. Contamination of the environment and subsequently our food is common, mercury in fish is one example.
One way of avoiding the mercury in fish is of course not to eat fish, but we can be exposed to mercury from other sources as well. It is difficult not to be exposed to mercury at all. Mercury has been found to cause oxidative damage and induce neurotoxic damage with involvement of the mitochondria (Aschner M, et.al., 2007). The mitochondria is the energy producing component of the cell.
The body has mechanisms in place to deal with toxins and oxidative stress, otherwise we would not have survived. The protection we have is not always enough, even if we eat food that includes a lot of plants which can help to provide antioxidant protection.
The most effective antioxidant the body is making is glutathione, and it works very well if we have enough of it to deal with the toxins and free radicals we are exposed to. Data indicates however that the availability of glutathione to the cells may not be sufficient to provide protection against mercury toxicity (Becker A, Soliman KF, 2009). As we get older we make less glutathione each year, and after we turn 40, we can use some additional help. In some cases, even younger people can benefit from some assistance, it depends on how much toxins and free radicals the body has been exposed to through the years.
We now have an effective form of glutathione we can take in capsule form, and that is S-Acetyl Glutathione.
The most common form on the market, reduced glutathione, is not a very effective form since it is oxidized in the stomach and offer very little protection. S-Acetyl Glutathione is however transferred into the cells where it is needed. (Cacciatore I, et.al., 2010).
Aschner M, Syversen T, Souza DO, Rocha JB, Farina M. Involvement of glutamate and reactive oxygen species in methylmercury neurotoxicity. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2007 Mar;40(3):285-91.
Becker A, Soliman KF. The role of intracellular glutathione in inorganic mercuryinduced toxicity in neuroblastoma cells. Neurochem Res. 2009 Sep;34(9):1677-84.
Cacciatore I, Cornacchia C, Pinnen F, Mollica A, Di Stefano A. Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels. Molecules. 2010 Mar 3;15(3):1242-64.
Glutathione helps your cells function and supports a healthy immune system
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