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Originally published October 14 2013

Study shows curcumin protects against mercury exposure

by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer

(NaturalNews) Mercury pollution is extremely high around the world, with coal-burning power plants and nonferrous metal production being the main sources of toxic emission, accounting for 72 percent of total environmental discharge. The United Nations estimates that nearly 2000 tons of mercury was emitted into the globe's atmosphere in 2010 alone.

Mercury is a pervasive toxin lurking in many modern products

Mercury can be found lurking in many vaccinations, which are injected right into people's blood. Mercury is poured into teeth via dental amalagams. Tons of amalagam waste is excreted into the environment each year. Mercury was once the key metal in thermometers. It's harbored in sphygmomanometers, or blood pressure monitoring devices. It's used as an antiseptic in pharmaceuticals, as a reagent in laboratories, and is in some paints. Mercury exists in batteries and in the new fluorescent light bulbs. The metal is pervasive; it gets into the rivers and the soil, eventually flowing into the ocean, where it accumulates in the aquatic food chain. It continues to circulate, over and over, showing little signs of decomposing.

Mercury toxicity leads to nervous system paralysis

The deadly effects of mercury poisoning are often overlooked. One disease, rarely heard of, was coined back in 1956 and is called Minamata disease. The definition of the disease describes the ill effects of mercury poisoning: numbness in the hands and feet, muscle weaknesses, narrowing of vision, speech and hearing damage, insanity, paralysis and death.

The cause of Minamata disease was discovered when residents of Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, began eating contaminated fish from Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea. The source of the contamination was high levels of methyl mercury, which was being released from industrial waste water from a chemical factory owned by the Chisso Corporation. For 36 consecutive years, the symptoms arose in the populace, bringing death to many. 2,265 victims were eventually identified, including 1,784 who had passed away. The Chisso Corporation ended up paying $86 million in compensation for their company's mercury poisoning of the water and fish.

The world is awakening to mercury's toxic effects on the human body

The Minamata Convention was adopted in Kumanoto. Now, awareness of mercury pollution is growing. Many people are now calling for an end to mercury vaccines and mercury dental fillings. Alternatives to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers are coming about. People have become aware of rising mercury levels in fish, especially tuna.

Finally, many people are learning about some very powerful natural substances that detoxify the human body from metals like mercury. One of those powerhouse natural substances is curcumin, found in turmeric root.

New study shows how curcumin protects against mercury damage

A new study from the Indian Institute of Toxicology examines the detoxifying powers of curcumin and its prophylactic and therapeutic role on rats exposed to mercury. The test subjected the rats to single intraperitoneal injections of mercuric chloride. The mercury induced serum biochemical changes in the rats, damaging their liver and kidneys in the process. The mercury subjected the rats to severe oxidative stress, including wracked lipid peroxidation, abnormal glutathione levels and destructive catalase activities in the liver, kidney and brain.

When the researchers administered daily oral curcumin treatments of 80 mg for three days, significant changes occurred. The mercury induced serum biochemical changes were reversed, as the liver and kidneys began showing signs of repair!

When the mercury was initially administered, it induced metallothionein mRNA expressions in the liver and kidney, but when curcumin was used as a pre-treatment, the expression levels of the RNA decreased, concluding that curcumin is a positive preventative medicine protecting the liver and kidneys from RNA damage.

Furthermore, when curcumin was administered for three days, the concentrations of mercury inside the rat's tissues were reduced and eliminated from their bodies, showing a detoxifying effect. The authors conclude that routine dietary intake of curcumin serves as an effective antioxidant with strong protective powers in the fight against mercury toxicity.

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