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Mercury and food intolerances: common causes of chronic conditions related to leaky gut and intestinal dysfunction such as ulcerative colitis, IBS, Crohn’s, eczema, psoriasis, food allergies, arthritis, ADHD, and autoimmune disease; and treatments that improve these conditions.   

When intestinal permeability is increased, food and nutrient absorption is impaired. Dysfunction in intestinal permeability can result in leaky gut syndrome, where larger molecules and toxins in the intestines can pass through the membranes and into the blood, triggering immune response (6).  Progressive damage can occur to the intestinal lining, eventually allowing disease-causing bacteria, undigested food particles, and toxins to pass directly into the blood stream.  Dysfunctions in intestinal permeability have been found to be associated with diseases such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, CFS, eczema, psoriasis, food allergies, autoimmune disease, and arthritis  (1abcdefgh, 2b,6). 

Mercury and toxic metals have been found to be common toxic exposures that have been found to cause increased intestinal permeability and intestinal dysfunction(2,338), as well as of the kidney epithelial and brush border cells. Mercury exposure also reduced the mucosal entry of sugars and amino acids to 80-90% of control levels in the small intestine cells within several minutes(3a). Mercury exposure blocks intestinal nutrient transport by interacting directly with brush border membrane transport proteins (3b).  

        Mercury causes significant destruction of stomach and intestine

epithelial cells, resulting in damage  to stomach lining which along with

mercury’s ability to bind to SH hydroxyl radical in cell membranes

alters permeability (338,405,35,21c,2) and adversely alters bacterial

populations in the intestines causing leaky gut syndrome with toxic,

incompletely digested complexes in the blood (116,228b,35,6) and

accumulation of heliobacter pylori, a suspected major factor in

stomach ulcers and stomach cancer (256,6bc) and Candida albicans,

as well as poor nutrient absorption (338,3).


Dental amalgam has been found to be the largest source of mercury exposure in most people who have several amalgam fillings(7).  Replacement of amalgam fillings and metals detoxification have been found to significantly improve the health of  most with conditions related to bowel dysfunction and leaky gut syndrome(8,9). 


        Other common causes or factors in leaky gut and the related

conditions include food allergies and intolerances; drugs(NSAIDs,

aspirin, stomach h2 blockers, steroids,etc.); Dysbiosis( overgrowth of

harmful organisms due to antibiotic use and/or low probiotic

levels); chronic alcohol consumption; toxic exposures and chemical

sensitivity; chronic infections; inadequate digestive enzymes (6b)


        While food allergies mediated by IgE can cause significant health

effects including leaky gut syndrome, these are usually easily

identified by the immediateness of reactions or skin tests.  Food

intolerances mediated by IgG also commonly cause significant health

effects including leaky gut syndrome, but the reactions are delayed

and can be systemic and are harder to identify. Tests based on IgE

such as skin test or RAST do not reliably identify such problems that

are common factors in chronic health conditions and tests such as

ELISA that measure both IgE and IgG are more reliable. Common

causes of food intolerances include failure to breast feed babies for at

least the first year of life, feeding table food in first year of life, use of

antibiotics without adequate addition of probiotics; eating the same

foods every day(6b). Food intolerances and food additives or

processed foods that contain glutamate, aspartame, high-fructose corn

syrup, dyes, etc. are common causes of leaky gut syndrome and

neurological conditions such as ADHD(6b). 


        Food intolerances and IgG reactions lead to long lasting “immune

complexes” that are factors in leaky gut related conditions as well as

conditions such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, CFS, fibromyalgia,

ADHD, etc.  Inflammatory reactions to toxic metals, vaccines, food

additives, food intolerances not only cause immune reactions but also

reactions in the neurological microglial system.  This can cause brain

fog, memory problems, and degenerative neurological conditions if

prolonged chronic exposures(6). For example virtually 100% of those

with schizophrenic symptoms in schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, are

found when tested to have food intolerance to wheat gluten or milk

casein(6bd).  Enzymatic blockages by chronic toxic metal exposures

such as vaccines or mercury have been found to be a factor in these

food intolerances.   Similarly this is the most common cause or factor

in celiac disease and common cause of ataxia and diabetes(6bde).

Similarly food allergies or additives, food intolerances, high sugar

consumption, and antibiotic use with adequate probiotics have been

found to be the most common causes of children’s ear infections.

Clinical studies have found that diets high in flavanoids, cartenoids,

and including nutritional supplements such as buffered Vit C and

natural E, selenium, omega-3 oils, probiotics are effective in

preventing ear infections and other chronic conditions(6b). These in

addition to multiple B vitamins, the flavanoids curcumin, hesperidin,

and quercetin are effective in preventing and treating leaky gut related



        Supplements and  other treatments that reduce intestinal

permeability have also been found to be protective against and to

improve these conditions. Glutamine, berberine, probiotics, and

vitamin D have been found to decrease intestinal permeability and

protect against effects caused by leaky gut syndrome(4,5). Butyrate

has been found to inhibit inflammation and carcinogenesis in the

intestines and low butyrate levels are found in colon cancer, ulcerative

colitis and crohn’s disease(10). Butyrate and phosphatidylcholine have

been found to be protective against these conditions, and increased

fiber content in diet promotes increased butyrate levels, through the

effect on fermentation pattern(10). 

        Brain inflammation or hypoglycemia related to toxic metal

exposures, food intolerances, etc. have been found to be common

causes of ADHD, impulsivity, juvenile delinquency, criminality, and



1(a) Altered permeability in inflammatory bowel disease: pathophysiology and clinical implications. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul;23(4):379-83 Mankertz J, Schulzke JD; & (b) Increased intestinal permeability in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Eur J Med Res. 2004 Oct 29;9(10):456-60; Welcker K, Martin A, Kölle P, Siebeck M, Gross M; & (c ) The significance of bowel permeability. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Sep;10(5):632-8; Soeters PB, Luyer MD, Greve JW, Buurman WA; & (d) New diseases derived or associated with the tight junction. Arch Med Res. 2007 Jul;38(5):465-78; Cereijido M, Contreras RG, Flores-Benítez D, Flores-Maldonado C, Larre I, Ruiz A, Shoshani L; &  (e)Gastrointestinal symptoms and permeability in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2003 Sep-Oct;21(5):657-62; Weber P, Brune T, Ganser G, Zimmer KP; & (f)Intestinal permeability in patients with adverse reactions to food, Dig. Liver Dis , 2006, Oct, 38(10):732-6; & (g) Altered intestinal function in patients with chronic heart failure, J Am Coll Cardiol, 2007, Oct 16; 50(16):1561-9; &  (h) Mechanisms of disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases. Nat Clin Pract Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Sep;2(9):416-22.  Fasano A, Shea-Donohue T.

(2)(a) Direct and indirect actions of HgCl2 and methyl mercury chloride on permeability and chloride secretion across the rat colonic mucosa. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1992 Jun;114(2):285-94; Böhme M, Diener M, Mestres P, Rummel W. &    (b) Enhancement of ovalbumin-induced antibody production and mucosal mast cell response by mercury.  Food Chem Toxicol. 1999 Jun;37(6):627-37; Watzl B, Abrahamse SL, Treptow-van Lishaut S, Neudecker C, Pool-Zobel BL. &     (c) Multiple effects of mercury on cell volume regulation, plasma membrane permeability, and thiol content in the human intestinal cell line Caco-2.  Cell Biol Toxicol. 2005 May-Jul;21(3-4):163-79 Aduayom I, Denizeau F, Jumarie C. &  (d) Effects of dimethylsulfoxide and mercurial sulfhydryl reagents on water and solute permeability of rat kidney brush border membranes. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1990 Dec 14;1030(2):203-10; van Hoek AN, de Jong MD, van Os CH.

(3)Mercurial perturbation of brush border membrane permeability in rabbit ileum.  J Membr Biol. 1975 Aug 11;23(1):33-56.  Stirling CE.; & (b) HgCl2 inhibition of nutrient transport in teleost fish small intestine.  J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1981 Jan;216(1):70-6. Miller DS.

(4) Intestinal permeability and systemic infections in critically ill patients, effect of glutamine, Crit Care Med. 2005 May, 33(5):1175-8; &  (b)Protective effect of glutamine on intestinal barrier function in patients receiving chemotherapy, Zhonghua Wei Chang Wai Ke Za Zhi 2006, Jan, 9(1):59-61, Jiang H P, Liu CA; & (c) Berberine inhibits ion transport in human colonic epithelia,  Eur J Pharmocol, 1999, Feb 26; 368(1):111-8.

(5) Probiotics prevent bacterial translocation and improve intestinal barrier function in rats following chronic stress, Gut  2006, Nov, 55(11):1553-60, Zareie M, Jury J, Yang PC; Sherman PM;  &  (b) Probiotics and inflammatory bowel diseases. Postgrad Med J. 2006 Jun;82(968):376-82. Bai AP, Ouyang Q; & (c) Novel role of the vitamin D receptor in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal mucosal barrier. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Jan;294(1):G208-16.  Kong J, Zhang Z, Musch MW, Ning G, Sun J, Hart J, Bissonnette M, Li YC.

(6) (a) Hidden Causes of GI Dysfunction,  C.D. Meletis,  Vitamin Research News, vol 22, no.4,                         

April 2008; & (b) Are You the Victim of Hidden Allergies?,  The Blaylock Wellness

Report, Vol 4, No. 11, Nov 2007; & (c) Food Additives: What You Eat Can Kill You, The Blaylock Wellness Report, Vo. 4, No. 10, Oct 2007

& (d); &(e);  &                    (f)

 (7) Mercury exposure levels from dental amalgam, medical lab tests and medical studies, B. Windham (Ed), 2007,

(8) Documentation of recovery of significant improvement in over 30 chronic health conditions after amalgam replacement,  peer-reviewed studies and clinical studies,

(9) Percentage with significant health improvement after dental amalgam replacement by chronic condition,  FDA reports and clinical case reports,

10(a) The role of butyrate on colonic function, Aliment Pharmocol Ther, 2008 Jan 15:27(2):104-119, Hamer HM, Jonkers, d et al; & (b) Dietary modulation of colon cancer risk, J Nutr 2007, Nov 137(11 Suppl):2576S-2579S, Kim YS, Milner JA; & (c) Mucosal metabolism in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease, Dis Colon Rectum, 1998, Nov: 41(11):1399-1405; & (d) Down-regulation of the onocarboxylate transporter 1 is involved in butyrate deficiency during intestinal inflammation,  Gastroenterology, 2007, Dec 133(6):1916-27; & (e) Influence of dietary fiber on inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer: importance of fermentation pattern, Nutr Rv. 2007 Feb,65(2):51-62; & (f) Effect of polyunsaturated fatty acid-enriched phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine on butyrate-induced growth inhibition, differentiation, and apoptosis in Caco-2 cells, Cell Bichem Funct 2006 Mar-Apr, 24(2):159-65. 


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