Evidence Supporting a Link between Dental Amalgams and Chronic Illness, Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide

Norway and Sweden have banned amalgam, reportedly due to environmental concerns. However, the use and toxic risk of dental amalgam fillings is still a subject of ongoing debate in many countries. Now, a review conducted by a team of international researchers has provided new evidence that mercury exposure from dental amalgam may cause or contribute to many chronic illnesses, as well as depression, anxiety and suicide.

The review article by Janet K. Kern and coworkers is published in Neuroendocrinology Letters (2014; 35 (7): 537-552). Three of the authors, Kern, Geir Bjørklund and Boyd E. Haley, are members of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM). Kern is a director of CONEM. Bjørklund is founder and president of the association. 

 

Janet K. Kern, David A. Geier, Geir Bjørklund, Paul G. King, Kristin G. Homme, Boyd E. Haley, Lisa K. Sykes, and Mark R. Geier

Evidence supporting a link between dental amalgams and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2014; 35 (7): 537-552 

 

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this review is to examine the evidence for a relationship between mercury (Hg) exposure from dental amalgams and certain idiopathic chronic illnesses – chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), depression, anxiety, and suicide. Dental amalgam is a commonly used dental restorative material that contains approximately 50% elemental mercury (Hg0) by weight and releases Hg0 vapor. Studies have shown that chronic Hg exposure from various sources including dental amalgams is associated with numerous health complaints, including fatigue, anxiety, and depression – and these are among the main symptoms that are associated with CFS and FM. In addition, several studies have shown that the removal of amalgams is associated with improvement in these symptoms. Although the issue of amalgam safety is still under debate, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Hg exposure from dental amalgams may cause or contribute to many chronic conditions. Thus, consideration of Hg toxicity may be central to the effective clinical investigation of many chronic illnesses, particularly those involving fatigue and depression.

 

Metal-Induced Inflammation Triggers Fibromyalgia in Metal-Allergic Patients

Stejskal, Öckert, and Bjørklund studied the frequency and clinical relevance of metal allergy in 15 fibromylagia (FM) patients (1). Metal allergy was measured by a lymphocyte transformation test, MELISA®. Ten healthy age matched women were used as controls. Reduction of metal exposure in the FM patients was achieved by replacement of dental metal restorations and by the avoidance of known sources of metal exposure. Objective health assessment was performed 5 years after treatment. Subjective health assessment was established by a questionnaire, completed 2, 5 and in some cases 10 years after the start of the study. Follow-up MELISA was also performed. All FM patients tested positive to at least one of the metals tested. Objective examination 5 years later showed that half of the patients no longer fulfilled the FM diagnosis, 20% had improved and the remaining 30% still had FM. All patients reported subjective health improvement.

Vera Stejskal is Associate Professor of Immunology at University of Stockholm, Sweden. She is founder and president of the MELISA Medica Foundation. Karin Öckert is a pensioned Swedish dentist/specialist in periodontics. Geir Bjørklund is founder and president of the Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM).

Reference
1. Stejskal V, Öckert K, Bjørklund G. Metal-induced inflammation triggers fibromyalgia in metal-allergic patients. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2013; 34: 559-565.