The Safety of Dental Amalgam Fillings

dental amalgam fillings

Mercury is now regarded as the most common cause of heavy metal toxicity and can get into the bloodstream in various ways from injected vaccines, eating fish and by amalgam dental fillings by chewing. The World Health Organization estimates that between three to 17 micrograms of mercury are released daily into the body by chewing alone.

History of Mercury

Mercury is the second most toxic metal in the world after plutonium. Mercury has a history of being known as quicksilver due to it being a silver liquid. The symbol, Hg, is Latin for hydrargyrum, meaning watery silver. Mercury does not readily react with oxygen in the air but does reacts with some acids when they are hot.

Mercury toxicity has been reported since the first century when Roman prisoners were sentenced to work in cinnabar mines where they usually died due to the lethal levels of mercury. In the 1800s felt hat workers exposed to mercuric nitrate exhibited symptoms such as memory loss, angry outbursts, depression, insomnia, hallucinations and delusions. This condition was coined the “Mad Hatter syndrome” and was referred to famously by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. Similar symptoms were reported in syphilis patients who were treated with mercury in the mid-19th century.

In the last 50 years, more has been discovered about the toxic effects of mercury. Mercury enters the body fairly easily and its vapours pass through the skin into the blood stream. Once in the blood mercury interferes with bodily chemical reactions that can lead to illness and even death.

Amalgam Fillings in Dentistry

Mercury consists of approximately 50% of an amalgam filling, and is mixed with silver, copper and tin. This combination has been used for well over a century and has proved to extremely durable. Mercury is used in amalgams because it helps it is effective in making the filling material pliable and it also hardens quickly and can withstand biting and chewing. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) caused controversy in July 2008 when they issued a final regulation with altered language on their website: "While elemental mercury has been associated with adverse health effects at high exposures, the levels released by dental amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause harm in patients.” They also advocated better warnings about mercury sensitivity and dental amalgams. The association also reclassified the mercury component of dental amalgam from Class I (low risk) to Class II (moderate risk).

With increasing concern over the safety of amalgam fillings, more than five hundred mercury-free practices have been set up in the UK. There are alternatives to amalgam fillings such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. The durability of these alternatives is increasing with time and further research. Removing existing amalgam fillings isn’t advised in healthy people as it is a skilled procedure and involves the release of mercury vapour.

Health Risks of Amalgam Fillings

A report in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine finds that dentists have higher concentrations of mercury in the body and double the number of brain tumours. Female dentists and assistants have more than three times the risk of sterility, stillbirth, and miscarriage. Exposure over long periods of time to mercury vapour can result in brain damage and studies have found extensive mercury exposure to be a factor in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis. Mercury is particularly toxic to fetuses and babies. Women who have been exposed to mercury in pregnancy have sometimes given birth to children with serious birth defects.

A study that followed more than 500 Portuguese and American children for seven years after they received amalgam or mercury-free fillings found no differences in the neurological symptoms between the two groups.

In contrast a 2004 study concluded that amalgam fillings may be an important risk factor for patients with autoimmune diseases. The study found that patients responded positively when amalgam was removed from a group of 35 patients with autoimmune diseases and replaced them with composites. Six months later more than 70% had shown improvement in health notably in multiple sclerosis.

Supporters of amalgam fillings emphasised that mercury is locked in and inert. It has now been conceded that mercury vapour escapes, and filters into the bloodstream and organs. Now scientists and the FDA claim that mercury levels are very low. Opponents argue that mercury accumulates in the body and no level of mercury should be deemed safe. Insufficient published data exists on the potential health effects of dental amalgam to completely support or refute the health effects attributed to it.

The safety of amalgam fillings is still inconclusive, though due to the toxicity of mercury an increasing amount of people are choosing alternatives such as composite resin, glass and gold. Read Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Tooth Pain for natural ways to maintain optimal oral health and treat toothache.

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Laropiprant Side Effects


Laropiprant becomes an adjunct drug with the administration of nicotinic acid that helps lower the cholesterol levels of the body. Its potent action in managing the flushing effects of nicotinic acid makes Laropiprant an essential drug to administer together with nicotinic acid. Side effects are often evident on the use of laropriprant that every patient must be cautioned upon.

Lapopiprant together with niacin is indicated for the treatment of dyslipidemia, a condition characterized by high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It is also an indicated treatment for hypercholesterolemia.

Side Effects of Laropiprant

Just as with any drug, the administration of laropiprant may induce side effects. Common ones are diarrhea and loose bowel movements, abdominal discomfort, rashes and allergy, itching and hives. Indigestion, stomachache, vomiting, headache and tingling of the hands and feet are also common.

More serious side effects induced by the drug include allergic reaction, bloating of the face, lips, tongue, and throat. Some experience breathing difficulty, angiodema or difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, inability to stop urine and stool and cold sweating.
The elevation of liver enzymes is also another side effect of laropiprant, seen in 0.3% of patients who took laropiprant-containing medicines, like Zocor and Cordaptive. This effect is, however, asymptomatic and liver enzymes eventually return to the normal level once the medication stops.

Hepatic Upshots Due to Overdosage of Laropiprant

Severe hepatic toxicity is a risk of lapopipant overdose. The drug may dangerously interact in the presence of excessive amount of alcohol. Complications are also possible in the presence of liver disease. Patients with history of this illness should undergo liver function tests before administration, every six to 12 weeks for the first year and occasionally afterwards. Patients with increasing transaminase levels should be monitored to resolve ensuing abnormalities brought about by the intake of this drug. If found to be detrimental for the health, reduce or withdraw the medication.


Unusual cases of rhabdomylysis have been found due to attendant administration of lipid-altering lipopiprant and nicotinic acid. If a patient shows symptoms of this illness, constant monitoring is needed for muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness during the first months of medication, especially when dosage of this drug is increased. Periodic creatinine kinase (PCK) should be considered, though little is known if it inhibits the development of severe myopathy.

Patients older than 70 showing symptoms of rhabdomylisis should be given utter care and medication as they are more likely to suffer renal impairment, unrestrained hypothyroidism, hereditary background of muscular disorder, and muscular toxicity.

Reminder about Laropiprant

Always take laropiprant in its proper dosage to avoid undesirable side effects and complications. Continue with the prescribed schedule of intake and dosage even in the event of a missed dose. Always consult a physician and never self-medicate to avoid undesirable side effects of laropiprant.

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The Coral Calcium Controversy

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Coral calcium, a dietary supplement made of calcium carbonate and a wealth of trace minerals, is harvested off the shores of Okinawa, Japan. This much acclaimed mineral is best known for its proclaimed ability to change the alkalinity of water-based solutions. Many individuals, inspired by the teachings of Robert Barefoot, hold to the belief that coral calcium is a cure-all for a number of diseases.

The Robert Barefoot Theory Concerning Coral Calcium

Robert Barefoot is a bio-chemist and promoter of coral calcium. His theory advocates that while a healthy person has a high pH or alkaline reading and high oxygen levels, a person that is ill has a low pH reading and low oxygen levels. If the the pH levels of the sick can be raised or changed to alkaline, that person can overthrow any illness in question. Barefoot believes that the alkalinity of coral calcium can cure some 200 degenerative diseases caused by calcium deficiency.

Controversial Issues Concerning Coral Calcium

Laboratory analyses performed on coral calcium reveal that this supplement contains significant amounts of heavy metals, including lead. These findings pose a direct confrontation with Robert Barefoot's Coral Calcium theory for ultimate health. In fact, according to Andrew Weils, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the claim that better health can be achieved by creating a more alkaline body has no basis in science. Coral calcium supplements, although more expensive than regular calcium supplements have not been proven any more effective. It is recommended that individuals needing extra calcium should take calcium carbonate products which are 30-35% absorbable in the body. Coral calcium is not 100% absorbable.

Another concern is that coral calcium causes severe allergic reactions. Shortness of breath, swelling and hives are characteristic of individuals who are allergic to shellfish. Shellfish living amongst the coral reefs contaminate the limestone deposits which can negatively affect individuals with allergies.

Coral Calcium Manufacturing Destroys the Environment

The widespread health claims concerning coral calcium has led to mass production of the supplement.This raises environmental issues because of the destruction of the beautiful ocean reefs that have taken thousands of years to grow. The reefs are also home to many ocean creatures, including fish and lobster. Becuse living coal reefs are now endangered, it is forbidden by law to harvest them. As an altenative, harvesters are using loose limestone deposits to make the coral supplements. Calcium from limestone deposits contain pollutants and heavy metals.

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Stretching Exercises Keep Your Muscles Healthy

Humans are made up of different types of muscles. The two main groups are phasic and postural. The phasic muscles are made up of fast twitch fibers (type 2), examples are: quadriceps (the muscles in the front of the upper thigh), rectus abdominis (abdominal muscles).

stretching exercises

These muscles are activated in short explosive activities, such as sprinting to the bus, and are prone to getting weak. The postural muscles are made up of slow twitch fibers (type 1), some examples are: gastrocnemius and soleus (muscles in the back of the lower leg) pectoralis major and minor (chest muscles). These muscles are activated in long duration sustained positions and movements, and overtime are prone towards getting tight and restricted.

What Stretching Does

The physiological effect of stretching is that it reduces increased tone of a muscle. The ability to stretch is influenced by: age, gender, body type, temperature, psychological and physical stress, and muscle imbalances.

Stretching after exercise will ensure muscle relaxation, facilitate normal muscle resting length, and improve circulation to structures and removal of unwanted waste products (lactic acid). It is evident that lifestyle will influence the health and function of the musculoskeletal system.

Humans require the activity of specific muscle groups all the time. Many studies indicate that a lot of low back pain cases are due to muscle imbalances. For a well balanced body, it is essential to add stretching as well as exercise to our daily routines.

Stretching Tips

How often you should stretch is not fully understood; however, experts agree that daily stretching is the best, or at least after a warm up before and after a sporting activity. Frequent stretching reduces muscular imbalances sustained by daily activities or exercise.
  • Static, prolonged and sustained stretches are the most effective. Do not bounce as this can cause microtrauma at the musculo-tendinous junction.
  • Connective tissue elongation (plastic deformation) requires low intensity and long duration stretching. Evidence suggests that in order to involve the connective tissue (tendon) and muscle it is essential to hold stretches for at least 15 – 20 seconds.
  • Complete 10 times for each muscle doing both the left and right sides of the body.
You should stretch only when your body is warm, as this facilitates range of motion around a joint structure .Never stretch first thing in the morning. If you exercise in the morning, always do a light warm up (5 – 10 minutes) to facilitate blood circulation before you stretch.

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Tips to Reduce Swelling in Hands, Ankles and Feet

Swelling of the hands, ankles and feet is caused by many different things and can occur in people of all ages. The causes can be as simple as high heat, standing too much or eating too much sodium, or it could be a sign of another health issue. For most people, however, swelling in the hands, feet and ankles is not life-threatening and can be treated easily by taking a few precautions or making small lifestyle changes.


Causes of Swelling of the Hands, Ankles and Feet

There are many different reasons why hands, feet and ankles swell. These reasons include:
  • pregnancy
  • pre-menstrual syndrome
  • medications
  • sitting too long in one position
  • standing too long in one position
  • not drinking enough water
  • too much sodium (salt) in the diet
  • allergies
  • being overweight
  • eating an unhealthy diet
  • too little exercise
  • drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages
In most cases, a person who experiences swelling occasionally can reduce it with home remedies. However, if swelling persists on a regular basis, see a doctor. There may be another underlying cause.

Treatments for Swollen Hands, Ankles and Feet

While most cases of swelling of the hands, feet and ankles aren’t serious, if left untreated it can cause complications such as an increased risk of infection, decreased blood circulation and a decrease in the elasticity of veins, arteries, muscles and joints. Ways to treat swollen hands, feet and ankles include:
Reduce sodium in the diet – Too much sodium in the diet causes the body to retain water and contributes to the swelling. Lower the amount of salt added to foods when cooking monitor sodium in processed foods. The American Heart Association suggests eating less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
Drink plenty of water – Not drinking enough water sends a message to the body to hold onto the water it already has stored, and causes hands, feet and ankles to swell. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day will keep the body hydrated and help it to expel extra fluids properly.
Don’t stand or sit for long periods of time – Standing or sitting for long periods of time can cause ankles and feet to swell. Try sitting with feet and ankles propped up above the heart for 30 minutes to relieve the swelling.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine – Drinking too much alcohol or caffeinated beverages can cause swelling in the hands, feet and ankles.
Eat a healthy diet – Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains keeps the body’s system working properly so the body doesn’t hold onto excess fluid.
Avoid extreme temperature changes – According to the Mayo Clinic, changes in temperature can aggravate swelling. Avoid hot tubs, saunas, hot showers and baths and take care when out in hot temperatures.
Try a diuretic – Taking a diuretic (water pill) may help ease swollen hands, feet and ankles. Do not take during pregnancy unless advised by a doctor.
Exercise regularly – Regular daily exercise has been shown to help reduce swelling.

Swelling of the hands, feet and ankles is uncomfortable and sometimes painful but it can be reduced by making a few lifestyle changes. If swelling occurs on a regular basis, seek medical attention as it may be a sign of a more serious health issue.

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Toradol Pain Medicine

Toradol is commonly prescribed after surgery. It is also sold under the generic name of Ketorolac. It helps reduce hormones in your body that cause inflammation and pain. It is available as an IV additive, injection, and as a tablet form. Tablets should only be used if you have already received the injectable form first. Toradol is not indicated for mild or ongoing pain.


Important Facts Regarding Toradol

Toradol is used short-term (five days or less) due to the increased risk of serious side effects on your stomach and intestines. Serious life threatening gastrointestinal effects can occur while taking Toradol. Toradol can also increase your risk of life-threatening circulation and heart problems, such as stroke and heart attack. Risks increase with longer use of Toradol. Seek medical care immediately if you experience chest pain, weakness, slurred speech, shortness of breath, vision or balance problems, black or bloody stools, tarry stools, or if you are coughing up blood or vomit that appears to look like coffee grounds.

Reasons Not to Take Toradol

You should not take Toradol if you are allergic to ketorolac, aspirin, or other NSAIDs. People should not take Toradol if they have severe kidney disease, a closed head injury, bleeding in the brain, bleeding or blood clot disorder, stomach ulcer, history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, or if you are breast-feeding an infant. This medication should not be used on anyone under the age of 18 years old.

Administration of Toradol

Toradol should be taken exactly as prescribed. Never take larger amounts of this medicine and never take it for longer than recommended by your physician. Toradol is generally given first as an injection. If you are given a prescription for the tablet form, take the tablet with a full glass of water. Toradol taken long-term can lead to damage of your kidneys and or cause bleeding.

Side Effects of Toradol

Common side effects of Toradol can include upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, mild heartburn, stomach pain, sweating, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and ringing in your ears.

Seek emergency care immediately if your experience an allergic reaction such as hives, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, and or difficulty breathing.

Contact your physician at once and stop taking Toradol if you experience chest pain, weakness, black, bloody, or tarry stools, swelling or rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, slurred speech, fever, sore throat, mouth sores, skin rash, neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on your skin, or seizures.

Drug Interactions with Toradol

Taking certain anti-depressant medications with Toradol can cause you to bruise and bleed easily. Inform your doctor if you are taking any blood thinners, lithium, alprazolam, thiothixene, methotrexate, diuretics, muscle relaxers, steroids, seizure medications, heart or blood pressure medicines, aspirin or other forms of NSAIDs, and ACE inhibitors. Other medications not listed may interact with this medicine. Always discuss all prescription, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and herbal medications with your physician. Serious drug interactions can occur.

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