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Immune Reactive Conditions

The mercury connection to eczema, autism, schizophrenia, lupus, asthma, and allergies( snipped from larger study) Bernard Windham- Chemical Engineer

The incidence of allergic and immune reactive conditions such as allergies, asthma, eczema, lupus, psoriasis, oral lichen planus, autism, etc. have been increasing rapidly in recent years(1,2,2b,3,23). According to the U.S. FDA, at least 26 million have allergies and at least 17 million have asthma. The largest increase has been in infants(1,2,2b,6,7,23), with an increase in autism cases of over 250% to over 500,000 (2,23,22), a level of almost 1 per 300 infants in the last decade(2), and over 10 % of infants- approximately 15 million in the U.S. with systemic eczema(1). Studies researching the reason for these rapid increases in infant reactive conditions seem to implicate earlier and higher usage of vaccines containing mercury(thimerosal) as a likely connection(2,2b,23,30,34). It has been estimated that if all of the vaccines reccomended by the American Assoc. of Pediatrics are given and contain thimerosal, then by age 6 monts an infant would have received 187 micrograms of ethylmercury which is more than the EPA health standard for organic mercury(33) and by age 3 the typical child has recieved over 235 micrograms of mercury thimerosal from vaccinations which is considerably more than Federal mercury safety guidelines, in addition to significant levels from other sources for many(23). Infants during this period have undeveloped blood brain barriers and much of the mercury goes to the brain, resulting in significant adverse neurological effects in those that are most susceptable. Many thousands of parents have reported that their child got such conditions after vaccination, and tests have confirmed high levels of mercury in manny of those tested, along with other toxic exposures. Many of those diagnosed with high mercury levels have also been found to have significant improvement after mercury detoxification(23,30,34,11). Thimerosal had been previously removed from similar preservative uses in eye drops and eye medications after evidence of a connection to chronic degenerative eye conditions. After over 15,000 law suits were filed in France over adverse effects of the Hepatitis B vaccine, the French Minister of Health ended the mandantory hepatitis B vaccination program for all school children. Adverse effects included neurological disorders and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and lupus. Some hospitals in the U.S. also quit recommending certain vaccinations.

A direct mechinism involving mercury’s inhibition of cellular enzymatic processes by binding with the hydroxyl radical(SH) in amino acids appears to be a major part of the connection to these allergic/immune reactive conditions(15-23). For example mercury has been found to strongly inhibit the activity of xanthine oxidase and dipeptyl peptidase (DPP IV) which are required in the digestion of the milk protein casein(15,16,19,20,22), and the same protein that is cluster differentiation antigen 26 (CD26) which helps T lymphocyte activation. CD26 or DPPIV is a cell surfact glycoprotein that is very susceptible to inactivation by mercury binding to its cysteinyl domain. Mercury and other toxic metals also inhibit binding of opioid receptor aganoists to opioid receptors, while magnesium stimulates binding to opioid receptors(15). Studies involving a large sample of autistic and schizophrenic patients found that over 90 % of those tested had high levels of the milk protein beta-casomorphin-7 in their blood and urine and defective enzymatic processes for digesting milk protein(24,25,27), and similarly for the corresponding enzyme needed to digest wheat gluten(24,26).The studies found high levels of Ig A antigen specific antibodies for casein, lactalbumin and beta-lactoglovulin and IgG and IgM for casein. Beta-casomorphine-7 is a morphine like compound that results in neural disfunction (24,25), as well as being a direct histamine releaser in humans and inducing skin reactions (14,21,25c). Simarly many also had a corresponding form of gluten protein(26). Elimination of milk and wheat products and sulfur foods from the diet has been found to improve the condition. A double blind study using a potent opiate antagonist, naltrexone(NAL), produced singnificant reduction in autistic symptomology among the 56% most reponsive to opioid effects(28). The behavioral improvements was accompanied by alterations in the distribution of the major lymphocyte subsets, with a significant increase in the T-helper-inducers and a significant reduction of the T-cytotoxic-suppressors and a normalization of the CD4/CD8 ratio.

Studies have found mercury causes increased levels of the CD8 T-cytotoxic-suppressors(29). As noted previously, such populations of patients have also been found to have high levels of mercury and to recover after mercury detox(23,11,22,30,34). As mercury levels are reduced the protein binding is reduced and improvement in the enzymatic process occurs(22,11). Additional cellular level enzymatic effects of mercury’s binding with proteins include blockage of sulfur oxidation processes(18), enzymatic processes involving vitimins B6 and B12, effects on the cytochrome-C energy processes, along with mercury’s adverse effects on cellular mineral levels of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and lithium(22). Another of the results of these toxic exposures is the effect on the liver and disfunction of the liver detoxification processes which austistic children have been found to have(30,22). All of the austistic cases tested were found to have high toxic exposures/effects and liver detoxification profiles outside of normal.

Along with these blockages of cellular enzymatic processes, mercury has been found to cause additional neurological and immune system effects in many through immune/autoimmune reactions(11,12). Mercury(22) as well as thimerosal(31,32) also have direct neurotoxic effects on brain nucleotid binding proteins through their effect on Ca2+ATPase and Na+/K+ATPase activity. But the effects on the neurological and immune systems of exposure to various toxic substances such as toxic metals and environmental pollutants has also been found to have additive or synergistic effects and to be a factor in increasing eczema, allergies, asthma, delayed food allergies, and sensitivity to other lesser allergens(14-22). Most of the children tested for toxic exposures have found high or reactive levels of other toxic metals, and organochlorine compounds(34,11,12,24,4). Other than the organochlorines or toxic metals which are discussed later, three common pollutants that have been documented to have effects on such conditions are traffic and industrial pollutants nitrogen oxide, power plant residual oil fly ash, and organochlorine pollutants(4).


Allergic contact eczema is the most frequent occupational disease(1), and the most common cause of contact eczema is exposure to toxic metals(1, 5-9). The metals most commonly causing allergic immune reactivity are nickel, mercury, chromium, cobalt, and palladium(1,5-14). The highest level of sensitization is to Infants, who are most reactive to thimerosal, a form of mercury that has been used as a preservative in vaccines and eye drops(6,7). There is strong suggestive and clinical evidence for a connection between toxic metals and autism(2b,15-34).


(1) American Academy of Dermatology, Press Release, February, 2000

(2) California Health and Human Services Agency, Dept. Of Developmental Services, April 16, 1999; & (b)"Advocacy Groups Call for Research to Investigate Link Between Autism Increase and Vaccination", April 16,1999: Autism Research Institute, Cure Autism Now, Autism Autoimmunity Project, and National Vaccine Information Center; &

(c) Gary Null, Second Opinion: Vaccinations, Gary Null and Associates,Inc., 2000.

(3) Silhan P, Arenberger P. Standard epicutaneous tests in ambulatory care of patients. Cas Lek Cesk 1999, 138(15):469-73.

(4) Reichrtova E et al, "Cord Serum Immunoglobulin E Related to Enviornmental Contamination of Human Placentas with Oganochlorine Compounds", Envir Health Perspec, 1999, 107(11):895-99; & Gavett SH et al. Residual Oil Fly Ash Amplifies Allergic Cytokines, Airway Responsiveness, and Inflamtion in Mice. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 1999, 160(6):1897-1904; & Kramer U et al, Traffic- related air pollution is associated with atopy in children living in urban areas. Epidemiology 2000, 11(1): 64-70.

(5) Romaguera C, Vilaplana J. Contact dermatitis in children: 6 years experience. Contact Dermatitis 1998; 39(6): 277-80.

(6) Brasch J, Geier J, Schnuch A. Differentiiated contact allergy lists serve in quality improvement. Hautarzt 1998; 49(3): 184-91.

(7) Manzini BM, Ferdani G, Simonetti V, Donini M, Sedernari S. Contact senstization in children. Pediatr Dermatol 1998; 15(1): 12-17.

(8) Sun CC. Allergic contact dermatitis of the face from contact with nickel and ammoniated mercury. Contact Dermatitis 1987, 17(5):306-9.

(9) Xue C, He Z, Zhang H, Li S. Study on the contact allergen in patients with dermatitis and eczema. Wei Sheng Yen Chiu 1997, 26(5): 296-8.

(10) Aberer W, Holub H, Strohal R, Slavicek R. Palladium in dental alloys- the dermatologists responsibility to warn? Contact Dermatitis 1993. 28(3): 163-5.

(11) V.D.M.Stejskal, Dept. Of Clinical Chemistry, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden LYMPHOCYTE IMMUNO-STIMULATION ASSAY -MELISA" & "Mercury-specific Lymphocytes: an indication of mercury allergy in man", J. Of Clinical Immunology, 1996, Vol 16(1);31-40; & VDM Stejskal et al, "MELISA: tool for the study of metal allergy", Toxicology in Vitro, 8(5):991-1000, 1994. see:

(12) Sterzl I, Prochazkova J, Stejaskal VDM et al, Mercury and nickel allergy: risk facotrs in fatigue and autoimmunity. Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999; 20:221-228; & V.Stejskal, "MELISA: A New Technology for Diagnosing and Monitoring of Metal Sensitivity", Proceedings: 33rd Annual Meeting of American Acadamy of Environmental Medicine, Nov. 1998, Baltimore, Maryland.

(13) Redhe O, Pleva J. Recovery from asthma, allergies,ALS after removal of dental amalgam fillings. Int J of Risk & Safety in Medicine 1994; 4:229-236.

(14) Kurek M, Przybilla B, Hermann K, Ring J. A naturally occurring opioid peptide from cows milk, beta-

casomorphine-7, is a direct histamine releaser in man. Int Arch Allergy immunol 1992; 97(2): 115-20.

(15) Tejwani GA, Hanissian SH. Modulation of mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors in rat brain by metal ions and histidine. Neuropharmology 1990; 29(5): 445-52.

(16) Mondal MS, Mitra S. Inhibition of bovine xanthine oxidase activity by Hg2+ and other metal ions. J Inorg Biochem 1996; 62(4): 271-9.

(17) Sastry KV, Gupta PK. In vitro inhibition of degestive enzymes by heavy metals and their reversal by chelating agents: Part 1, mercuric chloride intoxication. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 1978; 20(6): 729-35; & W.Y.Boadi et al, Dept. Of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, T-I Inst of Tech., Haifa, Israel, "In vitro effect of mercury on enzyme activities", Environ Res, 1992, 57(1):96-106

(18) Mc Fadden SA, Phenotypic variation in xenobitic metabolish and adverse environmental response: focus on sulfur-dependent detoxification pathways. Toxicology, 1996, 111(1-3):43-65; & Markovich et al, "Heavy metals (Hg,Cd) inhibit the activity of the liver and kidney sulfate transporter Sat-1", Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, 1999,154(2):181-7; & Matts RL, Schatz JR, Hurst R, Kagen R. Toxic heavy metal ions inhibit reduction of disulfid bonds. J Biol Chem 1991; 266(19): 12695-702

(19) Puschel G, Mentlein R, Heymann E, 'Isolation and characterization of dipeptidyl peptidase IV from human placenta', Eur J Biochem 1982 Aug;126(2):359-65; & Kar NC, Pearson CM. Dipeptyl Peptidases in human muscle disease. Clin Chim Acta 1978; 82(1-2): 185-92.

(20) Stefanovic V. et al, Kidney ectopeptidases in mercuric chloride-induced renal failure. Cell Physiol Biochem 1998; 8(5): 278-84.

(21) Crinnion WJ. Environmental toxins and their common health effects. Altern Med Rev 2000, 5(1):52-63.

(22) Windham, B. Annotated Bibliography: Adverse health effects related to mercury and amalgam fillings and

clinically documented recoveries after amalgam replacement. (over 600 references);

(23) Autism: a unique form of mercury poisoning.

(24) J.R. Cade et al, Autism and schizophrenia linked to malfunctioning enzyme for milk protein digestion. Autism, Mar 1999.

(25) Reichelt KL. Biochemistry and psycholphisiology of autistic syndromes. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1994, 114(12):

1432-4; & Reichelt KL et al, Biologically active peptide-containing fractions in schizophrenia and childhood autism. Adv Biochem Psychopharmocol 1981; 28: 627-43; Lucarelli S, Cardi E, et al, Food allergy and infantile autism. Panminerva Med 1995; 37(3):137-41.

(26) Huebner FR, Lieberman KW, Rubino RP, Wall JS. Demonstration of high opioid-like activity in isolated peptides from wheat gluten hydrolysates. Peptides 1984; 5(6):1139-47.

(27) Willemsen-Swinkels SH, Buitelaar JK, Weijnen FG, Thisjssen JH, Van Engeland H. Plasma beta-endorphin concentrations in people with learning disbility and self-injurious and/or autisitic behavior. Br J Psychiary 1996; 168(1): 105-9; & Leboyer M, Launay JM et al. Difference between plasma N- and C-terminally directed beta-endorphin immunoreactivity in infantile autism. Am J Psychiatry 1994; 151(12): 1797-1801.

(28) Scifo R, Marchetti B, et al. Opioid-immune interactions in autism: behavioral and immunological assessment during a double-blind treatment with naltexone. Ann Ist Super Sanita 1996; 32(3): 351-9.

(29) Eedy DJ, Burrows D, Dlifford T, Fay A. Elevated T cell subpopulations in dental students.

J prosthet Dent 1990; 63(5):593-6.

(30) Edelson SB, Cantor DS. Autism: xenobiotic influences. Toxicol Ind Health 1998; 14(4): 553-63; &

Liska, DJ. The detoxification enzyme systems. Altern Med Rev 1998. 3(3):187-98.

.(31) Sayers LG; Brown GR; Michell RH; Michelangeli F. The effec ts of thimerosal on calcium uptake and inositol1,4,5-trisphosphate-induced calcium release in cerebellar microsomes. Biochem J 1993 Feb 1;289

( Pt 3):883-7.

(32) Lewis RN; Bowler K. Rat brain (Na+-K+)ATPase: modulation of its ouabain-sensitive K+-PNPPase activity by thimerosal. Int J Biochem 1983;15(1):5-7; & Anner BM, Moosmayer M. Mercury inhibits Na-K-ATPase primrily at the cytoplasmic side. Am J Physiol 1992; 262(5 Pt2):F84308.

(33) Halsey, NA. Limiting Infant Exposure to Thimerosal in vaccines. J. of the Amer. Medical Assoc., 282: 1763-66.

(34), web group of parents with autistic kids and autism doctors and researchers; &(b)Dr. SB Edelson, ; & © Eppright TD, Sanfacon JA, Horwitz EA. ADHD, infantile autism, and elevated blood-lead: a possible relationship. (case study) Mo Med 1996; 93(3):136-8.

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