251: Mercury

Mercury Testing and Detoxification

Countless research has proven the dangers of mercury. In my past episodes, I have tackled topics about how mercury and heavy metals can hamper our health goals. But today, I'm thrilled to have Dr. Christopher Shade on the show to explain the details of mercury testing aside from heavy metals detoxification.

Organic Farming

Dr. Christopher Shade describes himself as a reductionist from an academic family. He recalls his college years full of mind-liberating experiences. During this time, he started to believe in the holism of the world and the inner relationships in nature.

It was not long after college when Dr. Christopher Shade became an organic farmer. He did a couple of other things before going into academic studies about organic farming.

Dr. Christopher Shade started studying environmental chemistry around agriculture and eventually earned a Masters' Degree. He then pursued a Ph.D. degree in Illinois and looked into agricultural pollution and environmental chemistry. But he found it boring.

“Then I found this guy who was doing these global models of mercury cycling. So I went into that and developed this testing for different forms of mercury during graduate school where we could separate different forms,” said Dr. Christopher Shade.

He adds, “I got a patent on that and started my company in Boulder County, Colorado. My company did environmental testing, got into health and wellness, and applied the testing to metals and toxins.”

Dr. Christopher Shade decided to focus on health and wellness after the crash of 2008. Fortunately, his jump in health and wellness was well-received.

Testing For Toxins

Dr. Christopher Shade brought this new method of testing where they could look at different forms of mercury in the body and how they are excreted. The test can also show how the functional excretion and detoxifications were working, as well as what forms of mercury are present including its sources.

“I explored what was the standard of treatment then. Long-term chronic toxicity involves failure of the detoxification and wearing down of the system,” Dr. Christopher Shade explains. “It's more important to restore the functioning of antioxidants, enzymes, and transporters that are associated with ridding the body of toxins.”

He adds, “As you bring them up, not only do you get rid of the toxins out of your body. You also make your body more resistant to the presence of those toxins and any future exposure to toxins. That's what put me where I am today to help people get well.”

Role Of Glutathione

Dr. Christopher Shade acknowledges the importance of glutathione. Glutathione is not only an essential antioxidant in animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. It can also prevent damage to cellular components caused by things like free radicals and heavy metals.

“If mercury is in your cell and it's stuck in one of your proteins, you need to get it out by first linking it on to glutathione. But if you have glutathione there, it doesn't mean that the mercury is going to jump off the protein onto the glutathione,” explains Dr. Christopher Shade.

Dr. Christopher Shade says we need this intermediary called the glutathione s-transferase. It pries the mercury off the protein so they can bind onto glutathione.

Importance of Sweating

We know that sweating is beneficial for getting toxins out of our body. But Dr. Christopher Shade says sweating isn't well understood.

Dr. Christopher Shade readily admits he used to improperly say that sweating is really about plastics, solvents and not about metals. Then he read some data wherein it states that the metal content of sweat is relatively similar to urine. That's why they call it the 3rd kidney.

According to Dr. Christopher Shade, there has to be a similar thing wherein the transporters are pulling from the blood and dumping into the sweat. But that has not been elucidated yet.

“If I give you something that stimulates your cells to dump out of the cells into the blood, the kidney and liver better be ready for that. But a lot of reasons why people get toxic is because of blocks in the liver and kidney,” said Dr. Christopher Shade. “If you are dumping out of the cells, your blood levels get high. And then you have what's called redistribution.”

Understanding Toxins

Dr. Christopher Shade explains that first of all, toxins are dumped into the bile. When that doorway between the liver and the gallbladder or the bile drainage gets blocked, that's when people have the biggest problem detoxing.

“People who have a problem when they detox often find that the gallbladder is the biggest problem. You need to be able to move the bile,” Dr. Christopher Shade said. “Sweating is a safe way to go. But the problem is getting sicker. Because when you detox or lose weight, it affects the liver and gallbladder movement.”

When the gallbladder is blocked, the toxins are dumped back into the blood, hence the redistribution. And when this happens, we usually experience itching, rashes, lower back pain, and more brain fog.

Herbal Remedies

Dr. Christopher Shade says that for improving liver function, he uses a lot of bitter herbs to start moving up the liver. Apparently, toxins affect the glutamate receptors in the brain which drives us into a sympathetic tone.

“Mercury causes anxiety. Anxiety is locking you over into a sympathetic tone,” explains Dr. Christopher Shade. “By nature, it starts locking up your gallbladder. Most toxins do this. Leaky gut does this. It creates a narrow inflammatory pathway in your brain because of endotoxin that comes from the leaky gut.”

That's why Dr. Christopher Shade found great use for CBD or cannabidiol into these detox regimens and any treatment for Lyme or chronic disease. This is because all those problems force this sympathetic overdrive called neuroinflammation. And CBD stabilizes that immediately.

“That will stabilize the autonomic nervous system. Then you can go in with the herbs that open up the bile flow, and you can get back on top of things,” assures Dr. Christopher Shade.

Types Of Mercury

There are three types of mercury.  And according to Dr. Christopher Shade, all three types are excreted very differently.

Dental mercury or dental amalgam is mercury in liquid form.  It is mixed with metal alloy and used to fill dental cavities. This kind of mercury evaporates. We end up inhaling it, and the mercury goes into our blood through our lungs. Common health problems include joint pains, skin problems, and kidney problems.

Methylmercury is a type of mercury coming from fish. When you eat it, we absorb it through amino acid transporters. According to Dr. Christopher Shade, this mercury gets into our brain, and there are immediate neurological consequences. Health issues include experiencing anxiety and brain fog.

On the other hand, ethylmercury is found in vaccines. Dr. Christopher Shade says it is most similar to methylmercury and causes acute disruption of the immune system.

Mercury Testing

Dr. Christopher Shade's test method can measure little amounts of mercury in the blood. And according to him, it should be perfectly correlated with what's coming out in the urine.

“The kidneys should be working correctly in their metal filtration processes. If the ratio between blood, organic and the urinary mercury levels are off, I know there's damage to the detoxification chemistry of the kidney,” said Dr. Christopher Shade.

Dr. Christopher Shade also says that this test has functional components as well as a load component. It can measure load in the blood and the blood that is proportional to what's in the rest of the body.

Quicksilver Products

Dr. Christopher Shade offers a lot of great products to promote overall health.  He mentions that Bitter X and Pure PC in particular, has proven to have significant positive health effects.

Bitter X is for opening up bile flow and is a fantastic supplement for digestive function. Pure PC or Phosphatidyl Choline is an essential component of the cellular membranes of plant and animal cells, needed for membrane integrity, structure, and function.

Dr. Christopher Shade also advises using a toxin binder in the GI tract. This is because a bunch of toxins can go down the GI tract and may be reabsorbed.

Importance of Eating Healthy

Dr. Christopher Shade like many other experts I had on the show, stressed the importance of eating right and embracing a healthy lifestyle for effective detoxification.

Otherwise, our body will remain inflamed, and all inflammation blocks detoxification.

“You have to do at least the basic evaluation of your diet to assess if you have some food allergies. Get your mind in a state of being good,” advises Dr. Christopher Shade. “Support the drainage. It's more important to take things out that are distorting your health than to try to stuff more things in to give you more energy.”


Dr. Christopher Shade, Ph.D., founder, and CEO of Quicksilver Scientific, continues to be the driving force of development and innovation. His vast depth and breadth of knowledge, passion for healing, and intuitive understanding of chemistry and biology are reflected in Quicksilver Scientific's well-designed detoxification protocols, unique supplement delivery systems, and patented mercury speciation test. 

Dr. Christopher Shade is in high demand as a lecturer and is beloved for his amiability and quick (silver) wit. It is because of his many innovations and charismatic personality that Quicksilver Scientific is well recognized globally. 

Dr. Christopher Shade is a recognized expert on mercury and liposomal delivery systems. He has lectured and trained doctors in the U.S. and internationally on the subject of mercury, heavy metals, and the human detoxification system. He developed the patented liquid chromatographic mercury speciation technology used at Quicksilver Scientific while conducting his Ph.D. dissertation work with advisor Robert Hudson at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This technology was used to create the Mercury Tri-Test. 

Dr. Christopher Shade's current focus is on the development of cutting-edge, lipid-based delivery systems for nutraceuticals, such as liposomes and microemulsion systems, to address the growing need for high quality, affordable detoxification solutions.

Get Connected With Dr. Christopher Shade:

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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