Friday, April 20, 2007

Amalgam toxicity remains unclear

dental fillings
How many amalgam fillings do you have? I have some, and therefore I regularly check the news about its toxicity. There has been some debate about mercury from amalgam causing Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis. A new meta-analysis on the multiple sclerosis link has found a small, but not significant increase of the risk in amalgam users.

«Not significant» means no effect that is beyond doubt. It does not mean that there is no effect at all. More precise studies may reveal a significant effect in the future. But this effect is not likely to be strong, otherwise it would show up with the present studies.

In my personal opinion, the new results do not support the immediate removal of old amalgam fillings. Firstly, the mercury load from the removal would be considerably bigger than leaving the fillings untouched. Secondly, who knows about the long-term toxicity of composite fillings that would replace amalgam? - (Picture by Scratch @ Flickr)

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