The dental amalgam mercury controversy--inorganic mercury and the CNS; genetic linkage of mercury and antibiotic resistances in intestinal bacteria

Toxicology. 1995 Mar 31;97(1-3):19-22. doi: 10.1016/0300-483x(94)02964-v.


Mercury (Hg) vapor exposure from dental amalgam has been demonstrated to exceed the sum of all other exposure sources. Therefore the effects of inorganic Hg exposure upon cell function in the brain and in the intestinal bacteria have recently been examined. In rats we demonstrate that ADP-ribosylation of tubulin and actin brain proteins is markedly inhibited, and that ionic Hg can thus alter a neurochemical reaction involved with maintaining neuron membrane structure. In monkeys we show that Hg, specifically from amalgam, will enrich the intestinal flora with Hg-resistant bacterial species which in turn also become resistant to antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Dental Amalgam / adverse effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Mercury / adverse effects*


  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury