What is food mineral?

Minerals are inorganic elements that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Mercury toxicity

Toxic elements, such as mercury and methylmercury, are neurological toxicants to humans. Mercury exposure is associated with slow mental development, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other birth defects in human. The target organ for inhaled mercury vapor is primarily the brain. Mercurous and mercuric salts chiefly damage the gut lining and kidney, while methyl mercury is widely distributed throughout the body.

Mercury is 1 of 2 elements (bromine is the other) that are liquid at room temperature. Its elemental symbol is Hg, derived from the Greek word hydrargyrias, meaning “water silver.”

Mercury does not play an important role in terrestrial food chains, but it is always detected in marine organisms. While plant‐based foods usually contain only trace amounts of inorganic mercury, fish and seafood are the main sources of mercury exposure for humans. Fish at the top of the food chain (e.g., tuna, swordfish, or shark) may concentrate considerable mercury in their tissues.

Mercury contamination in fish and seafood is predominantly in the organic form of methylmercury that is produced by marine microorganisms.

Mercury in any form is toxic. Mercury poisoning can result from vapor inhalation, ingestion, injection, or absorption through the skin. Inhaled elemental mercury vapor, for example, is easily absorbed through mucus membranes and the lung and rapidly oxidized to other forms.

Highly toxic and poisoning usually results due to accidentally or intentional ingestion. Mercury chloride listed as ‘Violent poison’ in the Merck’s Index in 1996. It is caustic in nature. When ingested lining of GI tract is lost, patient exhibits severe pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Mercury toxicity

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