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Speaker 1: The Children’s Portugal Study, conducted by Dr. James Woods and others, was published in Environmental Health Perspective and was-
Speaker 2: Supposed to be done to once and for all evaluate the safety or harmful effects of amalgams. It was sponsored by The U.S. Government.
Speaker 1: … and it is widely quoted by many health and dental organizations and faculties as evidence that mercury amalgam fillings are safe. There are some inherent flaws in the published Portugal studies. The way Dr. Woods categorized the children into amalgam and non-amalgam groups is a strong example of how the data may not have been represented. David and Mark Geier describe the reason why Woods’ work only showed a weak relationship of mercury in the urine due to mercury released from so-called silver amalgam fillings.
Speaker 2: At first blush, you might think that makes sense. He’s comparing amalgam versus composites, but what a minute. If you recall, look at how the children fall. You have children with low-dose exposure, you got some with high, you have in the middle. He’s lumping everybody in the amalgam group regardless of their amount of exposure together into one group, and then he calls that his amalgam group, and then he simply compares that to his composite. That’s not a fair comparison. What about the dose-dependent of fact.
Speaker 3: There’s a general principle in epidemiology, the more noise you have, the less likely things are to be statistical.
Speaker 2: Hence-
Speaker 3: He threw all the noise you could possibly have in so that it wouldn’t be statistical.
Speaker 2: Hence when you look at this data, what you see is the round circles are actually the average amount, the bars that you see, those are what are called confidence intervals. They’re saying 95% of the data falls within those. I mean look at this arrow bar. It’s enormous. It goes from three all the way down to a half. That’s telling you that there’s huge variability in the data. Females consistently have enormous variability in what they’re screening in the urine.
Speaker 1: Dr. Paul G. King requested the data for the Portugal study from Dr. Woods.
Speaker 2: He wrote an email to Dr. Woods saying it was very interesting to read your studies, would you please sense to me the raw data for your analysis. Being an NIH-sponsored study, technically Dr. Woods had to turn over that data. Eventually, he actually turned it over, and so we have been able to obtain all of the raw data from this trial.
Speaker 2: Looking at this data, we have now, this is one of our studies that’s under consideration for publication, we tried to look at this in a totally different way. As I said, we’re very interested in the dose of mercury versus in this case urinary mercury levels. When we did this, we found that there was an incredibly strong correlation between the amount of amalgam exposure and urinary mercury concentration. This is from the statistical model. The P-value is less than 0.0001. It’s incredibly significant. What this is telling us is that the number of amalgam fillings is directly related to the amount of urinary mercury and that it follows a dose-dependent fashion, which is exactly what the biology would predict.
Speaker 2: Now this is the study that’s much more interesting to me, which is to look at urinary porphyrins. Urinary porphyrins are a very interesting piece of science. I’ll give you some background information. This is really now starting to move into amalgams not just having exposure, but having serious potential adverse outcomes.
Speaker 1: Porphyrins are molecules at various stages in the pathway that leads to the manufacturing of heme in all human cells. One of the many duties of heme is to serve as an essential component for hemoglobin, which in turn is essential for the delivery of oxygen to our cells. There are several stages, and therefore several different porphyrins. Each stage requires an enzyme to transform the porphyrin to the next stage.
Speaker 2: The enzymes URRD and CPOX, two, are very exquisitely inhibited by mercury, and virtually only mercury. When that happens, what you find is that these three porphyrins, which are excreted out in the urine, become very high. Penta carboxylorphyrin, pre coproporphyrin, and coproporphyrin. When you measure urinary porphyrins, these are derivatives of the heme synthesis pathway in the kidney. As we all know, mercury really likes to go to two places in the body, the brain, and the kidney. This provides a very good estimate of mercury body burden.
Speaker 1: He Geier then took the data from Dr. Woods’s study and determined the amount of mercury the children were exposed to based on the number, duration, and size of the fillings. They then compared the amount of mercury each child was exposed to with their respective porphyrin results.
Speaker 2: These are our results. It falls right out. The mercury-associated porphyrins, the Penta carboxylorphyrin, 0.0022. That’s the correlation factor. The P-value is 0.015. Pre Coproporphyrin, is statistically significant, coproporphyrin. The three mercury-associated porphyrins instantly become linked to the dose-dependent effect of mercury exposure. You’ll notice that the other porphyrins are not linked, which is what Woods and everybody said should be the case. You also see interestingly enough, there’s a kind of backlog phenomenon. If you remember the biochemistry, the enzymes involved with these, this is what’s directly inhibited by mercury, you might expect that there should be a very, very subtle sort of backlog. You see how Hexa, the P-value 0.073. It’s not significant, a little bit of effect. You get to hepta, 0.28, euro, 0.38.
Speaker 3: Back up in the pathway a little bit, so you can actually see that in this.
Speaker 2: The biological exquisiteness of this, I just can’t, it’s amazing the level that you could look at these children, multiple observations, multiple exposures, to find that level of correlation is just amazing. It confirms absolutely the biochemistry and unfortunately confirms that mercury exposure is contributing to mercury body burden, the mercury from your teeth that is.
Speaker 1: In other words, the data from the Portugal study conducted by Dr. James Woods and others actually confirms that not only does increased size, number, and time exposure to mercury amalgam fillings increase mercury in the urine, but also decreases the efficiency of heme production because of its inhibitory effects on enzymes in the human cell. Mercury from silver amalgam fillings then is not only contributing to mercury burden but also negatively affecting basic functions of the human body. A conclusion of safety based on this data cannot be made.
Speaker 1: On the contrary, it is clear that even a relatively short exposure of eight years to what would seemingly be very small amounts of mercury from amalgam fillings can still cause disruption of cell function. Therefore mercury amalgam fillings can only be classified as unsafe. If anybody or organization claims that mercury amalgam fillings are safe according to the Portugal Children’s Study, or the Woods Study, or the Casa Pia Trial, one can confidently correct them by indicating that in actual fact the data from this study clearly shows that silver amalgams are causing harm.
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