Got a problem here that I am trying to resolve but decided to toss it out for any and all.
Mothering's "ask the experts" had an interesting piece on mercury excretion siting an article that I can't find in Archives of Environmental Health because it's from 1984 (their archives run to 1994) Rowland 39(6);401-408.
The key piece is this:
"Because infants and small children are less capable of clearing metals from their blood than adults, the metals are stored more quickly in body tissues. The use of oral antibiotics may also decrease a child's ability to eliminate heavy metals. In a study in which rats were given oral antibiotics, the amount of time to excrete a dose of mercury increase from 10 days to more than 100 days. If the rat's diet also contained cow's milk, excretion of the dose of mercury took more tan 300 days."
I asked this in an email:
Your recent information on the excretion of mercury, raised an interesting problem. (I haven't been able to read the cited article in AEH--their archives run only to 1994.)
Because antibiotic use reduces the body's ability to excrete mercury by at least a factor of ten, it seems reasonable to assume that the intestinal flora which would be under attack from the antibiotics are responsible for part of the process of excretion.
Yet cow's milk is a major vehicle for the ingestion of probiotics, a medium that in itself apparently causes mercury excretion problems.
However, there is an extensive digestive process that the milk undergoes when the bacteria are introduced, to the extent that some people who are milk sensitive can tolerate the "pre-digested" milk in yogurt.
Are there more specifics on the milk issue-- what aspect of the milk retards mercury elimination-- and might this be resolved by the digestive processes of the beneficial bacteria?
I'm working on answering the question-- we've definitely got a hot one here!