1. Health

Can Mercury Cause Lupus?


Updated December 26, 2008

Question: Can Mercury Cause Lupus?

Probably not, although so far the research is unclear. To date, there have been no human studies that indicate mercury causes lupus. But researchers are still unclear how it might effect someone with lupus. It is believed mercury increases a person's "threshold of susceptibility" for the disease or worsens lupus symptoms. A 2003 study found that exposure to low levels of mercury can speed up and worsen the symptoms of lupus-like disease in mice, even when the exposure occurs before the development of the disease.

Mercury is an element found in air, water and soil and comes in several forms. Airborne mercury can get into water and eventually pass through the food chain and build up in fish, shellfish and animals that eat fish.

Since the nervous system is sensitive to all forms of mercury, exposure to high levels can damage the brain and kidneys.

Healthy Environment. "Lupus Now" magazine. Winter 2008.

Mercury National Library of Medicine. November 2008.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Lupus
  4. Living with Lupus
  5. FAQs
  6. Can Mercury Cause Lupus - Lupus Triggers and Mercury

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.