Heavy Metal Toxicity

Decreases glutathione, increases homocysteine. No safe level. Promotes cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, cognitive dysfunction. The lead, cadmium, and arsenic in cigarettes cause peripheral artery disease. (Am J Epidemiol 2006;163:700-708)

Smokers have double the cadmuim burden. Cause of renal disease. Best evaluated by urinary cadmium. Urinary cadmium 0.5-2 micrograms/g cr indicated early renal damage. Associated with MI. Anemia increases risk for cadmium toxicity. Calcium and protein deficiency increases risk for cadmium toxicity. Linked to learning disabilities in children.

In the water supply, and used as a growth accelerator in chicken. Associated with diabetes. Found in seafood. Meat, fish, and poultry account for 80% of dietary intake. Cardiovascular effects associated with high levels of arsenic in drinking water. Arsenic antagonizes selenium, and many thyroid hormone functions depend on selenium. Chronic toxicity may cause peripheral neuropathy, muscle weakness, and GI disturbances.

Must look for heavy metal toxicity in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

Has no demonstrated biochemical function in humans, and is not considered an essential nutrient. Fractional absorption ranges from 1-40%. excretion is mostly in urine and some in sweat. Contact sensitivity is a cause of eczema, urticaria, and other related dermatoses. Ingestion of nickle leaching into food from stainless steel cookware may also trigger symptoms in sensitive people.
Foods high in nickle are canned goods, vegetables, sugars, jams, breads, cereals, suggesting leaching from food processing equipment into processed food. Oxalic acid, citric acid, and malic acid dissolve nickle from stainless steel. Nickle may also leach into tap water from plumbing.. Just discard the first liter of tap water in the morning.

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