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Cadmium Toxicity

Cadmium (Cd)

Cadmium is insidiously toxic with chronic accumulations affecting kidney function, lungs, cardiovascular tissues, bone, and the peripheral nervous system. Without intervention, the biological half-life of Cadmium in humans exceeds 20 years (Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 13th ed, pp 2463-64).  Some medical authorities consider Cadmium to be a carcinogen for lung cancer (Harrison’s Principles, 13th ed, op. cit. pp 2463).

Sources of Cadmium: Most exposure from Cadmium is from tobacco smoke, instant coffee and tea, nickel-cadmium batteries, bad water, some soft drinks, refined grains, fungicides, pesticides, and some plastics. See plastics page. Smoking can be a source for as much as 0.1 mcg Cadmium per cigarette (HEW Pub. No. NIOSH 76-192, US Govt. Printing Ofc., 1976).  Occupational and Environmental sources include: mining and smelting activities, pigments and paints, electroplating, electroplated parts (e.g., nuts and bolts), batteries (Ni-Cd), plastics and synthetic rubber, photographic and engraving processes, old drums from some copy machines, photoconductors and photovoltaic cells, and some alloys used in soldering and brazing. "Cadmium Red" has been used in dental acrylics (dentures) could be a significant source of exposure for those making dentures or dentists and dental technicians making fine tune adjustments (grinding) to dentures chair side. Cadmium free acrylic dentures are now available.

Symptoms and Illnesses: Chronic manifestations associated with this degree of Cadmium excess include: fatigue, irritability, headaches, hypertension, enlarged prostate, weight loss, hair loss, learning disabilities, kidney disorders, liver disorders, skin disorders, painful joints, decreased immune functions, lung damage microcytic-hypochromic anemia, lymphocytosis (excess white blood cells), proteinuria (protein in the urine) with wasting of beta2 microglobulin, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis (if inhalation was a route of contamination), atherosclerosis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, lumbar (lower back) pain, cancer, and peripheral neuropathy. Acute inhalation of Cadmium dusts, fumes or soluble salts may produce cough, pneumonitis and fatigue. Manifestations of Cadmium toxicity may be lessened or delayed by an individual’s protective and detoxification capacities.

Target body organs: Gastrointestinal system, liver, placenta, kidneys, lungs, brain, bones, central nervous system, and reproductive organs

Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and the amino acids: L-Methionine, L-cysteine and L-Lysine are protective; metallothionein and glutathione are protective and help detoxify. 

If you suspect that you have an elevated Cadmium level, it is important for you to know that a simple blood test is limited in only determining recent exposure to Cadmium.  It will not show long term exposure or total tissue levels of Cadmium.  Here at Chelation Medical Center we can do a provoked challenge, with a urine collection which will show your total body load of Cadmium, as well as other heavy metals.  It is recommended you avoid smoking, and exposure to secondary smoke a few days prior to testing for Cadmium.  Just give us a call.

 


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