“Even when a dietary manipulation is confirmed efficient in lowering blood lead ranges, reliance on such an intervention locations a lot of the burden for prevention on these most affected and least accountable for the underlying environmental causes of lead toxicity. Dietary interventions, subsequently, must not ever substitute for efforts to scale back lead publicity to secure ranges. However, when used as an adjunct to environmental measures, some dietary adjustments might show to have advantages past any influence on lead toxicity.” For instance, consumption of vitamin C-rich meals might assist with “blood stress, blood lipid profiles, and respiratory signs,” along with maybe influencing “lead toxicity by way of an affect on absorption of lead, elimination of lead, transport inside the physique, tissue binding, or secondary mechanisms of toxicity,” that’s, even simply serving to ameliorate among the harm. However what is that this based mostly on?
In 1939, a outstanding examine was printed, entitled “Vitamin C therapy in lead poisoning,” wherein 17 lead business employees got 100 mg of vitamin C a day, the quantity present in one or two oranges, and “with virtually all of them there was a marked achieve in vigor, colour of pores and skin, cheerfulness, blood image, urge for food and skill to sleep nicely.” The 17 employees have been chosen as a result of they appeared to be in fairly unhealthy form and presumably even had scurvy, so it’s no marvel a bit vitamin C helped. However vitamin C is an antioxidant, and oxidation is “an necessary mechanism underlying lead toxicity,” so it’s conceivable that it could have mediated among the hurt. However, the vitamin C didn’t seem to only cut back the harm from the lead—it additionally decreased the lead itself. As you may see from 1:43 in my video Can Vitamin C Assist with Lead Poisoning?, the quantity of lead in a painter’s urine over a interval of a month after beginning 200 mg of vitamin C a day exhibited a five-fold drop, suggesting he was absorbing much less of the lead into his physique. He was certainly one of three painters researchers tried this on, and evidently all three painters’ ranges dropped. The researchers concluded that these “uncovered to steer…must be suggested to incorporate of their food regimen loads of such wealthy sources of vitamin C as tomatoes (contemporary or canned), uncooked cabbage, oranges or grapefruit, uncooked spinach (and even cooked, in little or no water), uncooked turnips, inexperienced bell peppers, cantaloupe, and so forth.”
Now, this drop in lead within the topics’ urine was seen with solely three painters, and the examine didn’t have a management group of painters who didn’t take vitamin C, so maybe everybody’s lead ranges would have dropped for another cause or maybe it was only a coincidence. You don’t know…till you set it to the take a look at.
These authentic knowledge have been so compelling that others have been impressed to attempt to replicate them. I imply, if it truly labored, if vitamin C may assist with lead poisoning, grapefruits might be handed out on the manufacturing facility door! The sooner examine didn’t have a great management group, however the researchers weren’t going to make that very same mistake this time. On this examine, half of the group acquired 100 mg of vitamin C a day—not only for a month however for a yr—and the opposite group acquired nothing. The consequence? “Cautious examine of a giant group of lead employees failed to disclose any impact of ascorbic acid vitamin C…on the lead focus within the blood…or urine” (emphasis added). There was no distinction of their bodily situation and no adjustments of their blood work, so “no cause has been discovered for recommending using ascorbic acid vitamin C to reduce results of lead absorption.” What a disappointment. It appeared so promising!
Every time I examine a subject, I attempt to learn the analysis chronologically so I can expertise the discoveries as they occurred all through historical past. At this level, although, I used to be so tempted to leap to a current assessment to see what had occurred within the intervening 74 years since that first examine was printed, however I didn’t wish to spoiler alert! myself, so I stored studying the papers sequentially. There have been in vitro research the place researchers dripped antioxidants on lead uncovered cells and it appeared to assist, so that they jumped on the cantaloupe bandwagon, too, however these have been take a look at tube research.
The primary inhabitants examine was printed in 1999, and, as you may see at 4:02 in my video, researchers did discover that these with excessive vitamin C ranges of their blood tended to have decrease lead ranges. Youths with the very best vitamin C ranges had an almost 90 % decrease prevalence of elevated blood lead ranges in comparison with these with the bottom vitamin C ranges. Now, this was a cross-sectional examine, only a snapshot in time, so we don’t know if the vitamin C triggered a drop in lead or if maybe the lead triggered a drop in vitamin C. Lead is a pro-oxidant, so perhaps it ate up the vitamin C. And who has greater vitamin C ranges? Those that can afford to have greater vitamin C ranges and eat a lot of vegatables and fruits. “Additionally it is doable that greater ascorbic acid ranges might characterize more healthy existence or higher socio-economic standing.” Certainly, perhaps decrease vitamin C ranges are only a proxy for being poor, and that’s the true cause for greater lead ranges.
There are many good causes to be consuming extra vegatables and fruits, and we must be consuming extra spinach regardless, however it could be good to know if vitamin C truly helps with lead poisoning. And, to know that, we have to put it to the take a look at.
Sadly, a lot of the printed interventions usually are not very useful, with such titles as “Results of dietary vitamin C supplementation on lead-treated sea cucumbers,….” And, there’s a shocking variety of articles on the results of vitamin C supplementation on mouse testicles. Why? As a result of lead might impair male fertility. Certainly, lead employees seem to have a decreased probability of fathering kids, however this may occasionally partly be attributable to oxidative stress. In that case, how about giving an antioxidant, like vitamin C, and placing it to the take a look at(es)? No, I’m not speaking about rat testes or suggesting frog testes. Neither am I proposing crab testes. (I didn’t even know crabs had testicles!) Lastly, right here’s one to debate: “Scientific relevance of vitamin C amongst lead-exposed infertile males.” A examine of human males, which I’ll cowl in Yellow Bell Peppers for Male Infertility and Lead Poisoning?.
I’m all the time conflicted about writing these sorts of blogs and producing movies like Can Vitamin C Assist with Lead Poisoning?. I can think about some simply need “the reply,” however these with vested and business pursuits usually exploit that pure impulse. That is drawback with science typically, however maybe notably in diet. With regards to one thing as life-or-death necessary as what to feed ourselves and our households we shouldn’t simply comply with somebody’s opinions or beliefs on the matter. We should always demand to see the science. That’s what I attempt to do: Current the obtainable knowledge as pretty and even-handedly as doable, and allow you to make up your individual thoughts. You may think about how simply somebody may cherry-pick only one or two research and current a distorted however compelling case for or towards, on this case, vitamin C dietary supplements. That’s why I really feel it’s necessary to current every examine of their historic context. Keep tuned for the thrilling conclusion in Yellow Bell Peppers for Male Infertility & Lead Poisoning?.
For these of you who’re considering, Why ought to I care about lead? I don’t eat paint chips or use leaded gasoline. Anyway, what’s the massive deal?, take a look at my full sequence of lead movies for info on how we acquired into this mess and among the methods we are able to dig ourselves out:
- How the Lead Paint Trade Obtained Away with It
- Lead in Consuming Water
- How the Leaded Fuel Trade Obtained Away with It
- “Regular” Blood Lead Ranges Can Be Poisonous
- The Results of Low-Degree Lead Publicity in Adults
- How one can Decrease Lead Ranges with Food regimen: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fats, Fasting?
- How one can Decrease Lead Ranges with Food regimen: Breakfast, Complete Grains, Milk, Tofu?
- Finest Meals for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?
- Finest Meals for Lead Poisoning: Garlic
- Is Lipstick Secure Given the Lead Contamination?
- Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Physique?
- How A lot Lead Is in Natural Rooster Soup (Bone Broth)?
- Lead in Calcium Dietary supplements
- Ought to Pregnant Ladies Take Calcium Dietary supplements to Decrease Lead Ranges?
- The Rise in Blood Lead Ranges at Being pregnant and Menopause
- Lead Contamination in Fish and Recreation
- Lead Contamination in Sizzling Sauces
In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: When you haven’t but, you may subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my dwell displays: