Cadmium poisoning is a very serious health issue that often goes undiagnosed; its somewhat generic symptoms include things like chronic anxiety, stomach pains, kidney damage and even death. But a cohort of scientific literature reveals that regular supplementation with high-dose vitamin C combined with a healthy diet may help block the absorption of cadmium, and potentially even accelerate its natural detoxification from the body.
Researchers from the National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland, for instance, published a study back in 2004 that discusses the topic of vitamin C used to target cadmium. As published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, the paper looked at the effects of vitamin C on both the absorption and distribution of cadmium in an animal model, finding that the all natural substance helps prevent cadmium uptake.
For their experiments, they fed rats that were induced with cadmium poisoning water containing 1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of ascorbic acid, one of the most common forms of synthesized vitamin C. Compared to cadmium-poisoned rats that were not fed the supplemented water, the vitamin C rats experienced a significantly decreased toxic burden from the same exposure to toxic cadmium.
“The vitamin C supplement decreased the carcass cadmium burden and the cadmium content in the liver, kidneys, testicles and muscles; the highest decreases were found in the testicles, the lowest ones in the muscles,” wrote the authors. “In addition, the rats supplemented with vitamin C revealed an improved body weight gain during the experimental period.”
Eating healthy in general helps protect against cadmium poisoning
Vitamin C is hardly the only nutrient that offers protective benefits against cadmium, however. Another study out of Denmark, published the same year in the journal BioMetals, found that maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fiber, trace minerals and especially iron can greatly protect against the intestinal uptake of cadmium.
Researchers from Roskilde University in Denmark found that cadmium bioavailability is largely dependent upon the composition of macronutrients in the diet. In other words, a diet heavy in processed and other junk foods as opposed to mineral-rich whole foods essentially renders the body more prone to cadmium poisoning.
“Major determinants of intestinal cadmium uptake are … diet composition with regard to crude fibers and trace elements, especially iron,” the authors wrote. “Deficiencies may increase intestinal cadmium uptake 5-8 times. Ultimate risk management would be not to raise crops on cadmium polluted soil. Provisionally, assurance of optimal trace element status in persons exposed to cadmium is essential for risk reduction.”
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