“Even when a dietary manipulation is confirmed efficient in reducing blood lead ranges, reliance on such an intervention locations many of the burden for prevention on these most affected and least chargeable for the underlying environmental causes of lead toxicity. Dietary interventions, due to this fact, must not ever substitute for efforts to scale back lead publicity to secure ranges. Alternatively, when used as an adjunct to environmental measures, some dietary modifications might show to have advantages past any influence on lead toxicity.” For instance, consumption of vitamin C-rich meals might assist with “blood strain, blood lipid profiles, and respiratory signs,” along with maybe influencing “lead toxicity by means 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 exceptional research was revealed, entitled “Vitamin C remedy in lead poisoning,” during which 17 lead business staff have been given 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 acquire in vigor, shade of pores and skin, cheerfulness, blood image, urge for food and talent to sleep effectively.” The 17 staff have been chosen as a result of they gave the impression to be in fairly unhealthy form and probably even had scurvy, so it’s no marvel a bit of 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 reduce the harm from the lead—it additionally lowered the lead itself. As you possibly can see from 1:43 in my video Can Vitamin C Help 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 one among three painters researchers tried this on, and evidently all three painters’ ranges dropped. The researchers concluded that these “uncovered to guide…needs to be suggested to incorporate of their food plan 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 research 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 motive or maybe it was only a coincidence. You don’t know…till you set it to the take a look at.
These unique knowledge have been so compelling that others have been impressed to attempt to replicate them. I imply, if it truly labored, if vitamin C might assist with lead poisoning, grapefruits may very well be handed out on the manufacturing facility door! The sooner research didn’t have an excellent management group, however the researchers weren’t going to make that very same mistake this time. On this research, half of the group received 100 mg of vitamin C a day—not only for a month however for a 12 months—and the opposite group received nothing. The consequence? “Cautious research of a big group of lead staff 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 modifications of their blood work, so “no motive has been discovered for recommending the usage of ascorbic acid vitamin C to attenuate results of lead absorption.” What a disappointment. It seemed so promising!
Every time I research 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 latest evaluation to see what had occurred within the intervening 74 years since that first research was published, however I didn’t need 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 research was revealed in 1999, and, as you possibly can see at 4:02 in my video, researchers did find 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 a virtually 90 % decrease prevalence of elevated blood lead ranges in comparison with these with the bottom vitamin C ranges. Now, this was a cross-sectional research, only a snapshot in time, so we don’t know if the vitamin C induced a drop in lead or if maybe the lead induced a drop in vitamin C. Lead is a pro-oxidant, so perhaps it ate up the vitamin C. And who has increased vitamin C ranges? Those that can afford to have increased vitamin C ranges and eat plenty of fruit and veggies. “It is usually doable that increased ascorbic acid ranges might represent more healthy life or larger socio-economic standing.” Certainly, perhaps decrease vitamin C ranges are only a proxy for being poor, and that’s the actual motive for increased lead ranges.
There are many good causes to be consuming extra fruit and veggies, and we needs to be consuming extra spinach regardless, however it might 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, many of the revealed interventions are not very useful, with such titles as “Results of dietary vitamin C supplementation on lead-treated sea cucumbers,….” And, there is 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 staff seem to have a lowered chance of fathering kids, however this may partly be because of 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 talking 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 discuss: “Scientific relevance of vitamin C amongst lead-exposed infertile males.” A research of human males, which I’ll cowl in Yellow Bell Peppers for Male Infertility and Lead Poisoning?.
I’m at all times conflicted about writing these sorts of blogs and producing movies like Can Vitamin C Help with Lead Poisoning?. I can think about some simply need “the reply,” however these with vested and business pursuits typically exploit that pure impulse. That is downside with science on the whole, however maybe significantly in diet. In terms of one thing as life-or-death necessary as what to feed ourselves and our households we shouldn’t simply observe somebody’s opinions or beliefs on the matter. We must always demand to see the science. That’s what I attempt to do: Current the accessible knowledge as pretty and even-handedly as doable, and allow you to make up your personal thoughts. You may think about how simply somebody might 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 research 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 pondering, 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 data on how we received into this mess and among the methods we are able to dig ourselves out:
- How the Lead Paint Industry Got Away with It
- Lead in Drinking Water
- How the Leaded Gas Industry Got Away with It
- “Normal” Blood Lead Levels Can Be Toxic
- The Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure in Adults
- How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting?
- How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Breakfast, Whole Grains, Milk, Tofu?
- Best Foods for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?
- Best Food for Lead Poisoning: Garlic
- Is Lipstick Safe Given the Lead Contamination?
- Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?
- How Much Lead Is in Organic Chicken Soup (Bone Broth)?
- Lead in Calcium Supplements
- Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels?
- The Rise in Blood Lead Levels at Pregnancy and Menopause
- Lead Contamination in Fish and Game
- Lead Contamination in Hot Sauces
In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: For those who haven’t but, you possibly can subscribe to my free movies here and watch my dwell shows: