Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Cancer
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 
 
 Minerals: Lead 
 

Cans. Solder in tin cans, usually used to hold the seam together, contains lead; some are nearly 100 percent lead. Some can manufacturers are changing this, but progress is slow. Avoid lead-lined containers or cans whose seams have a shiny, metallic solder appearance. Many imported cans contain lead. The leaded plugs in evaporated milk cans may contaminate the milk.

Cosmetics. Many pigments and other substances used for makeup and other cosmetics contain lead. Historically, lead has been part of face paints and other beauty creams.

Cigarettes. Lead is occasionally a contaminant in cigarettes. Lead arsenate may be used as an insecticide in tobacco growing.

Pesticides. Many pesticides and insecticides contain some lead, mainly as the lead-arsenate base.

Methods of toxicity: Though this is not completely clear, lead most likely interferes with functions performed by essential minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, and zinc. Lead does interrupt several red blood cell enzyme systems, including delta-aminolevulinic dehydratase and ferrochelatase. Especially in brain chemistry, lead may create abnormal function by inactivating important zinc-, copper-, and iron-dependent enzymes. (When body levels of these three minerals are high, there is first less absorption of lead and then more competition with lead for enzyme-binding sites.) Lead affects both the brain and the peripheral nerves. It may also diminish hemoglobin synthesis and can react with cell membranes. This may cause increased permeability of the cells and damage or even death of those cells. Lead can displace calcium in bone, deposit there, and form softer, denser spots that can be seen on X-rays as "lead lines." Lead also binds with the sulfhydryl bonds and inactivates the cysteine-containing enzymes, thus allowing more internal toxicity from free radicals, chemicals, and other heavy metals.

Lead is also an immunosuppressant; it lowers host resistance to bacteria and viruses, and thus allows an increase in infections. It may also influence our cancer risk. How lead affects the gastrointestinal tract causing symptoms, including a coliclike pain, is still uncertain.

Symptoms of toxicity: An estimated nearly 20 percent of men and 10 percent of women have problems with lead toxicity, though it is not clear what levels of chronic lead toxicity, which is most common, will produce symptoms. Lead in the body subtly interferes with optimum function and general health, and other toxicity factors may affect this. Lead accumulation may also cause shifts in important body minerals, such as zinc, calcium, and manganese.

Early signs of lead toxicity may be overlooked, as they are fairly vague: headache, fatigue, muscle pains, anorexia, constipation, vomiting, pallor, anemia. These can be followed by agitation, irritability, restlessness, memory loss, poor coordination and vertigo, and depression.

Acute lead toxicity symptoms include abdominal pain similar to colic, nausea and vomiting, anemia, muscle weakness, and encephalopathy. Lead encephalopathy is a brain syndrome that can arise also from advanced chronic toxicity. It is characterized by poor balance, confusion, vertigo, hallucinations, and speech and hearing problems.

A low level of lead intoxication may affect brain function and activity more subtly, influencing intelligence, attention span, language, and memory. Insomnia and nightmares may be experienced. Hyperactivity and even retardation and senility may also result. Moderate levels of lead may reduce immune and kidney function and increase risk of infection, and may be another factor in increasing blood pressure. There is some suggestion that lead intoxication may correlate with cancer rates. Further research is needed in this area. With heavy lead intoxication, death may result.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  6  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Communicating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar