Sunday, May 20, 2007

Protect Children from Heavy Metals (Mercury, lead, cadmium, platinum, plutonium, uranium, and chromium) with Vitamin C and Niacin

One of the most important tasks of vitamins is to catalyze the growth and development of an egg and sperm into a healthy adult. If you are looking for good doses to start with, click here.

The growth and development of the brain and nervous system is particularly complex and therefore vulnerable to toxins. Heavy metals in the air, food, and water represent a new environmental pressure on developing children. Before the industrial age, exposure to heavy metals was at least ten times lower than today. Modern mining and extraction industries have liberated heavy metals from the earth’s crust. High temperature processing (e.g. fossil fuel combustion, metals smelting, phosphorus production) spreads heavy metals finely across the earth’s surface. Unlike ordinary chemicals made from hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, heavy metals are elements and therefore indestructible. Because they are not destroyed, heavy metals can accumulate in the biosphere. Levels of mercury, cadmium, platinum, plutonium, uranium, and chromium are all on the rise. Lead remains a danger because it is a commodity metal used in very large volumes by the automobile industry. Plants readily absorb cadmium. Cadmium is delivered to the fields of today’s agricultural industry as a trace contaminant in phosphate fertilizers. The cadmium is selectively absorbed by plants, and so is steadily accumulating in concentration. Radioactive heavy metals are used to provide power for satellites and spacecraft. Satellites and spacecraft occasionally malfunction and vaporize upon crashing to earth. These accidents release radioactive heavy metals into the biosphere.

Government agencies know that heavy metals endanger children. They are working to reduce risk by tightening standards and improving enforcement. However, despite government efforts, the levels of heavy metals are rising. Levels rise because more and more minerals are mined from the earth each year from lower and lower quality ores. More fossil fuels are burned and more metals are smelted. It is possible that standards and enforcement improvements are insufficient to even offset volume growth. Every year similar volumes are released to the biosphere and only a small amount of metal is removed from the biosphere. Your children and grandchildren are not growing up with the same heavy metals exposure as you did. Just because you and your friends grew up in the same town and were safe doesn’t mean your grandchildren growing up in the same town are safe.

Exposure to heavy metals should make every parent or expecting parent afraid for their children. The prevalence of autism has risen from 0.05% in the 1970’s to over 0.5% today. The prevalence of ADHD has risen from 1% in the 1970’s to over 5% today. As mentioned above, the development of the nervous system is particularly sensitive to environmental toxins. Specific complexes of heavy metals are well known for their ability to cause nervous system damage in growing children.

There is no proof today that the rising levels of heavy metals in the environment are the cause of the rising incidence of childhood neurological disorders. However, there is no proof that they aren’t. While we wait for the answer, it seems sensible to take precautions. Government regulators should step up their efforts to prevent the release of heavy metals into the air and water. Parents and community groups should monitor local levels of heavy metal pollution. Pediatricians should consider routine screening of children’s hair for heavy metals levels. Fortunately, the cost and accuracy of the scientific equipment needed to detect heavy metals is steadily dropping.

Extra vitamins can also play a role. Vitamin C and niacin are known to be involved in wound healing. A heavy metal compound in the wrong place in the body is a kind of wound. Vitamin C and niacin dependent metabolic pathways must be involved in the processes used by the body to remove and excrete heavy metals and heal the damaged caused by the metal compound and the removal process. My recommendations for optimal doses of vitamins for growing children can be found in many of my other blogs. B-complex vitamins (niacin is a B-complex vitamin) can cause troublesome side effects. Cardiologists routinely prescribe 2000 mg/day of niacin to patients in order to control blood cholesterol. They are familiar with niacin side effects and an invaluable source of help monitoring children taking extra vitamins.

Heavy metal pollution may be at least partly responsible for the growing epidemic of childhood neurological disorders. The case against heavy metals is strong enough to warrant an order of magnitude increase in monitoring of air, food, water, and children’s hair. The resulting data might go a long way towards clarifying the relationship. Parents should also consider extra vitamins as part of a basic nutrition package designed to help their children grow up healthy and strong.


At 3:54 PM, Blogger DietKing2 said...

Great article, great information, and great, great blog!
I come here often looking for tips and advice on taking vitamin C. I'm a huge Linus Pauling fan!
Keep up the great work!
Adam Wilk


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