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Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 May;39(5):803-8.

The intake and excretion of lead and cadmium by the elderly.


Metabolic balance for lead and cadmium were carried out in 23 healthy elderly people aged 69.7 to 85.5 yr while living in their own homes and eating self-selected diets. Mean intakes of lead and cadmium were 54.6 and 8.6 micrograms/day, with mean retentions of -8.7 and -1.7 micrograms/day, respectively. Daily dietary lead correlated (p less than 0.05) with the intake of energy, nitrogen, calcium, iron, and zinc but not with manganese or copper. Dietary intake of cadmium correlated (p less than 0.05) only with that of zinc and manganese. There was a highly significant (p less than 0.001) inverse correlation between the percentage cadmium absorbed and body iron stores measured as serum iron, percentage iron saturation, and ferritin. Mean whole blood concentrations were 138 micrograms/l for lead and 0.79 microgram/l for cadmium. The negative balances observed in these elderly people were very different from the positive balances found in a previous similar study in children.

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