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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1975 Sep 30;258:144-50.

Protective effects of ascorbic acid against toxicity of heavy metals.


Toxicity of cadmium in the young Japanese quail rapidly produced moderate growth depression, hypogonadism in the male, decreased bone ash, severe anemia, alterations of "indicator" tissue levels of several essential inorganic elements, and marked histological abnormalities of the duodenum, bone marrow, adrenal medulla, and esophageal mucus glands. Cadmium appeared to have direct effects on zinc and iron, particularly iron (III), by decreasing intestinal absorption of these elements. Small amounts of dietary ascorbic acid were protective against many of the adverse effects of cadmium. The young quail proved to be a useful species for these studies. The experience with cadmium may have some facets that would prove useful in further studies of the effects of ascorbic acid on the toxicity of other metals.

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