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Clin Nutr. 2007 Aug;26(4):400-8. Epub 2007 May 17.

Environmental lead toxicity and nutritional factors.

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Analytical Toxicology, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, M G Marg, Lucknow, India.


Environmental lead toxicity is an old but persistent public health problem throughout the world and children are more susceptible to lead than adults because of their hand to mouth activity, increased respiratory rates and higher gastrointestinal absorption per unit body weight. In the last decade children's blood lead levels have fallen significantly in a number of countries. Despite this reduction, childhood lead toxicity continues to be a major public health problem for certain at-risk groups of children, and concern remains over the effects of lead on intellectual development. The currently approved clinical intervention method is to give chelating agents, which bind and removed lead from lead burdened tissues. Studies indicate, however, that there is a lack of safety and efficacy when conventional chelating agents are used. Several studies are underway to determine the beneficial effect of nutrients supplementation following exposure to lead. Data suggest that nutrients may play an important role in abating some toxic effects of lead. To explain the importance of using exogenous nutrients in treating environmental lead toxicity the following topics are addressed: (i) different sources of lead exposure/current blood lead levels and (ii) protective effects of nutrients supplementation (some essential elements and vitamins) in lead toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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