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Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2012 Apr-Jun;116(2):617-23.

Estimation of dietary intake of cadmium and lead through food consumption.

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University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Grigore T. Popa"--Ia┼či.


Cadmium and lead are toxic metals occurring in the environment naturally and from anthropogenic activities and can lead to chemical contamination of products entering in the human food chain. The consumption of polluted food is the main source of lead and cadmium intake in the non-smoking population. Lead is a heavy metal that can affect different organs and systems in humans including the peripheral and central nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, muscles, kidneys, and the hemopoetic system. Neurological symptoms can range from fatigue, headache, and lethargy to peripheral neuropathy, severe convulsions, encephalopathy, and even coma. The direct neurotoxic actions of lead include apoptosis, excitotoxicity. Lead has been associated with impaired neurobehavioral functioning in children, decrements in intelligence quotient (IQ) while the critical effect of long-term exposure to cadmium is renal tubular dysfunction, which is irreversible; chronic renal failure is the final and severe endpoint. Cadmium is able to induce bone damage (Itai-ltai). The body burden of cadmium and lead depends mostly on the dietary intake of these elements. This paper aims to present a brief overview of cadmium and lead contents present in foodstuffs from different countries and the estimated dietary intake of cadmium and lead through food consumption. It has been shown that in some countries the concentrations of cadmium and lead contained in foodstuffs are higher than normal therefore the health of the people consuming them is in danger.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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