People who are exposed to higher levels of cadmium have an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Cadmium also affects the kidneys. A doctoral thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy explored this issue in a study of over 900 older men.
We are exposed to low levels of the heavy metal cadmium, daily. This occurs primarily through food, but smokers are also exposed from cigarette smoke. Cadmium in food and cigarette smoke is absorbed and stored by the body, primarily the kidneys.
It has long been known that exposure to high levels of cadmium can cause severe damage to the skeleton and the kidneys, but the effects of low levels have not been studied as thoroughly.
900 older men
In her thesis, Maria Wallin, MD and PhD student at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, studied over 900 older men.
“Those with higher levels of cadmium in their urine had lower bone mineral density and an increased risk for future fractures. The increased fracture risk applied to osteoporosis related fractures of the hip, pelvis, forearm and shoulder,” says Maria Wallin.
In another study, the effects of cadmium on the kidneys of 109 healthy kidney donors were examined.
“In this study, we had access to biopsy material from the kidneys, which is unique as normally you are unable to measure cadmium levels in kidneys. The results showed that persons with higher cadmium exposure had an increased excretion of calcium in their urine, which could be due to effects on the skeleton or on the kidneys. These persons also had increased excretion of small proteins in their urine,” says Maria Wallin.
Must be reduced
The studies indicate that cadmium can affect the skeleton and maybe also the kidneys, at the low levels found in the Swedish general population.
“The spread of cadmium in the environment must be reduced,” believes Maria Wallin.
Cadmium is a heavy metal that occurs in our environment, both naturally and as a contaminant resulting from agricultural and industrial activities. Cadmium can be found in phosphate fertilizers, but is also spread to agricultural soil by air deposition. Many plants easily absorb cadmium from the soil, which causes cadmium to end up in our crops and tobacco. For the general population, food and cigarette smoking are the two main sources of cadmium.
Link to the thesis Cadmium, kidney and bone: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/39550
Maria Wallin, MD and PhD student at Sahlgrenska Academy
Calle Björned | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
13.12.2018 | Life Sciences
13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences