Metals and womens health

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dojomo, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    Here's a little more info supporting my theory.............


    Metals and women's health.
    Vahter M, Berglund M, Akesson A, Liden C.
    Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Marie.Vahter@imm.ki.se

    There is a lack of information concerning whether environmental-related health effects are more or less prevalent or manifested differently in women compared to men. Previously, most research in the area of toxicology and environmental and occupational health involved male subjects.

    The present work aims at reviewing exposure and health effects of cadmium, nickel, lead, mercury, and arsenic manifested differently in women than in men. The gender difference in exposure to nickel results in a much higher prevalence of nickel allergy and hand eczema in women than in men. The internal cadmium dose is generally higher in women than in men, due to a higher gastro-intestinal absorption at low iron stores. This was probably one major reason why Itai-itai disease was mainly a woman's disease. Yet, data are sparse regarding the risk for women relative to men to develop cadmium-induced kidney damage in populations exposed to low levels of cadmium.

    Lead is accumulated mainly in bone and increased endogenous lead exposure has been demonstrated in women during periods of increased bone turnover, e.g., menopause. Both lead and mercury exposure in pregnant women has to be kept low in order to prevent neurodevelopment effects in the developing fetus and child.

    Limited data indicate that women are more affected than men following exposure to methylmercury at adult age, while males seem to be more sensitive to exposure during early development. Regarding arsenic, some data indicate gender differences in the biotransformation by methylation, possibly also in susceptibility to certain arsenic-related cancers.

    Obviously, gender-related differences in exposure and health effects caused by metals are highly neglected research areas, which need considerable focus in the future. (c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA)
  2. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    Here's a little more info supporting my theory.............


    Metals and women's health.
    Vahter M, Berglund M, Akesson A, Liden C.
    Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. Marie.Vahter@imm.ki.se

    There is a lack of information concerning whether environmental-related health effects are more or less prevalent or manifested differently in women compared to men. Previously, most research in the area of toxicology and environmental and occupational health involved male subjects.

    The present work aims at reviewing exposure and health effects of cadmium, nickel, lead, mercury, and arsenic manifested differently in women than in men. The gender difference in exposure to nickel results in a much higher prevalence of nickel allergy and hand eczema in women than in men. The internal cadmium dose is generally higher in women than in men, due to a higher gastro-intestinal absorption at low iron stores. This was probably one major reason why Itai-itai disease was mainly a woman's disease. Yet, data are sparse regarding the risk for women relative to men to develop cadmium-induced kidney damage in populations exposed to low levels of cadmium.

    Lead is accumulated mainly in bone and increased endogenous lead exposure has been demonstrated in women during periods of increased bone turnover, e.g., menopause. Both lead and mercury exposure in pregnant women has to be kept low in order to prevent neurodevelopment effects in the developing fetus and child.

    Limited data indicate that women are more affected than men following exposure to methylmercury at adult age, while males seem to be more sensitive to exposure during early development. Regarding arsenic, some data indicate gender differences in the biotransformation by methylation, possibly also in susceptibility to certain arsenic-related cancers.

    Obviously, gender-related differences in exposure and health effects caused by metals are highly neglected research areas, which need considerable focus in the future. (c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA)
  3. dojomo

    dojomo New Member




    Immunological Effects of Mercury

    The immune reaction in humans to mercury exposure is varied.  There can be increased activity of the immune system leading to an activated system with the development of autoimmunity or sensitivities to the environment.  The other manifestation is that there can be immune suppression with decreases in immune defenses.  In a mercury producing plant it was found that the workers had deficiencies in the production of cellular components of the immune system.

    There have been tens of thousands people who have reported having found high levels of mercury in their bodies and are also experiencing a variety of problems like: fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, frequency of urination, headaches, chronic skin problems, metallic taste, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, allergic upper respiratory problems, ear ringing, hearing loss, chest pain, hyperventilation, spacey feeling, immune and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular and chronic neurological problems. 

    From animal studies it has been shown that mercury damages T cells.  This happens by the generation of free radicals, by depleting the thiol reserves, damaging the mitochondria, causing destruction of cytoplasmic organelles, a loss of membrane integrity, an inhibition of the ability to secrete IL-1 and IL-2, and by inactivating or inhibiting enzyme systems involving the sulfhydryl protein groups.  Once there is depletion of thiol protection there is a clear set up for T cell apoptosis and adverse effects of the production of other cellular components of the immune defense system.

    Exposure of genetically susceptible mice to mercury resulted in an autoimmune response similar to that seen in mice who were injected with mercuric chloride. The syndrome included a general, stimulation of the immune system, hyperimmunoglobulenemia, anti-nucleolar antibodies, glomerular disease with immune complex formation.  The production of interferon was suppressed in mercury toxic animals.

    Mercury induced autoimmunity in animals and humans has been found to be associated with the expression of major histocompatability complex (MHC class 2 genes).  There is also a reduction in B cell formation.  It is interesting that the changes in immune function does not take massive levels of mercury to cause the changes in the immune system.

    All types of cells showed a dose dependent reduction in glutathione levels when exposed to mercury.  Mercury from amalgams has been shown to interfere with the production of cytokines, disabling early control of viruses and leading to enhanced infection. 

    Mercury by its effect of weakening of the immune system has show that it contributes to the increased incidence of chronic diseases including cancer.  There is accompanying the increases in mercury burden, decreased levels of zinc, and methionine availability.  There are depressed rates of methylation which is very important in the healing of damaged DNA.  There are increased productions of free radicals.  All of the previous findings lead to an increase in the susceptibility to cancer.  Amalgam fillings have been associated with the production of mouth cancer.

    In addition to the above, mercury interferes with the cytochrome oxidase system and thus blocking the energy production system.  These changes lead to the production of fatigue and reduced energy.

    Immunologic reactions to mercury have resulted in the production of lichen planus and periodontal disease in the mouth.  Of 50 patients who had chronic fatigue and were referred for a MELISA test for mercury sensitivity there was a 70% positive response.

    Mercury has been found to impair the conversion of thyroid T-4 to the active T-3 hormone.  In addition, it has been linked to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis.  In general, immune activation from toxics like mercury result in cytokine release and the dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. 
    This can lead to the development of profound fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune thyroiditis. 

    There is a definite genetic predisposition to these problems in those with the associated mercury burden.  A significant number of the population appear to fall into the category