LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 10 no 2, June 2010, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Research article

Nutrition to Fight Lead Poisoning

By Robert J. Taylor, additional references sourced by Elizabeth O’Brien, Edited by Anne Roberts,
Photos by Catherine Sweeny. A Fact Sheet version of this Research Article can be found at www.lead.org.au/fs/Fact_sheet-Nutrients_that_reduce_lead_poisoning_June_2010.pdf

Methionine is an essential amino acid. Animal studies indicate it may reduce and repair some lead-induced learning and memory decline. It has been demonstrated to protect against lead-induced liver damage in animals, particularly when combined with zinc and thiamine (vitamin B1). It has strong anti-oxidant impacts. It is also manufactured inside the body using vitamin B9 and B12 based enzymes. Very high levels of methionine intake (more than five times normal) can increase cardiovascular and hepatic (liver) risks but this can be counteracted with taurine. High levels of methionine exacerbate psychological problems in schizophrenics and, from experiments with mice, may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Methionine can be converted to cystine (a more stable form of cyteine) and then used to form glutathione, one of the body’s major antioxidants. Methionine is found in meat, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, onions, yogurt and seeds. Methionine absorption is reduced if consumed with taurine. Supplementary doses of up to 250mg are considered safe. The capacity of supplemental methionine to be absorbed seems variable.

Antioxidant effects of α tocopherol, ascorbic acid and l.-methionine on lead-induced oxidative stress to the liver, kidney and brain in rats R. C. Patra, D. Swarup and S. K. Dwivedi Toxicology Vol 162, No 2, 11 May 2001, Pages 81-88 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11337108 [Research that indicates significant protective influences on the brain and kidneys]

Selection of Nutrients for Prevention or Amelioration of Lead-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment in Rats Guangqin Fan, Chang Feng, Yu Li, C Wang, J Yan, W Li, J Feng, X Shi and Y Bi Annals of Occup Hygiene 2009 53(4):341-351 http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/53/4/341 [Shows that methionine may protect against lead damage to some memory and learning functions, at least in rats.]

S-adenosyl-l-methionine improves impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation and water maze performance induced by developmental lead exposure in rats Xiu-Jing Cao, Sheng-Hai Huang, Ming Wang, Ju-Tao Chen and Di-Yun Ruan, European Journal of Pharmacology Vol 595  Is 1-3 Oct 2008 www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T1J-4T4XRDC-4&_ [finds that a form of methionine may repair some lead-induced learning/memory impacts on rats]

Toxicity of Methionine in Humans Peter J. Garlick J. Nutr. 136: 1722S-1725S, 2006. http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/136/6/1722S [ While the toxicity of methionine is low, it is not non-existent, a fact an alarming number of sites gloss over]

Taurine Red Bull or Red Herring? Sebastiaan Wesseling; Maarten P. Koeners; Jaap A. Joles Hypertension. 2009;53:909-911 http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/53/6/909 [Mentions the fact that taurine can counteract the toxicity of high methionine intakes and that taurine interfers with methionine absorption]

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