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

Melatonin has been shown in animal studies to reduce the impact of lead induced anaemia. It can also protect the brain, liver and kidneys from some lead induced damage. As a key sleep regulator melatonin in significant quantities will increase drowsiness with all the attendant risk if operating machinery. Supplemental melatonin should be taken shortly before bedtime at a consistent time to avoid disrupting your body clock.

 It is manufactured inside the brain from the amino acid tryptophan, and as with most molecules manufactured and regulated by the body, the exact relationship between dietary melatonin or melatonin precursors and serum melatonin cannot be said to be transparent. Melatonin is found in small quantities some seeds (White & Black mustard, Wolf berry, fenugreek, sunflower, fennel and alfalfa) and tart cherries, particularly Montmorency.

  1. Melatonin, a potent agent in antioxidative defense: Actions as a natural food constituent, gastrointestinal factor, drug and prodrug Rüdiger Hardeland and SR Pandi-Perumal Nutrition & Metabolism 2005, 2:22 www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/22 [A good overview of melatonin]
  2. Role of melatonin in ameliorating lead induced haematotoxicity A. I. Othman, S. Al Sharawy and M. A. El-Missiry Pharmacological Research Vol 50, Is 3, Sep 2004, p301-307 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2004.01.013 [Found that melatonin can reduce the impact of lead-induced anemia in rats]
  3. Prophylactic Effect Of Melatonin In Reducing Lead Induced Neurotoxicity In The Rat Gamal H. El-Sokkary, Esam S. Kamel And Russel J. Reiter Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters Volume 8, (2003) pp 461 – 470 www.cmbl.org.pl/pdf/Vol8_p461.pdf [Found that melatonin can play a significant role in reducing lead-induced oxidative damage to the brain.]
  4. Melatonin protects against lead-induced hepatic and renal toxicity in male rats Gamal H. El-Sokkary, Gamal H. Abdel-Rahman and Esam S. Kamel Toxicology Vol 213, Is 1-2, 15 September 2005, Pages 25-33 www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0300483X [found that melatonin significantly reduced oxidative damage to the kidney and liver}

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