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Reversal of ionoregulatory disruptions in occupational lead exposure by vitamin C *

In order to investigate the toxic effects of lead during occupational exposure to this metal and the antidotal efficacy of ascorbic acid directed against these toxic effects, various artisans in Abeokuta, Nigeria, who have been shown to be occupationally exposed to lead were supplemented daily with 500 mg ascorbic acid for 2 weeks. Ca2+-Mg2+-ATPase activity in erythrocyte membrane, as well as calcium and magnesium concentrations in plasma, erythrocytes, erythrocyte membrane and urine of the artisans were determined before and after ascorbic acid supplementation. The 2-week ascorbic acid administration resulted in the reversal of lead-induced accumulation of calcium and magnesium in the erythrocyte membranes of the artisans. Ascorbic acid also reversed lead-induced inhibition of erythrocyte membrane Ca2+-Mg2+-ATPase. Urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium was not affected by ascorbic acid. There may be some scope in introducing ascorbic acid as an intervention strategy for the prevention and therapy of lead intoxication, especially in cases where the subjects cannot be removed from the source of lead exposure.


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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 02-05-2010
Authors: E. Abama, B.S. Okedirana, O.O. Odukoyab, I. Adamsona and O. Ademuyiwaa
Source: Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology Volume 26, Issue 3, November 2008, Pages 297-304