Lead Poisoning: Sources, Effects, and Remedies (19th Dec 2020):
We have heard many times that lead is harmful. But why is it thought to be so?
It’s because lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal found in the Earth’s crust. When too much of it gets into our body through the mouth or nostrils, there can be detrimental effects on our health.
The issue of lead poisoning has now become more widespread. Our very own activities such as mining, manufacturing, and burning of fossil fuels have triggered it further. We all can contribute our bit to the world by becoming more aware and responsible citizens.
Furthermore, recent studies have found a serious connection between lead toxicity and Alzheimer’s disease…
Beep beep (read danger signal/red alert)! This sort of explains why we are dealing with lead today..
And, oh my gosh! Doesn’t Alzheimer’s means loss of memory?…Well, there’s nothing to be scared about…For, we at Healthboost will be sharing some suggestions as to how we can possibly become aware of the sources of toxic metals…
But before that, since you might also be wondering about the link between lead and Alzheimer’s…
Lead poisoning blocks the growth of new nerve cells (neurons) in our brain. So what?
Actually, we learn new things and our neural network grows and changes… as we learn new things, neurons are born and connect effectively with each other. Lead can impair this flexible quality of the brain, and therefore its ability to communicate.
Another major problem is that lead affects a major component of the brain named ‘dentate gyrus’ that helps in the development of new neurons. This results in no new memory generation and old memories die, thereby setting the stage for Alzheimer’s. We all know that children are more prone to environmental toxins than adults..The same goes for lead. Few of the factors are thecomparatively smallersize of the childrenin relation to their food intake (they eat more to go grow more), andaddto that their tendency to readily put things in mouth. Obviously, there are differences in metabolism too compared to adults, which is huge for the children.
But, the best part is that a diet that provides essential nutrients makes it difficult for lead to get absorbed into the body. So, always opt for a healthy diet consisting of natural, lesser processed foods.
Other Facts about Lead Toxicity
Did you know?… Children exposed to alcohol, prenatally, can develop foetal alcohol syndrome. This combined with lead exposure causes severe brain development problems. Besides, there are also adverse effects on a child’s memory, attention, learning abilities, and IQ levels. Increase in cortisol (a stress hormone) levels, along with excess accumulation of lead severely damage the ‘dentate gyrus’ of the brain.
Hence, don’t stress out too much..Try out natural ways to improve your stress coping capabilities. There are herbs like zizyphus and lavender which act as natural supplements in improving your sleep and reducing anxiety.
What Can Be the Possible Sources of Lead Poisoning?
- Children’s toys, jewellery, imported canned foods and candies with high lead content
- Workplace and hobby hazards
- Drinking water supplied through lead pipes
- Cosmetics, batteries, and other consumer products (e.g., lead glazed ceramic-ware, crystals, etc.)
Of course, we need to be wary of these sources, and learn more about the contents of consumer products. There are adults who are working with lead-based products such as in construction sites, or automobile shops. They need to abide by proper safety measures as well. But, there are certain measures we all can adopt to lead a safer life, away from toxic metals.
- Have foods rich in brain-friendly components such as milk, green leafy vegetables, cereals, and fruits.
- Keep your home well-maintained. You can clean dusty surfaces, and wipe furniture with damp cloth.
- Hot water is more likely to contain higher lead levels. So, try using cold water for drinking or cooking.
- Get into the habit of frequently washing your child’s hands to prevent lead from getting into their mouths. Washing toys, pacifiers, and bottles regularly will further help in keeping lead-based soil outside.
Let’s all be kind to our bodies, and try out lead-free products…Stay safe, eat and drink healthy!
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