As do Mercury and Lead, Cadmium gets into our cells, and like an unwelcome guest, Cadmium stays too long (the biological half-life of Cadmium, the time required for post-exposure cellular Cadmium content to fall by 50%, is 10 years). Cadmium binds irreversibly to sulfhydryl groups on the exposed active sites of intracellular enzymes, inactivating them, rendering them functionally useless, gumming up our biochemistry. As with Mercury and Lead, Cadmium has been linked to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and kidney disease. Recently published research has shown Cadmium to be a cause of defective DNA repair and a source of pathological Estrogen stimulation, linking Cadmium to Breast and Prostate cancer, the prevalence of which is rising at an epidemic rate - When I was in med school, the teaching was that 1 in 30 women would develop breast cancer during their lifetime; now its 1 in 8. Have women changed or is it something in our environment that has changed? Prostate cancer used to be an old mans disease; now we see it in 50 year olds (Testosterone is not the cause of Prostate cancer; if it were, we would all get Prostate cancer at age 18. We dont, but were sure likely to get it at age 81, when our Testosterone levels are low. As we age, we make less and less Testosterone, but we convert more of it into Estrogen, which increases our risk for prostate cancer). Environmental Estrogenic agents, like Cadmium, thus amplify and increase cancer risk in both sexes.
Cadmium is a white metal used in batteries, metal coatings, plastics, alloys, and pigments. Cadmium is poorly biodegradable, so once dumped into the environment, it hangs around a long time. Cadmium is concentrated by the tobacco plant from the soil, and from there reaches the lungs, circulation, and body cells of smokers (each cigarette provides you with 0.1 mcg of Cadmium; smokers have intracellular Cadmium levels twice that of non-smokers). Free radical damage due to Cadmium is one of the causative links between smoking and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and lung disease. Lung disease continues to progress in smokers even after they have stopped smoking, because the Cadmium is still in there, causing free radical stress and inflammation (One small study demonstrated that intravenous EDTA, which binds tightly to Cadmium, improved lung function in smokers with active lung disease).
Our genetic blueprint is contained in the DNA of our cells. If the DNA is damaged during cellular replication, or by free radical stressors (such as Mercury, Lead, or Cadmium), then the cell becomes dysfunctional; it may degenerate into a cancer cell. DNA damage is not an infrequent event during normal life (i.e. sunburn), thus Mother Nature provides us with enzyme systems to carry out DNA repair. Cadmium inactivates this DNA repair mechanism. In a study of DNA replication and repair in yeast cells, Cadmium exposure increased the cellular mutation rate 2,000-fold. Cadmium exposure is thus a cancer double-whammy; Cadmium damages not just our DNA, but also our capacity to repair damaged DNA.
In an autopsy study carried out in North Carolina, tissue Cadmium content correlated with the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease (to protect yourself, leave North Carolina, or stay in North Carolina and take steps to protect yourself from Cadmium). Like Mercury, Cadmium is handed down from mother to child. The hair Cadmium level in mothers correlates directly with the hair Cadmium level of their newborn offspring, which correlated inversely with the birth weight of the infants. In other words, the greater your Cadmium burden, the smaller will be your babies. Cadmium is associated with hypertension (in one study, blood Cadmium levels averaged 3-4 ng/ml in non-hypertensives, and all had a level below 8, while the average level in hypertensives was 11 ng/ml, and 3/4ths of the hypertensives had levels above 8, so you shouldnt be surprised by the finding that infants of hypertensive mothers have hair Cadmium levels three times that of infants of non-hypertensive mothers. Youve heard that cigarette smoking is associated with low birth weight; now you know why its the Cadmium.
In general, water hardness, which reflects its content of Magnesium and Calcium, correlates with a reduced risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but thats not the case in the twin Kansas Cities. Both draw their drinking water from the same source, but they process it differently. The water in KC, Kansas is twice as hard as is the water in KC, Missouri, and this increased water hardness should be protective, but the prevalence of hypertension is greater in KC, Kansas, and this correlates with a 10-fold greater level of Cadmium in the blood of KC, Kansas residents. It seems that in KC, Kansas theyve gone as far as they can go to increase the workload of their cardiologists. If you live in KC, Kansas, you could move across the river, or you could stay in Kansas and take steps to protect yourself (and youre children, those alive, and those still in the planning stage) from Cadmium overload and its health consequences.
Cadmium is bad stuff; we dont want it but we cant avoid it, so we need to take steps to protect ourselves. Testing for Cadmium is difficult. As Cadmium accumulates within our cells and stays there for 10 years, blood levels of Cadmium are
of little value in assessing ones body Cadmium burden and Cadmium associated health risk. Kidney and liver biopsy will provide an accurate measure, but this approach has obvious limitations. To best asses Cadmium burden, physicians trained in heavy metal detoxification will carry out a mobilization - challenge. The individual being tested will take oral Cadmium binding agents (such as EDTA and DMSA) for several days. A weight-based dose of intravenous EDTA is then administered, and the subjects urine is collected over 6 hours and analyzed for Cadmium (and other toxic metal) content. Acute or life-threatening Cadmium overload is treated with high-dose intravenous EDTA and high-dose oral DMSA, along with antioxidant support.
We arent treating Cadmium toxicity with the Rejuvetate Life System; thats the job of the physician trained in metal binding medicine. The Rejuvetate Life System contains low doses of EDTA and DMSA. Some of the DMSA and some of the EDTA is not absorbed; it remains in the GI tract and can bind to the Cadmium that you ingest, thus blocking its absorption. Your liver makes an attempt to clear Cadmium from your body; it filters Cadmium from the blood, binds it to a clearing agent such as Glutathione, and then processes the Cadmium-Glutathione complex into bile. The complex is stored in the gall bladder, and then dumped into the intestines, and from there exits the body in the feces. If the Cadmium-Glutathione complex stays in the intestine too long (i.e. if you do not move your bowels frequently), then the bond between the Cadmium and Glutathione can break, and the now free Cadmium can be reabsorbed back into the body (called enterohepatic recirculation). Now, if a Cadmium binding agent, such as EDTA or DMSA, just happens to be in the intestine when this is occurring, then the Cadmium will not be reabsorbed into the circulation. Instead it will be bound up by the EDTA or DMSA, and the EDTA-Cadmium or DMSA-Cadmium complex will exit the body in the feces.
We know that some orally administered EDTA and most of an oral dose of DMSA will enter the blood stream. EDTA will not enter cells, but it can bind to any heavy metal ions that it encounters in the circulation, and the EDTA-metal complex will be cleared by the kidney or liver. DMSA can enter the cells of the body, where it can bind to intracellular toxic metals, such as Cadmium, then the DMSA-toxic metal complex will leave the cell, enter the circulation, and then be cleared from the body via the liver or the kidney. Thus when we take EDTA and/or DMSA orally, as in Defend Life, the absorbed and unabsorbed portions synergize to clear Cadmium and other heavy metals from your body.
If you are seriously ill from Cadmium overload, then by all means see a physician skilled in heavy metal detoxification. But Cadmium is everywhere and Cadmium is playing a role in heart disease and cancer. Nearly all of my cardiology patients display Cadmium overload when I test them. Ill treat them for Cadmium overload, but at this point the damage has already been done. Why wait until you are sick? Why wait until Cadmium has done its damage? The Rejuvetate Life System was designed to help you decrease your chances of developing an overload of Cadmium and other heavy metals. So do your best to avoid Cadmium, and add to your protection by incorporating Rejuvetate Life into your life.
James C. Roberts MD FACC for Med Five Inc. last updated 1/1/04