Cadmium

Optimal Result: 0 - 0.05 µg/g.

Hair cadmium (Cd) levels provide an indication of mild to moderate exposure to the nephrotoxic metal. Very high exposure and assimilation of Cd destroys the hair follicle. Cd is a toxic heavy metal that has no metabolic function in the body. Moderately high Cd exposure may be associated with hypertension, while very severe Cd toxicity may cause hypotension. Cd adversely affects the kidneys, lungs, testes, arterial walls, and bones and interferes with many enzymatic reactions. Chronic Cd excess can lead to microcytic, hypochromic anemia and proteinuria with excretion of beta-2-microglobin, and functional zinc deficiency. Cd excess is also commonly associated with fatigue, hypertension, kidney disease, weight loss, osteomalacia, and lumbar pain.

Occupationally, inhalation of Cd is the primary route of exposure. Otherwise the most significant source of exposure is due to contaminated food and water. Cd occurs at relatively high levels in human biosolids that are used as fertilizer.

Cd absorption is reduced by zinc, calcium, and selenium. Oral absorption of Cd is generally higher in females than in males due to differences in iron stores. Cd is found in varying amounts in foods, from .04 μg/g for some fruits to 3-5 μg/g in some oysters and anchovies. Refined carbohydrates have very little zinc in relation to Cd. Cigarette smoking significantly increases Cd intake. Other sources of Cd include drinking water, fungicides, rubber products (tires), welding rods, and silver solders, and interestingly, old metal
refrigerator shelves that have been utilized as grills for outdoor cooking. Cadmium toxicity is common among welders and construction workers (cement dust).

What does it mean if your Cadmium result is too high?

Hair cadmium (Cd) levels provide an indication of mild to moderate exposure to the nephrotoxic metal. Very high exposure and assimilation of Cd destroys the hair follicle. Cd is a toxic heavy metal that has no metabolic function in the body. Moderately high Cd exposure may be associated with hypertension, while very severe Cd toxicity may cause hypotension. Cd adversely affects the kidneys, lungs, testes, arterial walls, and bones and interferes with many enzymatic reactions. Chronic Cd excess can lead to microcytic, hypochromic anemia and proteinuria with excretion of beta-2-microglobin, and functional zinc deficiency. Cd excess is also commonly associated with fatigue, hypertension, kidney disease, weight loss, osteomalacia, and lumbar pain.

Occupationally, inhalation of Cd is the primary route of exposure. Otherwise the most significant source of exposure is due to contaminated food and water. Cd occurs at relatively high levels in human biosolids that are used as fertilizer.

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