Used in making metal coins and jewelry, valves and heat exchangers, and stainless steel. Also used for nickel plating, color ceramics, cosmetics, tobacco, and batteries. Can be found in the soil, air, and water. There are also nickel containing foods such as almonds, chick peas, cocoa, tomato, lentils, oats, peanuts, and walnuts.
Iron is a competitive inhibitor of nickel absorption, therefore absorption is enhanced with iron deficiency. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to counter ROS from nickel, and may also inhibit nickel absorption.
Altug T. Introduction to Toxicology and Food. CRC press; 2002
Filatova D, Cherpak C. Mechanisms of Nickel-Induced Cell Damage in Allergic Contact Dermatitis and Nutritional Intervention Strategies. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2020;20(7):1010-1014. doi: 10.2174/1871530320666200122155804. PMID: 31969107.
Nickel can affect the lungs via inhalation and if ingested, pass through the GI tract to be excreted in feces. Nickel that is absorbed through the skin or GI tract can either be excreted in urine or deposit anywhere, though mainly the kidneys. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that divalent nickel promotes lipid peroxidation at DNA bases.
Allergic dermatitis/skin rash, asthma/lung inflammation, stomach aches, proteinuria and kidney diseases are seen with exposures.
There is some carcinogenic potential.
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