Dr. Ian Reid wrote a very interesting article on vit D 3 and cardiovascular disease. The findings associated with low vit D3 levels in cardiovascualr disease can be produced by free cadmium. Cadmium has a striking ability to reduce 25-OH vit D3 without having as much effect on 1,25 vit D3. Cadmium is also readily taken up by blood vessels and can have inflammatory and proliferative effects.
I became interested in cadmium 25 years ago but I have not been able to prove to other scientists that cadmium is a particularly potent air pollutant because they wanted to use blood cadmium and urine cadmium elevations as a proof of a cadmium toxic effect. Since 1980 when lead was taken out of gasoline, the cadmium in gasoline ( 32 ng/gm in crude oil) has become much more bioavailable. All combustion of biological material increases air cadmium. The use of phosphate fertilizers on agricultural lands increases air cadmium as well through transpiration. Even solar flares are a source of cadmium air pollution as well as passive and active tobacco smoke.
Cadmium is a mediator or stress and inflammation and interferes with DNA repair. It lowers HDL and increases triglcyerides. It can increase CR protein and it also increases galectin-3 which is a marker for CHF. Cadmium increases glucocorticoids and catechecolamines. It increases intracellular calcium. In an acute or chronic catabolic state cadmium is released from metallothionein where it is stored.
In a healthy young individual the release of free cadmium will orchestrate the stress response which will completely return the tissue to normal; and increase hardiness. But low levels of exposure can cause a host of problems. In persons over 50, when the level of anabolic proteins fall, the cadmium which has been stored in metallothioneins becomes free contributing to the multiple diseases of aging. In women each menstrual cycle breaks down metallothinein releasing free cadmium. There was an interesting study from Italy that showed a single dose of 300,000 units of vit D3 given once a month before menstrual pain occurred was effective treatment.
The need for vit D3 is very elastic. Surgical stress, emotional stress, prolonged catabolic stress of any kind may release free cadmium increasing the need for vit D3.
I believe that diseases that are associated with low 25-OH vit D3 can be assumed to be affected by free intracellular cadmium. So far Alzheimers, cardiovascular disease cancer, obesity, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, autism, and severe infantile food allergies are associated with low 25-OH vit D3. The more severe the condiition the lower the vit D 3 level. Vit D3 can be helpful but not sufficient to reverse or correct the disease. There are studies that show that exercise decreases stress and actually lowers blood cadmium. Vit D3 and curcumen allow macrophages to get rid of amyloid the cause of Alzheimer’s disease . Curcurmin is a TNF inhibitor. In one study a TNF inhibitor prevented the inflammatory effects of cadmium. Fish oils inhibit Interluekin-6 similarly to statin drugs and bisphosphonates. Calcium channel blockers can block cadmium into endocrine tissues.
Lead was thought to be the most important pollutant. When lead was taken out of gasoline there has been an epidemic of autism, obesity, diabetes, celiac disease, and pain problems not to mention sinusitis. Blood lead was correlated with disease. Lead is stored in bone and cadmium dissolves bone through a prostaglandin II mechanism and possibly induction of vit D deficiency. It decreases the mechanical strength of bone as well. When bone is dissolved by cadmium it releases lead which sticks around in blood while cadmium quickly disappears from blood. So called low level lead toxiicity was always a sign of cadmium toxicity. Ironically a little lead can block cadmium in air because it forms a particulate that is not absorbed through the lungs as easily.
Cadmium air pollution does not act alone. It is highly synergistic with other chemicals in the air. While it can reduce vit D 3 levels it can double the levels of pesticides. and the co exposure of cadmium and a pesticide can be toxic while neither one alone can have an effect.
I have my papers at my web page. I hope the association of cadmium with the reduction of vit D3 will help to introduce this very potent air pollutant to those interested in improving health.