|Cadmium contained with a vial.|
As biological dentists, it’s important to stay on top of newsworthy finds. Unfortunately, a recent study has found that cadmium exposure has been linked to premature aging of cells – even at concentrations well below the current safety standard.
The study included over 6,000 participants and analyzed several different factors such as blood, urine, and DNA samples. The participants were separated into four groups based on the amount of cadmium found in their blood.
After meticulous analyses, the highest group had telomeres found in their blood 5.5% shorter than those in the lowest group. The highest group also had 4.5% shorter telomeres from urine concentration as well. This is a significant change solely attributed to cadmium exposure as noted by the researchers.
What does this mean in layman terms?
Well, for one, it means that our government should take more caution by reducing the current standard to levels that are more acceptable – provided there is any acceptable level of cadmium exposure.
But more importantly, it means that we are essentially aging faster than we should. This is because cadmium exposure has been connected to many chronic conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory illness.
Telomeres will naturally shorten with age, but because of cadmium exposure, this process is being sped up. So in a basic sense, you could say we really are aging at a quicker rate – assuming you have been exposed to cadmium.
What can I do? Where is cadmium found?
Well, because cadmium is found in the air mainly from industrial plants producing batteries and other consumer products there’s not much control you have over exposure. It can also be found in fruits, vegetables, and tobacco from the soil. It is also a byproduct of the production of materials such as zinc, lead, and copper.
The bottom-line is you’ll never really know if you are being exposed, but if you’re in an urban environment then there is a good chance you have been exposed.
The one thing you have control over is making sure you are living a holistic lifestyle – practicing detoxifying techniques, eating well-balanced diets, and exercising. Nothing new, all basic stuff. The hard part is making a routine out of it. Better to start now than be sorry later!