Cadmium Osteoporosis , Osteopenia  danger

Cadmium Osteoporosis , Osteopenia . It's well known that exposure to high levels of this element has a negative effect on your bones. Such exposure can lead to bone loss.

As early as 1998, a study was published showing the cadmium is a significant risk to your bones.  See: Cadmium May Be a Risk Factor for Osteoporosis. Then in 2006 there was another study from Sweden which concluded that even low levels of exposure to this toxic element is a problem. Why is this significant?

Smoking is a major source of  exposure.  AND Second hand smoke is  a risk factor. If you know someone who smokes, do what you can to encourage them to stop - for the sake of their bones.  And do avoid exposure to their second hand smoke. 

Basic questions about Cadmium answered:

  • Where is Cadmium found? This pollutant occurs in air, water and soil.
  • What causes levels of this pollutant to rise?Levels rise with the natural weathering of minerals. It also rises after forest fires and the eruption of volcanoes. Even larger amounts are released by the use of phosphate fertilizers in the growing of agricultural crops. Also fossil fuel [oil, coal] combustion is a source. It is  released in the production of iron, steel and non-ferrous metals as well as in cement production and the incineration of wastes.  So as you see there are many possible sources of exposure.
  • Besides breathing it in, how else can we ingest it? It is found in food due to the uptake of by plants from fertilizers, sewage sludge, manure and atmospheric deposition. This is one reason why many people are turning to organic foods or to locally grown foods that they know are not using phosphate fertilizers.Cigarette smoking is a major source. Just one pack a day, makes for a daily intake of 2-4 mg each day! That is why anyone with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis  is advised to stop smoking immediately. Minimal exposure also arises from drinking water and from the consumption of fish and shell fish.
  • Up until now there has been little concern about minimum exposure and possible Cadmium Osteoporosis or Osteopenia but the Swedish study found that "...After multivariate adjustment, BMD, parathyroid hormone, and urinary deoxypyridinoline (U-DPD) were adversely associated with concentrations of urinary cadmium (p < 0.05) in all subjects. These associations persisted in the group of never-smokers, which had the lowest  exposure (mainly dietary). And they conclude that even minimum exposure should be of concern for its effects.
  • How can I protect myself or my children from this source of bone loss? Avoid exposure as much as possible. Do not smoke and explain to your children how smoking can have a negative effect on their bones. Avoid incinerator smoke and the fumes from heavy traffic. Buy food that has NOT been treated with phosphate fertilizers or grown near any of environmental sources listed above. Spending a bit more for Organic produce may be a good  investment for your children's bones.

To read about other risks for Osteopenia, go to Osteopenia Risk Factors

If you want a complete list of all the Causes of bone loss goto Causes of Osteopenia,Osteoporosis

Read about treatments for Osteopenia caused by Cadmium Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and other factors