A Secret Too Big to Expose? Hidden Toxins Ignored by the Mainstream

(Justin Deschamps) No matter who you are, you care about your health—almost everyone does. Heavy metals are a form of toxins that, in modern times, we’re discovering just how much they damage our health. From chronic pain, low energy, and many other problems, heavy metals are proven to be an undeniable contributor.

The post A Secret Too Big to Expose? Hidden Toxins Ignored by the Mainstream appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

Report: Baby Food Contains “Worrisome” Levels of Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium

Consumer Reports has some bad news for parents who only feed their babies organic food. In terms of arsenic, cadmium, and lead levels, organic baby foods are no better than traditional products when it comes to heavy metal contamination.

The authors of the report note that babies are ingesting fewer pesticides with organic food consumption. That, along with the gentler effects organic food has on the environment, still shows that organic is better than conventional. However, “organic” does not mean free of heavy metals.

Consumer Reports tested 50 baby and toddler products from retailers all over the country, including 20 that were labeled “organic.” Products made with rice had the highest levels of heavy metals, but all showed measurable levels of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, and/or lead. [2]

Of the 50 products tested, 34 contained concerning levels of heavy metals, while 15 had such high levels that a child who eats a single serving per day would face potential health problems.

How Much is too Much?

Based on their findings, Consumer Reports determined a daily number of servings a child would have to eat before he or she would truly be at-risk for health problems from exposure to heavy metals.

The authors recommend limiting the following products to 1 serving per day:

  • Earth’s Best Organic Chicken & Brown Rice
  • Gerber Chicken & Rice and Sprout Organic Baby Food Garden Vegetables Brown Rice with Turkey

Children should eat only a half-portion daily of Gerber Lil’ Meals White Turkey Stew With Rice & Vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables packaged for babies drew less concern from the authors, who set no daily limits for the following baby foods:

  • Beech-Nut Organic Peas, Green Peas, Green Beans and Avocado
  • Gerber Organic Peas, Carrots & Beets

However, Consumer Reports recommends limiting both Beach-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes and Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, 1st Stage, to half a serving daily.

Exposure to heavy metals is dangerous for people of all ages, but babies and toddlers are especially vulnerable because of their small stature and developing brains. One of the biggest worries among experts is the effect heavy metals can have on kids’ cognitive development. [2]

James Rogers, director of food safety research and test at Consumers Reports, noted: [2]

“They also absorb more of the heavy metals that get into their bodies than adults do.”

In the U.S., packaged baby food is a $54 billion-a-year industry, according to data from Zion Market Research. More than 90% of parents with children 3 and under reach for these foods, at least occasionally. [2]

Read: 5 Hidden Toxins Found in Baby Products

Sixteen of the products tested had “less concerning” levels of the heavy metals, according to the report, indicating that all baby food manufacturers could make their products safer if they chose to do so.

Consumer Reports said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told the group that it is working to finalize guidelines on inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal by the end of 2018.

Tips for Parents

Parents shouldn’t panic about the findings in the report. The presence of heavy metals in no way guarantees a child will suffer health problems as a result of consuming them. [2]

And there are things parents can do to limit their child’s exposure to inorganic arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

  • Limit your child’s infant rice cereal intake. Rice cereal is often one of the first solid foods babies eat because it’s easy to swallow and fortified with iron. But rice cereal has tested positive more than once for concerning levels of inorganic arsenic.
  • Be picky about the types of rice your child eats. Brown rice contained higher levels of inorganic arsenic than white rice. High levels of inorganic arsenic were also found in rice cakes, rice cereal, and pasta. Instead, choose white basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan. Sushi rice from the U.S. had an average of half as much inorganic arsenic as most other types.

Healthful Rice: Report Shows Rice Least Contaminated with Arsenic

  • Choose snacks low in heavy metals, such as apples, unsweetened applesauce, avocados, bananas, beans, cheese, grapes, hard-boiled eggs, peaches, strawberries, and yogurt.
  • Minimize chocolate intake, as cocoa powder may contain cadmium and/or lead. Cocoa itself may contain more heavy metals than dark chocolate, and dark chocolate may contain more metals than milk chocolate.
  • Skip the protein powders, which may contain all 3 heavy metals. Whey and egg-based powders tended to have less than plant-based ones such as soy and hemp.

Sources:

[1] USA Today

[2] CBS News

Study: Excessive Cadmium Linked to Higher Risk of Endometrial Cancer

Women who have excessive cadmium in their bodies may be at increased risk for developing endometrial cancer, researchers from the University of Missouri reported in a recent study.

Accounting for 92% of cancers of the uterus, endometrial cancer, or uterine cancer, is the most common type of reproductive cancer in women in the United States. The disease is caused by cells in the endometrium growing out of control.

Cadmium is a “highly persistent” toxic metal which mimics estrogen in the body. According to lead author Jane McElroy, an associate professor in the University of Missouri Medical School’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, and a team of researchers, cadmium builds up in the body over time. It has been linked to “a variety of adverse health effects,” including kidney damage, calcium imbalance, and an increased risk of pancreatic, breast, and endometrial cancer.

Apart from exposure on the job, excess cadmium usually enters the body through 1 of 2 ways: by eating foods that contain the metal, and by smoking tobacco. Smoking tobacco is cadmium’s second port of entry to the body due to the fact that tobacco plants absorb it from the soil. In urine tests, heavy smokers were found to contain twice as much cadmium as non-smokers.’

Related: High Levels of Heavy Metals Found in Popular Chocolate Brands

Cadmium & Cancers

It’s logical to assume cadmium fuels hormone-dependent cancers because the toxic metal has similar effects to that of the female hormone, estrogen.

McElroy explained:

“Endometrial cancer has been associated with estrogen exposure. Because cadmium mimics estrogen, it may lead to an increased growth of the endometrium, contributing to an increased risk of endometrial cancer.”

However, it was the lack of information about the link that led researchers to dig deeper.

Additionally, past studies have suggested that even low levels of cadmium may significantly shorten the protective caps of DNA on the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres. [2]

Telomeres are associated with aging, and shortened telomeres may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, various age-related conditions, and cancer.

Studying the Link

Researchers gathered data from the cancer registries in Arkansas, Iowa, and Missouri to identify cases of endometrial cancer. Participants included 631 women with a history of endometrial cancer, and 879 women with no history of the disease who served as a control group. [3]

The women completed a 200-question survey about risk factors potentially associated with endometrial cancer. Once the questionnaires were completed, the participants were asked to collect their own urine and saliva samples for the researchers, so they could analyze them for cadmium.

McElroy said:

“When comparing the cadmium levels of the individuals with endometrial cancer to the control group, we found a statistically significant increased risk of the cancer associated with a woman’s cadmium levels. We found the rate of endometrial cancer incidence increased by 22% in individuals with increased cadmium levels.”

More research is necessary to determine how strong the link is between excess cadmium and endometrial cancer, but based on the limited information available, there are some things you can do to limit your cadmium exposure.

McElroy explained:

“We all have cadmium present in our kidneys and livers, but smoking has been shown to more than double a person’s cadmium exposure.

Also, we recommend being attentive to your diet, as certain foods such as shellfish, kidney and liver can contain high levels of cadmium. You don’t necessarily need to cut these from your diet, but eat them in moderation. This is especially true if women have a predisposition to endometrial cancer, such as a family history, diabetes or obesity.”

Moreover, studies have shown that quercetin, an antioxidant compound found in fruits and vegetables like onions and apples, may protect the body against cadmium exposure, while cilantro and chlorella can help the body detox from the substance.

Sources:

[1] Medical News Today

[2] Prevention

[3] Science Daily


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