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Question about lead and cadmium in shellfish

Discussion in 'The Epi-Paleo Diet' started by Eugenia, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Eugenia

    Eugenia New Member

    So, I've been reading a number of papers and articles (and... lawsuit papers), and apparently a lot of oysters and other shellfish are accumulating lead and/or cadmium (clams seem to be the least accumulating). And this doesn't only include shellfish from China's or Korea's coasts, but also from Italy and Vancouver's, and who knows where else from too! Unfortunately, no one knows how much cadmium each oyster has, because it varies even by a few kilometers in the same coast! Please note that the amount of cadmium found in some of these oysters (e.g. these in BC, Canada) was as much as three times as the FDA daily limit! And that was the rule, not the exception in some of these parts of the same coast!

    So what's the deal with that? Is it safe to eat 3-4 cans of oysters per week? Cadmium doesn't seem to have a natural detoxifying agent like Mercury does with Selenium. It accumulates, and accumulates in the body. So what to do? Just ignore it, or limit their consumption to once a week?
  2. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Cadmium in its ionic form (which is bioavailable to oysters) is complexed by chloride ions and rendered unavailable for uptake. Cadmium bioaccumulation decreases as water salinity increases. My oysters are always saltwater so I don't see it as a problem.

    Cadmium poison in humans is rare and almost always pulmonary from gas. If you did get it from oysters it would have to be the renal form which is crazy rare.
    • Chronic cadmium inhalation may result in impairment of pulmonary function with obstructive changes.
    • Cadmium toxicity may cause renal dysfunction with both tubular and glomerular damage with resultant proteinuria.
    • Bone changes appear to be secondary to renal tubular dysfunction.
    • No evidence of teratogenic effects in cadmium-exposed humans has ever been reported.
  3. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Only series I know of with seafood etiology is in Japan. “Itai-itai” or ouch-ouch disease was first described in post-menopausal Japanese women exposed to excessive levels of cadmium over their entire lifetimes. The women were exposed through their diet because the region of Japan in which they resided was contaminated with cadmium (Ikeda et al. 2000; Watanabe et al. 2000).

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