Thursday, May 9, 2013

Arsenic, "Feed," and the Brain

Did you hear about the recently-released news item related to Arsenic? It read in part: “Arsenic is commonly added to poultry feed for the FDA-approved purposes of inducing faster weight gain on less feed, and creating the perceived appearance of a healthy color in meat from chickens, turkeys and hogs, yet new studies increasingly link these practices to serious human health problems.” Several individuals contacted me to ask what arsenic does in the brain. While cranial nerves don’t seem particularly impacted by ingestion of arsenic, peripheral nerves are. Arsenic reportedly destroys axonal cylinders leading to peripheral neuropathy (nothing I’m hankering to develop!). As an aside, according to Wikipedia Arsenic was dubbed Poison of Kings because the ruling class used it to murder one another, at least until the Marsh Test became available; while in the Victorian era women rubbed arsenic into faces and arms to “improve their complexion,” and some reportedly ingested it mixed with chalk and vinegar in an effort to achieve similar results. According to government resources, ingestion of food containing arsenic is a primary route of entry into the body in the US, with poultry, fish, and meat accounting for 80% of dietary arsenic intake. Estimates are that the average daily intake of arsenic by adults in the US is 40 micrograms per day. Hmmm.


(http://www.nationofchange.org/fda-admits-chicken-meat-contains-arsenic-1368022842 )
( http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=1&po=11 )

 

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