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Getting the lead out

MagazineJuly 1998 (Vol. 9 Issue 4)Getting the lead out

Lead poisoning may well play a part in the development of pre eclampsia

Lead poisoning may well play a part in the development of pre eclampsia. In one study of 24 normal and 19 pre eclamptic pregnancies (35-42 weeks gestation), lead levels were found to be higher and magnesium levels were lower in the pre eclamptic group. In addition, lead to magnesium and lead to calcium ratios were both higher in the pre eclamptic group.

The study's importance is that it gives us a good idea of how essential increased nutrients are in an increasingly toxic world. Optimum calcium intake has been shown to prevent low level chronic lead poisoning (Biol Trace Elem Res, 1991; 28: 181-5), and magnesium is a known competitive inhibitor of lead (Magnes Res, 1990; 3: 31-6).Reduced levels of both minerals are associated with pre eclampsia. What is more, we know that the majority of women, pregnant or not, fail to ingest enough calcium (J Am Coll Nutri, 1987; 46: 324-8), even though calcium requirements double during pregnancy (BMJ, 1985; 291: 263-6). Specifically, pregnant women tend to fail to adequately meet their body's need for magnesium (Magnesium, 1987; 6: 18-27).

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