Thought for Food Blog

Heavy Metals in the Food Chain: Could They Be Harming Your Health?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

14-Nov-2014 15:59:00

Heavy metals are natural components of the earth’s crust; however, certain activities of mankind, such as mining and smelting, have led to them becoming concentrated in the environment, in some areas reaching potentially harmful levels. Other sources such as vehicle emissions, industrial waste and fertilizers also contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals in the soil, atmosphere and surface water.

Heavy metals can be severely detrimental to the human body, having toxic and carcinogenic effects and causing the oxidative deterioration of biological macromolecules. The various metals have been implicated in the development of many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer.

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Topics: omega-3, rice, fish, copper, cancer, arsenic, cereals, seafood, diabetes, vegetables, pregnancy, agriculture, toxins, regulations and guidance, contaminants, water, cognitive function, central nervous system

Copper Deficiency

Posted by Dave Howard

23-Nov-2012 10:44:00

Copper deficiency is a very rare hematological and neurological disorder. The neurodegenerative syndrome of copper deficiency has been recognised for some time in ruminant animals, in which it is commonly known as ‘swayback’. The disease involves a nutritional deficiency in the trace element copper.  

Copper is pretty much everywhere and daily requirement is low, therefore making acquired copper deficiency very rare.

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Topics: copper, cereals, grains, nutrients, fruit, chocolate, immune system

Copper and the Human Body

Posted by Dave Howard

21-Nov-2012 12:00:00

Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu, from Latin: cuprum, and atomic number 29. 

Copper proteins – proteins that contain one or more copper ions as prosthetic groups – have diverse roles in biological electron transport and oxygen transportation, processes that exploit the easy interconversion of Cu(I) and Cu(II).

Detailed in ‘COPs and Robbers: Putative evolution of copper oxygen-binding proteins’ by Decker, H. and Terwilliger, N. (2000), published in The Journal of Experimental Biology, the biological role for copper began with the appearance of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere.

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Topics: copper, seafood, nutrients, vitamins and minerals

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