Probiotics protect against heavy metal poisoning

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Probiotics protect against heavy metal poisoning

Postby kulkulkan » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:24 pm ... 092356.htm

Probiotics protect children, pregnant women against heavy metal poisoning
October 7, 2014
American Society for Microbiology
Yogurt containing probiotic bacteria successfully protected children and pregnant women against heavy metal exposure in a recent study. Canadian and Tanzanian researchers created and distributed a special yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria and observed the outcomes against a control group.

A research team from the Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotics, led by Dr. Gregor Reid, studied how microbes could protect against environmental health damage in poor parts of the world. Their lab research indicated that L. rhamnosus had a great affinity for binding toxic heavy metals. Working with this knowledge, the team hypothesized that regularly consuming this probiotic strain could prevent metals from being absorbed from the diet.

Working with the Western Heads East organization, Dr. Reid had already established a network of community kitchens in Mwanza, Tanzania to produce a probiotic yogurt for the local population. Mwanza is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, which is known to be polluted with pesticides and toxic metals including mercury. The team utilized this network to produce and distribute a new type of yogurt containing L. rhamnosus. The special yogurt was distributed to a group of pregnant women and a group of children. The researchers measured the baseline and post-yogurt levels of toxic metals.

The team found a significant protective effect of the probiotic against mercury and arsenic in the pregnant women. This is important as "reduction in these compounds in the mothers could presumably decrease negative developmental effects in their fetus and newborns," according to Dr. Reid. While the results obtained in the children studied showed benefits and lower toxin levels, the sample size and duration of treatment did not allow statistical significance.

The researchers were excited by the potential of basic foodstuffs to provide preventative protection for pregnant women worldwide. They are currently investigating lactobacilli with higher and even more specific mechanisms of sequestering mercury.

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Re: Probiotics protect against heavy metal poisoning

Postby Winnie » Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:10 am

Here is the full text:

I'm sure this data is not available -- but it would be interesting to know the autism prevalence there -- especially since the exposure and elevation in blood mercury levels is seemingly so common (and apparently ongoing) in pregnant women and school-aged children there. Considering how often mercury is promoted as a cause of autism in some treatment and anti-vaccine circles, it seems by extrapolation that the population of the Lake Victoria region should be largely autistic.

(***and I noticed that this study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for the benefit of those duped by the Bill Gates-depopulating-the-Earth anti-vaccine conspiracy theory discussed on previous threads)
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."

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Re: Probiotics protect against heavy metal poisoning

Postby kulkulkan » Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:13 pm

With respect to the mercury ASD hypothesis, there are two key points:

Susceptibility - There is likely a susceptible population that is more affected by mercury than others whether it is due to the microbiome, genetic susceptibility/epigenetics, impaired ability to detox mercury, allergy or hypersensitivity to Hg, etc. I believe one study showed kids with ASD were actually excreting a lot less mercury compared to controls in first year of age implying reduced ability to excrete Hg. Also, blood levels mostly reflect recent exposure, not necessarily Hg body burden. The point here is not everyone will have same level of risk even if you have similar Hg blood levels. We don't really know who is more susceptible.

Exposure - The second important point is type, route, and timing of exposure. In utero and first two years of life are significantly more important than much later in life. Organic mercury (methyl and ethylmercury) is significantly more dangerous because it can easily cross membranes and get trapped in brain. Inorganic and elemental Hg cannot do so easily, so would need much higher exposure to have same level of neurotoxicity. The route of exposure is also important. Eating fish with methyl mercury gives the microbiome a chance to reduce toxicity as this study seems to imply, but a flu shot with ethyl/methyl Hg given to a pregnant women does not - that (flu shot to pregnant women) is the worst type, route and timing of Hg exposure. That is a preventable risk, similar to avoiding methylmercury in fish during pregnancy.

Given above, even the population of Faroe island isn't "largely" autistic despite finding statistically significant link in dosage dependent manner between prenatal mercury exposure and neurodevelopment outcomes.

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