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Major toxic metals: Cadmium


Next, Prof. Liao will introduce cadmium.

Cadmium is capable of traveling long distances with dust and rainwater, being thereafter into the soil, where it can be transported into water and plants. Cadmium ions can be successfully absorbed by plants, especially well by root crops like turnips and leafy vegetables like spinach. In plants, cadmium is distributed quite evenly among all tissues. Therefore, rice is the major source of cadmium for the general population.

A WHO report indicated that the foods with the highest levels of cadmium contamination are shellfish, liver, and kidneys of various animals.

The biological effects of cadmium have been studied extensively in human and animal studies. In these studies, the most sensitive organ to cadmium exposure is the kidney. Symptoms include increased excretion of glucose, protein, amino acids, calcium, and uric acid. The liver is also affected as indicated by increased gluconeogenesis, leading to hyperglycemia, and pancreatic effects are indicated by a decreased circulating insulin level.

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Food Technology, Health and Safety

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