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Vitamin C/lead levels study

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) intake "may have public health implications for control of lead toxicity," Joel Simon, MD, University of California at San Francisco, and Esther Hudes, PhD, V-A Medical Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, conclude in a study on the relationship of ascorbic acid to blood lead levels, published in the June 23/30 Journal of the American Medical Association. Simon and Hudes analyzed data collected from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey involving 19,587 participants between the ages of six and 90. "Our principal finding was that serum ascorbic acid level was inversely related to blood lead level among adults and youths enrolled in NHANES III," they state. However, no link between dietary intake and blood lead levels was observed, suggesting either dietary estimates were too imprecise to allow detection of the link or the elevated lead levels increase ascorbic acid turnover, thereby lowering levels of the nutrient, the study notes
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