Cadmium toxicity treatment
June 8 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Cadmium is a natural element in the earth's crust. It is usually found as a mineral combined with other elements such as oxygen (cadmium oxide), chlorine (cadmium chloride), or sulfur (cadmium sulfate, cadmium sulfide). All soils and rocks, including coal and mineral fertilizers, contain some cadmium.


Exposure to cadmium

The general population is exposed to cadmium from breathing cigarette smoke or eating cadmium contaminated foods. Cadmium damages the lungs, can cause kidney disease, and may irritate the digestive tract. See body toxins link for additional toxins that can harm the body. Cadmium is a widespread heavy metal used in numerous industrial processes. Cd exerts toxicological effects mostly in kidney and liver. Bone is also an important target.

Exposure happens mostly in the workplace where cadmium products are made. Children with high levels of this heavy metal in their urine may be more likely to have learning disabilities and/or need special education. This mineral occurs naturally in some soils. Children are most likely to be exposed to it through food such as grains and root vegetables, as well as through tobacco smoke. Some children's toys and jewelry have also been found to contain it.


Cadmium Toxicity natural treatment or prevention
Protective effect of quercetin on experimental chronic cadmium nephrotoxicity in rats is based on its antioxidant properties.
Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2006. Instituto Reina Sofia de Investigacion Nefrologica, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.
Oxidative stress can play a key role in cadmium -induced toxicity. Quercetin is a potent oxygen free radicals scavenger and a metal chelator. Our aim was to study the effect of quercetin on cadmium -induced kidney damage and oxidative stress as well as its mechanism of action. Wistar rats were distributed in four experimental groups: control rats; cadmium; quercetin and cadmium + quercetin. Animals that received both cadmium and quercetin showed a better renal function than those receiving cadmium alone. Cadmium -induced tubular lesions were markedly reduced in rats that also received quercetin. Cadmium -induced increase in plasma TBARS was prevented by the administration of quercetin. Total plasma antioxidants and renal superoxide dismutase and glutathione-reductase activities were higher in the group that received cadmium and quercetin than in rats that received cadmium alone. Quercetin administration does not modify the renal content or the urinary excretion of cadmium. In conclusion, quercetin treatment prevents renal tubular damage and increased oxidative stress induced by chronic cadmium administration, most probably throughout its antioxidant properties.


Food Sci Nutr. 2014. The antioxidant and anti-cadmium toxicity properties of garlic extracts.


Smokeless tobacco and cataract
Using snuff or chewing tobacco is associated with an increased likelihood of developing cataracts. Smokeless tobacco users have higher levels of cadmium in their blood than non-users. Cadmium present in tobacco inactivates superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant, resulting in oxidant damage to the lens of the eye.

Uses of Cadmium

Most cadmium used in the United States is extracted during the production of other metals like zinc, lead, and copper. It does not corrode easily and has many uses, including batteries, pigments, metal coatings, and plastics.



Cadmium exposure aggravates mortality more in women than in men.
Int J Environ Health Res. 2006.
This study aimed to examine whether the mortality associated with exposure to cadmium differs between the sexes. Target subjects were 6,944 men, 7,660 women from a list of all residents in the Jinzu River basin in 1967 and 1968. Trend of proportion of the population aged 70 years and older was significantly higher in women in the following decreasing order: non-Jinzu River basin, a region receiving a mixed water supply, and the Jinzu River basin. Sex ratios (proportions of population of men to that of women) in those aged 70 years and older became significantly higher in the same order. This tendency was compatible with the geographical distribution of the prevalence of abnormal urinary findings and cadmium concentration in rice which was grown and consumed in the area. This study revealed that cadmium exposure aggravates mortality more in women than in men.