liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Biochemistry: Cysteine Metabolism and Metal Toxicity

1. What metals are considered suflhydryl-reactive metals? Hg, Cd, Pb, Ar, that is, mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic

2. What are the three major properties which contribute to the toxic effects of suflhydryl-reactive metals? 1) oxidative effects 2) inhibit antioxidant enzymes 3) mess with proteins

3. What are the ways the body adapts to long-term heavy metal exposure? 1) in renal epithelium body upregulates gamma glutamylcysteine synthetase-->increases glutathione (GSH) synthesis-->increases GSSH reductase and GSH peroxidase

4. Describe the chemical form, routes of entry, organs/tissues affected and storage areas for mercury in the body. Mercury comes in two forms, elemental (gas) and methylated. Elemental mercury is released when your alloy tooth fillings get drilled out, and is absorbed directly through the lungs as a gas. Methylated mercury is found in fish, and is absorbed via the GI tract. Both forms are converted to 2+ which is then stored in the kidney, neuro white matter, liver, heart, thyroid and pituitary. Where does lead accumulate? in bone, esp epiphyseal plates of growing bone

5. What are the benefits of cysteine supplementation for a patient with toxic metal accumulations? Cysteine is depleted with long exposure and is essential to detox pathways and metabolism. What is the danger associated with high doses of cysteine? Too much can increase transport of Mercury into the brain.

6. Why are the symptoms of chronic heavy metal burden numerous and non-descript? Because it affects so many different metabolic pathways.

7. What are the primary sources of chronic low-level mercury exposure? According to the article assigned, dental amalgams are 1st and fish is 2nd. My personal research has revealed that commercial chicken is fed mercury-containing food (click the mercury tag below to find the post). Mercury is also found in well water from certain wells, and automotive smog.
Tags: arsenic, biochemistry, detox, diet, heavy metals, mercury, nutrition, toxins

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