Scientists disagree on whether foods can help lead poisoning

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. A scientist is raising questions about the recommended diet for children who suffer from lead poisoning.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends foods high in calcium, iron, and vitamin C to reduce blood lead levels. But researcher Katarzyna Kordas, an University at Buffalo associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health, is dubious about whether food can help.

“There is a mismatch between the recommendations, the way that they are made, and the published scientific evidence,” she said.

Some research shows nutrients, like iron, may help keep lead out of the body, but it’s less clear which specific foods may help, Kordas said.

“There are no foods that we can say with confidence, if your child eats these foods, they will have a lower blood lead level or that it will help protect your child from lead exposure,” she said.

The CDC declined to comment specifically on Kordas’ commentary, but said it stands by its dietary recommendations.

“Lead-nutrient interaction data are limited and somewhat inconsistent,” the CDC said. “More research is needed to better understand how vitamins, minerals and foods interact with lead.”

Kordas agrees further research is necessary.



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