(NaturalNews) Cadmium ranks, along with other heavy metals, as one of the most devastating toxins capable of wreaking havoc on the human body. Unlike lead, arsenic and mercury, exposure to this environmental toxin comes almost exclusively through dietary sources and tobacco smoke, largely due to its presence as a major contaminate in phosphate fertilizers.
Increasingly recognized as a chronic and harmful poison in nearly every system of the body, cadmium is considered a human carcinogen, with the worst effects on humans found in the lungs, prostate and kidneys - and, notably, with well documented effects on testicular fortitude. In rat studies, cadmium has been found to cause tumors in the testes, though researchers believe it is linked with toxic lesions and impaired function, rather than outright cancer.
Basically, this is the result of oxidative stress, which contributes to lower sperm counts, decreased sperm quality and impaired sexual function. A relatively low dose of cadmium has been shown to lower testosterone levels in humans as well as animals, and it can also cause sterility and impotency. Cadmium is a powerful disrupting agent with particular emphasis on the male reproductive system and thyroid gland function in both sexes. However, it has also been shown to impair the fertility of female rats in studies as well.
Its ability to block antioxidants and interfere with hormonal processes makes cadmium both a disruptor and a damaging agent through oxidative stress.
Now, researchers at the Fujian Medical University in China have found that theaflavins - the antioxidant polyphenols found in black tea - can protect against these toxic effects from cadmium in a dose-dependent manner, where the higher the level given to rats, the greater the effects against the heavy metal.
Varying doses of the black tea compound were given to the rats orally. Fifty mg/kg, 100 mg/kg or 200 mg/kg of theaflavins per body weight were administered daily to counteract the disruptive effects of cadmium. Researchers showed that the theaflavins alleviated the heavy metal toxicity, restored hormone levels and reversed DNA damage while reducing oxidative stress. Additionally, it provided a protective action that preempted cadmium build-up and prevented its damaging effects.
Furthermore, the research indicates that theaflavins from black tea may help decrease concentrations of cadmium in the liver and blood while helping to excrete it and eliminate its storage in the body.
The many benefits of black tea, and the antioxidant power of theaflavins
This may open up new pathways for human treatment in promoting healthy testosterone levels and higher sperm counts - all through the natural treatment offered by black tea, which can be consumed as a beverage or in concentrated supplement form. Its powerful antioxidant properties could help balance hormones naturally and improve sexual function.
The polyphenols of black tea, along with other antioxidants, also have a demonstrable role in fighting inflammation, preventing cancer, staving off allergies and promoting longer lifespans (at least in fruit flies), according to studies.
Previous studies have also found that numerous other antioxidant superfoods and nutrients contribute significantly to mitigating the adverse effects of cadmium-induced testicular toxicity.
Healthy foods like onion and garlic, as well as vitamins C and E, lipoic acid and selenium, work to reduce oxidative stress, boost testosterone and restore regular testicular function.
Much like black tea polyphenols, quercetin was found to protect from initial oxidation from cadmium-induced testicular dysfunction - offering a significant preventive role. The antioxidants curcumin, resveratrol and melatonin were found to protect against cadmium-induced lipid peroxidation and limit cadmium's effects on antioxidant action, though they did not prevent accumulation in tissues.
Initial findings of Natural News' Forensic Food Lab investigations find many foods high in cadmium
Fish and seafood are often high in many types of heavy metals, including cadmium, which is often introduced to waterways via industrial and agricultural pollution.
Mike Adam's forensic food investigations tested a can of Bar Harbor-brand Chopped Clams and found highs of 413 ppb for cadmium, 930 ppb for arsenic and 1497 ppb for lead. Kelp granules produced by Maine Coast were found with highs of 883 ppb for cadmium and 85,489 ppb for arsenic. Wakame Flakes (a type of seaweed) sold by Earth Circle Foods was found to have levels of cadmium reaching 2,154 ppb and arsenic at 61,017 ppb. StarWest's Kelp Powder registered highs of 509 ppb for cadmium and arsenic levels as high as 42,064 ppb.