Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Commonly Found Contaminant May Harm Nursing Infants

Date:
December 5, 2007
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
Scientists have shown that perchlorate -- an industrial pollutant linked to thyroid ailments -- is actively concentrated in breast milk. Their findings suggest that perchlorate contamination of drinking water may pose a greater health risk than previously realized.

Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have shown that perchlorate--an industrial pollutant linked to thyroid ailments--is actively concentrated in breast milk. Their findings suggest that perchlorate contamination of drinking water may pose a greater health risk than previously realized.

For decades, millions of Americans have been exposed to perchlorate through contamination of their local water supplies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has so far identified 75 perchlorate releases in 22 states, primarily California and states in the Southwest. Perchlorate is known to interfere with the ability of the thyroid, mammary glands and certain other tissues to absorb iodide from the bloodstream.

"Our study suggests that high levels of perchlorate may pose a particular risk to infants," says Dr. Nancy Carrasco, senior author of the study and professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein. "Nursing mothers exposed to high levels of perchlorate in drinking water may not only provide less iodide to their babies, but their milk may actually pass on perchlorate, which could further deprive the infants' thyroid glands of iodide. The thyroid requires iodide to synthesize the hormones T3 and T4 that are essential for normal development of the central nervous system. Babies who don't make enough of these thyroid hormones may become mentally impaired."

Iodide is relatively scarce in the diet, and tissues that need to accumulate it--the breast and thyroid in particular--are equipped with a cell-surface protein called NIS (sodium/iodide symporter) that actively pulls iodide from the bloodstream and into the cells. NIS was first identified and cloned by Dr. Carrasco's team in 1996. In the current study, Dr. Carrasco and her colleagues injected female rats with perchlorate and then extracted the animals' breast milk and tested it on cells that express NIS. The milk inhibited iodide transport in NIS-expressing cells, indicating that perchlorate had become concentrated in the milk.

"We found that the same protein--NIS--that actively recruits iodide into cells does the same thing for perchlorate," says Dr. Carrasco. "In fact, NIS has a higher affinity for perchlorate than it does for iodide, which certainly heightens the risk posed by this contaminant."

The study appears in the December 3-7 advance online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Other Einstein scientists involved in the research were Orsolya Dohαn, Carla Portulano, Cιcile Basquin and Andrea Reyna-Neyra. L. Mario Amzel of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine also collaborated on the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Commonly Found Contaminant May Harm Nursing Infants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203190610.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2007, December 5). Commonly Found Contaminant May Harm Nursing Infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203190610.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Commonly Found Contaminant May Harm Nursing Infants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203190610.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) — The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins