Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exposure To Low Doses Of Mercury Changes The Way The Arteries Work

Date:
October 27, 2008
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
An international team of researchers has shown that mercury is another important factor in cardiovascular disease as it changes the way arteries work. One of the possible sources of exposure of humans to mercury is by eating contaminated fish.

An international team of researchers has shown that mercury is another important factor in cardiovascular disease as it changes the way arteries work. One of the possible sources of exposure of humans to mercury is by eating contaminated fish.

The main effects of mercury affect the central nervous system and renal function. Over recent years the scientific community has reported an increase in cardiovascular risk following exposure to mercury, “although the mechanisms responsible for this increase are not completely known”, state the authors of the new study that has been published recently in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology explain.

Ana Marνa Briones is a researcher at the Universidad Autσnoma of Madrid (UAM) and is one of the authors of the study. Briones explains the aim of the investigation to SINC: “Because the relationship between mercury and cardiovascular risk has been explained recently, and that cardiovascular risk is known to be related to changes in vascular function, we intended to see whether a relationship existed between mercury and changes in vascular responses”.

The aim of the study was to evaluate whether really low concentrations of mercury, administered over a prolonged period of time, “could have a prejudicial effect on vascular response”, that is to say, on the way the arteries behave.

Data confirm that low doses of mercury have a harmful effect on vascular function. Mercedes Salaices, one of the other authors of the study, emphasises that the impact of mercury “could be compared to the impact produced by other more traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes or hypercholesterolaemia”.

The researchers analysed whether chronic exposure to mercury causes an endothelial dysfunction in resistance and conductance arteries. Treatment with mercury induces an increase in oxidative stress, which is responsible – at least in part – for the deterioration in vascular responses. “Arteries contract more and relax less because there is less nitric oxide”, the vasodilator factor that is attacked by oxidative stress, underlines Briones.

The risk of exposure to mercury today

Humans have been exposed to different metal pollutants such as mercury, although the possible consequences to health are not known in depth. At the present time, exposure to mercury is due, mainly, to the consumption of polluted fish, to the administration of anti-fungal agents and Thimerosal antiseptics in vaccines and to the inhalation of mercury vapour from some dental re-constructions

The European Environment Agency (EEA) recommended a reference blood mercury concentration of 5.8 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). It is considered that there are no adverse effects below this level. Data reveal that the concentration of mercury in the general population is less than 1 ng/ml, whereas in workers who suffer exposure in polluted zones, the levels are between 7 and 10. The percentage reaches up to 5.6 ng/ml amongst people who eat fish on a regular basis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Exposure To Low Doses Of Mercury Changes The Way The Arteries Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023222556.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2008, October 27). Exposure To Low Doses Of Mercury Changes The Way The Arteries Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023222556.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Exposure To Low Doses Of Mercury Changes The Way The Arteries Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023222556.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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