Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies shed light on how to reduce the amount of toxins in plant-derived foods

Date:
September 12, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A number of environmental toxins pose considerable health threats to humans, and the heavy metal cadmium (Cd) ranks high on the list. Most of us are exposed to it through plant-derived foods such as grains and vegetables. Now, new research offers ways in which investigators can reduce the amount of Cd found in the food we eat.

A number of environmental toxins pose considerable health threats to humans, and the heavy metal cadmium (Cd) ranks high on the list. Most of us are exposed to it through plant-derived foods such as grains and vegetables. Now, new research offers ways in which investigators can reduce the amount of Cd found in the food we eat, according to a review published online September 12th in the Cell Press journal Trends in Plant Science.

"Cadmium is virtually everywhere in the environment, and it is taken up into the human body and bioaccumulates for decades in the kidney," says first author Dr. Stephan Clemens, of the department of plant physiology at the University of Bayreuth, in Germany. Cd exposure may lead to kidney dysfunction, osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other serious health conditions. Because there is no safe level of cadmium exposure, there is an urgent need for lowering its intake.

Most Cd enters the body through plant-derived foods because plants can efficiently take up Cd from the soil. "We need to further develop molecular understanding of the mechanisms that lead to plant Cd uptake for the reduction of Cd levels in food. Fortunately, our knowledge is growing," says Dr. Clemens.

In their recent review, Dr. Clemens and his colleagues examined studies investigating how Cd accumulates in certain plants, and they used the information to determine how we might develop low Cd accumulating crops. "Through excellent basic rice molecular biology and genetics research, we have in the past couple of years learned a lot about why one rice plant accumulates more Cd in the grain than another rice plant even when they are grown on the same field," he explains. "This knowledge can now be used for targeted and efficient breeding to develop cultivars that retain their favorable characteristics but transport less Cd to the grain." He adds that we should also make an effort to better understand Cd accumulation in other crop plants such as wheat and potato. The authors note that, to their knowledge, breeding for low Cd accumulation is not common practice, but it should be possible because there is such variation in Cd uptake by different varieties of rice, wheat, and other plants, and because research has identified genes that can be used as markers to select specific varieties to breed.

It would of course be best to get rid of Cd in the environment, "but it will take a long time to achieve this; in the meantime we need other solutions," says Dr. Clemens.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Clemens et. al. Plant science: the key to preventing slow cadmium poisoning. Trends in Plant Science, 2012

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Studies shed light on how to reduce the amount of toxins in plant-derived foods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912125517.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, September 12). Studies shed light on how to reduce the amount of toxins in plant-derived foods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912125517.htm
Cell Press. "Studies shed light on how to reduce the amount of toxins in plant-derived foods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912125517.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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