Researchers analyzed children of a rural region in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico,who since gestation were exposed to this heavy metal, through maternal consumption.
Associated with various types of cancer such as skin and liver, the intake of arsenic it is also linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. According to a long-term research conducted by experts from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) it was determined that this metalloid inhibits enzymes associated with antioxidant protection.
The study, conducted by Cinvestav experts from the Toxicology Department, headed by Luz Maria Jimenez Del Razo, focused on analyzing a children population that had ingested arsenic through maternal consumption of contaminated water, and it was determined that by having oxidizing properties favors generation of (fatty) plaque in the arteries.
To corroborate the relationship between cardiovascular disease with arsenic consumption, blood samples were also obtained from the study group to identify the presence of an amino acid called asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), which is associated with problems in the arteries.
"What we found is that the higher the exposure to arsenic, higher the blood levels of this amino acid," said Jimenez Del Razo. With this, the intention of the researchers is to propose it as a biomarker (substance for identification) for blood tests to determine cardiovascular risk.
The results suggest that those who have consumed arsenic-contaminated water for a long time and since childhood, and even while in gestation, have a greater chance of cardiovascular problems at a young age (after 30 years).
Also, through an ultrasound, researchers measured the diameter of the plaque that builds up in the carotid artery, "the larger the diameter, the chance of suffering a heart disease increases," says the researcher.
According research of this group of scientists, pro-oxidant effects of arsenic on proteins and lipids are due because this contaminant in the body can become trivalent metabolites, which inhibit the synthesis of insulin-stimulated by the presence of glucose, also favoring the development of diabetes," refers the researcher.
Cinvestav experts decided to look at children in a rural region in the state of Hidalgo, because since gestation they were exposed to this heavy metal, through maternal consumption.
The areas of the country where the presence of a higher amount of arsenic in groundwater has been identified are the states of Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Morelos, Coahuila, Chihuahua and Baja California Sur, in consequence of a geological failure from the center of the country to the north and the deepening of drilling for wells.
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