A Whole Food Plant Based Diet Protects Against The Absorption Of Cadmium
Cadmium is a heavy metal that is highly toxic to the body. Cadmium can stay in the body for decades and accumulate mainly in the liver and kidneys because it appears the body doesn’t have a built-in way to remove it.
High amounts of cadmium in the body contributes to the development of a wide range of of diseases including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and impair cognitive performance.
Inhaling cigarette smoke ways people are exposed to cadmium and studies showed smokers have twice the amount of cadmium in their bodies compared to non-smokers. The consumption of seafood also results in the high exposure to cadmium.
Surprisingly the consumption of grains and vegetables is one of the leaders contributing to cadmium exposure. The difference is the consumption of fruits and vegetables are protective of cancer, while smoking and the consumption of seafood is not.
The reason for this is the protective nature of plant foods. A whole food plant-based diet removes meat and seafood from the diet, which removes cadmium intake from those sources. Plant foods provided by a plant-based diet protect against the dangers of cadmium exposure because cadmium is not highly bio-available in plants, but it is in cigarettes and seafood.
This means that even though plant food like grain, legumes, nuts are high in cadmium, the body is not able to absorb its cadmium. It is believed the fiber and phytate in plant foods grab unto the cadmium, which stops it form entering the bloodstream and leads to it excretion from the body.
Interesting thing a study showed the consumption kale with pig kidneys, which are extremely high in cadmium, severely prevented the absorption of the cadmium from the pig kidneys. Plant foods not not protect against the absorption of their own cadmium, but also the absorption of cadmium in animal food they are eaten with.
 R Madeddu, G Solinas, G Forte, B Bocca, Y Asara, P Tolu, L G Delogu, E Muresu, A Montella, P Castiglia. Diet and nutrients are contributing factors that influence blood cadmium levels. Nutr Res 2011 31(9):691 – 697.
 T Ciesielski, D C Bellinger, J Schwartz, R Hauser, R O Wright. Associations between cadmium exposure and neurocognitive test scores in a cross-sectional study of US adults. Environmental Health 2013 12(1):13.