The Effect of Thiamine on Lead Poisoning in Rats
Quante, Karen A.
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A safe effective method for treatment of lead poisoning is needed. Thiamine (Vitamin B1 ) has been shown to interact with lead in the body. The fact that thiamine is a cheap, readily available, non-toxic substance makes it ideal for treatment of lead poisoned animals. Past work in this area has shown that treatment of lead poisoned calves with thiamine reduces lead absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and results in a lower concentration of lead in soft tissues and bone. This study dealt with lead retention and excretion rates in lead poisoned rats. The results showed that lead absorption in the gastrointestinal tract was increased when therapeutic doses of thiamine were given to lead poisoned rats and the rate of lead excretion was increased. Thiamine appeared to increase the mobility of lead to a point where toxicity became a problem. If the amount of mobile lead could be controlled, thiamine could serve as a useful tool in ridding the body of lead.