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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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Impact of Lifestyle on Metal Exposure, Homeostasis, and Associated Diseases

Impact of Lifestyle on Metal Exposure, Homeostasis, and Associated Diseases

(p.173) 11 Impact of Lifestyle on Metal Exposure, Homeostasis, and Associated Diseases
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases

George V. Dedoussis

The MIT Press

Unhealthy lifestyle factors (e.g., cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, long working hours, reduced sleep, physical inactivity, obesogenic diets) and psychological stress contribute to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes of mortality in industrialized countries. Many of these factors correlate with alterations in the homeostasis of trace metals, which play an important role in human health and are essential for human antioxidant defense and immune function. Metal levels consumed by humans are influenced by the mineral composition of soil used to grow food as well as weather conditions, the composition of irrigation water, and agricultural practices. In some cases, major sources of trace metals derive from environmental pollution that results from industrial and other anthropogenic activities. Food processing and packaging also play a role. Although primary exposure for some individuals happens in the workplace, most people encounter trace metals, both toxic and essential, through diet. Studies show that the most commonly metal-enriched foods are fish and seafood (mercury, copper, and zinc), vegetables and grains (cadmium, magnesium, and molybdenium), chocolate and coffee (cobalt, copper, and nickel), fruit (lead), nuts (selenium), and mushrooms (vanadium). This chapter discusses the impact of lifestyle on human exposure, homeostasis, and disease.

Keywords:   impact of lifestyle on metal exposure, human diet, smoking, environmental pollutants, human health, immune response to metals

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