Are Metals in Food Harming Your Child’s Behavior?

metals in foodMetals and other elements in your child’s food could be contributing to aggressive or anti-social behavior in children, according to Neil Ward, professor of chemistry at the University of Surrey in the UK, and a lead researcher in the field.

While excessive amounts of metal in food can clearly be dangerous, strong evidence now shows that some trace elements may be toxic as well. And while some metals, such as copper, manganese and zinc, actually act as nutrients that can be beneficial for health, others have no known benefits. These potentially harmful metals include:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Aluminum

These elements can actually act as “anti-nutrients,” which means they hinder the absorption of essential nutrients, a condition that can be particularly dangerous to children, according to Ward. For instance, he explains on

“Lead acts as an anti-nutrient, hindering the utilization of magnesium, zinc and vitamin B1. High lead levels have been linked to a reduction in IQ, negative classroom behavior ratings by teachers, juvenile delinquency and increased violent behavior.”

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