The effects of Ca2+ on lead absorption as PbCl2 and 203PbCl2 were studied in rats. 1. Doubling of dietary calcium with Ca3(PO4)2 significantly decreased lead absorption as assessed by 203Pb retention, tissue lead concentration, urinary excretion of delta-aminolaevulinate and increased activities of delta-aminolaevulinate dehydratase and ferrochelatase. 2. Similar effects on lead absorption were shown by the Ca2+ salts, Cl-, CO32-, PO43-, SO42-, gluconate and glycerophosphate. 3. CaCl2 and calcium glycerophosphate were found to be most effective in decreasing lead absorption when administered immediately before lead dosage. 4. A negative exponential relationship was found between CaCl2 concentration and 203Pb absorption at 120h. The result suggest that, above 4 mmol of administered calcium, residual lead absorption is unaffected by increasing gastrointestinal calcium concentrations. 5. Increased systemic calcium had no effect on lead retention. 6. Calcium in the concentrations found in domestic hard-water supplies significantly decreased absorption of a solution of 203Pb dissolved in it compared with absorption of 203Pb dissolved in soft or distilled water. 7. Milk and skimmed milk were found to have no effect on 203Pb absorption in rats.

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