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A. A Surprising Association Between Vitamin C And Lead

Narrator: This is Science Today. New research has found an association between vitamin C levels in the blood and levels of lead. Dr. Joel Simon, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, led the study.

Simon: We found that the higher the level of vitamin C in the bloodstream, the less likely a given individual was to have high levels of lead in the blood.

Narrator: Simon says the most likely explanation is vitamin C probably lowers lead levels.

Simon: But even if the association is the other way around - if it turns out that high levels of lead in the bloodstream lower vitamin C levels in the bloodstream, it's still important. Because the individuals with levels of lead that were high, they had levels of vitamin C in the bloodstream that were so low as to place them at risk of vitamin C deficiency of scurvy. So no matter how you look at this, it turns out that at risk populations for lead exposure would be well advised to increase their vitamin C intake.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.