Archive for December 20th, 2010

ASTHMA AND PESTICIDES: ORGANOPHOSPHATES

Monday, December 20th, 2010
Organophosphates are dangerous because they tend to attack a vital enzyme called ‘acetylcholinesterase’. Interference with this enzyme causes muscle and central nervous system disorders. Diarrhoea, muscular weakness, dizziness, impaired vision and shortness of breath are the commoner symptoms. The danger of poisoning by pesticides increases proportionately to the amount of sulphur-containing proteins in one’s diet. Captan, for example, is a fungicide used in some cultivation and home gardening. It is almost harmless to a well-nourished person but can become deadly in a protein-deficient individual. The type of protein that protects against pesticide poisoning is crucial. Laboratory animals raised on soya protein, which has a low methionine content, experience stunted growth and liver damage if exposed to DDT. Methionine is a sulphur amino acid. Low sulphur diets cause a deficiency of vitamin A by affecting its liver reserves.
Another amino acid, cysteine, is said to afford some protection from pesticides, and so are most antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E, beta carotene and selenium).
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ASTHMA AND PESTICIDES: ORGANOPHOSPHATESOrganophosphates are dangerous because they tend to attack a vital enzyme called ‘acetylcholinesterase’. Interference with this enzyme causes muscle and central nervous system disorders. Diarrhoea, muscular weakness, dizziness, impaired vision and shortness of breath are the commoner symptoms. The danger of poisoning by pesticides increases proportionately to the amount of sulphur-containing proteins in one’s diet. Captan, for example, is a fungicide used in some cultivation and home gardening. It is almost harmless to a well-nourished person but can become deadly in a protein-deficient individual. The type of protein that protects against pesticide poisoning is crucial. Laboratory animals raised on soya protein, which has a low methionine content, experience stunted growth and liver damage if exposed to DDT. Methionine is a sulphur amino acid. Low sulphur diets cause a deficiency of vitamin A by affecting its liver reserves.Another amino acid, cysteine, is said to afford some protection from pesticides, and so are most antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E, beta carotene and selenium).*31\145\2*