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Can you build up a resistance to arsenic?


Can you really build up a tolerance to arsenic, so if you ingest it it won't kill you?

3480 day(s) ago

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Asresearcher
You should respect heavily toxic materials and take suitable measures to avoid or mitigate exposure.

Although there is evidence for As binding to metallothionein, As metabolism is actually considered to occur most prominantly among animals via glutathione (GSH), which is heavily implicated in oxidative stress. GSH is a derivative of the methionine cycle and is therefore linked (via the folate cycle and DNA methylation) with medium term effects. As on its own instigates oxidative stress and acts as a phosphate analogue, while when reduced from arsenate to arsenite damages proteins.

By depleting cellular GSH pools and increasing rates of oxidative stress, anyone exposed to As increases their risks of genetic abberation. This is supported with increased levels of bladder cancer in central-south Asia where there is wide-spread contamination of drinking water- as mentioned above.

As and GSH:
http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/107/2/309.full

As and epigenetic effects:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2877392/

As and cancer:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448329/



Posted 2620 day ago

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cabbagehead
Yes, but not safely.

This process is called Mithridatization, in reference to Mithridates VI, a classical era king who regularly ingested poison in the hopes that any attempts on his life would fail. According to legend, by the time his kingdom was conquered by the Roman general Pompey, Mithridates was so resistant to poison he couldn't use it to end his life. Eventually he had one of his knights stab him so he couldn't be taken prisoner.

How does this work? Your body naturally produces proteins called metallothioneins, which are used to remove a variety of metals from your body including lead and arsenic. By slowly introducing arsenic, your body will increase metallothionein production to compensate. However, increased metallothionein production also increases your risk of cancer.

In reality, you're less likely to be poisoned by your arch nemesis than you are from drinking water.
This has become a major problem in Bangladesh, where over a third of the tube wells pump water containing unsafe levels of arsenic.

Since arsenic is odorless and colorless, the people drinking from these wells aren't aware that they're being poisoned until symptoms start appearing.

Posted 3480 day ago

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