Thiamine and zinc in prevention or therapy of lead intoxication

J Int Med Res. 1989 Jan-Feb;17(1):68-75. doi: 10.1177/030006058901700110.


Thiamine, zinc or their combination given through gastric gavage were investigated for their ability to prevent or treat experimental lead toxicity in rats. Simultaneous dietary supplementation with thiamine plus zinc was found to be the most effective way of reducing the lead-induced inhibition of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity in blood, urinary, excretion of delta-aminolevulinic acid and accumulation of lead in blood, liver and kidney. Prevention was more effective than post-lead exposure treatment which may be due mainly to the decrease in the absorption of lead in the gastro-intestinal tract in the presence of thiamine and/or zinc.

MeSH terms

  • Aminolevulinic Acid / urine
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Kidney / analysis
  • Lead / blood
  • Lead / metabolism
  • Lead Poisoning / drug therapy
  • Lead Poisoning / metabolism
  • Lead Poisoning / prevention & control*
  • Liver / analysis
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Reference Values
  • Sulfates / therapeutic use*
  • Thiamine / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc Sulfate


  • Sulfates
  • Lead
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Aminolevulinic Acid
  • Zinc
  • Thiamine