Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!
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(This assignent gets you thinking).....A remedy for accidental ingestion of a heavy metal (such as mercury) is to eat a raw egg. This only works if done within a short period of time, and must be followed within a few hours by stomach pumping. Explain how this works and why the stomach must be pumped afterward. Thank You in advance.
maybe the raw egg makes you throw up
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
From this website http://tuberose.com/Metal_Detoxification.html. One clue could be the high protein content of eggs. Heavy metals such as lead (and i guess mercury also) bind to sulphur on proteins and inactivates them. If you take a large amount of protein soon after the heavy metal ingestion them you are giving the metals something else to bind to.
This is similar to the remedy for eating the death cap mushroom. The compound phalloidin, in the death cap mushroom, binds to and stabilizes actin filaments, which causes a net increase in actin polymerisation and therefore disrupts the cytoskeleton. Which is very toxic to cells. The remedy for this is to eat a large quantity of raw meat as the meat contains a high concentration of actin filaments and gives the phalloidin something to bind to.
I think this egg remedy works along similar lines. By giving the heavy metal something to bind to. There maybe something else in egg other than a large amount of protein which may be important here???
The stomach pumping seems fairly obvious, in that whenever you ingest something nasty its one of the best ways to get rid of it. Why else would you get a stomach pump?
Yeah chris, the proteins get the metals some thing to bind to , before it gets bound to the digestive tract cell receptor , which leads to its absorption.
But, atlast the protein to which it is bound is to be digested. If it gets digested then would mercury enter into blood along with sulphur ???
Oh , no this will not happen because the digestive enzymes would in most cases , not bind the substrate- proteins as the conformation of proteins - their quternary even tertiary and secondary , stucture may have changed due to mercury binding , as Hg sinding will remove -s-s- bonds. So, no digestion of such proteins will occur in most cases. Even if they are digested, the receptors on digestive trct cells would not accept them , the samilar reason. But, if Hg becomes free [ not boumd to anything] then it may
diffuse through the cell membranes. But, I think, it is not a non-polar entity , so how would it diffuse???
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