Trace metals may decrease hypercholesterolemia in crowded cholesterol-fed roosters

A. W. Voors, R. L. Reddick, G. G. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The observed negative correlation between hardness of the municipal drinking water and mortality from atherosclerotic heart disease (ADH) in Whites may be explained statistically by the concomitant levels of lithium and strontium in the water. Lithium in high dosage breaks the manic phase in manic depressive disease. Hypomanic-like so-called "Type A" behavior is a risk factor of AHD. To study lithium and strontium in low dosage, 120 Plymouth Rock cockerels were raised in small pens of 10 each and fed standard corn-and-soybean mash with 2% cholesterol and 5% cottonseed oil added. Six pens, used as controls, received deionized drinking water. The six remaining pens received deionized water with 0.5 mm lithium and 1.5 mm strontium salt resulting in ionic doses of 0.5 and 19 mg per kg body weight, respectively. The cockerels were bled periodically (for serum cholesterol determination), killed at 3 months of age and grossly assessed for the amount of lipid deposited on the aortic intima, using Sudan IV stain. It was found that the lithium-strontium-treated cockerels had lower serum cholesterol levels but not significantly lower ratings for intimal lipid deposits in the aorta. These results confirm earlier unpublished studies on lithium. They do not contradict the contention that long-term, low-dose lithium may act protectively against hypercholesterolemia, probably through inhibition of the adrenergic stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-529
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1971
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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