Lead May Be Suppressing the Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis
There is an important link between our hormone system that involves the (H-P) hypothalamous- pituitary (master gland of the body) and learning and mood issues. The hormones from the pituitary trigger the release of thyroid hormones (if mom’s are hypothyroid, their babies have low IQ), the sex steroid hormones of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone (links with low testosterone and anxiety/depression are being made) and cortisol from the adrenal gland (important for stress reactions, energy, the immune system, and more). I am suspicious that heavy metals in general may have part of their toxic effects on brain and thus the development of children, via the suppression of the H-P axis.
Heavy metals are known to cause oxidative stress, with an imbalance of pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant groups. This is the reason glutathione is so important in protecting us from oxidative stress, as is Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta carotene. Metals have a high affinity for thiol groups affecting enzymes and proteins responsible for normal cellular defense mechanisms.
Lead levels have been found to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.