sunflower kernelHealth benefits and therapeutic effects of sunflower seeds are known, and many of us frequently use a handful of these delicious seeds as a snack. However, those who love eating sunflower seeds should be very disappointed with the news that many of today’s commercially produced types of sunflower kernel have increased amounts of such heavy metals as cadmium and nickel, which are quite harmful to our health.

Sunflower SeedsThis problem was studies in the mid 1980s, when Danish specialists at National Food Institute, Hans Nikolaj Hansen and Allan Andersen, reported about increased levels of nickel and cadmium in sunflower kernel produced for human consumption. 55 samples were analyzed and in most of them cadmium contents was above average, that is why Danish government recommended Danish consumers to refrain from eating great amounts of sunflower kernel.

Recently, European experts were back to the problem again. In particular, German specialists presented to their authorities several solutions on how to effectively lower the amounts of cadmium and nickel in sunflower seeds produced in Germany. In those times, sunflower seed market in Germany embraced about 25-30 million dollars a year, and the efforts of the Agricultural Research Service of Germany were directed on lowering the level of dangerous metals in sunflower kernel in a natural way. They managed to receive sunflower hybrids with low-cadmium genes.

However, the situation is still out of control, and according to Russian specialists, the levels of cadmium in some world’s famous brands of sunflower seed producers exceed the norms up to six times. The specialists attribute this phenomena to using excessive amounts of phosphorus-based pesticide when cultivating sunflower. As a result, the main risk factors include problems with kidneys and nervous system, as well as problems with the bones, because cadmium can interfere with mineral contents of human bones. In addition, excessive levels of cadmium in human body slow down the process of natural vitamin D production that also affects our bone health.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

One Response to “Beware Of High Cadmium Contents In Sunflower Kernel”

  1. Chang-Hwan OhNo Gravatar Says:

    Dear author, Thank you for the good information about cadmium in Sunflower seeds. Additionally I hope you mention the percentage over the cadmium ML in EU (It may be 1ppm) please. And I am wondering why the use of excessive amount of phosphorus pesticides during the cultivation is related to the high concentration of Cd in Sunflower seed?