Barium (Ba)

Ba – Barium is found in igneous rocks at 425 ppm; shales at 580 ppm; sandstone at 50 ppm; limestone at 120 ppm; fresh water at 0.054 ppm; sea water at 0.03 ppm; soil at 500 ppm (can be “fixed” or tightly bound by clay minerals); marine plants at 30 ppm (highest in brown algae); land plants 14 ppm (the fruit of Bertholletia excelea can have up to 4,000 ppm) marine animals 0.2 to 3.0 ppm (highest in hard tissues such as bone and shell); land animals 0.0 to 75 ppm (highest in bone, lung and eyes) – thought to be essential to mammals (Rygh,O.: Bull Soc Chem Biol-31. 1052 & 1403-1949).

The possibility that strontium or barium are essential has not been confirmed (or denied) despite the claim of Rygh (1949). He reported that the omission of either strontium or barium from the diet resulted in depressed growth and reduced calcification of bones and teeth in rats and guinea pigs. Both Sr and Ba can spare calcium and are relatively nontoxic. They also show some stimulatory action.

There is no conclusive evidence that barium performs any essential function in living organisms. The experiments with rats and guinea pigs done by Rygh in the late 1940s apparently have been neither confirmed nor invalidated. Those species showed satisfactory growth and development when their specially purified diets were supplemented with a “complete” mineral mixture. The omission of either barium or strontium from the mineral supplement resulted in depressed growth.

According to Schroeder et al. (1972), the “standard reference man” contains 22 mg barium, of which most is present in the bones. The remainder is widely distributed throughout the soft tissues of the body in very low concentrations that do not increase with age, except in the lungs, presumably from atmospheric dust.

Barium is poorly absorbed from ordinary diets, with little retention in the tissues or excretion in the urine. Barium is usually associated with calcium and strontium in the food chain from plants to animals. Nonetheless, reports of the barium levels in human foods are limited.

Barium is usually associated with calcium and strontium in the food chain from plants to animals. Nonetheless, reports of the barium levels in human foods are limited. Robinson and co-workers reported Barium Oxide in a variety of fruits and vegetables such as apples (3 mcg/g) to 80 mcg/g dry weight in lettuce. They found an unusually high level of barium in Brazil nuts (range 700-3200 mcg/g) that was not accompanied by unusual concentrations of strontium.

The high level of barium in Brazil nuts was confirmed by Furr et al. who found most nuts contained 0.1-2.6 mcg/g dry weight. However, slightly higher values were found for black walnut (8.7 mcg/g) and pecan (14 mcg/g). Furr et al. reported that kernels of apricots and other fruits that may be sold in health food stores contained 2.4-33 mcg/g dry weight of barium. Oakes et al. found that a variety of fruits and vegetables contained between 0.02 and < 1.1 mcg/g fresh weight. Other foods analyzed for barium content include maple syrup, 5 mcg/g dry weight, fresh banana pulp, 0.14 mcg/g, and orange juice, with a range of 0. 0 18 to 0. 776 mcg/g in single-strength juice.Abstracts on Barium

Biomaterials 1997 Dec;18(23):1531-4

Promotion of osteogenesis by a piezoelectric biological ceramic.
Jianqing F, Huipin Y, Xingdong Z

Institute of Materials Science and Technology, Sichuan Union University,

Chengdu, China.

Hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramic and piezoelectric biological ceramic, hydroxyapatite and barium titanate (HABT), were implanted in the jawbones of dogs. Histological observation showed that, compared with HA ceramics, HABT promoted the growth and repair of the bone significantly, the tissue growth around the HABT ceramic was direction-dependent, the collagen arranged orderly and the bone grew orderly. The order growth of the bone increased the efficiency of osteogenesis on the surface of the implanted HABT ceramics.