How To Remove Uranium From Brain And Body Tissue

The Dangers Of Uranium and Depleted Uranium


In this post, we will discuss the downsides of uranium and proven/effective methods for protecting/removing uranium from the body.


  1. Basics Of Uranium
  2. Downsides Of Uranium
  3. Safety Levels And Testing Of Uranium
  4. How To Remove Uranium From The Body
  5. Mechanism Of Action

Basics Of Uranium

Uranium is a naturally occurring element that has been a staple for many modern technologies. 

People can be exposed to uranium through environmental remediation of soil, mine, or waste contaminated with uranium, industrial milling, mining, and refining uranium, and in nuclear fuel fabrication and processing. R

Uranium (U) and Depleted Uranium (DU) act differently as uranium is still radioactive, while deplete uranium has around 1/3 the amount of radioactive isotopes of naturally occurring uranium.

Absorption And Excretion Of Uranium


Uranium can also be absorbed through:

  • Drinking Water - poor absorption when ingested (<0.1–6 %) R
  • Food - poor absorption when ingested (<0.1–6 %) R
  • Inhalation - R
  • Skin and Wounds R

Once DU enters systemic circulation, it can be excreted through urine, feces, sweat, and exhaled breath, but some is deposited in sensitive organs and tissues, eventually interacting with cellular structures and impairing their normal functions (more discussed below in Downsides). R

Uranium has relatively fast excretion times - Elimination is >50 % within 24 h following parenteral exposure, and there is significant fecal elimination after oral exposure. R

Downsides Of Uranium

1. Alters Cognition, Sleep And Anxiety

After exposure, uranium can reach the brain and lead to neurobehavioral impairments, including increased locomotor activity, changes to circadian rhythm, decreased memory, and increased anxiety. R

For example, inhaled uranium can accumulated in olfactory bulbs/tubercles, frontal cortex and hypothalamus, causing a reduced level of Olfactory Receptor Neurons (ORN) induced by an olfactory epithelium lesions. R

In other animal studies, uranium exposure has shown to cause acute cholinergic toxicity and electrophysiological changes in the hippocampus. R

2. Impairs Development Of Bones And Organs


The skeleton is a target organ for most metals and uranium exposure can lead to bioaccumulation in the skeleton possibly effecting bone metabolism. R

Uranium has insignificant effects on adult's bone structure, but can severely affect growing bone. R

For example, post-natal rodent models exposed to low doses of uranium had significantly decreased cortical bone diameter. R

Chronic paternal exposure to DU can impair structure of organs and development in offspring in zebrafish models. R

In the elderly, uranium-induced alterations in Vitamin D have shown to reduce bone growth. R

3. Reduces Vitamin D And PTH

As previously mentioned, DU can modulate the expression of cytochormoe enzymes involved in Vitamin D metabolism in the liver and kidneys. R

In humans, this leads to increased Vitamin D in the liver, but reduced Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) levels in plasma. R R

4. Alters Liver Function

Although uranium does not retain itself well in the liver, drinking uranium in water has shown to increase the liver enzymes Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) and Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST). R R R

Uranium exposure has also shown to significantly decrease antioxidant levels in the liver (such as Glutathione (GSH) levels). R

5. May Effect The Blood

Uranium exposure may decrease Red Blood Cell (RBC) count and hemoglobin concentration, although this evidence in humans is spotty. R

6. May Induce Cancer


Uranium toxicity is known to induce genomic instability such as DNA double-strand breaks, chromosome abberations and micronuclei formation. R

In humans, uranium exposure has been linked to development of cancers: R  R R

  • Bone cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Central nervous system cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Connective tissue cancer
  • Esophagus cancer
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia and Aleukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lymphoma and lymphatic cancers
  • Mesothelioma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomna
  • Ovary cancer
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectum cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Uterine carcinoma

7. Causes Kidney Toxicity

Inside the body, hexavalent uranium U(VI) is the most stable state in vivo, which is highly water soluble. R R

This makes it easy to act as a chemical toxicant to the kidneys. R

Acute uranium exposure can increase markers of renal toxicity (urinary catalase, proteinuria, aminoaciduria, alkaline phosphatase, and clearance of beta2-microglobulin relative to creatinine). R

Although, chronic uranium exposure has shown to increase Glutathione (GSH) in the kidneys as the body tries to counterbalance the abundance of uranium. R

8. Damages Mitochondria

DU has shown to damage mitochondria by increasing overall oxidative stress (further explanation in MOA section). R R

9. Causes Lung Dysfunction

If uranium is inhaled, significant respiratory irritation may occur, as well as liver dysfunction, anemia, and myocarditis (more below). R

For example, aerosols with uranium have shown to increase oxidative stress in the lungs and decrease its ability to heal/repair. R R

Also inhaled uranium has shown to transfer itself deep through the lung alveoli, dissolve in the blood, and end up in the gastrointestinal tract. R

10. May Increase Chances Of Cardiovascular Disease

Uranium may increase chances of developing cardiovascular disease. R

For example, Navajo communities that are exposed to abandoned uranium mines, have a significantly higher chance of cardiovascular disease (through inhalation and not ingestion). R

Other studies have shown uranium ingestion to cause myocarditis (ended six months after ingestion).R

11. May Play A Role in Gulf War Illness

The US population geometric mean urine uranium concentration is around 0.007 μg/L. R

In a review of soldiers from the 1991 Gulf War, US soldiers who may have been exposed to DU by inhalation, ingestion, or wound contamination, but without embedded shrapnel, have an average mean urinary uranium concentrations of 0.066 μg/g. R

12. May Impair Reproduction

Uranium may cause reproductive problems. R

For example, in male animal models uranium is able to cause pathomorphological changes in the testicles and sperm such as increase sperm abnormality rate. R

In females animal models, uranium has shown to reach and store itself in ovaries. R

In other models, animals displayed decreases in pregnancy rates and spermatid numbers after chronic uranium exposure. R R 

13. May Increase Mortality


In French nuclear workers, inhaled uranium leads to a higher chance of death (via cancer). R

In large study with 12,649 French uranium cycle workers (88% men), large mortality deficits are observed for non-cancer causes of death such as non-cancer respiratory diseases. R

In uranium workers, chronic uranium exposure is associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality or of kidney failure. R

In other studies, low-dose ionizing radiation increases the mortality risk of solid cancers in nuclear industry workers. R

14. Has Immunotoxic Properties

The immune system is very sensitive to DU exposure and chronic exposure may lead to autoimmune disease, infectious diseases, and cancer. R

Machrophages can absorb uranium causing them to die, while splenic CD4+ T-cells and peritoneal macrophages become damaged from uranium exposure. R R

High doses of DU can significantly inhibit the immune system and cause an imbalance in TH1 and TH2 cytokines. R R

15. May Irritate Eyes

Uranium may also effect the eyes causing conjunctivitis, irritation inflammation, edema, and ulceration of conjunctival sacs. R

Saftely Levels And Testing Of Uranium

Regulatory Levels

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Safe Drinking Water Act, limits uranium to 30 μg/L in drinking water and 10 mrem airborne. R

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure level for airborne soluble uranium is 0.05mg/m3 and insoluble 0.15mg/m3 in the workplace (per 40hr work week). R

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission action level is 15 μg/L urinary uranium for occupational exposure. R


Detectable urinary uranium does not directly imply causation of an adverse health effect, and most naturally occurring uranium exposures do not warrant monitoring or treatment. R

The majority of uranium is rapidly cleared, high urinary uranium concentrations (>100 μg/L) reflect current or recent exposures, while lower concentrations (<40 μg/L) most likely represent past exposures or typical background exposures. R

How To Remove Uranium From The Dody


Lifestyle and Supplements:

  • Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)- recommended by the National Council on Radiation Protection following uranium exposure R R
  • Bentonite Clay R
  • Ghrelin enhancing techniques - suppresses DU-induced cell death and oxidative stress (via inhibition of p38-mapk) R
  • Ginkgo Biloba - protects against U-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity R
  • Mushrooms and Beta-Glucans - protect against DU-induced kidney damage. R
  • NAC - has cytoprotective effect on DU causing cell death R
  • Water filtration (nano-filtration and reverse osmosis) - uranium can be absorbed via drinking water R
  • Vitamin B6 R
  • Zeolite R R R
  • Zinc (as a possible Zerovalent iron) - improves anxtioxidant/ECM signalling R R R


  • CAM R
  • CYP450 inhibitors (particularly CYP 2E1 inhibitors for decreasing mitochondrial toxicity) R
  • Deferiprone R
  • DTPA (Calcium trisodium and zinc trisodium)- weak and can cause cellular toxicity R R
  • EDTA R
  • EHBP R
  • Gallic Acid R
  • HOPO R
  • Hydroxypyridonates (HOPOs) - experimental R
  • PEI-MC R
  • p-tert-butylcalix[6]arene R
  • Tiron (tiferron) R
  • 5‐Aminosalicylic acid R


  • Dialysis R
  • Hydrogen Sulfide Therapy (H2S) - protects organs via NRF2 R

What To Stay Away From?

  • Citrate - increases U toxicity and accelerates its intracellular accumulation kinetics, without inducing precipitation R
  • Tylenol R

Mechanism Of Action


  • Increases AIF R
  • Increases ALT R
  • Increases AST R
  • Increases Caspase 3 R
  • Increases Caspase 8 R
  • Increases Caspase 9 R
  • Increases CYP2E1 R
  • Increases CYP2r1 R
  • Increases CYP27b1 (then decrease) R
  • Increases Cytochrome C release R
  • Increases MT R
  • Increases ROS R
  • Increases sFASL R
  • Increases sFASr R
  • Reduces ACY-3 R
  • Reduces ALP R
  • Reduces BMP2 R
  • Reduces BSP R
  • Reduces BUN R
  • Reduces CAT R
  • Reduces Creatinine R
  • Reduces CYP27a1 R
  • Reduces DMP1 R
  • Reduces ETHE1 R
  • Reduces GSH R
  • Reduces NAG R
  • Reduces PTH R
  • Reduces OCN R
  • Reduces OPN R
  • Reduces OSX R
  • Reduces RUNX2 R
  • Reduces TRAP R
  • Reduces TRPV5 R
  • Reduces VDR R
  • Reduces Vitamin D R


  • Uranium does not damage the blood brain barrier. R
  • 238U, 235U, and 234U are radioactive, their half-lives are on the order of billions, millions, and thousands of years (respectively). R
  • The physical half-life of DU exceeds 4.49 × 109 years, and it can remain in soil and groundwater a long time, affecting local ecosystems. R
  • In mitochondria, UA causes increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), decreased ATP concentration and ATP/ADP ratio in UA-treated mitochondria, while causing mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) collapse. R
  • In the kidneys, intracellular DU can disrupt the electron transfer chain, leading to ROS formation, lipid peroxidation, glutathione oxidation, and subsequent mitochondrial damage in proximal tubules. R
  • In bone, uranium may replace calcium cations and uranium has shown to accumulate in cartilage as well. R R