heavy water

Charles Mulks 21667cfm at msu.edu
Mon Apr 17 09:30:55 EST 1995

In article <Trumborm-1404950930410001 at>, Trumborm at dc37a.nci.nih.gov says...
>In article <Pine.A32.3.91.950412215501.32024A-100000 at umabnet.ab.umd.edu>,
>Leslie Gartner <lgartner at umabnet.ab.umd.edu> wrote:
>> On 10 Apr 1995, wendy wolk wrote:
>> > Can anyone tell me the chemical formula for heavy water and in what dosage
>> > is it harmful. Also what are the symptoms of someone who has ingested too
>> > much.
>>  Wendy,
>D2O does behave differently than water in many systems.  These effects are
>the result of the difference in mass between hydrogen and deuterium. 
>Heavy water is more dense and has different hydrogen bond strengths. 
>While these differences are subtle they can and do effect cellular
>processes.  It is possible to "perdeuterate" a rabbit for instance by
>feeding it D2O as its water source.  It takes a long time and the rabbit
>is rather sick.  Even with this the absolute amount of deuterium
>incorporated is only between 50 and 75%.  Any more than this and the
>rabbit dies.  
>Mark Trumbore
>Mark W. Trumbore
>National Institutes of Health
>National Cancer Institute
>Building 37, Room B109
>Bethesda, MD 20892
>Phone: (301)496-6682
>Fax:   (301)402-0213
>Email: Trumborm at dc37a.nci.nih.gov

I heard (a long time ago, 20-25 yrs) that one of the first noticeable effects of ingesting D20 
was dizziness and nausea.  The slight density difference of D2O vs. H2O apparently upsets the 
'balance detector' in the semicircular canals of the ear.

This is strictly hearsay - I don't have any references.

Charlie Mulks

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