Dietary micronutrient intake and its relationship with arsenic metabolism in Mexican women

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Concentrations of inorganic arsenic (iAs) metabolites in urine present intra- and interindividual variations, which are determined not only by the magnitude of exposure to iAs, but also by differences in genetic, environmental and dietary factors.


To evaluate whether differences in dietary intake of selected micronutrients are associated with the metabolism of iAs.


The intake of 21 micronutrients was estimated for 1027 women living in northern Mexico using a food frequency questionnaire. Concentration of urinary metabolites of iAs was determined by high performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) and the proportion of iAs metabolites was calculated (%iAs, monomethylarsonic acid [%MMA] and dimethylarsinic acid [%DMA]), as well as ratios corresponding to the first (MMA/iAs), second (DMA/MMA) and total methylation (DMA/iAs).


After adjustment for covariates, it was found that methionine, choline, folate, vitamin B12, Zn, Se and vitamin C favor elimination of iAs mainly by decreasing the %MMA and/or increasing %DMA in urine.


Our results confirm that diet contributes to the efficiency of iAs elimination. Further studies are needed to assess the feasibility of dietary interventions that modulate the metabolism of iAs and the consequent risk of diseases related to its exposure.

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