Iron and Zinc Supplementation Does Not Impact Urinary Arsenic Excretion in Mexican School Children


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo examine the role of iron and zinc in arsenic excretion and metabolism in children.Study designAn analysis of urinary arsenic (UAs) concentrations from a double-blind randomized trial originally testing the efficacy of iron and zinc for lowering blood lead levels in children. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used, with children randomized individually, stratified by sex and classroom, to receive 30 mg ferrous fumarate (n = 148), 30 mg zinc oxide (n = 144), iron and zinc together (n = 148), or placebo (n = 151). Of the 602 children enrolled, 527 completed the 6-month treatment, and 485 had both baseline and final UAs values. The baseline total UAs concentration ranged from 3.2 to 215.9 μg/L.ResultsAt baseline, children in the highest tertile of serum ferritin concentration had higher excretion of dimethylarsinic acid (DMA; 1.93 ± 0.86%; P < .05), but lower excretion of monomethylarsonic acid (-0.91 ± 0.39%; P < .05), compared with children in the lowest tertile. In an intention-to-treat analysis, iron had no effect on arsenic methylation or UAs excretion, but children receiving zinc had lower %DMA in urine (-1.7 ± 0.8; P < .05).ConclusionsIron and zinc status are not related to arsenic metabolism in children, and supplementation with these minerals has limited application in lowering arsenic concentrations.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02346188.

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