In Autumn 2020, DOAJ will be relaunching with a new website with updated functionality, improved search, and a simplified application form. More information is available on our blog. Our API is also changing.

Hide this message

Associations between toenail arsenic concentration and dietary factors in a New Hampshire population

Nutrition Journal. 2012;11(1):45 DOI 10.1186/1475-2891-11-45


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Nutrition Journal

ISSN: 1475-2891 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Home economics: Nutrition. Foods and food supply | Medicine: Internal medicine: Specialties of internal medicine: Nutritional diseases. Deficiency diseases

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, ePUB



Gruber Joann F

Karagas Margaret R

Gilbert-Diamond Diane

Bagley Pamela J

Zens M

Sayarath Vicki

Punshon Tracy

Morris J

Cottingham Kathryn L


Open peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 21 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

<p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Dietary factors such as folate, vitamin B12, protein, and methionine are important for the excretion of arsenic via one-carbon metabolism in undernourished populations exposed to high levels of arsenic via drinking water. However, the effects of dietary factors on toenail arsenic concentrations in well-nourished populations exposed to relatively low levels of water arsenic are unknown.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>As part of a population-based case–control study of skin and bladder cancer from the USA, we evaluated relationships between consumption of dietary factors and arsenic concentrations in toenail clippings. Consumption of each dietary factor was determined from a validated food frequency questionnaire. We used general linear models to examine the associations between toenail arsenic and each dietary factor, taking into account potentially confounding effects.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>As expected, we found an inverse association between ln-transformed toenail arsenic and consumption of vitamin B12 (excluding supplements) and animal protein. Unexpectedly, there were also inverse associations with numerous dietary lipids (e.g., total fat, total animal fat, total vegetable fat, total monounsaturated fat, total polyunsaturated fat, and total saturated fat). Finally, increased toenail arsenic concentrations were associated with increased consumption of long chain n-3 fatty acids.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>In a relatively well-nourished population exposed to relatively low levels of arsenic via water, consumption of certain dietary lipids may decrease toenail arsenic concentration, while long chain n-3 fatty acids may increase toenail arsenic concentration, possibly due to their association with arsenolipids in fish tissue.</p>