Endothelial function and serum concentration of toxic metals in frequent consumers of fish.

PLoS ONE. 2014;9(11):e112478 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0112478


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

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Silvio Buscemi
Sonya Vasto
Francesca Di Gaudio
Giuseppe Grosso
Sonia Bergante
Fabio Galvano
Fatima Maria Massenti
Emanuele Amodio
Giuseppe Rosafio
Salvatore Verga


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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

BACKGROUND:Endothelial dysfunction is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Consumption of fish is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk, but there is paucity of data concerning its effect on endothelial function. Furthermore, investigation of the effects of fish consumption on health must take into account the ingestion of contaminants, including transition metals and some metalloids, which may have unfavorable effects on health, including those on the cardiovascular system. We investigated the association between fish consumption, endothelial function (flow mediated dilation of the brachial artery), and serum concentration of some toxic metals in apparently healthy people. METHODS:Twenty-nine high fish consumers (at least 3 portions a week) were compared with 25 low fish consumers (less than 1 portion a week). All participants were free of diabetes, cardiovascular or other systemic diseases. Serum metal (antimonium, arsenic, mercury, lead, cobalt, copper, zinc, selenium, strontium) concentrations were measured in subgroups of 24 high fish consumers and 19 low fish consumers. RESULTS:Both groups exhibited similar habitual dietary patterns, age and anthropometric characteristics. The high fish consumers had higher flow mediated dilation (9.7 ± 1.8 vs. 7.3 ± 1.9%; P<0.001), but also higher serum concentrations of mercury (5.87 ± 2.69 vs. 1.65 ± 1.10 mcg/L; P<0.001) and arsenic (6.04 ± 3.25 vs. 2.30 ± 1.58 mcg/L; P<0.001). The fasting plasma glucose concentrations were significantly correlated with both mercury (r = 0.39; P = 0.01) and arsenic concentrations (r = 0.55; P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Habitual consumption of high amounts of fish is associated with better endothelial function despite higher serum concentrations of mercury and arsenic.