Document Detail

Effect of fasting on the pattern of urinary arsenic excretion.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17213949     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Millions of people in some of the poorest regions of the world are exposed to high levels of arsenic through drinking contaminated water. It has been reported that development of cancer caused by arsenic exposure in such populations is dependent on dietary and nutritional factors which can modulate arsenic metabolism. Many people in arsenic exposed regions of Bangladesh and India practice fasting for at least one month every year when they refrain from consumption of food and fluid during daylight hours. How such practices may modulate arsenic metabolism has not been previously investigated. This study investigated this issue by determining total arsenic and its species in urine samples from a group of 29 unexposed volunteers at the beginning of the fasting and at the end of approximately 12 h of fasting period. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with ICP-MS was used to measure the total arsenic and arsenic speciation in the urine samples, respectively. The mean total levels of arsenic at the beginning of fasting (18.3 microg g(-1) creatinine) and at the end of approximately 12 h of fasting (17.7 microg g(-1) creatinine) did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). However, the percentages of urinary arsenic as the methylated arsenic species methylarsonate (MA) were found to be significantly different (p < 0.05) and this species was observed more frequently at the end of fasting, although its overall concentration was similar. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in both the concentrations and percentages of other urinary arsenic species detected, namely arsenobetaine (AB) and dimethylarsinate (DMA). Arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) were also analyzed, but were not detected. We conclude that fasting for a period of 12 h results in a significant increase in the percentage of urinary arsenic as MA, and its frequency of detection in the volunteers at the end of the fasting period is almost nine fold higher. This suggests that metabolism of arsenic is altered by fasting.
Eid I Brima; Richard O Jenkins; Paul R Lythgoe; Andrew G Gault; Dave A Polya; Parvez I Haris
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-12-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM     Volume:  9     ISSN:  1464-0325     ISO Abbreviation:  J Environ Monit     Publication Date:  2007 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-10     Completed Date:  2007-03-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100968688     Medline TA:  J Environ Monit     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  98-103     Citation Subset:  IM    
De Monfort University, School of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Leicester, LE1 9BH, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Arsenic / urine*
Arsenicals / urine
Cacodylic Acid / urine
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Environmental Exposure / analysis
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Mass Spectrometry
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Arsenicals; 64436-13-1/arsenobetaine; 7440-38-2/Arsenic; 75-60-5/Cacodylic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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