Intake of Arsenic and Selenium in a Bangladeshi population investigated using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
Millions of people in Bangladesh are exposed to high concentration of the toxic element arsenic (As) through drinking water and consumption of foods. It has also been reported that Bangladeshis have a low intake of the essential element selenium (Se), which is known to be important as an antioxidant and has been suggested to counteract the toxicity of As. We report here on total intake of As and Se in a Bangladeshi population, based on inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric (ICP-MS) analysis of a range of Bangladeshi foods. The total daily intake of As and Se from foods was estimated to be 74.2 and 87.7 µg/day, respectively. If As from water, used for drinking and cooking rice, is included the TDI increases to 385 µg of total As per day. An important finding of our study, contrary to suggestions given in other reports, is that the Bangladeshi diet does not appear to be deficient in Se and this may explain why the blood Se concentrations in Bangladeshis is similar to the USA population. This requires further investigation and detailed dietary and human biomonitoring studies on the Bangladeshi population should be conducted. Rice and fish were the main sources of dietary As and Se for Bangladeshis. Leafy vegetables could also be a significant contributor of high concentration of As in the Bangladeshi diet. The flesh and eggs of Hilsha (Tenualosa ilisha) species of fish were found to contain particularly high levels of total arsenic (range 0.77 - 6.15 mg/kg) although this is likely to be dominated by the non-toxic organoarsenic species.
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Citation : Al-Rmallia, S.W., Jenkins, R.O. and Haris, P.I. (2016) Intake of Arsenic and Selenium in a Bangladeshi population investigated using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Biomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging, 5 (4), pp. 373-391
Research Group : Biomedical and Environmental Health
Research Institute : Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Peer Reviewed : Yes