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Ann Nutr Metab. 1997;41(3):189-95.

Effects of arsenic (V)-chromium (III) interaction on plasma glucose and cholesterol levels in growing rats.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.


Recent studies have demonstrated interaction between arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr) affecting absorption and/or protein catabolism. In the present study the possible effects of As(V)/Cr(III) interaction on growth rate, organ weight, and the two main organic functions of Cr, i.e., regulation of plasma glucose levels and total plasma cholesterol levels, was examined in weaned male Wistar rats. The diet of 20 rats was supplemented with 5 micrograms of As(V) and/or Cr(III) per gram of food for 10 weeks. As/Cr interaction did not significantly affect growth rates on organ weight:body weight ratios but did decrease total plasma cholesterol levels, though the decrease was not as pronounced as in the group supplemented with Cr alone (p < 0.1). Since supplementation with As(V) produced the opposite effect (96.83 vs. 47.27) (p < 0.01), the combined use of As and Cr may prove beneficial in cases of chronic As(V) intoxication. Supplementation treatment with As(V) and Cr(III) combined had no significant effect on glucose levels, because though As(V) affects Cr tissue levels and thus alters the effect of Cr on plasma cholesterol levels, individual effects of As(V) and Cr(III) are similar, and hence basal glucose levels are unaffected.

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