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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2011;74(18):1225-39. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2011.587105.

Association of caffeine consumption and smoking status with the serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and furans in the general U.S. population: NHANES 2003-2004.

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  • 1Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


Smoking appears to enhance the body's clearance of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) by inducing CYP1A2 activity based on studies with a limited number of participants. This hypothesis was evaluated by using data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Specifically, adult participants were identified and the sums of their serum lipid-adjusted concentrations of 12 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) congeners, 33 PCB (total), 26 non-dioxin-like PCB, and 6 mono-ortho (dioxin-like) PCB were determined. In addition to evaluating the association of smoking, the association of caffeine consumption and the interaction between them was evaluated. Data analysis included regression models that were fitted with age, gender, race/ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI). R(2) varied from 34.8 to 66%. Smokers had significantly lower concentrations of total PCDD/PCDF than nonsmokers. New to this study, a siginificant interaction between caffeine consumption and smoking for total PCB was found. When caffeine was consumed less than once a day, smokers had higher concentrations of total PCB than nonsmokers. However, when caffeine was consumed at least once a day, smokers had lower concentrations than nonsmokers. A significant interaction between age and caffeine consumption frequency for each of the PCB groups was also observed. The differences in concentration between younger and older age groups were greater when caffeine was consumed at least once a day than when caffeine was consumed less frequently. Smoking and caffeine consumption need to be considered in the interpretation of human biomonitoring data because they appear to affect the serum concentrations of these chemicals.

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