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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015;31:249-59. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Arsenic in the human food chain, biotransformation and toxicology--Review focusing on seafood arsenic.

Author information

1
Department of Health, Nutrition and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 4, St. Olavs Plass, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: molinmarianne@gmail.com.
2
Department of Health, Nutrition and Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 4, St. Olavs Plass, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway.
3
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404, Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

Fish and seafood are main contributors of arsenic (As) in the diet. The dominating arsenical is the organoarsenical arsenobetaine (AB), found particularly in finfish. Algae, blue mussels and other filter feeders contain less AB, but more arsenosugars and relatively more inorganic arsenic (iAs), whereas fatty fish contain more arsenolipids. Other compounds present in smaller amounts in seafood include trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO), trimethylarsoniopropionate (TMAP), dimethylarsenate (DMA), methylarsenate (MA) and sulfur-containing arsenicals. The toxic and carcinogenic arsenical iAs is biotransformed in humans and excreted in urine as the carcinogens dimethylarsinate (DMA) and methylarsonate (MA), producing reactive intermediates in the process. Less is known about the biotransformation of organoarsenicals, but new insight indicates that bioconversion of arsenosugars and arsenolipids in seafood results in urinary excretion of DMA, possibly also producing reactive trivalent arsenic intermediates. Recent findings also indicate that the pre-systematic metabolism by colon microbiota play an important role for human metabolism of arsenicals. Processing of seafood may also result in transformation of arsenicals.

KEYWORDS:

Arsenic; Biotransformation; Review; Seafood; Toxicology

PMID:
25666158
DOI:
10.1016/j.jtemb.2015.01.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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