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Trace and major elements in food supplements of different origin: implications for daily intake levels and health risks
Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden.
Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering. ALS Laboratory Group, ALS Scandinavia AB, Luleå, Sweden.
ALS Laboratory Group, ALS Scandinavia AB, Luleå, Sweden.
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2021 (English)In: Toxicology reports, E-ISSN 2214-7500, Vol. 8, p. 1067-1080Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As the use of food supplements increases, voices are being raised questioning the safety of these products. As a contribution to understanding the trace and major elemental composition of food supplements and their potential health risks, this study presents concentrations of 71 elements in 138 supplements, categorised into synthetic products and three groups of products with natural ingredients. Concentrations were converted into average daily doses (ADDs) and compared to tolerable daily intakes (TDIs). For elements where we found significant ADDs relative to the TDI a comparison was also made to the normal dietary intake. Our main findings are that: 1) Most elements display highly variable concentrations in food supplements; more so than in normal foodstuff; 2) For ten of the analysed elements some products rendered ADDs > 50% of the TDI. Half of the elements were essential (Fe, Mn, Se, Mo, Zn), and as such motivated in food supplements. The other half (As, Pb, Cd, Al, Ni) represent non-essential and highly toxic elements, where the occurrence in food supplements ought to be viewed as contamination. Although none of these toxic metals were declared on any product’s table of content, several products gave high ADDs - in several cases even exceeding the TDIs; 3) The risk of reaching high ADDs for the toxic elements is strongly associated with products that contain marine ingredients (e.g. algae, mussels etc), and to some degree products of terrestrial plant-based origin. The health of consumers would benefit if food regulatory frameworks were updated to better address the risks of food supplements occasionally being contaminated with different toxic metals, for example by setting maximum permissible concentrations for a longer list of elements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021. Vol. 8, p. 1067-1080
Keywords [en]
Dietary supplements, Metals, Trace elements, Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium
National Category
Nutrition and Dietetics
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-84119DOI: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2021.04.012ISI: 000701996600006PubMedID: 34094882Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85106466833OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-84119DiVA, id: diva2:1549099
Note

Validerad;2021;Nivå 2;2021-06-07 (johcin);

Forskningsfinansiärer: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden & ALS Scandinavia AB.

Available from: 2021-05-04 Created: 2021-05-04 Last updated: 2023-02-03Bibliographically approved

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Engström, EmmaRodushkin, Ilia

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