Chlorinated hydrocarbon levels in human serum: effects of fasting and feeding

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. Jul-Aug 1989;18(4):495-500. doi: 10.1007/BF01055015.


Twenty healthy adult humans had serum samples drawn on four occasions within a 24-hr period: after a 12 hr overnight fast, 4-5 hr after a high fat breakfast, at midafternoon, and the next morning after another 12 hr fast. Nonfasting samples had 22% to 29% higher mean concentrations (p less than 0.05) than did fasting samples for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, 4.81 vs 3.74 ng/g serum wt), hexachlorobenzene (HCB, 0.163 vs 0.134 ng/g serum wt), and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE, 6.74 vs 5.37 ng/g serum wt) measured by electron capture gas liquid chromatography. Total serum lipids were estimated from measurements of total cholesterol, free cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids and were 20% higher in nonfasting samples than in fasting samples (7.05 g/L vs 5.86 g/L). When PCBs, HCB, and p,p'-DDE concentrations were corrected by total serum lipids, results from fasting and non-fasting samples were not statistically different. Because of the differences in these chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations observed with different sample collection regimens, meaningful comparison of analytical results requires standardizing collection procedures or correcting by total serum lipid levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / blood
  • Eating*
  • Fasting*
  • Female
  • Hexachlorobenzene / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / blood*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / blood


  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Lipids
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls