Background: Arsenic is an ubiquitous element linked to carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, as well as adverse respiratory, gastrointestinal, hepatic, and dermal health effects.
Objective: Identify dietary sources of speciated arsenic: monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA).
Methods: Age-stratified, sample-weighted regression of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) 2003-2010 data (∼8,300 participants ≥6 years old) characterized the association between urinary arsenic species and the additional mass consumed of USDA-standardized food groups (24-hour dietary recall data), controlling for potential confounders.
Results: For all arsenic species, the rank-order of age strata for median urinary molar concentration was children 6-11 years > adults 20-84 years > adolescents 12-19 years, and for all age strata, the rank-order was DMA > MMA. Median urinary molar concentrations of methylated arsenic species ranged from 0.56 to 3.52 µmol/mol creatinine. Statistically significant increases in urinary arsenic species were associated with increased consumption of: fish (DMA); fruits (DMA, MMA); grain products (DMA, MMA); legumes, nuts, seeds (DMA); meat, poultry (DMA); rice (DMA, MMA); rice cakes/crackers (DMA, MMA); and sugars, sweets, beverages (MMA). And, for adults, rice beverage/milk (DMA, MMA). In addition, based on US (United States) median and 90th percentile consumption rates of each food group, exposure from the following food groups was highlighted: fish; fruits; grain products; legumes, nuts, seeds; meat, poultry; and sugars, sweets, beverages.
Conclusions: In a nationally representative sample of the US civilian, noninstitutionalized population, fish (adults), rice (children), and rice cakes/crackers (adolescents) had the largest associations with urinary DMA. For MMA, rice beverage/milk (adults) and rice cakes/crackers (children, adolescents) had the largest associations.