Nutritional management can assist a significant role in alleviation of arsenicosis

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2018 Jan:45:11-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2017.09.010. Epub 2017 Sep 14.


Consumption of arsenic contaminated water causes serious skin disease and cancer in a significant number of exposed people. Chelating agents, consider an expensive therapy, are employed in the treatment of arsenic intoxication. There are reports which suggest that the poorest suffer the most from arsenicosis. This may be due to improper diet intake, consist of low protein and micronutrients which increase the vulnerability to arsenic-related disorders. Several human studies demonstrated the associations between malnourishment and the development of arsenic-caused skin lesions, skin cancer and cardiovascular effects. Thus, there is an urgent need of implementation of mitigation strategies for improving the health of exposed populations. Nutrition enhances the detoxification process so food rich in vitamins, protein, antioxidants help in its detoxification process. Methylation is the detoxification process which takes place via S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). It is a methyl group donor and it derived its methyl group from diet. Nutritional intervention thus may appear as a practical and inexpensive approach. Nutrition provides protection from toxic effect of arsenic by two ways (i) methylation of As (ii) antioxidants which provides protection against free radical species. The governments and NGOs may run awareness programmes in arsenic affected area regarding prevention and alternate therapy which can decrease the susceptibility of the exposed population. They could also help in distributing cheaper, high protein diets particularly to the masses who cannot afford such foods. Thus, to prevent arsenicosis alternate therapy and proper nutrition could be the important strategy for alleviating its toxic effects. This mini review provides an insight on the importance of nutrition in preventing adverse effect cause by arsenic to suffer population.

Keywords: Arsenic; Dietary; Malnutrition; Micronutrients; Toxicity; Vitamins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Arsenic Poisoning / metabolism
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / metabolism
  • Vitamins / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Arsenic