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Intake of Essential Minerals and Metals via Consumption of Seafood from the Mediterranean Sea

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Edible marine species (fish and cephalopod molluscs) from the Mediterranean Sea were analyzed for their metal content (Hg, Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, and Ni). Human health risks posed by these elements via dietary intake of seafood were assessed based on the provisional tolerable weekly intake, reference dose, and recommended dietary allowances. Metal concentrations varied widely among the different organisms, indicating species-specific accumulation. On a wet weight basis, the maximum concentrations of Hg were found in fish (1.56 μg g−1), and the maximum concentrations of cadmium were found in cephalopod molluscs (0.82 μg g−1), whereas for Pb the concentrations were generally low (fish, 0.01 to 1.18 μg g−1; cephalopod molluscs, 0.03 to 0.09 μg g−1). For the essential metals, cephalopods had higher concentrations (Cr, 0.40 μg g−1; Zn, 33.03 μg g−1; Cu, 23.77 μg g−1; Ni, 2.12 μg g−1) than did fish (Cr, 0.17 μg g−1; Zn, 8.43 μg g−1; Cu, 1.35 μg g−1; Ni, 1.13 μg g−1). The estimated weekly intake of Cd and Pb indicated increased health risks through the consumption of various seafoods. Conversely, a health risk was ascribed to the intake of Hg from consumption of certain fish, such as albacore (10.92 μg kg−1 body weight) and thornback ray (5.25 μg kg−1 body weight). Concerning the essential metals, cephalopod mollusc consumption made an important contribution to daily dietary intake of Cu, Zn, and Ni.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pharmacological-Biological Department, Chemistry and Biochemistry Section, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, University of Bari, Strada Prov. le per Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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