Dietary Exposure to Heavy Metals and Health Risks

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Metals and Radioactive Substances".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 2083

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Food Safety, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wuxing St., Taipei 11031, Taiwan
Interests: heavy metals; health risk assessment; environmental epidemiology; food safety
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heavy metals are omnipresent in our daily lives, and dietary exposure is the primary source of heavy metal intake in the human body. However, given the vast variety of foods, different types of heavy metals are present in various diets. Hence, exploring the impact of heavy metal exposure through dietary intake on human health is worthy of investigation.

This Special Issue aims to collect more research reports related to heavy metal exposure through dietary pathways. Beyond the commonly studied heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, etc., we are particularly interested in reports about other harmful heavy metals found in different types of food. We encourage studies that explore the potential health risks resulting from the human consumption of these metals. Whether the findings come from small-scale community studies or large-scale national surveys, your submissions are welcome.

Dr. Kai-Wei Liao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • heavy metals
  • dietary risk assessment
  • exposure assessment
  • food analysis
  • food safety

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Exposure Assessment of Nickel in Zhejiang Province, China
by Junde Han, Ronghua Zhang, Jun Tang, Jiang Chen, Chenyang Zheng, Dong Zhao, Jikai Wang, Hexiang Zhang, Xiaojuan Qi, Xiaoli Wu, Qin Weng, Jinping Zeng, Jiaolan Du, Min Zhang, Yinyin Wu and Biao Zhou
Toxics 2024, 12(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12030169 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 894
Abstract
Nickel (Ni) is a silver-white metal with high antioxidative properties, often existing in a bivalent form in the environment. Despite being the fifth most abundant metal on Earth, anthropogenic activities, including industrial processes, have elevated Ni levels in environmental media. This study investigated [...] Read more.
Nickel (Ni) is a silver-white metal with high antioxidative properties, often existing in a bivalent form in the environment. Despite being the fifth most abundant metal on Earth, anthropogenic activities, including industrial processes, have elevated Ni levels in environmental media. This study investigated Ni contamination in various food groups in Zhejiang Province, China, mainly focusing on Ni levels in beans, vegetables, aquatic foods, meat products, cereal products, and fruits. A total of 2628 samples were collected and analyzed. Beans exhibited the highest Ni content in all samples. The overall detection rate of Ni was 86.5%, with variation among food categories. For plant-origin foods, legumes had the highest Ni concentration while for animal-origin foods, shellfish showed the highest median Ni concentration. The results indicate generally acceptable Ni exposure levels among Zhejiang residents, except for children aged 0–6. Beans were identified as the primary contributor to high Ni exposure risk. The paper suggests monitoring Ni contamination in food, especially for vulnerable populations, and provides insights into exposure risks in different age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Exposure to Heavy Metals and Health Risks)
16 pages, 1865 KiB  
Article
Expression Profiling of Adipogenic and Anti-Adipogenic MicroRNA Sequences following Methylmercury Exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans
by Giancarlo Garofalo, Tyson Nielsen and Samuel Caito
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110934 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 932
Abstract
MicroRNA (miRNA) are important regulators of gene expression that respond not only to developmental and pathological cues, but also to environmental stimuli. Dyslipidemia is a hallmark of metabolic conditions and has been shown to significantly affect the expression of circulating miRNA sequences. Recently, [...] Read more.
MicroRNA (miRNA) are important regulators of gene expression that respond not only to developmental and pathological cues, but also to environmental stimuli. Dyslipidemia is a hallmark of metabolic conditions and has been shown to significantly affect the expression of circulating miRNA sequences. Recently, our lab has shown that the environmental toxicant methylmercury (MeHg) causes dyslipidemia in the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism. While 10 and 20 μM MeHg increases the expression of adipogenic transcription factors and lipid-binding proteins in worms, there is limited information on how the toxicant affects the miRNA regulators of these genes. We hypothesized that MeHg would increase the expression of adipogenic miRNA sequences and/or decrease the expression of anti-adipogenic miRNA sequences. We further hypothesized that the target mRNA sequences for the miRNAs affected by MeHg would be consequently altered. We selected three potentially adipogenic (mir-34, mir-124, and mir-355) and three potentially anti-adipogenic (mir-240, mir-786, and let-7) miRNA sequences homologous to known human miRNA sequences altered in obesity, and quantified their levels 24 h and 48 h post MeHg treatment. At 24 h post exposure, MeHg significantly increased expression of both the adipogenic and anti-adipogenic miRNA sequences 1.5–3x above untreated control. By 48 h post exposure, only the adipogenic miRNA sequences were elevated, while the anti-adipogenic miRNA sequences were decreased by 50% compared to untreated control. These data suggest that there are developmental changes in miRNA expression over time following MeHg exposure. We next selected one target mRNA sequence for each miRNA sequence based on miRNA–mRNA relationships observed in humans. MeHg altered the gene expression of all the target genes assayed. Except for mir-34, all the tested miRNA–mRNA sequences showed a conserved relationship between nematode and humans. To determine whether the selected miRNA sequences were involved in lipid accumulation in response to MeHg, lipid storage was investigated in transgenic worm strains that lacked the specific miRNA strains. Of the six strains investigated, only the mir-124 and let-7 mutant worms had lipid storage levels that were statistically different from wild type, suggesting that these two sequences can be potential mediators of MeHg-induced lipid dysregulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Exposure to Heavy Metals and Health Risks)
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