Mercury and urinary arsenobetaine in blood are stable biomarkers for seafood intake amongst pregnant ladies


In a contemporary learn about printed in Environmental Analysis, researchers assess a number of possible biomarkers for self-documented lean fish, fatty fish, shellfish, and general seafood consumption amongst pregnant feminine members of the Dietary Have an effect on at the Immunological Maturation All over Youth in Relation to the Setting (NICE) learn about in Sweden.

Find out about: Biomarkers of seafood consumption right through being pregnant – Pollution as opposed to fatty acids and micronutrients. Symbol Credit score: ESstock /


Seafood is enriched with fatty acids, proteins, hint components, and nutrients, the consumption of which right through being pregnant may just give a boost to toddler building. A number of research have reported certain associations between day-to-day fish consumption right through being pregnant and neonatal cognition and beginning weight, which has additionally been inversely associated with the advance of eczema and meals hypersensitive reactions amongst babies.

Seafood consumption is typically made up our minds through examining questionnaire information; on the other hand, questionnaire-based estimations is probably not very dependable. The provision of dependable seafood nutrition biomarkers may just additionally give a boost to the accuracy of measuring consumption measures and, consequently, analysis high quality.

Importantly, seafood would possibly include environment-polluting elements equivalent to arsenic and methylmercury. Then again, information on methylmercury as a seafood consumption biomarker are restricted.

Concerning the learn about

Within the provide learn about, researchers assess a number of possible seafood consumption biomarkers, together with selenium, long-chain omega 3 fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFAs), methylmercury, iodine, and more than a few compounds of arsenic amongst 549 pregnant NICE learn about members at 29 weeks gestation.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), selenium, methylmercury, iodine, trimethylarsine oxide, arsenocholine, arsenobetaine, general arsenic, inorganic-type metabolites, or arsenic ranges have been measured in urine and serum.

EPA, DPA, and DHA proportions in purple blood cells (RBCs) have been made up our minds the usage of gasoline chromatography. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was once used to resolve selenium ranges in serum and RBCs, arsenic and mercury ranges in RBCs, in addition to more than a few arsenic-containing elements and iodine in urine.

Arsenic-comprising elements have been separated through ion trade involving high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Biomarker information have been bought the usage of meals intake questionnaires that have been finished through the members at gestational week 34.

Biomarker ranges have been correlated with general seafood consumption and that of lean fish, shellfish, and fatty acid in my view within the ultimate trimester. Pregnant women have been recruited between 2015 and 2018 from the Sunderby Health center situated within the Norrbotten county of Sweden whilst present process common sonography at gestational weeks 18 and 19.

Simplest Norbotten county citizens who may just write and talk Swedish and have been to ship within the Sunderby sanatorium have been integrated within the research. The preliminary urine and blood samples have been bought in week 29 of being pregnant. Knowledge on anthropometric and background variables have been retrieved from the beginning data.


A complete of 655 ladies have been recruited and after except 18 ladies with 2d pregnancies, 3 ladies who delivered twins, and one girl who withdrew ahead of learn about of entirety, 633 ladies have been eligible.

Then again, 599 ladies in the long run equipped serum and urine samples, and seafood consumption information was once legitimate for 554 ladies. The median values for player age and seafood consumption in past due being pregnant have been 30.5 years and 26 grams/day, respectively.

The median consumption of fatty fish, shellfish, and lean fish was once 9.1, 4.1, and six.6 grams/day, respectively. A few of the members, 55% ate up seafood a couple of times weekly, while the consumption of fatty fish, shellfish, and lean fish was once one to a few instances per month amongst 44%, 47%, and 48%, respectively.

Simplest 4 of the members reported no seafood consumption right through the general months of being pregnant. Freshwater Salmonids like brown trouts have been ate up multiple time every month through 23% and 11% of members ahead of and right through being pregnant, respectively.

The corresponding percentages for freshwater predator-type fish, together with perch and northerly, have been 10% and three%, respectively, while those percentages for brackish water fish, together with Baltic herring, have been 21% and 12%, respectively.

Iodine ranges in urine have been 54% better amongst ladies who frequently ate up multivitamins with minerals.RBC and serological selenium ranges have been additionally better amongst the ones eating multivitamin dietary supplements at 5% and 13%, respectively.

For ladies who ate up multivitamins with minerals day-to-day, the overall arsenic and arsenobetaine concentrations in urine have been 65% and 108% upper, respectively. The median quantity of seafood ate up through the members was once 184 grams weekly.

Day-to-day seafood consumption confirmed probably the most tough correlations with RBC mercury concentrations, comprising basically methylmercury, general arsenic content material in RBCs, and arsenobetaine in urine.

The biomarker elements confirmed certain correlations with the intake of shellfish, fatty fish, and lean fish. RBC DHA and serological selenium ranges confirmed correlations, albeit vulnerable, with basically fatty fish.

Amongst n-3 LCPUFA in RBCs, docosahexaenoic acid confirmed the best abundance right through being pregnant, with decrease ranges of docosapentaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. Pregnant women eating excessive quantities of seafood had considerably better ranges of the biomarkers, except for docosapentaenoic acid ranges in RBCs and iodine ranges in urine. Within the urine of ladies with excessive seafood consumption, arsenobetaine, and trimethylarsine oxide have been 2.5-fold and three.5-fold better, respectively.


Total, the learn about findings confirmed that the mercury content material in RBCs and arsenobetaine in urine may well be thought to be seafood intake biomarkers, as they correlated extra strongly as in comparison to long-chain omega-3 fatty acid ranges. Then again, the biomarkers’ relevance would possibly fluctuate through the seafood kind and quantity ate up.

Magazine reference:

  • Stråvik, M., Gustin, Ok., Barman, M., et al. (2023). Biomarkers of seafood consumption right through being pregnant – Pollution as opposed to fatty acids and micronutrients. Environmental Analysis. doi:10.1016/ j.envres.2023.115576.

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