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Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) accumulate and biotransform arsenic (As) to a larger variety of arsenicals than most seafood. Eight volunteers ingested a test meal consisting of 150 g blue mussel (680 μg As), followed by 72 h with an identical, low As controlled diet and full urine sampling. We provide a complete speciation, with individual patterns, of urinary As excretion. Total As (tAs) urinary excretion was 328 ± 47 μg, whereof arsenobetaine (AB) and dimethylarsinate (DMA) accounted for 66% and 21%, respectively. Fifteen minor urinary arsenicals were quantified with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) coupled to reverse-phase, anion and cation-exchange high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Thio-arsenicals and non-thio minor arsenicals (including inorganic As (iAs) and methylarsonate (MA)) contributed 10% and 7% of the total sum of species excretion, respectively, but there were large individual differences in the excretion patterns. Apparently, formation of thio-arsenicals was negatively correlated to AB formation and excretion, possibly indicating a metabolic interrelationship. The results may be of toxicological relevance since DMA and MA have been classified as possibly carcinogenic, and six of the excreted As species were thio-arsenicals which recently have been recognized as toxic, while iAs toxicity is well known. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


M Molin, T A Ydersbond, S M Ulven, M Holck, L Dahl, J J Sloth, D Fliegel, W Goessler, J Alexander, H M Meltzer. Major and minor arsenic compounds accounting for the total urinary excretion of arsenic following intake of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis): a controlled human study. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 2012 Jul;50(7):2462-72

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PMID: 22546366

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