Low blood lead levels do not appear to be further reduced by dietary supplements

Brian L. Gulson*, Karen J. Mizon, Michael J. Korsch, Alan J. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the association of dietary intakes of selected micronutrients and blood lead (PbB) concentrations in female adults and in children. Design: With longitudinal monitoring, we measured daily intakes of the micronutrients calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, barium, strontium, phosphorus, zinc, iron (limited data), and copper from 6-day duplicate diets (2-13 collections per individual) and PbB cncentrations. Participants were three groups of females of child-bearing age (one cohort consisting of 21 pregnant subjects and 15 nonpregnant controls, a second cohort of nine pregnant migrants), and one group of 10 children 6-11 years of age. Results: Mean PbB concentrations were < 5 μp/dL. A mixed linear model that included only group and time accounted for 5.9% of the variance of the PbB measurements; neither the effect of time nor the effect of group was significant. The model containing all of the micronutrients (except iron, for mately 9.2% of the variance of PbB; this increase was not statistically significant. There was, however, a significant association of PbB with phosphorus, magnesium, and copper when all micronutrients were included in the statistical analysis, perhaps reflecting a synergistic effect. Conclusions: In contrast to most previous studies, we found no statistically significant relationships between the PbB concentrations and micronutrient intake. In adults and older children with low PbB concentrations and minimal exposure to Pb, micronutrient, supplementation is probably unnecessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1192
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

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Reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives


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