Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 17, pp 17168–17175 | Cite as

Serum folate and cobalamin levels and urinary dimethylarsinic acid in US children and adults

  • Jianmin Zhu
  • Yanhui Gao
  • Dianjun Sun
  • Yudan Wei
Research Article


Nutritional status could affect arsenic metabolism and toxicity in the general population chronically exposed to low levels of inorganic arsenic. In this study, we examined the association of serum folate and cobalamin with urinary concentrations of dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), the most abundant metabolite of inorganic arsenic measured in urine, in children and adults who participated in the 2003–2006 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. A total of 1161 children (aged 6–19 years) and 1938 adults (aged 20–85 years) were analyzed for the association using multivariate general linear models, adjusting for potential confounders. We observed a positive association between serum levels of folate and cobalamin and creatinine-corrected urinary concentrations of DMA in both children and adults. Furthermore, serum levels of folate and cobalamin were inversely associated with homocysteine (Hcy). These results suggest that dietary intake of folate and cobalamin may exhibit protective functions against arsenic toxicity by increasing arsenic metabolism to the less toxic metabolite DMA and decreasing serum levels of Hcy.


Arsenic metabolism Cobalamin Folate Homocysteine Urinary dimethylarsinic acid 


Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures were approved by the NCHS Research Ethics Review Board, and all participants provided written informed consents.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianmin Zhu
    • 1
  • Yanhui Gao
    • 2
  • Dianjun Sun
    • 2
  • Yudan Wei
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceFort Valley State UniversityFort ValleyUSA
  2. 2.Center for Endemic Disease Control, Chinese Center for Disease Control and PreventionHarbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  3. 3.Department of Community MedicineMercer University School of MedicineMaconUSA

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