Environment-Based Impairment in Mineral Nutrient Status and Heavy Metal Contents of Commonly Consumed Leafy Vegetables Marketed in Kyrgyzstan: a Case Study for Health Risk Assessment


Leafy vegetables are important components of the human diet for providing mineral nutrients. However, due to the tendency of metal accumulation, metal contents of leafy vegetables need not only to be determined but also estimated health risk for revealing possible health effects on humans. The aims of this study are (I) to examine comprehensive concentrations of trace/heavy metals along with some macroelements including Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, and Zn in selected leafy vegetables from Kyrgyzstan; (II) to assess recommended dietary allowances (RDA); and (III) to evaluate hazard quotient (HQ) and carcinogenic risk estimation with associated vegetable consumption. For this purpose, B, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, and Zn elements were quantified, utilizing an ICP-OES instrument, in 18 samples belonging to 12 different groups of leafy vegetables including celery, Chinese parsley, dill, garden sorrel, lettuce, parsley, purple basil, spinach, and white-red-napa cabbage collected from different bazaars of Kyrgyzstan. Average elemental contents of the analyzed vegetables were determined (in mg kg−1) as follows: B (3.21–64.79), Ca (852.51–17,183.20), Cd (0.015–0.09), Cu (6.08–63.47), Fe (116.52–768.66), K (2347.04–17,305.42), Mg (136.34–1261.11), Na (54.75–526.42), Ni (0.09–1.3), Pb (1.91–9.54), and Zn (29.49–314.93). Estimated daily intake, recommended daily allowance, hazard quotients, and carcinogenic risk values of the vegetables were calculated with the help of these results. In considering HQ values, Chinese cabbage was determined to be safe for the consumption of both genders whereas parsley to be safe for only males. Based on the carcinogenic risk calculation, most of the vegetables examined in this study were categorized as moderately risky. It was inferred from the given results that airborne pollution has impaired/increased the mineral contents of vegetables for both genders. The findings obtained from this study were compared with international standards and will contribute to the data available on a global scale.

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Can, H., Ozyigit, I.I., Can, M. et al. Environment-Based Impairment in Mineral Nutrient Status and Heavy Metal Contents of Commonly Consumed Leafy Vegetables Marketed in Kyrgyzstan: a Case Study for Health Risk Assessment. Biol Trace Elem Res 199, 1123–1144 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-020-02208-6

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  • Leafy vegetables
  • Heavy metals
  • Mineral nutrients
  • Hazard quotient
  • Carcinogenic risk