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Bioavailability of lead in rats fed “human” diets

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The bioavailability of lead was studied in rats fed various baby foods (Babymix-turkey, Babymix-vegetables, Frutolino-fruit, Frutamix-bananas, Babyron-S-26, Truefood), cow's milk, bread, liver and standard rat diet. Lead absorption was determined by measuring the whole body retention of Pb 6 days after a single oral application. Highest absorption values ranging from 17 to 20% were obtained in animals fed cow's milk and fruit foods. Rats on other “human” diets absorbed between 3 and 8% of the radioactive lead dose. Only in animals on rat diet lead absorption was below 1%. It is concluded that rats fed “human” diets show absorption values similar to those in humans. This might indicate that the bioavailability of lead is primarily dependent on dietary habits. This experimental model, if confirmed by further work, might be useful for obtaining preliminary data on the bioavailability of metals from various foods.

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Kostial, K., Kello, D. Bioavailability of lead in rats fed “human” diets. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 21, 312–314 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01685428

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