European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 473–481 | Cite as

Dietary B vitamin intakes and urinary total arsenic concentration in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) cohort, Bangladesh

  • Maria Argos
  • Paul J. Rathouz
  • Brandon L. Pierce
  • Tara Kalra
  • Faruque Parvez
  • Vesna Slavkovich
  • Alauddin Ahmed
  • Yu Chen
  • Habibul Ahsan
Original Contribution



The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the effects of dietary B vitamin intakes on creatinine-adjusted urinary total arsenic concentration among individuals participating in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) cohort in Araihazar, Bangladesh. Arsenic exposure is a major public health problem in Bangladesh, where nearly 77 million people have been chronically exposed to arsenic through the consumption of naturally contaminated groundwater. Dietary factors influencing the metabolism of ingested arsenic may potentially be important modifiers of the health effects of arsenic in this population.


Daily average B vitamin intakes from a validated food frequency questionnaire and laboratory data on drinking water and urinary arsenic concentrations among 9,833 HEALS cohort participants were utilized. Statistical analyses were conducted using generalized estimating equations incorporating knotted spline linear regression.


Increasing dietary intakes of thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine were found to significantly increase urinary total arsenic excretion, adjusted for daily arsenic intake from drinking water and other potential confounders.


These results suggest that higher intakes of certain B vitamins may enhance the excretion of arsenic from the body. This study offers new insights into modifiable dietary factors that relate to arsenic excretion and thus provides potential avenues for the prevention of arsenic-related health effects.


Arsenic Bangladesh B vitamins Cross-sectional analysis 



Supported by grants P42ES010349 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and R01CA107431 and R01CA102484 from the National Cancer Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Argos
    • 1
  • Paul J. Rathouz
    • 1
  • Brandon L. Pierce
    • 1
  • Tara Kalra
    • 1
  • Faruque Parvez
    • 2
  • Vesna Slavkovich
    • 2
  • Alauddin Ahmed
    • 3
  • Yu Chen
    • 4
  • Habibul Ahsan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health StudiesThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Columbia University and The University of Chicago Research Office in BangladeshMohakhali, DhakaBangladesh
  4. 4.Department of Environmental MedicineNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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