12199_2008_Article_BF02898029 - [Environmental Health and...

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231 [Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 12, 231–237, November 2007] Review Article An Overview of Boron, Lithium, and Strontium in Human Health and Profiles of These Elements in Urine of Japanese* Kan USUDA 1 , Koichi KONO 1 , Tomotaro DOTE 1 , Misuzu WATANABE 1 , Hiroyasu SHIMIZU 1 , Yoshimi TANIMOTO 1 and Emi YAMADORI 1 1 Division of Preventive and Social Medicine, Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan Abstract The biological, medical and environmental roles of trace elements have attracted considerable attention over the years. In spite of their relevance in nutritional, occupational and toxicological aspects, there is still a lack of consistent and reliable measurement techniques and reliable information on reference values. In this review our understandings of the urinary profilings of boron, lithium and strontium are summarized and fundamental results obtained in our laboratory are discussed. Over the past decade we have successfully used inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry for the determination of reference values for urinary concentrations of boron, lithium and strontium. Taking into account the short biological half-life of these elements and the fact that their major excretion route is via the kidney, urine was considered to be a suitable material for monitoring of exposure to these elements. We confirmed that urinary concentrations of boron, lithium and strontium follow a lognormal distribution. The geometric mean reference values and 95% confidence intervals were 798 μ g/l (398–1599 μ g/l) for boron, 23.5 μ g/l (11.0–50.5 μ g/l) for lithium and 143.9 μ g/l (40.9– 505.8 μ g/l) for strontium. There were no discrepancies between our values and those previously reported. Our reference values and confidential intervals can be used as guidelines for the health screening of Japanese individuals to evaluate environmental or occupational exposure to these elements. Key words: boron, lithium, strontium, log-normal distribution, reference values Introduction Minerals along with protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates and vitamins are essential nutrients. In 1999, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare declared copper, iodine, manga- nese, selenium, zinc, chromium and molybdenum as essential trace elements. In addition to these officially recognized trace elements, boron, lithium and strontium have been shown to have specific biological effects. For example, boron affects calcium absorption (1), lithium-rich drinking water is associ- ated with low crime rates (2) and strontium has been shown to reduce the risk of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (3). These elements are ubiquitous in the environment and are also widely used in various industrial applications. Thus, there is a risk of exposure through natural sources or in the working place (4–6). Reference values (sometimes referred to as background-
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12199_2008_Article_BF02898029 - [Environmental Health and...

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