Article

An Examination of the Association of Selected Toxic Metals with Total and Central Obesity Indices: NHANES 99-02

Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University, 250 Mills Godwin Building, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.06). 09/2010; 7(9):3332-47. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph7093332
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is conceivable that toxic metals contribute to obesity by influencing various aspects of metabolism, such as by substituting for essential micronutrients and vital metals, or by inducing oxidative stress. Deficiency of the essential metal zinc decreases adiposity in humans and rodent models, whereas deficiencies of chromium, copper, iron, and magnesium increases adiposity. This study utilized the NHANES 99-02 data to explore the association between waist circumference and body mass index with the body burdens of selected toxic metals (barium, cadmium, cobalt, cesium, molybdenum, lead, antimony, thallium, and tungsten). Some of the associations were significant direct relationships (barium and thallium), and some of the associations were significant inverse relationships (cadmium, cobalt, cesium, and lead). Molybdenum, antimony, and tungsten had mostly insignificant associations with waist circumference and body mass index. This is novel result for most of the toxic metals studied, and a surprising result for lead because high stored lead levels have been shown to correlate with higher rates of diabetes, and obesity may be a key risk factor for developing diabetes. These associations suggest the possibility that environmental exposure to metals may contribute to variations in human weight gain/loss. Future research, such as prospective studies rather than the cross-sectional studies presented here, is warranted to confirm these findings.

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    • "Human studies of the association of Pb exposure with weight status are conflicting. Bone measures of chronic Pb exposure have been both positively and negatively correlated with BMI at different ages, but findings may be related to differences in cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs [10], [11]. "
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    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104273. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104273 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Kim et al. (1995) reported a weak but statistically significant positive association between childhood lead levels in teeth and BMI, whereas other studies did not or found an inverse association (Little et al., 2009). An inverse association between BMI and lead was also reported in adults (Padilla et al., 2010). "
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    • "As far as BMI is concerned, several reports have shown an association between serum zinc and copper levels and BMI [50]. Studies of Padilla et al. [43] suggest that the association of some heavy metals (like cadmium or cobalt) with BMI remains unclear. For example, according to the authors of the cited study, cadmium and cobalt were negatively associated with BMI. "
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