Trace element intake and status of Italian subjects living in the Gubbio area
Daily intakes of certain trace elements (Pb, Cd, Ni, Hg, and Cr) were assessed using dietary history and weighed record methods and concurrent chemical analysis (CA) of duplicate portions, along with blood levels, in a group (21 M, 23 F) of inhabitants of the Gubbio area (Belvedere, Biscina, Scritto). The evaluation of only intake of trace elements was accomplished in 40 subjects (20 M, 20 F) 1 year later. In both surveys, trace element intakes were generally lower than the potential tolerable weekly intake. However, daily intakes of Pb, Cd, Ni, Hg, and Cr were higher in men compared to women in both surveys (P<0.05). In fact, intakes at the 50th percentile were greater in men by approximately 75% for Pb, 91% for Cd, 20% for Ni, 45% for Hg, and 29% for Cr in the first survey. In the second survey, percentage differences for Pb, Cd, Ni, and Cr were about 12%, 28%, 26%, and 26%, respectively. Blood trace element levels were slightly higher in men in the first survey. Interestingly, no correlation was observed between the intake of trace elements and corresponding blood values. Food basket and total diet, which were computed from the weighed record method for 2 days, showed relevant disagreements with CA of duplicate portion. Moreover, the comparison in content of Pb, Cd, Ni, and Cr obtained by CA of cooked dishes or by calculation using values of raw foods showed significant differences (P<0.05). It was concluded that trace element intake should be assessed by CA of duplicate portion.