Effect of an aluminum foil-processed diet on internal human aluminum burden

Hiller J, Göen T, Seibold-Wulf N, Meyer S, Drexler H (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 177

Article Number: 108000

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108000


Background and purpose: Aluminum can be released into food by aluminum-containing food-contact materials (Al-FCM) during preparation or storage. There is considerable concern that extra aluminum intake may have negative effects on public health, especially with regard to its high background exposure and neurotoxic properties of aluminum in high exposures. Human in-vivo data on the additional aluminum load from Al-FCM, however, are lacking. As such, the objective of this study was to explore whether the consumption of a diet highly exposed to such products leads to an increased systemic Al load in real-world conditions. Materials and methods: An exploratory, single-arm intervention study with a partially standardized diet was designed and carried out with 11 participants. The same 10-day sequence of dishes was repeated three times. Participants were exposed to Al-FCM from Days 11 to 20, whereas control-phase meals were prepared without Al-FCM during the first and last 10–day periods. Spot urine samples were collected each morning and evening and analyzed for their aluminum concentration; appropriate contamination countermeasures were taken. Principal results: Urinary aluminum excretion showed a strong dependency on the creatinine concentration in urine and required adjustment in further analyses. The creatinine-adjusted aluminum excretion during the exposure phase (median 1.98 µg/g creatinine) was higher than in both control phases (1.78 µg/g creatinine each). Two different mixed-effects regression models showed a significant effect in the exposure phase. Considering a discrete time effect, the creatinine-adjusted mean increase in the exposure phase was estimated to be 0.19 µg/L (95% CI: 0.07–0.31; p = 0.0017). Major conclusions: This study demonstrated a measurable but fully reversible additional Al burden in humans from subacute Al-FCM exposure under real-world conditions. The estimated increase from Al-FCM corresponds to 8% of the baseline concentration. These data enable a more robust assessment of human health risks by Al-FCM.

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Hiller, J., Göen, T., Seibold-Wulf, N., Meyer, S., & Drexler, H. (2023). Effect of an aluminum foil-processed diet on internal human aluminum burden. Environment International, 177. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2023.108000


Hiller, Julia, et al. "Effect of an aluminum foil-processed diet on internal human aluminum burden." Environment International 177 (2023).

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