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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


GAXIOLA-ROBLES, Ramón et al. Mercury concentration in breast milk of women from Northwest Mexico: possible association with diet, tobacco and other maternal factors. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2013, vol.28, n.3, pp.934-942. ISSN 1699-5198.

Objective: To determine THg levels in milk of women from Northwest Mexico and its potential association with maternal factors such as diet and tobacco smoke. Method: The study was performed in 108 milk samples donated by women in Baja California Sur. Data were stratified into three groups of 36 donors by number of pregnancies. General data, smoking, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and seafood intake were explored. THg levels were measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The difference between groups was evaluated with non-parametric statistics. To explain the possible association of the different variables with THg concentrations in milk, generalized linear models were performed. Results: THg levels ranged from 1.23 µg/L in single-pregnancy women (GI) to 2.96 µg/L for women with 3 or more pregnancies (GIII) (p = 0.07). In the GI group THg concentration was 175% higher (p = 0.02) in women who do not eat fish, compared to those who eat fish. In the generalized linear model to adjust THg concentrations, the variables were: age, number of pregnancies, breastfeeding duration and exposure to tobacco smoke (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Fish consumption was the factor that better adjusted models, relative to THg levels. The contribution associated to this factor was low; therefore, consumption of fish from the coast of Baja California Sur is safe. Tobacco increased Hg concentrations in breast milk; it is necessary to avoid the smoking habit during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Keywords : Breast milk; Mercury; Fish; Smoking.

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