Diet Controls Uranium Intake and Aggravates Health Hazards
Uranium (U) is ubiquitously abundant in the environment. Significant amounts of U are applied on agricultural soils with mineral phosphorus fertilizers; thus, entering the food chain. The daily intake of U with solid food varies only slightly. It is lowest with a mixed standard diet (1.3 μg/day U) and highest with a vegan diet (2.0 μg/day U). It is the U content of tap and mineral water which determines the total U intake (1.7 –7.1 μg/day U). Next to U speciation and amount of U entering the human body, an oversupply with phosphorus, and a critical supply with calcium and iron may amplify negative health effects. Kidneys are the prime target of a high P intake and U toxicity. The additional daily phosphorus intake by food phosphates peaked to 1000 mg/day in the last 20 years. This may add on an average 1.2 μg/day U and worst case 11 μg/day U to the solid diet. Toxicological studies suggest that damages of kidneys can be expected when the U content is as low as 0.1-0.4 μg/g U. The study provides a comprehensive overview of potential health hazards caused by dietary uranium intake in relation to nutritional habits.
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