raw salmon

Arsenic occurs as an undesirable contaminant in drinking water, rice and fish, among other things, although there are also natural causes of elevated levels.


The toxicity of inorganic arsenic compounds has long been known and is well studied. Even gradual arsenic poisoning can lead to heart disease and cancer. The toxic heavy metal enters fish via the food chain. They take it up via algae, which can store arsenic in certain metabolic products, e.g. in betaine.

Previous studies have shown that this organically bound arsenic has no or only a low toxic effect on the human organism after consumption of fish. For this reason, the determination of the total arsenic content of a sample is more and more replaced by an analytical differentiation between inorganic and organically bound arsenic.
Results from a research group at the University of Graz (A) indicate that there are further organic arsenic compounds in fish, which certainly give reason to believe that the assessment of organic arsenic compounds must be reconsidered with regard to their toxicology. Arsenic has been discovered in lipid structures. Such lipid compounds can penetrate cell membranes and thus introduce arsenic into healthy cells. A transfer of arsenolipids into breast milk after the consumption of salmon was recently reported (see bibliography). Whether a toxicological re-evaluation is necessary should be urgently clarified in further studies.


YOUR PLUS: In addition to the total content, we also determine the respective proportions of inorganic and organic-bound arsenic in food and feed. The evaluation of the results is carried out on the basis of the legally defined maximum residue limits.



Xiong, Ch., Stiboller, M., Glabonjat, RA., Rieger, J., Paton, L., Francesconi, KA.; "Transport of arsenolipids to the milk of a nursing mother after consuming salmon fish", Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology; Vol. 61, 2020. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0946672X20300675?via%3Dihub



Autor: Dr. Frank Mörsberger