Regular crabmeat consumers do not show increased urinary cadmium or beta-2-microglobulin levels compared to non-crabmeat consumers

Karlee N. Dyck, Shabina Bashir, Graham Horgan, Alan A. Sneddon (Corresponding Author)

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Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic metal that can be relatively high in brown meat from crab and there is concern that it may accumulate in long-term crabmeat consumers posing a health risk. Sixteen healthy habitual crabmeat consumers and twenty five healthy non-crabmeat consumers were recruited through completion of a seafood frequency questionnaire. Whole blood and urine samples were analysed for Cd levels and urinary beta-2-microglobulin, an established marker of Cd-induced kidney toxicity, to determine levels in crabmeat consumers. Whole blood Cd levels were significantly elevated in the crabmeat-consuming group, whereas urinary levels of Cd and beta-2-microglobulin were not. Whole blood Cd levels can be both a short and long-term marker for Cd intake and levels might be expected to be elevated in the crabmeat consumers as crabmeat can contain Cd. However, crabmeat consumers did not show increases in a more established long-term marker of Cd (urinary Cd) and consistent with this, no change in a Cd-induced kidney toxicity marker. Consequently, in conclusion, compared to consumers who reported very little crabmeat consumption, healthy middle-aged consumers who regularly consume brown crabmeat products (an average of 447g/week) for an average of 16 years showed no change in long-term Cd exposure or kidney toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Early online date3 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019



  • Cadmium
  • crab
  • brown crabmeat
  • beta-2-microglobulin
  • selenium

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