The objective of this study was to assess individual variation in inorganic arsenic methylation capability and the association between selenium levels in urine and blood, and inorganic arsenic methylation capability among residents of the Lanyang Basin who drank groundwater and were exposed to high concentrations of inorganic arsenic. According to the arsenic concentration of their drinking water, they were equally and randomly classified into four groups of 252 persons. It turned out that the higher the concentration of arsenic in well water was and thus the cumulative arsenic exposure, the higher the total inorganic arsenic metabolites in urine (total Asi) and the overall inorganic and organic arsenic in urine (overall Asi+o) were. The percentage of inorganic arsenic significantly decreased and the DMA percentage significantly increased as the concentration of urinary selenium and serum α-tocopherol increased. It appeared that urinary selenium levels increased the metabolism by methylation of arsenic, a finding that requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 31 2003


  • Arsenic
  • Arsenic methylation
  • Micronutrient
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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