Dietary Cadmium Intake and Sources in the US.Nutrients. 2018 Dec 20; 11(1)N
Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal that can contribute to numerous diseases as well as increased mortality. Diet is the primary source of Cd exposure for most individuals, yet little is known about the foods and food groups that contribute most substantially to dietary Cd intake in the US. Therefore, the objective of this study was to estimate dietary Cd intake and identify major food sources of Cd in the US population and among subgroups of the population. Individuals aged 2 years and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007⁻2012 were included in this study (n = 12,523). Cd intakes were estimated from two days of 24-h dietary recalls by matching intake data with the Cd database of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Total Diet Study 2006 through 2013. The average dietary Cd consumption in the population was 4.63 μg/day, or 0.54 μg/kg body weight/week, which is 22% of the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 2.5 μg/kg body weight/week. Greater daily Cd intakes were observed in older adults, males, those with higher income, higher education, or higher body mass index. The highest Cd intakes on a body weight basis were observed in children 10 years and younger (38% of TWI), underweight individuals (38% of TWI), and alcohol non-consumers (24% of TWI). The food groups that contributed most to Cd intake were cereals and bread (34%), leafy vegetables (20%), potatoes (11%), legumes and nuts (7%), and stem/root vegetables (6%). The foods that contributed most to total Cd intake were lettuce (14%), spaghetti (8%), bread (7%), and potatoes (6%). Lettuce was the major Cd source for Caucasians and Blacks, whereas tortillas were the top source for Hispanics, and rice was the top contributor among other ethnic subgroups including Asians. This study provides important information on the dietary Cd exposure of Americans, and identifies the groups with the greatest dietary Cd exposure as well as the major sources of dietary Cd among sociodemographic subgroups.