Aluminium levels in hair and urine are associated with overweight and obesity in a non-occupationally exposed population

Alexey A. Tinkov, Margarita G. Skalnaya, Jan Aaseth, Olga P. Ajsuvakova, Michael Aschner, Anatoly V. Skalny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Data on the association between aluminium (Al) exposure and obesity and/or metabolic syndrome are insufficient. The objective of the present study was to investigate the association between hair and urine Al levels and obesity. Methods: A total of 206 lean and 205 obese non-occupationally exposed subjects (30–50 y.o.) were enrolled in the study. Hair and urine Al levels were assessed with ICP-MS. Laboratory quality control was performed using the certified reference materials of human hair, plasma, and urine. Results: Hair and urinary Al levels in obese subjects were significantly higher by 31% and 46% compared to the control levels, respectively. The presence of hypertension (41% cases), atherosclerosis (8%), type 2 diabetes mellitus (10%), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (53%) in obese patients were not associated with Al levels in the studied subjects. An overall multiple regression model established urinary Al levels (β = 0.395; p < 0.001), hypertension (β = 0.331; p < 0.001) and NAFLD (β = 0.257; p = 0.003) were significantly and directly associated with BMI. Hair Al levels were found to be border-line significantly related to BMI after adjustment for several confounders (β = −0.205; p = 0.054). Conclusions: Aluminium body burden is associated with increased body weight, although the causal relationship between Al exposure and obesity is not clear. Both clinical and experimental studies are required to further investigate the impact of Al exposure on metabolic parameters in obesity and especially direct effects of Al in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Aluminium
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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