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Influence of Vegetarian Dietary Intervention on Urinary Paraben Concentrations: A Pilot Study with ‘Temple Stay’ Participants

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Accident Prevention and Assessment Division II, National Institute of Chemical Safety, Daejeon 34111, Korea
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Yongin University, Yongin 17092, Korea
School of Human and Environmental Sciences, Eulji University, Seongnam 13135, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 17 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Risk Management)
Personal care products and cosmetics have been identified as major sources of paraben exposure among humans. However, the contribution of dietary factors has not been well understood. We recruited temple stay participants (n = 25) who followed a strict Buddhist vegetarian diet during a five-day period, and assessed the influence of this lifestyle change, employing their urine samples collected before and after the temple stay. Before the temple stay, methylparaben (MeP) was detected at the highest levels, followed by ethylparaben (EtP), propylparaben (PrP), butylparaben (BuP), and benzophenones (BPs) in the urine samples. Following the temple stay, the urinary EtP concentrations remarkably increased from 14.0 to 105 μg/L, and were around two orders of magnitude higher than those reported from other countries. Dietary factors associated with the temple diet may partly explain the increase, because EtP is allowed in Korea for seasoning and condiments, which are frequently added in vegetarian diets. Following the temple stay, however, MeP, PrP, and BPs did not show significant decreasing trends. In contrast, BuP levels decreased significantly, especially in male urine samples, that is, from 3.60 to 1.03 μ/L, suggesting a reduced use of certain personal care products during the temple stay. Our observations outline the potential importance of dietary factors on EtP exposure, and might help explain its high exposure levels among Korean population. View Full-Text
Keywords: parabens; dietary intervention; exposure source; temple stay; Korea parabens; dietary intervention; exposure source; temple stay; Korea
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Jo, A.; Kim, S.; Ji, K.; Kho, Y.; Choi, K. Influence of Vegetarian Dietary Intervention on Urinary Paraben Concentrations: A Pilot Study with ‘Temple Stay’ Participants. Toxics 2020, 8, 3.

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