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  • 1 Bundesforschungsanstalt für Ernährung Zentrallabor für Isotopentechnik Engesserstr. 20 D-7500 Karlsruhe 1 FRG
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The trace element content of the total daily diet (food and beverages) of each of 4 adult males was determined over a period of one week. A method of radiochemical neutron activation analysis is briefly described which enables the determination of up to 31 elements in biological samples. Of the 25 elements determined in the diet 12 are essential elements (Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Mo, Na, Se, Zn) while 6 (As, Ba, Br, Cd, Hg, Sb) are classified as toxic. The average concentrations of the toxic trace elements As, Cd and Hg of the diet are below the provisional tolerable dietary intakes recommended by WHO/FAO. The contents of Cl, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Na and Zn are adequate to the proposed nutritional requirements.