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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(2), 3078-3093; doi:10.3390/ijms14023078

A Comparative Study of Selected Trace Element Content in Malay and Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM) Using an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Lembah Pantai, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 22 January 2013 / Accepted: 26 January 2013 / Published: 1 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

A total of 60 products of traditional herbal medicine (THM) in various dosage forms of herbal preparation were analyzed to determine selected trace elements (i.e., Zn, Mn, Cu, Cd, and Se) using ICP-MS. Thirty types of both Chinese and Malay THMs were chosen to represent each population. The closed vessel acid microwave digestion method, using CEM MARS 5, was employed for the extraction of the selected trace elements. The digestion method applied was validated by using certified reference material from the Trace Element in Spinach Leaves (SRM1570a). The recoveries of all elements were found to be in the range of 85.3%–98.9%. The results indicated that Zn, Mn, Cu, Cd and Se have their own trends of concentrations in all samples studied. The daily intake concentrations of the elements were in the following order: Mn > Zn > Cu > Se > Cd. Concentrations of all five elements were found to be dominant in Chinese THMs. The essentiality of the selected trace elements was also assessed, based on the recommended daily allowance (RDA), adequate intake (AI) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for trace elements as reference. The concentrations of all elements studied were below the RDA, AI and USP values, which fall within the essential concentration range, except for cadmium.
Keywords: trace elements; ICP-MS; traditional herbal medicines; method validation; microwave digestion trace elements; ICP-MS; traditional herbal medicines; method validation; microwave digestion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rasdi, F.L.M.; Bakar, N.K.A.; Mohamad, S. A Comparative Study of Selected Trace Element Content in Malay and Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM) Using an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 3078-3093.

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