Lithium Content of 160 Beverages and Its Impact on Lithium Status in Drosophila melanogaster
Lithium (Li) is an important micronutrient in human nutrition, although its exact molecular function as a potential essential trace element has not yet been fully elucidated. It has been previously shown that several mineral waters are rich and highly bioavailable sources of Li for human consumption. Nevertheless, little is known about the extent in which other beverages contribute to the dietary Li supply. To this end, the Li content of 160 different beverages comprising wine and beer, soft and energy drinks and tea and coffee infusions was analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Furthermore, a feeding study in Drosophila melanogaster was conducted to test whether Li derived from selected beverages changes Li status in flies. In comparison to the average Li concentration in mineral waters (108 µg/L; reference value), the Li concentration in wine (11.6 ± 1.97 µg/L) and beer (8.5 ± 0.77 µg/L), soft and energy drinks (10.2 ± 2.95 µg/L), tea (2.8 ± 0.65 µg/L) and coffee (0.1 ± 0.02 µg/L) infusions was considerably lower. Only Li-rich mineral water (~1600 µg/L) significantly increased Li concentrations in male and female flies. Unlike mineral water, most wine and beer, soft and energy drink and tea and coffee samples were rather Li-poor food items and thus may only contribute to a moderate extent to the dietary Li supply. A novelty of this study is that it relates analytical Li concentrations in beverages to Li whole body retention in Drosophila melanogaster.