Dietary Predictors of Urinary Biomarkers of Pyrethroids in the General Population: A Scoping Review

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Pyrethroid pesticides are ubiquitous environmental contaminants, contributing to chronic and potentially harmful exposure among the general population. Although studies have measured pesticide residues on agricultural products, the link between food intake and concentrations of pyrethroid biomarkers in urine remains unclear.


This scoping review aims to analyze peer-reviewed publications investigating dietary predictors of pyrethroid exposure through urinary biomarkers. We assess existing evidence, identify research gaps, and highlight current limitations.


We conducted a comprehensive search using PubMed and Google Scholar. Eligible studies examined associations between diets, food items or dietary components, and measured urinary pyrethroid biomarkers. No geographical restriction was applied to our search. Results were summarized in themes referring to study characteristics, relevant outcomes, biomarker measurement, dietary assessment and statistical analyses.


We identified 20 relevant articles. Most studies presented evidence on associations between the consumption of organic diets or food items and reduced concentrations of 3-phenobenzoic acid metabolites in urine. There was less evidence for diet affecting other pyrethroid-specific biomarkers. Dietary assessment methodologies and recall periods varied, as did the number and timing of urine collections. Many studies did not control for potential alternative pyrethroid sources, exposure to other pesticides, or demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.


Researchers should consider standardized dietary assessment, chemical analyses of foods consumed, adequate recall time, and food preparation methods. Consistency in biomarker measurement, including urine collection time and corrections for specific gravity or creatinine, is needed. Ensuring the validity of such studies also requires larger samples and appropriate control for confounders.