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Nickel in Food

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Food NameNickel
Beer, ale1
Beer, bitter1
Beer, lager1
Beer, carbohydrate-modified1
Beer, stout1
Beer, reduced alcohol or light beer1
Beer, low alcohol (<1% alcohol v/v)1
Beer, draught1
Water, tap0
Soft drink, lemonade0
Soft drink, ginger ale, creamy soda or other non-fruit flavours0
Soft drink, cola flavour0
Soft drink, cola flavour, decaffeinated0
Soft drink, lemonade, intense sweetened0
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Nickel Hypersensitivity

information from the National Institutes of Health

Nickel is a very common metal contained in many everyday objects and is the leading cause of ACD (Allergic Contact Dermatitis). Nickel is present in most of the constituents of a normal diet, but some food groups are usually considered to be richer. However, the nickel content of specific food can vary widely, depending on many factors. Thus, the daily intake of nickel is also highly variable both among different populations and in a single individual, in different seasons and even in different days. Measuring precisely the daily intake of nickel from food and drinks is extremely difficult, if not impossible. The relationship between ACD and contact with nickel is undisputed and widely confirmed in literature.

The situation is different for systemic nickel allergy syndrome (SNAS). The SNAS can have cutaneous signs and symptoms (Systemic Contact Dermatitis or SCD) or extracutaneous signs and symptoms (gastrointestinal, respiratory, neurological, etc.).The occurrence of SCD as a systemic reaction to the nickel normally assumed in the daily diet is very controversial. A rigorous demonstration of the relationship between SCD and nickel is extremely difficult. In particular, further and larger studies are needed to assess the reality and the prevalence of nickel urticaria.

With respect to nickel-related gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, recurring cold sores and recurrent infections in general, the data available in literature are not conclusive and the studies lack the support of clear, first-hand evidence.

With respect to respiratory disorders, the role of food nickel and the effectiveness of a dietary treatment have been assumed but not proven. In fact, the usefulness of a therapeutic low-nickel diet is controversial: rare, if not exceptional, and limited to very sporadic cases of SCD.

Dietary Nickel as a Cause of Contact Dermatitis

Nickel is a very common cause of allergic contact dermatitis. Sensitized individuals generally have a predictable localized response following cutaneous exposure to nickel, including erythema, vesicles, scaling, and pruritus. Systemic reactions, such as hand dermatitis or generalized eczematous reactions, can occur due to dietary nickel ingestion.

Studies have demonstrated that some nickel-allergic patients have cutaneous reactions when they consume a high nickel diet and that reduction of dietary nickel intake can cause improvement in these patients. Proper dietary modification is harmless and is very inexpensive. For these reasons, recommendation of a low nickel diet should be considered for all patients with either hand dermatitis or a nonspecific, pruritic dermatitis and a positive patch test reaction to nickel.

Human Exposure to Nickel

In order of abundance in the earth's crust, nickel ranks as the 24th element and has been detected in different media in all parts of the biosphere. Thus, humans are constantly exposed to this ubiquitous element, though in variable amounts. The average natural nickel exposure from food in the past has probably been somewhat, but not much, below current levels.

Nickel is a useful metal, particularly in various alloys, in batteries and in nickel-plating. Nickel compounds are used especially as catalysts and pigments. In nickel-producing or nickel-using industries, about 0.2% of the work force may be exposed to considerable amounts of airborne nickel. In addition, nickel release, e.g., into cutting oils, and skin contact with nickel-containing or nickel-plated tools and other items may add to an occupational nickel hazard. Occupational exposures may lead to the retention of 100 micrograms of nickel per day. Environmental nickel levels depend particularly on natural sources, pollution from nickel-manufacturing industries and airborne particles from combustion of fossil fuels. Absorption from atmospheric nickel pollution is of minor concern.

Vegetables usually contain more nickel than do other food items; high levels have been found in legumes, spinach, lettuce and nuts. Certain products, such as baking powder and cocoa powder, have been found to contain excessive amounts of nickel, perhaps related to nickel leaching during the manufacturing process. Soft drinking-water and acid beverages may dissolve nickel from pipes and containers. Leaching or corrosion processes may contribute significantly to the oral nickel intake, occasionally up to 1 mg/day.

Scattered studies indicate a highly variable dietary intake of nickel, but most averages are about 200-300 micrograms/day. In addition, skin contact to a multitude of metal objects may be of significance to the large number of individuals suffering from contact dermatitis and nickel allergy. Finally, nickel alloys are often used in nails and prostheses for orthopaedic surgery, and various sources may contaminate intravenous fluids.

Thus, human nickel exposure originates from a variety of sources and is highly variable. Occupational nickel exposure is of major significance, and leaching of nickel may add to dietary intakes and to cutaneous exposures. Preventive efforts should mainly be directed towards adequate control of these exposure sources.

Foods High in Nickel Content

Nickel content is in mcg per 100 g of food weight.


Nickel
Food Name

192
Peanut butter, smooth & crunchy, added sugar & salt

192
Peanut butter, smooth & crunchy, added sugar, no added salt

192
Peanut butter, smooth & crunchy, no added sugar or salt

136
Coconut, grated & desiccated

104
Avocado, raw

68
Chocolate, milk, with added milk solids

64
Almond, milk chocolate-coated

60
Nut, almond, with skin

58
Sauce, tomato, commercial

49
Baked beans, canned in tomato sauce, salt reduced

49
Baked beans, canned in tomato sauce

42
Cake, chocolate, iced, commercial

40
Oats, rolled, boiled, no added salt

29
Bread, from wholemeal flour, toasted

29
Dried fruit mix (raisin or sultana), milk chocolate-coated

26
Pea, green, fresh, boiled, drained

26
Pea, green, frozen, boiled, drained

25
Bread, from wholemeal flour

25
Bread, from white flour, added omega-3 polyunsaturates, toasted

25
Bread, mixed grain, toasted

24
Margarine spread, polyunsaturated (70% fat)

24
Margarine spread, polyunsaturated, reduced fat (60% fat), reduced salt

24
Margarine spread, polyunsaturated, reduced fat (40% fat), no added salt or milk

24
Margarine spread, monounsaturated (70% fat)

24
Margarine spread, monounsaturated (70% fat), reduced salt (sodium = 380mg/100g)

24
Margarine, polyunsaturated, reduced salt (sodium = 300 mg/100 g)

24
Margarine spread, monounsaturated, reduced fat (55% fat) & salt (sodium = 380 mg/100g)

24
Margarine spread, polyunsaturated (70% fat), reduced salt (sodium = 380 mg/100g)

24
Potato crisps or chips, plain, salted


Nickel
Food Name

24
Margarine, polyunsaturated

21
Bread, mixed grain

21
Bread, from white flour, added omega-3 polyunsaturates

20
Soy beverage, reduced fat (~1% fat), unflavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

20
Soy beverage, regular fat (~ 3%), unflavored, added Ca, vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

20
Soy beverage, regular fat (~3%), unflavored, added calcium

20
Soy beverage, regular fat (~3%), unflavored, unfortified

20
Soy beverage, reduced fat (~ 1.5%), coffee flavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

20
Soy beverage, regular fat (~3%), chocolate flavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

20
Soy beverage, reduced fat (~ 1.5%), chocolate flavored, added Ca & vitamins A, B1, B2 & B12

14
Biscuit, savoury, from white flour, Salada style

14
Biscuit, savoury, from white flour, water cracker style

14
Biscuit, savoury, crispbread, puffed & toasted

14
Biscuit, savoury, wholemeal wheat flour

14
Biscuit, savoury, wholemeal wheat flour, with sesame

14
Biscuit, savoury, wholemeal wheat flour, crispbread, puffed

14
Biscuit, savoury, flavored

14
Biscuit, savoury, wholemeal wheat flour, crispbread

14
Biscuit, savoury, from white flour, plain snack cracker style

14
Biscuit, savoury, from rye flour, crispbread

11
Biscuit, sweet, Anzac style

11
Lettuce, cos, raw

11
Lettuce, mignonette, raw

11
Biscuit, sweet, oatmeal

11
Biscuit, sweet, plain

11
Biscuit, sweet, ginger flavored

11
Biscuit, sweet, shortbread style

11
Biscuit, sweet, wheatmeal

11
Lettuce, iceberg, raw

10
Olive, green or black, drained

10
Dairy blend, butter & edible oil spread, reduced salt


Nickel
Food Name

10
Dairy blend, butter & edible oil spread, 70% fat

10
Olive, green, pimento, stuffed, drained

10
Dairy blend, butter & edible oil spread

10
Tilapia, steamed or poached

10
Dairy blend, butter & edible oil spread, 70% fat, reduced salt

9
Pizza, supreme, takeaway style

9
Melon, watermelon, peeled, raw

9
Pizza, supreme, thick base, fast food chain-style

9
Peach, canned in pear juice, juice only

9
Peach, canned in pear juice, drained

9
Peach, canned in pear juice

9
Pizza, supreme, purchased frozen, baked

9
Pizza, supreme, thin base, fast food chain style

9
Pizza, ham & pineapple, thin base, fast food chain-style

9
Pizza, ham & pineapple, thick base, fast food chain-style

9
Pizza, ham & pineapple, takeaway style

9
Salmon, Atlantic, steamed or poached

9
Pizza, ham & pineapple, purchased frozen, baked

8
Salmon, Atlantic, fillets, raw

8
Peach, unpeeled, raw

8
Tilapia, fillet, raw

8
Spinach, English, boiled, drained

7
Pie, savoury, meat, commercial, individual size

7
Fish, crumbed, purchased frozen, baked

7
Parsley, continental, raw

7
Fish, battered, purchased frozen, baked

7
Spinach, English, raw

7
Parsley, curly, raw

7
Pie, savoury, meat, commercial, party size

7
Pie, savoury, meat, commercial, family size

6
Onion, mature, white skinned, peeled, stir-fried without oil


Nickel
Food Name

6
Sausage, beef, grilled

6
Shark (flake), battered, deep fried, take away

6
Fish, battered, deep fried, from takeaway outlets

6
Beetroot, canned, drained

6
Onion, mature, brown skinned, peeled, stir-fried without oil

6
Sausage, beef, fried

5
Potato, new, peeled, boiled

5
Oil, canola

5
Salt, table, non-iodised

5
Salt, cooking

5
Bassa (basa), steamed or poached

5
Potato, sebago, unpeeled, boiled

4
Juice concentrate, orange

4
Orange, navel (lane late), peeled, raw

4
Orange, navel (leng), peeled, raw

4
Orange, valencia, peeled, raw

4
Barramundi, aquacultured, fillets, raw

4
Onion, mature, brown skinned, peeled, raw

4
Orange, navel (washington), peeled, raw

4
Onion, mature, white skinned, peeled, raw

4
Banana, lady finger or sugar, peeled, raw

4
Banana, cavendish, peeled, raw

4
Barramundi, aquacultured fillets, steamed or poached

4
Rice, white, boiled, with added salt

4
Bassa (basa), fillet, raw

4
Rice, white, boiled, no added salt

3
Tomato, common, raw

3
Tomato, cherry, raw

3
Pasta, white wheat flour, boiled from dry, no added salt

3
Pineapple (cayenne), peeled, raw

3
Celery, stir-fried without oil

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