Back before AIDS was a problem, I obtained about 50 blood samples from
patients at NIH (the National Institutes of Health) and also my colleagues
whenever they had a "fresh" sample. Blood was about 10 per mil enriched
from local drinking water. There was a total range of about 10 per mil
One individual (no longer on the Earth, but noted for his stellar work in
organic geochemistry and stable isotopes) provided me with urine samples
taken at the same time as the blood. The dD of urine was exactly the same
as blood. I have multiple samples of this. No idea where I would publish
something like this.
I also measured the dD of saliva relative to blood. It is also exactly the
same as blood--10 per mil enriched from local water.
Interestingly, although people drink beer from all over the world, etc.,
the dD of blood was pretty constant in the DC area.
> Hello Harro,
> Heterotrophs produce some metabolic water by "burning" food that may be
> isotopically very different from local meteoric water. Considering the
> fact that even some mammals in arid environment rarely or never drink
> and thus produce most or all of their body water metabolically, it can
> be expected that body water occasionally has little in common with local
> meteoric water. There is a nice graph depicting various mammalian
> sources and sinks of body water in terms of an oxygen isotope mass
> Ayliffe L.K. and Chivas A.R., 1990. Oxygen isotope composition of the
> bone phosphate of Australian kangaroos: Potential as a
> palaeoenvironmental recorder. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54,
> 2603-2609. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(90)90246-H
> The same principles hold true for hydrogen.
> Consequently diet has a major influence on the isotopic composition of
> animals' body water, in addition to the influence of drinking water and
> evapotranspiration (e.g., water vapor loss through lungs). Hydrogen and
> oxygen in food biomass are incorporated from water by autotrophs using
> different biosynthetic pathways, with fractionation for oxygen and
> hydrogen being independent from each other. Different biochemicals show
> different fractionations. Diets differ greatly among heterotrophs. These
> may be the chief reasons for your observations. In contrast, the
> isotopic exchange between body water and exchangeable organic hydrogen
> and oxygen in food and biomass has little to do with it.
> Can you offer some more detailed information about which species' body
> water isotopic compositions exhibit strong deviation from that of
> regional meteoric water?
> With best wishes,
> H.A.J. Meijer wrote:
>> Dear colleagues,
>> My estimate for the isotope values for blood (that is the water
>> component) in humans and animals would be that it has to be pretty
>> close to the local (drinking) water. It is possibly slightly enriched
>> due to evaporation processes in the body as well as in the open water
>> available in nature for animals to drink, but not by more than a few
>> per mil.
>> In the "bakground" samples we process for doubly labelled water
>> studies, however, relatively high values for 2H occur regularly,
>> sometimes higher than + 50 o/oo. 18O is always in the local natural
>> range that I expect.
>> Is this an artefact, i.e. contamination by memory effects in the lab,
>> or in the field, or during sample storage (samples are being stored in
>> flame-off capilaries)?. If so, why does it never happen for 18O?
>> Or is it real? We know that the hydrogen in body water interacts with
>> H in tissue to some extent, but can tissue be that highly enriched in
>> 2H? And if so, why is it so variable?
>> Is there any experience with "blood water" isotopes in fields where
>> people do not use enriched water as well, f.i. in forensics?
>> Thanks on forehand for helping!
>> best regards,
> Arndt Schimmelmann, Ph.D.
> Senior Scientist
> Indiana University
> Department of Geological Sciences
> Biogeochemical Laboratories
> 1001 East 10th Street
> Bloomington, IN 47405-1405
> Ph (812) 855-7645
> home (812) 339-3708
> FAX (812) 855-7961
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> personal home page:
> home page of Biogeochemical Laboratories:
Dr. Marilyn L. Fogel
Carnegie Institution of Washington
5251 Broad Branch Rd., NW
Washington, DC 20015 USA