Document Detail

Carcinogenic chemicals in food: evaluating the health risk.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1628869     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The presence of a low level of potentially harmful chemicals in food continues to be a concern to many individuals. A major concern is that these chemicals, which can be synthetic or naturally occurring, may be a causative factor in human cancer. Synthetic chemicals in food may be present either as specific additives or as contaminants derived from environmental or agricultural chemicals. Food also contains a variety of naturally occurring chemicals derived from vegetables or other plants. These may in some cases be considered as contaminants, and are occasionally used as specific additives. New chemicals can also be formed during the cooking or preserving processes. The capacity of any of these chemicals to induce cellular damage and mutation is minimized by natural defence systems such as an efficient cellular detoxification system and DNA repair. The factors influencing tumour formation in humans are numerous and interrelated and exposure to minor dietary chemicals needs to be considered in this context. Thus, the results of animal carcinogenicity assays on individual chemicals need to be interpreted with care, taking into account the mechanisms by which mutagenic and other chemicals initiate cancer, as well as the level of human exposure to these chemicals. Further research is necessary to determine the role, if any, of minor dietary components in tumour formation. Meanwhile, there needs to be a more holistic approach to the multitude of factors, including total diet, that may influence human cancer incidence. In this way, the relative risk of dietary chemicals may be given a more meaningful perspective for health professionals and consumers alike.
P J Abbott
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0278-6915     ISO Abbreviation:  Food Chem. Toxicol.     Publication Date:  1992 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-08-17     Completed Date:  1992-08-17     Revised Date:  2006-03-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8207483     Medline TA:  Food Chem Toxicol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  327-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Chemicals Safety Unit, Department of Health, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Carcinogenicity Tests
Carcinogens / analysis*
DNA Damage
DNA Repair
Food Contamination / analysis*
Mutagenicity Tests
Risk Factors
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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