Document Detail

Molecular mechanisms of toxicity of important food-borne phytotoxins.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15635687     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
At present, there is an increasing interest for plant ingredients and their use in drugs, for teas, or in food supplements. The present review describes the nature and mechanism of action of the phytochemicals presently receiving increased attention in the field of food toxicology. This relates to compounds including aristolochic acids, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, beta-carotene, coumarin, the alkenylbenzenes safrole, methyleugenol and estragole, ephedrine alkaloids and synephrine, kavalactones, anisatin, St. John's wort ingredients, cyanogenic glycosides, solanine and chaconine, thujone, and glycyrrhizinic acid. It can be concluded that several of these phytotoxins cause concern, because of their bioactivation to reactive alkylating intermediates that are able to react with cellular macromolecules causing cellular toxicity, and, upon their reaction with DNA, genotoxicity resulting in tumors. Another group of the phytotoxins presented is active without the requirement for bioactivation and, in most cases, these compounds appear to act as neurotoxins interacting with one of the neurotransmitter systems. Altogether, the examples presented illustrate that natural does not equal safe and that in modern society adverse health effects, upon either acute or chronic exposure to phytochemicals, can occur as a result of use of plant- or herb-based foods, teas, or other extracts.
Ivonne M C M Rietjens; Martijn J Martena; Marelle G Boersma; Wim Spiegelenberg; Gerrit M Alink
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Molecular nutrition & food research     Volume:  49     ISSN:  1613-4125     ISO Abbreviation:  Mol Nutr Food Res     Publication Date:  2005 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-02-24     Completed Date:  2005-04-21     Revised Date:  2007-03-22    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101231818     Medline TA:  Mol Nutr Food Res     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  131-58     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Toxicology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Alkaloids / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Alkenes / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Aristolochic Acids / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Coumarins / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Enzymes / genetics
Food / toxicity*
Glycosides / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Lactones / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Plants, Toxic / chemistry*
Polymorphism, Genetic
Synephrine / administration & dosage,  toxicity
beta Carotene / administration & dosage,  toxicity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alkaloids; 0/Alkenes; 0/Aristolochic Acids; 0/Coumarins; 0/Enzymes; 0/Glycosides; 0/Lactones; 313-67-7/aristolochic acid I; 7235-40-7/beta Carotene; 91-64-5/coumarin; 94-07-5/Synephrine

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