Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are noted for their hepatotoxic, genotoxic, and carcinogenic effects in animals and humans following metabolic activation in the liver. In this study, herbal supplements sold in Ghana for sexual improvement were analysed for the presence of 64 PAs using LC-MS/MS analysis. Up to 17 different PAs were identified in 19 out of the 37 samples analysed. The sum of PAs in samples ranged from 5 to 3204 μg kg−1. Since the PA content in the herbal medicinal preparations was generally lower than in honey samples, their presence was mainly attributed to cross-contamination. The observed levels would result in estimated daily intakes from 0.01 to 12 μg per day or 0.0002 to 0.2 μg kg−1 bw day−1 for a person weighing 70 kg. The margins of exposure ranged from 1200 to 1,400,000 with eight samples showing values below 10,000, thus indicating a health concern.
|Journal||Food Additives and Contaminants: Part B Surveillance|
|Early online date||13 Jul 2023|
|Publication status||Published - 2023|
- health risk
- Herbal supplements
- pyrrolizidine alkaloids