Next Article in Journal
Plasma Homocysteine and Serum Folate and Vitamin B12 Levels in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Case-Control Study
Previous Article in Journal
Meta-Analysis on Dietary Patterns and Pancreatic Cancer Risk: Methodological Limitations
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 717; doi:10.3390/nu9070717

A Balanced Risk–Benefit Analysis to Determine Human Risks Associated with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PA)—The Case of Tea and Herbal Infusions

1
Faculty of Medicine, LMU—University of Munich, 80333 Munich, Germany
2
Didactics of Mathematics, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
3
Centre for Clinical Studies, University Hospital Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany
4
General Medicine Unit, University Hospital Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
5
Institute of Evidence-based Dietetics, University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg, 17033 Neubrandenburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [935 KB, uploaded 7 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

Humans are exposed to pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) through different sources, mainly from contaminated foodstuff. Teas and herbal infusions (T&HI) can be contaminated by PA producing weed. PA can possess toxic, mutagenic, genotoxic, and carcinogenic properties. Thus, possible health risks for the general population are under debate. There is a strong safety record for T&HI and additionally epidemiological evidence for the preventive effects of regular tea consumption on cardiovascular events and certain types of cancer. There is no epidemiological evidence, however, for human risks of regular low dose PA exposure. Recommended regulatory PA-threshold values are based on experimental data only, accepting big uncertainties. If a general risk exists through PA contaminated T&HI, it must be small compared to other frequently accepted risks of daily living and the proven health effects of T&HI. Decision making should be based on a balanced riskbenefit analysis. Based on analyses of the scientific data currently available, it is concluded that the benefits of drinking T&HI clearly outweigh the negligible health risk of possible PA contamination. At the same time, manufacturers must continue their efforts to secure good product quality and to be transparent on their measures of quality control and risk communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA); risk–benefit analysis; tea and herbal infusions pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA); risk–benefit analysis; tea and herbal infusions
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Habs, M.; Binder, K.; Krauss, S.; Müller, K.; Ernst, B.; Valentini, L.; Koller, M. A Balanced Risk–Benefit Analysis to Determine Human Risks Associated with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PA)—The Case of Tea and Herbal Infusions. Nutrients 2017, 9, 717.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top