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Toxins 2017, 9(7), 196;

Deoxynivalenol Biomarkers in the Urine of UK Vegetarians

Department of Academic Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Brocklehurst Building, Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Hull HU3 2RW, UK
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, LICAMM, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Department of Environmental Medicine, Hainan Medical University, 3 Xueyuan Road, Haikou 571199, China
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, GMO and Mycotoxins Unit, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299,001,61 Rome, Italy
Department of Statistical Sciences, Piazzale Aldo Moro, Università degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, 500,185 Roma, Italy
Echuca Regional Health, Service Street, Echuca 3564, Australia
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 43126 Parma, Italy
Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, Hull York Medical School, Hertford Building, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar, Education City, P.O. Box 24144, Qatar
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chiara Dall’Asta
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Human Metabolism on the Toxicological Effects of Mycotoxins)
PDF [539 KB, uploaded 22 June 2017]


Deoxynivalenol (DON) is produced by Fusarium graminearum and is one of the most commonly occurring trichothecenes. Vegetarians are alleged to be a high-risk group for DON exposure due to high intakes of cereals susceptible to the growth of the mycotoxin. This study provides the levels of DON and de-epoxi Deoxynivalenol (DOM-1) in urine analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in UK vegetarians. Over two consecutive days, morning urine samples were collected from 32 vegetarians and 31 UK adult volunteers, and associated food consumption 24 h prior to the sample was recorded. Statistically significant differences between the weight of the UK adults and vegetarians (t = 3.15. df = 61, p ≤ 0.005 two-tailed) were observed. The mean levels of DON in urine for adults on day 1 was 3.05 ng free DON/mg creatinine, and on day 2 was 2.98 ng free DON/mg creatinine. Even though high mean levels were observed, most adults were within the tolerable daily intake. However, for vegetarians, the mean level of urinary DON on day 1 was 6.69 ng free DON/mg creatinine, and on day 2 was 3.42 ng free DON/mg creatinine. These levels equate to up to 32% of vegetarians exceeding recommended tolerable daily intakes (TDI) of exposure (1 µg/kg b.w./day). View Full-Text
Keywords: mycotoxins; deoxynivalenol; vegetarians; vomitoxin mycotoxins; deoxynivalenol; vegetarians; vomitoxin

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Wells, L.; Hardie, L.; Williams, C.; White, K.; Liu, Y.; De Santis, B.; Debegnach, F.; Moretti, G.; Greetham, S.; Brera, C.; Papageorgiou, M.; Thatcher, N.J.; Rigby, A.; Atkin, S.L.; Sathyapalan, T. Deoxynivalenol Biomarkers in the Urine of UK Vegetarians. Toxins 2017, 9, 196.

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