Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 414565
Title Safety assessment of plant food supplements (PFS)
Author(s) Berg, S.J.P.L. van den; Serra-Majem, L.; Coppens, P.; Rietjens, I.
Source Food & Function 2 (2011)12. - ISSN 2042-6496 - p. 760 - 768.
Department(s) Sub-department of Toxicology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) st-johns-wort - toxicological concern ttc - chinese herbs - dna-adducts - flavoring substances - aristolochic acid - risk-assessment - mouse-liver - kava - tea
Abstract Botanicals and botanical preparations, including plant food supplements (PFS), are widely used in Western diets. The growing use of PFS is accompanied by an increasing concern because the safety of these PFS is not generally assessed before they enter the market. Regulatory bodies have become more aware of this and are increasing their efforts to ensure the safety of PFS. The present review describes an overview of the general framework for the safety assessment of PFS, focusing on the different approaches currently in use to assess the safety of botanicals and/or botanical compounds, including their history of safe use, the tiered approach proposed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) and the Margin of Exposure (MOE) concept. Moreover, some examples of botanical compounds in PFS that may be of concern are discussed. Altogether, it is clear that “natural” does not equal “safe” and that PFS may contain compounds of concern at levels far above those found in the regular diet. In addition, the traditional use of a PFS compound as a herb or tea does not guarantee its safety when used as a supplement. This points at a need for stricter regulation and control of botanical containing products, especially given their expanding market volume
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