Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pollen Should be Monitored for Toxic Alkaloid Content

Hepatotoxic Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Pollen and Drying-Related Implications for Commercial Processing of Bee Pollen
J. Agric. Food Chem, June 14, 2008

Abstract: Using HPLC-ESI-MS, several saturated and 1,2-dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloids were detected, mainly as their N-oxides, in fresh pollen collected from flowers of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid-producing plants Echium vulgare, E. plantagineum, Senecio jacobaea, S. ovatus, and Eupatorium cannabinum, and/or pollen loads from bees (bee pollen) that foraged on those plants…

Considered in conjunction with international concerns about the adverse effects of these alkaloids, the results strongly indicate a need for monitoring pollen supplies intended for human consumption, at least until conditions for processing and/or selection are clearly defined such as to significantly reduce the hepatotoxic (and potentially carcinogenic and genotoxic) pyrrolizidine alkaloid content of bee pollen.

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