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February 2019

Mutat Res. 1985 Dec; 158(3): 149-57.

Mutagens in human urine: effects of cigarette smoking and diet.

Sasson IM, Coleman DT, LaVoie EJ, Hoffmann D, Wynder EL.

Human urine from smokers and nonsmokers on strictly controlled diets was assayed for mutagenic activity. Two distinct diets were employed in this study. Diet study A consisted of a high-meat, high-fat diet, observed for 5 days, followed by a vegan diet, adhered to for the next 5 days. The vegan diet contained no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. It was comprised of soy products, prepackaged vegan dinners, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, beans and herbal teas. Diet study B consisted of 3 days on a typical western diet followed by a macrobiotic diet of grains and fresh vegetables for 5 days. Portions of 24-h urine samples were assayed in Salmonella typhimurium TA1538. The levels of urinary creatinine and cotinine were measured. Mutagenic activity was observed in the urine of most smokers. However, the levels of mutagens in the urine of light smokers were similar to those of nonsmokers. For both nonsmokers and smokers there was a significant increase in urine mutagenicity when volunteers were on the vegan diet. Several nonsmokers on the vegan diet in diet study A had pronounced mutagenic activity in their urine samples, in some instances at higher levels than that in the urine of smokers on a meat diet. In diet study B no clear differences were observed between the meat diet and the macrobiotic diet. In diet studies A and B the mutagenic potency of smokers' urine could not be correlated with cotinine levels alone or with urinary pH. These data suggest that dietary factors can play a dominant role in the mutagenicity of urine concentrates.

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