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September 2019

Food Chem Toxicol. 1995 Jan; 33(1): 43-8.

Nitrosation of Nigerian medicinal plant preparations under 'chemical' and 'simulated' gastric conditions.

Atawodi SE, Lamorde AG, Spiegelhalder B, Preussmann R.

National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State, Nigeria.

Preparations of some tropical plants of medicinal importance, collected from the savannah vegetational belt of Nigeria, were nitrosated and analysed for volatile N-nitrosamines formed under chemical and simulated gastric conditions. N-Nitrosamines were determined on a Thermal Energy Analyser following gas chromatographic separation. Mean concentrations of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the range of 7 to 58 ppb and N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in the range of 23 to 26 ppb were formed in 31 and 7%, respectively, of the preparations using artificial gastric juice (simulated gastric condition). Under chemically optimal conditions, relatively high levels of NDMA (72-2008 ppb), NDEA (23-1528 ppb) and N-nitrosopyrrolidine (20-405 ppb) were formed in 100, 75 and 32% of the preparations, respectively; N-nitrosomethylethylamine, N-nitrosodibutylamine and N-nitrosomorpholine were formed in fewer preparations. These findings suggest that the endogenous formation of N-nitroso compounds from precursors present in medicinal plants might be another source of human exposure to environmental carcinogens in Nigeria and other developing countries.

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