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    Vegans might have a higher exposure to mycotoxins due to their heightened consumption of typical mycotoxin containing food sources. Yet, data on internal exposure among vegans in comparison to omnivores are currently lacking. This cross-sectional study includes 36 vegans and 36 omnivores (50% females, 30-60 years). A set of 28 and 27 mycotoxins is analyzed in 24-h urine and serum samples, respectively, by validated multi-mycotoxin methods (HPLC-MS/MS). Ochratoxin A (OTA), 2'R-OTA, and enniatin B in serum as well as deoxynivalenol-glucuronide in 24-h urine are quantified in 57-100% of the samples. Serum OTA levels are twofold higher in vegans than in omnivores (median 0.24 ng mL-1 vs 0.12 ng mL-1 ; p < 0.0001). No further significant differences were observed. Serum OTA levels are associated with intake of "vegan products" (r = 0.50, p < 0.0001) and "pasta & rice" (r = 0.33, p = 0.006). Sensitivity analyses advise cautious interpretation. Furthermore, serum levels of 2'R-OTA are related to coffee consumption (r = 0.64, p < 0.0001). The results indicate a higher exposure of vegans to OTA, but not to other mycotoxins. However, larger studies with repeated measurements are required to better evaluate the exposure to mycotoxins from plant-based diets. © 2022 The Authors. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Katharina J Penczynski, Benedikt Cramer, Stefan Dietrich, Hans-Ulrich Humpf, Klaus Abraham, Cornelia Weikert. Mycotoxins in Serum and 24-h Urine of Vegans and Omnivores from the Risks and Benefits of a Vegan Diet (RBVD) Study. Molecular nutrition & food research. 2022 Mar;66(6):e2100874

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    PMID: 35072972

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