General medicine

The study find that the occurrence of 1,2-unsaturated PA in herbal teas; tea and honey, as well as a salad mixture contaminate with ragwort and food supplements. The BfR has now made a health assessment of levels of 1,2-unsaturated PA determined by the monitoring authorities of the federal states in samples of various dried and deep-frozen herbs and spices.

Ragwort and food supplements

A high level of 1,2-unsaturated PA is detect in borage; as well as in some samples of commercially purchase deep-frozen and dried lovage, oregano and marjoram. Although the absolute consumption quantity of herbs is low in prepared foods; it can make a considerable contribution towards longer term as well as short-term exposure to 1,2-unsaturated PA.

The BfR made a preliminary assessment of the health risk posed by short as well as long-term uptake on the basis of the levels of 1,2-unsaturated PA determined in the samples of deep-frozen ;and dried herbs and spices. A conclusive assessment of the possible health risk resulting from ; the consumption of herbs contaminated with 1,2-unsaturated PA is not possible at the moment as there is not enough data on the longer as well as the short-term consumption of various herbs.

Dried herbs and spices

The preliminary health estimation of the levels of 1,2 unsaturated PA ; in herbs made in this opinion is therefore based on various scenarios on the uptake of these substances (exposure). The primary target organ of PA-induced adverse effects in humans and animals is the liver; but other organs  be affect too, such as the lungs in particular.

The effects can occur within a short period of time if larger doses of unsaturated PA have been ingest and within a longer period of time with lower doses. Typical symptoms; especially if high doses have been ingested, are closure of the central sublobular hepatic vein and liver damage which lead to liver necrosis. It is also know from experiments with animals that they cause a mutagenic and carcinogenic effect.

Mutagenic and carcinogenic effect.

To estimate the risk of possibly non-carcinogenic (non-neoplastic) damage; an orientation value of 0.1 μg PA per kilogram body weight and day is use in a makeshift manner. This health-based guidance value (HBGV) ; was derive from a chronic study with animals. With a daily intake quantity of less than 0.1 μg 1,2-unsaturated PA per kilogram body weight and day, the occurrence of non-carcinogenic liver damage is not to be expected with short as well as long-term exposure.