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Deoxynivalenol biomarkers in the urine of UK vegetarians

Wells, Liz; Hardie, Laura; Williams, Courtney; White, Kay; Liu, Yunru; De Santis, Barbara; Debegnach, Francesca; Moretti, Georgio; Greetham, Stephanie; Brera, Carlo; Papageorgiou, Maria; Thatcher, Natalie J.; Rigby, Alan; Atkin, Stephen L.; Sathyapalan, Thozhukat


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Mrs Liz Wells
Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics

Laura Hardie

Courtney Williams

Kay White

Yunru Liu

Barbara De Santis

Francesca Debegnach

Georgio Moretti

Stephanie Greetham

Carlo Brera

Maria Papageorgiou

Natalie J. Thatcher

Stephen L. Atkin


Deoxynivalenol (DON) is produced by Fusarium graminearum and is one of the most commonly occurring trichothecenes. Vegetarians are alleged to be a high-risk group for DON exposure due to high intakes of cereals susceptible to the growth of the mycotoxin. This study provides the levels of DON and de-epoxi Deoxynivalenol (DOM-1) in urine analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in UK vegetarians. Over two consecutive days, morning urine samples were collected from 32 vegetarians and 31 UK adult volunteers, and associated food consumption 24 h prior to the sample was recorded. Statistically significant differences between the weight of the UK adults and vegetarians (t = 3.15. df = 61, p ≤ 0.005 two-tailed) were observed. The mean levels of DON in urine for adults on day 1 was 3.05 ng free DON/mg creatinine, and on day 2 was 2.98 ng free DON/mg creatinine. Even though high mean levels were observed, most adults were within the tolerable daily intake. However, for vegetarians, the mean level of urinary DON on day 1 was 6.69 ng free DON/mg creatinine, and on day 2 was 3.42 ng free DON/mg creatinine. These levels equate to up to 32% of vegetarians exceeding recommended tolerable daily intakes (TDI) of exposure (1 µg/kg b.w./day). View Full-Text


Wells, L., Hardie, L., Williams, C., White, K., Liu, Y., De Santis, B., …Sathyapalan, T. (2017). Deoxynivalenol biomarkers in the urine of UK vegetarians. Toxins, 9(7), 196.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 14, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2017
Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 24, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 24, 2017
Journal Toxins
Electronic ISSN 2072-6651
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 7
Article Number ARTN 196
Pages 196
Keywords Deoxynivalenol, Aflatoxin, Vegetarians, Biomarkers
Public URL
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Additional Information Copy of article: Wells, L.; Hardie, L.; Williams, C.; White, K.; Liu, Y.; De Santis, B.; Debegnach, F.; Moretti, G.; Greetham, S.; Brera, C.; Papageorgiou, M.; Thatcher, N.J.; Rigby, A.; Atkin, S.L.; Sathyapalan, T. Deoxynivalenol Biomarkers in the Urine of UK Vegetarians. Toxins 2017, 9, 196.


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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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