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    ABSTRACT: Sports supplements are becoming a regular dietary addition for consumers who view such products as a means of improving their health and performance. Previously estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EDs) were detected in 80% of 116 sports supplements investigated by biological in vitro reporter gene assays (RGAs). The aim of this study was to quantify the hormonal activity in 50 of these sports supplement samples using a validated estrogen RGA and perform an exposure and risk assessment for human health. Results showed that 17β-estradiol equivalent levels were higher than those reported as being present in the typical human omnivore diet in 33 of the sports supplements and higher than the acceptable daily intake (ADI) in 13 of these products. The highest activity samples presented a potential to influence the human daily exposure to 17β-estradiol like activity in various risk groups with a predicted hormonal impact of greatest concern in young boys and postmenopausal women. In conclusion, consumers of sports supplements may be exposed to high levels of estrogenic EDs.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Food Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), ochratoxin A (OTA) and fumonisin B1 (FB1) are contaminants which have been shown to regularly co-occur in a range of foods. However, only a small number of studies have evaluated the interactive effect of binary and tertiary mycotoxins. The present study evaluated the effects of low levels of each mycotoxin in combination at their EU regulatory limits. Toxic effect with respect to cell viability was measured by MTT and neutral red assays, assessing mitochondria and lysosome integrities respectively. Individual toxicity showed that OTA (10 μg/ml) was the most cytotoxic mycotoxin in all three cell lines studied (caco-2, MDBK and raw 264.7). Binary combinations were cytotoxic to the MDBK cell line in the order [OTA/FB1] > [AFB1/FB1] > [AFB1/OTA], whilst all effects observed were classified as being additive. Tertiary combinations of AFB1, FB1 and OTA at the EU regulatory limits were tested and not found to exhibit measurable cytotoxicity in MDBK, caco-2 or raw 264.7 cells. However by increasing these concentrations above the legal limits to OTA (3 μg/ml), FB1 (8 μg/ml) and AFB1 (1.28 μg/ml), cytotoxicity was observed with up to 26% reduction in cell viability and synergistic effects were evident with regard to mitochondrial integrity.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Toxicon
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    ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic noise affects species relying on acoustic communication. Signals used in acoustic communication are important for reproduction as females are often attracted by signalling males and base their mate choice on male song. Previous studies on the impact of anthropogenic noise on behaviour have focused on the sender and mostly on vertebrates. However, we have little understanding of how potential receivers, e.g. females, are affected by noise. Using playback experiments, we investigated the response of female field crickets, Gryllus bimaculatus, to male song in the presence and absence of anthropogenic noise. We found that anthropogenic noise resulted in less effective phonotaxis towards signalling males. Thus, our study provides experimental evidence that anthropogenic noise affects females by limiting their ability to locate potential mates. Since male songs were not energetically masked by anthropogenic noise, signal masking cannot explain the difference in response. The reduced ability to locate singing males may be explained by distraction caused by the broad stimulus filtering of G. bimaculatus. The behavioural adjustments at the individual level may be passed to higher ecosystem processes, owing to invertebrates' fundamental role as part of a functioning ecosystem.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Animal Behaviour
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