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Endocrine disruptors in food

, : Endocrine disruptors in food. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz 47(9): 848-856

It has been hypothesized that chemicals with estrogenic or antiandrogenic activity (xenoestrogens/xenoantiandrogens) may cause developmental, reproductive, and tumorigenic effects in humans and animals. The endocrine disruptor hypothesis is biologically plausible, but evidence for a causal link between environmental exposures to such agents and adverse health effects in humans is limited to prenatal exposures to high doses of the potent estrogen diethylstilbestrol. In principle, there is agreement that risks from endocrine disruptors are determined by time of exposure, dose, and potency. The biological relevance of the known, and usually low concentrations of hormonally active agents in foods, and the question as to which extent xenoestrogens/xenoantiandrogens can indeed exert adverse effects on humans is a controversial issue. This is in part due to uncertainties regarding the role of combination effects and the shape of the dose-response curve at very low concentrations that will result from dietary intake of both synthetic chemicals and phytochemicals. Moreover, information on exposures to certain agents is incomplete and complicates a toxicological risk assessment. Thus, there is a need for further research addressing the question of whether and if so, which compounds and classes of compounds may have an impact on human reproductive health.


PMID: 15378172

DOI: 10.1007/s00103-004-0893-5

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