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Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 6;4:6931. doi: 10.1038/srep06931.

Quantification of neurotoxin BMAA (β-N-methylamino-L-alanine) in seafood from Swedish markets.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
National Food Administration, SE-75126 Uppsala, Sweden.


The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) produced naturally by cyanobacteria, diatoms and dinoflagellates can be transferred and accumulated up the food chain, and may be a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. This study provides the first systematic screening of BMAA exposure of a large population through the consumption of seafood sold in metropolitan markets. BMAA was distinguished from known isomers by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry after acidic hydrolysis and derivatization. Using deuterium-labeled internal standard, BMAA was quantified as 0.01-0.90 μg/g wet weight of tissues in blue mussel, oyster, shrimp, plaice, char and herring, but was undetectable (<0.01 μg/g) in other samples (salmon, cod, perch and crayfish). Provided that the content of BMAA detected is relevant for intake calculations, the data presented may be used for a first estimation of BMAA exposure through seafood from Swedish markets, and to refine the design of future toxicological experiments and assessments.

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