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J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2018 Feb;32(2). doi: 10.1002/jbt.22022. Epub 2017 Dec 15.

Effects of sodium benzoate, a commonly used food preservative, on learning, memory, and oxidative stress in brain of mice.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


Sodium benzoate (SB) is a widely used preservative and antimicrobial substance in many foods and soft drinks. However, this compound is generally recognized as safe food additives, but evidence has suggested that a high intake of SB may link to attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children. Present study investigate the effects of oral administration of different concentrations of SB (0.56, 1.125, and 2.25 mg/mL) for 4 weeks, on the learning and memory performance tests, and also the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), and acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE) in the mouse brain. The results showed that SB significantly impaired memory and motor coordination. Moreover, SB decreased reduced GSH and increased the MDA level in the brain significantly (P < 0.001). However, nonsignificant alteration was observed in the AChE activity. These findings suggest that short-term consumption of SB can impair memory performance and increased brain oxidative stress in mice.


acetylcholineesterase; glutathione; lipid peroxidation; memory; sodium benzoate

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