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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Sep;25(26):26341-26350. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2665-z. Epub 2018 Jul 6.

Assessment of hepato-renal damage and genotoxicity induced by long-term exposure to five permitted food additives in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, 12211, Egypt.
Department of Laser Sciences and Interactions, National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.
The Holding Company for Biological Products & Vaccines VACSERA, Giza, Egypt.
Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt.


The present study assessed the long-term daily administration of benzoic acid (BA), potassium sorbate (PS), chlorophyll (CPL), tartrazine (TAZ), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) on hepato-renal changes and DNA damage in rats. Animals were orally administered with the 10 times of the acceptable daily intake (ADI) from each tested substance daily for 60 consecutive days. Blood, liver, and kidney samples were collected to evaluate hematological, biochemical, histopathological, and genotoxic alterations. The extent of liver and kidney damage was evaluated by comet assay and histopathologically. Significant reduction of leukocyte numbers and lymphocytes % in CPL- and TAZ-treated rats. However, significant increases in platelet count in all treated groups after 60 days were detected. The levels of serum transaminases enzymes (ALT, AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and creatinine were significantly increased in all treatments except with BHA group, but no substantial differences were found in urea after 60 days. Aside from BHA, results of DNA damage revealed significant increases in tailed nuclei, tail moment, DNA% in the tail, and tail length in liver and kidney at different degrees. Moreover, the histopathological figures of liver and kidneys affirmed destructive and degenerative changes. The study indicates that most of the tested food additives may provoke genotoxicity and hepato-nephropathy, which could be serious for human health. Therefore, it is necessary to be informed about the hazardous effects of food additives and more attention should be focused towards using natural substitutes.


Benzoic acid; Butylated hydroxyanisole; Chlorophyll; Food additives; Potassium sorbate; Tartrazine

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