Ah receptor agonist activity in frequently consumed food items.

W.J. de Waard, J.M. Aarts, A.C. Peijnenburg, T.M. de Kok, F.J. van Schooten, L.A. Hoogenboom*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) receives much attention for its role in the toxicity of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls. However, many other compounds have also been reported to bind and activate AhR, of which natural food components are of special interest from a human health perspective. Using the dioxin receptor-chemical-activated luciferase gene expression (DR CALUX(R)) bioassay, extracts from many food items frequently consumed in the Netherlands were screened to estimate the intake of natural AhR agonists (NAhRAs). Using the prototypical AhR agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) as standard, it was estimated that the daily intake of NAhRAs might be considerably higher than the reported intake of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls. Potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, bread, hamburgers, and grapefruit juice contained most NAhRAs. Food preparation and acid treatment can show a significant effect on AhR activation. The interaction of natural and xenobiotic AhR agonists should be taken into account when performing risk-benefit analysis of both types of compounds.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)779-789
    JournalFood Additives and Contaminants Part A-Chemistry Analysis Control Exposure
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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