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Toxikologie der synthetischen Antioxidantien BHA und BHT im Vergleich mit dem natürlichen Antioxidans Vitamin E

Toxicology of the synthetic antioxidants BHA and BHT in comparison with the natural antioxidant vitamin E

Abstract

The toxicology of the food preservatives butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) as well as the naturally occurring vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is described. In high dosages all three compounds induce in animals impairment of blood clotting, which can be explained by an antagonism with vitamin K. Specific toxic effects to the lung have only been observed with BHT. The other described toxic effects of BHA and BHT are less characteristic and often occur only after high dosage and long-term treatment. However, BHA induces in animals tumours of the forestomach, which are dose dependent, whereas BHT induces liver tumours in long-term experiments. Because there is no indication of genotoxicity of BHA and BHT, all published findings agree with the fact that BHA and BHT are tumour promoters. In contrast to BHA and BHT, vitamin E is not carcinogenic. On the other hand, all three antioxidants have also anticarcinogenic properties. The intake of the necessary high doses as for these effects are, however, contraindicated with BHA and BHT because of their carcinogenic effects. The present overview concludes that the concentrations of BHA and BHT nowadays used in food, drugs and cosmetics are probably harmless. In addition, vitamin E can also be used in higher doses without the occurrence of adverse effects.

Zusammenfassung

Die Toxikologie der Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe Butylhydroxyanisol (BHA) und Butylhydroxytoluol (BHT) sowie des natürlich vorkommenden Vitamin E (α-Tocopherol) wird beschrieben. Alle drei Verbindungen verursachen im Tierversuch bei hoher Dosierung Störungen der Blutgerinnung, die mit einem Vitamin-K-Antagonismus erklärbar sind. Spezifische toxische Effekte auf die Lunge sind nur mit BHT beobachtet worden. Die sonst beschriebenen toxischen Wirkungen von BHA und BHT sind wenig charakteristisch und treten zum Teil erst bei sehr hoher Dosierung und bei Langzeitbehandlung auf. BHA induziert jedoch bei Tieren dosisabhängig Tumoren des Vormagens, während BHT im Langzeitversuch Lebertumoren erzeugt. Da es keinen Hinweis auf eine Gentoxizität von BHA und BHT gibt, sprechen alle bisherigen Befunde dafür, daß BHA und BHT Tumorpromotoren sind. Im Gegensatz zu BHA und BHT ist Vitamin E nicht cancerogen. Andererseits besitzen alle drei Antioxidantien auch anticancerogene Eigenschaften. Die Aufnahme hoher Dosen, wie sie für diese Effekte notwendig sind, verbietet sich jedoch bei BHA und BHT wegen ihrer cancerogenen Wirkungen. Die vorliegende Übersicht kommt zu dem Schluß, daß die in Lebensmitteln, Arzneimitteln und Cosmetica zur Zeit verwendeten Konzentrationen von BHA und BHT wahrscheinlich unbedenklich sind. Vitamin E kann darüber hinaus auch in höheren Dosen eingenommen werden, ohne daß unerwünschte Wirkungen auftreten.

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Kahl, R., Kappus, H. Toxikologie der synthetischen Antioxidantien BHA und BHT im Vergleich mit dem natürlichen Antioxidans Vitamin E. Z Lebensm Unters Forch 196, 329–338 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01197931

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