ISSN: 2373-6367PPIJ

Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal
Volume 3 Issue 1 - 2015
Levels of Ochratoxin in Urine and Possible Correlation with Food Consumption
Rodrigues MT*, DuarteSC, Pena A and Lino CM
Group of Health Surveillance, Faculdade de Farmacia da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal
Received:April 6, 2015 | Published: December 4, 2015
*Corresponding author: : Rodrigues MT, Group of Health Surveillance, Faculdade de Farmacia da Universidade de Coimbra, Rua do Outeiro-Alto, nº17 3870-027 Murtosa Portugal, Tel: 916511314, Email:
Citation: Rodrigues MT, DuarteSC, Pena A, Lino CM (2015) Levels of Ochratoxin in Urine and Possible Correlation with Food Consumption. Pharm Pharmacol Int J 3(1): 00048. DOI: 10.15406/ppij.2015.03.00048


Previous national urine surveys confirmed a continuous and widespread exposure of the Portuguese population to ochratoxin A (OTA). Nevertheless, despite OTA in urine provide the ultimate evidence that exposure has taken place, it does not point out the food source of contamination involved. In any case, the observed absence of persistent significant differences between most of the anthropometric parameters, seasonal or regional factors strongly suggested that the source of OTA was transversal to the population, which means that, considering that the major source of exposure is the ingestion of contaminated food, some common dietary foodstuff is probably implicated.

Keywords: Acupuncture; Ancient therapy; Internal Medicine; Anthropology


This work aimed to identify a possible correlation between OTA urine levels and food consumption.


Figure 1: Experiment.


Figure 2: Comparison of the results with reported occurrence and contamination levels of OTA in urine from foreign countries.


Previous similar studies were only conducted in foreign populations and only related human milk or plasma biomarkers with food consumption. But contrarily to blood-based biomarkers compromised by the steady-state concentration OTA levels in urine proved to correlate more closely with the level of consumption among the general population [1], allowing a rapid and easy non invasive procedure of collection. Furthermore, human milk can only be used as an indicator of exposure of lactating women [2]. All the tested urine samples were OTA positive although with a low average level (0.015±0.017 µg/L). Even if not always statistically significant a higher consumption of walnuts, sausages, bread, chocolate and milk was related to higher OTA levels in the urine of the enrolled participants. Previous studies pointed out an evident association between high consumption of pork, liver paste/pate, milk and cheese, chicken, beef, turkey and cold meat and high OTA levels in human milk and plasma [3].


This study was supported by the FCT through the Project PTDC/AGR-ALI/65528/2006 and the grant SFRH/BD/37409/2007.


  1. Gilbert J, Brereton P, MacDonald S (2001) Assessment of dietary exposure to ochratoxin A in the UK using a duplicate diet approach and analysis of urine and plasma samples. Food Addit Contam 18(12): 1088-1093.
  2. Duarte SC, Pena A, Lino CM (2011) Human ochratoxin A biomarkers—From exposure to effect. Crit Rev Toxicol 41(3): 187-212.
  3. Duarte SC, Lino CM, Pena A (2012) Food safety implications of ochratoxin A in animal-derived food products. Vet J 192(3): 286-292.
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