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Review

Extracting and Analyzing Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Medicinal Plants: A Review

1
Department of Chemistry, Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2
Central Laboratory of German Pharmacists, 65760 Eschborn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 April 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 5 May 2020 / Published: 13 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Toxicity of Natural Alkaloids)
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are distributed in plant families of Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, and Fabaceae and serve in the chemical defense mechanism against herbivores. However, they became a matter of concern due to their toxicity associated with the high risk of intake within herbal preparations, e.g., phytopharmaceutical formulations, medicinal teas, or other plant-derived drug products. In 1992, the German Federal Ministry of Health established the first limits of PA content for fourteen medicinal plants. Because of the toxic effects of PAs, the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR) established more stringent limits in 2011, whereby a daily intake <0.007 µg/kg body weight was recommended and valid until 2018. A threefold higher limit was then advised by BfR. To address consumer safety, there is the need for more efficient extraction procedures along with robust, selective, and sensitive analytical methods to address these concerns. With the increased prevalence of, e.g., phytopharmaceutical formulations, this timely review comprehensively focuses on the most relevant extraction and analysis strategies for each of those fourteen plant genera. While a variety of extraction procedures has been reported, differences in PA content of up to 1110 ppm (0.11% (w/w)) were obtained dependent on the nature of the solvent and the applied extraction technique. It is evident that the efficient extraction of PAs requires further improvements or at least standardization of the extraction conditions. Comparing the various analytical techniques applied regarding selectivity and sensitivity, LC-MS methods appear most suited. This review shows that both standardized extraction and sensitive determination of PAs is required for achieving appropriate safety levels concerning public health in future. View Full-Text
Keywords: pyrrolizidine alkaloids; analytical techniques; extraction techniques; medicinal plants; Symphytum; Tussilago; Senecio pyrrolizidine alkaloids; analytical techniques; extraction techniques; medicinal plants; Symphytum; Tussilago; Senecio
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kopp, T.; Abdel-Tawab, M.; Mizaikoff, B. Extracting and Analyzing Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Medicinal Plants: A Review. Toxins 2020, 12, 320. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12050320

AMA Style

Kopp T, Abdel-Tawab M, Mizaikoff B. Extracting and Analyzing Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Medicinal Plants: A Review. Toxins. 2020; 12(5):320. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12050320

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kopp, Thomas; Abdel-Tawab, Mona; Mizaikoff, Boris. 2020. "Extracting and Analyzing Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Medicinal Plants: A Review" Toxins 12, no. 5: 320. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12050320

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