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Article Published In Vol.3 (May-June-2015)

Toxic Behaviour of Naturally Occurring Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Pages : 594-597

Author : Sharma S and Agrawal R

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The Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs) are the chemicals which are found in various plant species throughout the world. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are secondary metabolites those have been evolved as a powerful means in the plant defensive system against herbivores. Several studies are being performing to detect presence of PAs in the food and feed which are obtained from plants through direct or indirect sources. Biosynthesis of PAs is dependent upon plant’s growth and biomass production. In this review, chemistry, biosynthesis and metabolism of pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been summarized. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are toxic in nature so the presence of PAs in food is undesirable. PAs are reported for their hepatotoxicity, carcinogenicity and genotoxity. PAs first target liver after consumption for their toxicity. PAs intoxication develops acute, sub acute and chronic stage of the liver which leads liver failure and ultimately death.

Keywords: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, chemistry, metabolic pathways, biosynthesis, intoxication




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