Beer contaminated with toxins – is it time to be afraid?

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that pose a high risk to human health and even life. Mycotoxins are considered the second most important metabolites produced by fungi in order.


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Mycotoxins can affect living organisms in different ways, exhibiting, among others, embryotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic or teratogenic properties.

Recently, researchers have tested how many mycotoxins contain 64 brands of beer purchased in Spain. The study was published in June 2018. The results of 20.3% of the beer samples contained mycotoxins. None of the non-alcoholic beers contained mycotoxins. Zearalenone was most commonly detected, it is associated with hormonal disturbances in animals and humans, it is potentially carcinogenic.  Is it time for an alarm? Not necessarily, because modern technology (tandem mass spectrometer) has a cosmic sensitivity. Found from 8.24 to 62.96 μg zearalenone per liter of beer. Only 3 samples contained two (or more) types of mycotoxins. 

Conclusion athletes should consider the regular consumption of beer, because in addition to carcinogenic effects of ethanol, exposure to mycotoxins contained in beer is quite likely. 


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