[AHEAD OF PRINT] Determination of Aristolochic Acids I and II in Brazilian Sugar Cane Spirit Infusions “milhomem” Commonly used in Northeast Brazil as Popular Drinks

Written by Eugênio Telles

Aristolochic acids (AA) are phytochemicals found in plants of the genus Aristolochia belonging to the family Aristolochiaceae. These compounds bear a nitrophenanthrene carboxylic acid skeleton and are reported to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, and nephrotoxic. Sugar cane spirit infusions containing Aristolochia species are commonly used in Brazil as popular drinks, in total absence of scientific information. The presence aristolochic acids was confirmed in samples collected in popular markets of the city of Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil. The aristolochic acids quantitative estimation was made in five samples of sugar cane spirit infusions obtained from different places of that city and were performed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The samples analyzed contained aristolochic acids I and II in concentrations ranging between 1.96 and 6.10 µg/ml for AA I and 2.22 and 11.55 µg/ml for AA II. The immediate banning of such popular drinks is recommended in view of the danger to ingest aristolochic acids, botanical products containing aristolochic acids or herbal products containing plants belonging to Aristolochiaceae family.


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