Deoxynivalenol (DON) is produced by Fusarium graminearum and is one of the most commonly occurring trichothecenes. Vegetarians are alleged to be a high-risk group for DON exposure due to high intakes of cereals susceptible to the growth of the mycotoxin. This study provides the levels of DON and de-epoxi Deoxynivalenol (DOM-1) in urine analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in UK vegetarians. Over two consecutive days, morning urine samples were collected from 32 vegetarians and 31 UK adult volunteers, and associated food consumption 24 h prior to the sample was recorded. Statistically significant differences between the weight of the UK adults and vegetarians (t = 3.15. df = 61, p ≤ 0.005 two-tailed) were observed. The mean levels of DON in urine for adults on day 1 was 3.05 ng free DON/mg creatinine, and on day 2 was 2.98 ng free DON/mg creatinine. Even though high mean levels were observed, most adults were within the tolerable daily intake. However, for vegetarians, the mean level of urinary DON on day 1 was 6.69 ng free DON/mg creatinine, and on day 2 was 3.42 ng free DON/mg creatinine. These levels equate to up to 32% of vegetarians exceeding recommended tolerable daily intakes (TDI) of exposure (1 µg/kg b.w./day).
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