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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

Food Chain

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Disease relevance of Food Chain

  • The extent to which slaframine and swainsonine mycotoxicosis pose threats to animal husbandry and, indeed, to humans, if these alkaloids were to enter the human food chain, deserves serious consideration [1].
  • This is particularly relevant to assessments of the risk posed by DEHP and DEHA present as contaminants in foods, since human exposure via the food chain has been estimated by Shiota, Chou & Nishimura (1980) as 30 micrograms/kg body weight/day, several orders of magnitude less than the lowest exposure level used in these experiments [2].
  • Environmental lead, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals that enter the food chain can seriously deplete body stores of iron, vitamin C and other essential nutrients leading to decreased immune defenses, intrauterine growth retardation, impaired psycho-social faculties and other disabilities associated with malnutrition [3].
  • A food chain consisting of toluene, toluene-degrading Pseudomonas sp. PS+ and a bacterivorous flagellated amoebae Vahlkampfia sp. was established in a batch culture [4].

High impact information on Food Chain

  • Polonium and plutonium in an intertidal food chain [5].
  • This phenomenon may be related to an increase of fluoride in the food chain, especially from the use of fluoridated water in food processing, increased use of infant formulas with measurable fluoride content, and even unintentional ingestion of fluoride dentifrices [6].
  • Past emissions from zinc smelters gave rise to contamination of the environment with cadmium, which gets into the food chain and has the potential to cause renal dysfunction and alterations in zinc and copper homeostasis [7].
  • The capacity for detoxification and internal storage of Cd resulted in a strong potential for trophic transfer of Cd through the aquatic food web [8].
  • We here report biomagnification (the increasing accumulation of bioactive, often deleterious molecules through higher trophic levels of a food chain) of the neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid beta-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) in the Guam ecosystem [9].

Biological context of Food Chain


Associations of Food Chain with chemical compounds

  • In terms of organic chemicals, the best known examples of bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains are the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and organochlorine pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) [15].
  • It seems likely that melatonin initially evolved as an antioxidant, becoming a vitamin in the food chain, and in multicellular organisms, where it is produced, it has acquired autocoid, paracoid and hormonal properties [16].
  • Radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-human food chain near uranium mining operations in northern Saskatchewan, Canada [17].
  • It is shown that for chemicals with log octanol water partition coefficients greater than about 3, the role of food chain transfer to fish consumed by humans becomes the more dominant route over drinking water [18].
  • North Atlantic Oscillation synchronizes food-web interactions in central European lakes [19].

Gene context of Food Chain

  • While aquatic mammals including seal species are at the top of food chain and highly contaminated by xenochemicals such as PCBs, induction of CYP2/3 subfamilies by such chemical exposure and their regulatory mechanisms have not yet been established in these animals [20].
  • However, the ability of RIT1 to facilitate Zn and Cd uptake when these metals are present at elevated concentrations suggests that RIT1 may be one pathway for the entry of toxic metals into the food chain [21].
  • The origin of sul1 and sul2 found in isolates from healthy humans is speculative, but their spread from pigs to humans via the food chain is possible [22].
  • Chemical pollutants in the Great Lakes have found their way through the food chain into humans because of their environmental persistence and lipophilicity [23].
  • Results indicate that under the OTM rule less than 1 animal in the last 12 months of the incubation period would enter the food chain in 2003 [24].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Food Chain


  1. Identification of swainsonine as a probable contributory mycotoxin in moldy forage mycotoxicoses. Broquist, H.P., Mason, P.S., Hagler, W.M., Harris, T.M. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1984) [Pubmed]
  2. Genotoxicity studies on di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and adipate and toxicity studies on di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in the rat and marmoset. Jäckh, R., Rhodes, C., Grasso, P., Carter, J.T. Food Chem. Toxicol. (1984) [Pubmed]
  3. Global outlook on nutrition and the environment: meeting the challenges of the next millennium. Iyengar, G.V., Nair, P.P. Sci. Total Environ. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Assimilation of toluene carbon along a bacteria-protist food chain determined by 13C-enrichment of biomarker fatty acids. Mauclaire, L., Pelz, O., Thullner, M., Abraham, W.R., Zeyer, J. J. Microbiol. Methods (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. Polonium and plutonium in an intertidal food chain. Cheng, L., Hodge, V.F., Lewin, R.A. Nature (1977) [Pubmed]
  6. Fluorides and the changing prevalence of dental caries. Leverett, D.H. Science (1982) [Pubmed]
  7. Renal function and historical environmental cadmium pollution from zinc smelters. Staessen, J.A., Lauwerys, R.R., Ide, G., Roels, H.A., Vyncke, G., Amery, A. Lancet (1994) [Pubmed]
  8. Rapid loss of genetically based resistance to metals after the cleanup of a Superfund site. Levinton, J.S., Suatoni, E., Wallace, W., Junkins, R., Kelaher, B., Allen, B.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Biomagnification of cyanobacterial neurotoxins and neurodegenerative disease among the Chamorro people of Guam. Cox, P.A., Banack, S.A., Murch, S.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  10. Algal blooms reduce the uptake of toxic methylmercury in freshwater food webs. Pickhardt, P.C., Folt, C.L., Chen, C.Y., Klaue, B., Blum, J.D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2002) [Pubmed]
  11. Accumulation of atmospheric and sedimentary PCBs and toxaphene in a Lake Michigan food web. Stapleton, H.M., Masterson, C., Skubinna, J., Ostrom, P., Ostrom, N.E., Baker, J.E. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. The Environmental fate of three carcinogens: benzo-(alpha)-pyrene, benzidine, and vinyl chloride evaluated in laboratory model ecosystems. Lu, P.Y., Metcalf, R.L., Plummer, N., Mandel, D. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1977) [Pubmed]
  13. Environmental cadmium in Europe. Jensen, A., Bro-Rasmussen, F. Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology. (1992) [Pubmed]
  14. Factors affecting enhanced mercury bioaccumulation in inland lakes of Isle Royale National Park, USA. Gorski, P.R., Cleckner, L.B., Hurley, J.P., Sierszen, M.E., Armstrong, D.E. Sci. Total Environ. (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. Environmental contaminants in the food chain. Clarkson, T.W. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (1995) [Pubmed]
  16. Melatonin: a hormone, a tissue factor, an autocoid, a paracoid, and an antioxidant vitamin. Tan, D.X., Manchester, L.C., Hardeland, R., Lopez-Burillo, S., Mayo, J.C., Sainz, R.M., Reiter, R.J. J. Pineal Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
  17. Radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-human food chain near uranium mining operations in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Thomas, P.A., Gates, T.E. Environ. Health Perspect. (1999) [Pubmed]
  18. Modeling organic chemical fate in aquatic systems: significance of bioaccumulation and relevant time-space scales. Thomann, R.V. Environ. Health Perspect. (1995) [Pubmed]
  19. North Atlantic Oscillation synchronizes food-web interactions in central European lakes. Straile, D. Proc. Biol. Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  20. Identification of constitutive androstane receptor cDNA in northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus). Sakai, H., Iwata, H., Kim, E.Y., Tanabe, S., Baba, N. Mar. Environ. Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
  21. Kinetic properties of a micronutrient transporter from Pisum sativum indicate a primary function in Fe uptake from the soil. Cohen, C.K., Garvin, D.F., Kochian, L.V. Planta (2004) [Pubmed]
  22. Detection of sul1, sul2 and sul3 in sulphonamide resistant Escherichia coli isolates obtained from healthy humans, pork and pigs in Denmark. Hammerum, A.M., Sandvang, D., Andersen, S.R., Seyfarth, A.M., Porsbo, L.J., Frimodt-Møller, N., Heuer, O.E. Int. J. Food Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  23. Inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication in normal human breast epithelial cells after treatment with pesticides, PCBs, and PBBs, alone or in mixtures. Kang, K.S., Wilson, M.R., Hayashi, T., Chang, C.C., Trosko, J.E. Environ. Health Perspect. (1996) [Pubmed]
  24. Modelling studies on bovine spongiform encephalopathy occurrence to assist in the review of the over 30 months rule in Great Britain. Arnold, M., Wilesmith, J. Proc. Biol. Sci. (2003) [Pubmed]
  25. Hexachlorobenzene in the marine environment: distribution, fate and ecotoxicological aspects. Ernst, W. IARC Sci. Publ. (1986) [Pubmed]
  26. Dynamics of hexachlorobenzene residues in the food chain. Uhnák, J., Veningerová, M., Madaric, A., Szokolay, A. IARC Sci. Publ. (1986) [Pubmed]
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