Planta Med 2008; 74 - SL95
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1083975

Determination of aneugenic 2,4-Dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) and 2,4-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIBOA) contents in sprouts of various Triticum species

IM Bauer 1, D Schauberger 1, S Prinz 1, B Kopp 1
  • 1Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria

The increasing promotion and consumption of wheat sprouts in human health foods and dietary supplements has to be observed with increasing concern. The toxic benzoxazinoids (BAs), phytoalexins with allelopathic activity, play an important role in germination and plant defence of Poacaea. Recent investigations confirmed the aneugenic potential of DIMBOA and DIBOA, the most relevant BAs in Triticum species, in human-derived liver cells (HepG2) [1]. Usually detected in seedlings as early as two to three days after germination, but not in seeds [2], their amounts in Triticum differ between the respective species as well as within one species itself [3]. Sufficient data are rudimentary and can not be extrapolated. With regard to adverse health effects an HPLC screening of DIMBOA and DIBOA amounts in various T. aestivum and T. durum as well as T. spelta cultivars was performed during the early stage of germination, followed by determination of BA production in a selected T. durum cultivar in a time course from day 3 to day 14 of germination. The separate investigation of aerial parts and roots showed a dominance of DIMBOA in the aerial parts (0.129% of fresh weight), whereas roots were dominated by DIBOA (0.045%). With respect to the unknown provenience and poor declaration of sprout derived health food products these amounts are alarming: high doses of BA intake might easily be obtained, as results of our self prepared sprout derived pressed juices showed. Depending on the day of harvest and the amount of daily intake suggested by commercial suppliers, considerable high levels of up to 140mg DIMBOA and 40mg DIBOA will be achieved.

References: 1. Buchmann, CA. et al. (2007) Cancer Letters 246:290–299.

2. Copaja, SV. et al. (1999) Phytochem 50:17–24.

3. Wu, H. et al. (2001)J Chem Ecol 27:1691–1700.