In vitro genotoxicity assessment of functional ingredients: DHA, rutin and alpha-tocopherol
The in vitro genotoxicity of three compounds widely used as functional ingredients, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), rutin and alpha-tocopherol, was assessed. A miniaturized version of the Ames test in Salmonella typhimurium TA97a, TA98, TA100, TA102, and TA1535 strains (following the principles of OECD 471), and the in vitro micronucleus test in TK6 cells (OECD 487) were performed. This strategy is recommended by the European Food Safety Authority for the in vitro genotoxicity assessment of food and feed. In addition, this approach was complemented with the in vitro standard and enzyme-modified comet assay (S9-/S9+) using hOGG1, EndoIII and hAAG in order to assess potential premutagenic lesions in TK6 cells. Rutin showed an equivocal response in the in vitro micronucleus test and also was a potent Salmonella typhimurium revertant inductor in the Ames test. DHA showed equivocal results in the in vitro micronucleus test. In this regard, DHA and rutin seemed to interact with the DNA at a chromosomal level, but rutin is also capable of producing frameshift mutations. No genotoxicity was observed in cells treated with alpha-tocopherol. This article complements the evidence already available about the genotoxicity of these compounds. However, more studies are needed in order to elucidate the consequences of their use as functional ingredients in human health.