In vitro digestibility of aluminum from Hibiscus sabdariffa hot watery infusion and its concentration in urine of healthy individuals.

Franková A., Malík J., Drábek O., Száková J., Sperlingová I., Klouček P., Nový P., Tejnecký V., Landa P., Leuner O., Kokoška L.

Keywords: Aluminum, In vitro digestion, Hot watery infusion, Urine, Hibiscus sabdariffa L
Abstract: Increased ingestion of aluminum (Al) can lead to its accumulation in the human body, especially in people with kidney problems. Al is also associated with several nervous diseases and its negative influence on embryo development during pregnancy has been proven in animal models. Hibiscus sabdariffa L. petals are widely used alone or in fruit tea formulas, which are recommended for drinking during pregnancy instead of tea. Its petals can contain similar and even higher amounts of Al as tea, which is a known Al accumulator. Our research investigated whether the regular intake of H. sabdariffa infusion leads to increased burden of Al. Sixteen days of ingestion of H. sabdariffa infusion (cAl = 0.5 mg.L−1) led to increased but unbalanced levels (15–86 μg L−1) of Al in urine compared to a period when the infusion was not ingested. The highest amounts of Al excreted were observed every third day during the ingestion. Mild health problems, such as nausea and dizziness (which could be related to plant properties) were reported by more sensitive volunteers. Our results suggest that the tea infusion from H. sabdariffa petals increases body burden of Al and, therefore, sensitive individuals as pregnant women and people with kidney problems should be cautious with excessive consumption of hibiscus infusion or fruit teas containing this plant. However, further study including more individuals is needed to fully confirm our preliminary results.
IEB authors: Přemysl Landa