Trans-Anethole: A Key Compound in Bogma Raki

Anethole [1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene] is a natural flavor commonly used for covering unpleasant odors and in certain food materials and especially in alcohol- ic drinks. Alcoholic beverages like raki, absinth, mastika include anethole as flavor- ing agent. Anethole levels are 747-1547 mg/L in nationally certified brands of raki and 441.46-2098.10 mg/L or 0.01-2.6% in bogma raki (illegaly homemade raki) in Turkey. Toxicity and systemic effects of trans-anethole will be discussed in this presentation. Trans-anethole, especially its epoxide metabolite induces the liver cytochrome p450 enzyme. Decreased weight gain, low body weight, anorexia, lethargy, reduction in ad- iposity, elevated alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, gama-glutamyltrans- ferase, and alkaline phosphatase levels, hepatocellular dysmorphology were among effects of trans-anethole observed in animal studies. Inhibition of platelet aggre- gation as potently as aspirin and antithrombotic activity was revealed in literature. Trans-anethole inhibits pregnancy in a dose-dependent manner because of impaired hormonal balance. Additionally, it was suggested that trans-anethole consumption should be avoided in pregnancy, in breastfeeding mothers or in patients with estro- gen-sensitive cancers or endometriosis. It is suggested that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, patients with endome- triosis and estrogen-dependent cancers should avoid consumption; furthermore, pa- tients with bleeding disorder, hemophilia, major surgery, and diabetes mellitus should be informed and warned about its toxicity.


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