Salivary nitrate/nitrite and acetaldehyde in humans: potential combination effects in the upper gastrointestinal tract and possible consequences for the in vivo formation of N-nitroso compounds—a hypothesis

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftLeitartikel (Editorial)BeigetragenBegutachtung


  • Gerhard Eisenbrand - (Autor:in)
  • Matthias Baum - , Solenis Germany Industries GmbH (Autor:in)
  • Alexander T. Cartus - , Chemservice S.A. (Autor:in)
  • Patrick Diel - , Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (Autor:in)
  • Karl Heinz Engel - , Technische Universität München (Autor:in)
  • Barbara Engeli - , Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (Autor:in)
  • Bernd Epe - , Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Autor:in)
  • Tilman Grune - , Deutsches Institut fur Ernahrungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrucke (DIfE) (Autor:in)
  • Sabine Guth - , Technische Universität (TU) Dortmund (Autor:in)
  • Dirk Haller - , Technische Universität München (Autor:in)
  • Volker Heinz - , German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL) (Autor:in)
  • Michael Hellwig - , Professur für Spezielle Lebensmittelchemie, Institute of Food Chemistry, Technische Universität Braunschweig (Autor:in)
  • Jan G. Hengstler - , Technische Universität (TU) Dortmund (Autor:in)
  • Thomas Henle - , Professur für Lebensmittelchemie (LC1) (Autor:in)
  • Hans Ulrich Humpf - , Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Autor:in)
  • Henry Jäger - , University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Autor:in)
  • Hans Georg Joost - , Deutsches Institut fur Ernahrungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrucke (DIfE) (Autor:in)
  • Sabine Kulling - , Max Rubner Institut (Autor:in)
  • Dirk W. Lachenmeier - , Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe (Autor:in)
  • Alfonso Lampen - , Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Autor:in)
  • Marcel Leist - , University of Konstanz (Autor:in)
  • Angela Mally - , Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (Autor:in)
  • Doris Marko - , Universität Wien (Autor:in)
  • Ute Nöthlings - , Universität Bonn (Autor:in)
  • Elke Röhrdanz - , Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) (Autor:in)
  • Angelika Roth - , Technische Universität (TU) Dortmund (Autor:in)
  • Joachim Spranger - , Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Autor:in)
  • Richard Stadler - , Nestle (Autor:in)
  • Stefan Vieths - , Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (Autor:in)
  • Wim Wätjen - , Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Autor:in)
  • Pablo Steinberg - , Max Rubner Institut (Autor:in)


Subsequent to the dietary uptake of nitrate/nitrite in combination with acetaldehyde/ethanol, combination effects resulting from the sustained endogenous exposure to nitrite and acetaldehyde may be expected. This may imply locoregional effects in the upper gastrointestinal tract as well as systemic effects, such as a potential influence on endogenous formation of N-nitroso compounds (NOC). Salivary concentrations of the individual components nitrate and nitrite and acetaldehyde are known to rise after ingestion, absorption and systemic distribution, thereby reflecting their respective plasma kinetics and parallel secretion through the salivary glands as well as the microbial/enzymatic metabolism in the oral cavity. Salivary excretion may also occur with certain drug molecules and food constituents and their metabolites. Therefore, putative combination effects in the oral cavity and the upper digestive tract may occur, but this has remained largely unexplored up to now. In this Guest Editorial, published evidence on exposure levels and biokinetics of nitrate/nitrite/NOx, NOC and acetaldehyde in the organism is reviewed and knowledge gaps concerning combination effects are identified. Research is suggested to be initiated to study the related unresolved issues.


Seiten (von - bis)1905-1914
FachzeitschriftArchives of toxicology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juni 2022

Externe IDs

PubMed 35504979
ORCID /0000-0001-8528-6893/work/142256518



  • Acetaldehyde, Combination effects, N-nitroso compounds, Nitrate, Nitrite, Upper gastrointestinal tract, Nitrates/metabolism, Acetaldehyde/metabolism, Humans, Saliva/metabolism, Upper Gastrointestinal Tract/metabolism, Nitroso Compounds/metabolism, Nitrites/metabolism