Detection of phytoestrogens in samples of second trimester human amniotic fluid
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There is widespread concern that fetal exposure to hormonally active chemicals may adversely affect development of the reproductive tract. Therefore, the present study was performed to develop the necessary analytical methods and test the hypothesis that dietary phytoestrogens can be quantified in second trimester human amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid samples (n=59) from women (n=53) undergoing routine amniocentesis between 15 and 23 weeks of gestation were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometric (GC/MS). Analytes included the phytoestrogens daidzein, genistein, formononetin, biochanin A, and coumestrol. Dietary phytoestrogens were quantified in 96.2% of second trimester amniotic fluid samples tested. The mean (+/- standard deviation (S.D.)) concentration of daidzein and genistein in amniotic fluid was 1.44 +/- 1.34 and 1.69 +/- 1.48 ng/ml with maximum levels of 5.52 and 6.54 ng/ml, respectively. Second trimester amniotic fluid contains quantifiable levels of dietary phytoestrogens and thus is a marker of mid pregnancy fetal exposure.
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