University of Tehran

Human health and trenbolone residue in bovine meat

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In recent years, hormones and hormone–like compounds have been frequently used in vegetable and livestock production to obtain a high yield performance in a shorter period of time. These anabolic agents are used for increasing the rate of weight gain, improving the feed efficiency, storing protein and decreasing fatness (Sawaya et al., 1998). But depending on the use of anabolics in animal feed, anabolic residues that may occur in meat and meat products present risks to human health. As a result, many countries restrict or prohibit the use of anabolic compounds in livestock production. Trenbolone acetate is a powerful synthetic steroidal androgen, which is used as a growth promoter in cattle. It is rapidly hydrolyzed to its metabolite 17β- trenbolone after administration to cattle. It is thought to act on skeletal muscle, either through androgen receptors to increase protein synthesis or through glucocorticoid receptors to reduce the catabolic effects of  glucocorticoids. Trenbolone acetate decreases the rate of both protein synthesis and degradation, and when the rate of degradation is less than the rate of synthesis, muscle protein rate increases (Berge and Colioli, 1993). Trenbolone was found to bind covalently to rat liver DNA. Trenbolone exhibited a weak transforming effect on Syrian hamster embryo cells (Lasne et al., 1990; Tsutsi et al., 1995). Meat and meat products, which play an important role in human nutrition should be safe and should not contain any factors or substances harmful for human health. However, the anabolic agents used for various purposes in animal husbandry for slaughter tend to leave residues and thus cause some problems in consumer health (Hoffman, 1996).

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