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Dietary nicotine: Won't mislead on passive smoking…: New insight into myocardial protection

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 01 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:61
  1. J L Repace
  1. Exposure Assessment Division, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA.

    EDITOR, - Domino et al have argued that the plasma cotinine concentration in non-smokers, which is taken as an index of passive smoking, may be confounded by dietary nicotine intake from vegetables of the family Solanaceae.1 They report that eggplant (aubergine) had the most nicotine of any Solanaceae. If their data are taken at face value, daily consumption of a 174 g serving of baked eggplant with gourmet tomato sauce made from puree yields a maximum dietary nicotine dose of 15 μg (table), assuming (dubiously) That nicotine does not evaporate during baking. The mean daily total intake of all vegetables, however, is about 207 g for adults in the United States.2 A diet in which the daily average vegetable intake consists 84% by weight of eggplant parmigiana is unlikely for even the most fanatical gourmet, much less an average person, whose consumption of eggplant is …

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