Analysis of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) in spirulina-containing supplements by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1186/2046-9063-10-5
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TypeArticle
Journal titleAquatic biosystems
ISSN2046-9063
Volume10
Issue5
AbstractOver the last decade the amino acid P-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has come under intense scrutiny. International laboratory and epidemiological research continues to support the hypothesis that environmental exposure to BMAA (e.g., through dietary practices, water supply) can promote the risk of various neurodegenenitive diseases. A wide variety of cyanobacteria spp. have previously been reported to produce BMAA, with production levels dependent upon species, strain and environmental conditions. Since spirulina (Arthrospira spp.) is a member of the cyanobacteria phylum frequently consumed via dietary supplements, the presence ofBMAA in such products may have public health implications. In the current work, we have analyzed ten spirulina-containing samples for the presence ofBMAA; six pure spirulina samples from two separate raw materials suppliers, and four commercially-available multi-ingredient products containing 1.45 grams of spirulina per serving. Because·of controversy surrounding the measurement of BMAA, we have used two complementary liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods: one based on reversed phase LC (RPLC) with derivatization and the other based on hydrophilic interaction LC (HILIC). Potential matrix effects were corrected for by internal standardization using a stable isotope labeled BMAA standard. BMAA was not detected at low limits of detection (80 ng/g dry weight) in any of these the product samples. Although these results are reassuring, BMAA analyses should be conducted on a wider sample selection and, perhaps, as part of ongoing spirulina production quality control testing and specifications.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationMeasurement Science and Standards; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21274917
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Record identifier7fe9ea69-3cbe-419c-bb94-2f6312ee7ddf
Record created2015-04-28
Record modified2016-05-09
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