Dietary exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances: Potential health impacts on human liver

By Jinfeng Zhang, Liehai Hu, and Hengyi Xu
Sci Total Environ
October 21, 2023
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167945

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dubbed "forever chemicals", are widely present in the environment. Environmental contamination and food contact substances are the main sources of PFAS in food, increasing the risk of human dietary exposure. Numerous epidemiological studies have established the link between dietary exposure to PFAS and liver disease. Correspondingly, PFAS induced-hepatotoxicity (e.g., hepatomegaly, cell viability, inflammation, oxidative stress, bile acid metabolism dysregulation and glycolipid metabolism disorder) observed from in vitro models and in vivo rodent studies have been extensively reported. In this review, the pertinent literature of the last 5 years from the Web of Science database was researched. This study summarized the source and fate of PFAS, and reviewed the occurrence of PFAS in food system (natural and processed food). Subsequently, the characteristics of human dietary exposure PFAS (population characteristics, distribution trend, absorption and distribution) were mentioned. Additionally, epidemiologic evidence linking PFAS exposure and liver disease was alluded, and the PFAS-induced hepatotoxicity observed from in vitro models and in vivo rodent studies was comprehensively reviewed. Lastly, we highlighted several critical knowledge gaps and proposed future research directions. This review aims to raise public awareness about food PFAS contamination and its potential risks to human liver health.

View on PubMed