Article number:


CAS No.:




Chemical description:

[(7R,8R)-7-hydroxy-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-3H-pyrrolizin-1-yl]methyl (2S)-2-hydroxy-2-[(1S)-1-hydroxyethyl]-3-methylbutanoate



Molecular weight:

299,36 g/mol

Lycopsamine is a pyrrolizidine alkaloid isolated from Symphytum. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are secondary metabolites, produced by several plant species as protection against insect herbivores. Approximately 6000 plant species worldwide may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. They are mainly found in the families of the Boraginaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. The PA-content depends on several factors (species, plant organ, harvest, storage, extraction procedures). Contents vary from trace amounts up to 19 % based on dry weight. These alkaloids occur in two forms, as tertiary base PAs and their N-oxide (PANO). They are common food contaminants in herbs, tea, salad, leafy vegetables and honey. Feed can be contaminated so that the plant products find their way in the food chain indirectly also over meat, milk and eggs. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids have adverse health effects and were classified as genotoxic, carcinogen and hepatotoxic. [Reference: EFSA Journal 2011;9(11):2406 [134 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa. 2011.2406]

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