In 2017, JECFA requested reproductive and developmental toxicity studies to finalize an acceptable daily intake for solvent rosemary extracts. Thus, an OECD 421 reproductive/developmental toxicity study was conducted using an acetone rosemary extract that complied with JECFA and EFSA food additive specifications. Rosemary extract was provided to rats at dietary concentrations of 0 (control), 2100, 3600, or 5000 mg/kg, for 14 days before mating, during mating, and thereafter (throughout gestation and up to Lactation Day 13 for females) until necropsy. General toxicity (clinical signs, body weight, food consumption) and reproductive/developmental outcomes (fertility and mating performance, estrous cycles, anogenital distance, thyroid hormones, reproductive organ weights, thyroid histopathology) were assessed. There were no signs of general toxicity and no effects on reproduction; thus, the highest concentration tested (equivalent to mean daily intakes of 316 or 401 mg/kg bw/day [149 or 189 mg/kg bw/day carnosol and carnosic acid] for males and females, respectively) was established as the no-observed-adverse-effect level for general and reproductive toxicity. Dose-related reductions in T4 were observed for Day 13 pups (not seen on Day 4) but were not accompanied by thyroid weight changes or histopathological findings; further investigations are required to determine the biological relevance of these T4 reductions.
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