|Aflatoxins are produced by several species of Aspergillus fungi. Aflatoxin exposure is common in improperly stored foodstuffs- especially corn (maize) and peanuts. Aflatoxins are some of the most carcinogenic (cancer causing) compounds found either in nature or synthesized in the laboratory. Aflatoxins are a major cause of liver cancer that seem to work synergistically with hepatitis C liver infection.|
It has been estimated that foodborne aflatoxin exposure causes between 25,200 and 155,000 new liver cancer cases annually worldwide in humans.
Aflatoxins may also increase risk of non-liver cancers including lung and breast cancer. A recent dog study reported that food/feed levels of aflatoxins B1, G1 and G2 were significantly higher in 79 female dogs with breast cancer as compared to 89 female dogs without breast cancer. Levels of the fuminosin mycotoxins were also about 50% higher in the dogs with breast cancer as compared to the controls- although this did not quite reach statistical significance. More human research is needed to determine if exposure to aflatoxins and/or other mycotoxins is related to higher rates of breast cancer.
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