aflatoxin in peanuts

Lucas Bernard lucas.bernard at
Sun Oct 10 20:28:55 EST 1999

Few are aware of the dangers of aflatoxin in peanuts.  Although the US
Dept. of Agriculture maintains strict
standards to limit this deadly poison, foreign goods are not as
carefully checked.  An equivalent amount of
far less dangerous poison would make most people swear off the product,
but almost nobody knows that
peanuts can harbor one of natures most deadly carcinogens.

Aflatoxin was one of the chemicals that was suspect in the Iraqi
crisis.  Few are aware, however, that it is
also a natural product of a common fungus that thrives on peanuts
plants.  Aflatoxin is, by some
researchers, considered the cause of the high rate of liver cancer found

in The Sudan, where peanut
consumption is high.  Key to the prevention of aflatoxin in domestic
peanuts is the careful cleaning of peanut
handling equipment.  Anyone who has spent any time on a farm knows how
well these standards are

Here is a quote from a recent journal: "This study investigated whether
aflatoxin contamination of peanut
products may contribute to the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma
(HCC) in Sudan. Thirty-seven peanut
butter and peanut samples were collected from local markets. Aflatoxin
concentrations were significantly
higher in West Sudan [87.4 +/- 197.3 (SD) micrograms/kg], a high-risk
area, than in Central Sudan (8.5
+/- 6.8 micrograms/kg), a low-risk area. In West Sudan, humid local
storage conditions of peanut products
were related to high aflatoxin concentrations. In a small case-control
study of HCC patients (n = 24) and
controls (n = 34), an odds ratio of 7.5 (95% confidence interval =
1.4-40.2) was observed for humid vs.
dry local storage conditions. Development of an index of individual HCC
exposure was less successful,
probably because of year-to-year variability in aflatoxins in food.
These preliminary findings justify further
research into the role of aflatoxins and hepatitis in HCC incidence in
Sudan."   [Nutr Cancer
1998;32(3):174-80: Aflatoxin and liver cancer in Sudan. Omer RE, Bakker
MI, van't Veer P,
Hoogenboom RL, Polman TH, Alink GM, Idris MO, Kadaru AM, Kok FJ

I would be happy to send you more information on this topic if you think

it might be of interest to any of
your reporters.  Please find some WWW sites and other references below
for your perusal.  I think you will
be shocked with what you find.

    Adamson et al. 1973-549   Adamson, R. H.; Correa, P.; Dalgard, D. W.

     Occurrence of a primary liver carcinoma in a Rhesus monkey fed
aflatoxin B1. J
     Natl Cancer Instit 50(2):549-553

    Adamson et al. 1976-67   Adamson, R. H.; Correa, P.; Sieber, S. M.;
     K. R.; Dalgard, D. W. (1976) Carcinogenicity of aflatoxin B1 in
     monkeys: two additional cases of primary liver cancer. J Natl
Cancer Instit

    Allcroft et al. 1966-154   Allcroft, R.; Rogers, H.; Lewis, G.;
Nabney, J.;
     Best, P. E. (1966) Metabolism of aflatoxin in sheep: Excretion of
the "milk
     toxin". Nature 209(5019):154-155

    Allcroft et al. 1967-597   Allcroft, R.; Roberts, B. A.; Butler, W.
H. (1967)
     Aflatoxin in milk. Food Cosmet Toxicol 5:597-598

    Amla et al. 1971-609   Amla, I.; Kamala, C. S.; Gopalakrishna, G.
S.; Jayaraj,
     A. P.; Sreenivasamurthy, V.; Parpia, H. A. B. (1971) Cirrhosis in
     from peanut meal contaminated by aflatoxin. Am J Clin Nutr

    AndradeDosSantos 1966-75   AndradeDosSantos, J. (1966) [Aflatoxin
and liver
     cancer.] Pesq Agr Brasil 1:75-85

    Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal
    (1998) Volume 32, Number 3: Aflatoxin and Liver Cancer in Sudan

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