Author(s): Ayub MY, Sachan DS
This review paper describes briefly on the history of aflatoxins, the metabolism of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) that leads to the activation and detoxification of AFB1, and the findings of some of the studies relating to food nutrients and additives, and drugs on AFBJ carcinogenicity and detoxification. Aflatoxins have been linked to many public health problems, especially to liver cancer incidences, in different parts of the world. Many studies have shown the potential of dietary factors modulating the formation of AFB1 - DNA adduct, the initial and important step of AFB1 carcinogenesis process. Among the food nutrients that have been shown to reduce the binding of AFB1 to DNA are vitamin A, vitamin C and riboflavin. On the contrary, vitamin E and β-carotene increase the DNA binding. Choline-deficient animals when subjected to multiple doses of AFB1 had higher amount of the DNA adduct being formed than the choline-sufficient animals. Carnitine supplement, feed restriction, and some vegetables and their extracts can also decrease the AFB1 -DNA adduct formation. The observed and proposed mechanisms for the reduction include the inhibition of bioactivation of AFB1 and induction of glutathione Stransferase activity that detoxify the activated AFB1. However, more research is needed before nutritional recommendations could be given to the public to control AFB1 toxicity and carcinogenicity.