What is Aflatoxin and Its Dangerous Effects on Health?

| March 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

The food that we consume everyday contain all the vitamins and minerals that will make us robust and healthy. Thus, they make our physiological functioning to achieve its optimum peak. But, what if those daily necessities of ours contain a lethal component such as aflatoxin? Scientifically, an aflatoxin is a naturally-occurring kind of mycotoxin which is being yielded by these two types of fungi namely: The Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, respectively. Etymologically, the scientific confabulation of aflatoxin was derived from a mysterious disease of a turkey which was nonetheless referred to as Aspergillus Flavus Toxins. Hence, the name aflatoxin was only discovered during the 1960’s circa.

In case you have not come across with this very dangerous kind of fungi in some food, an aflatoxin is extremely poisonous in nature. However, once it suddenly enters our bodies it is quickly stabilized by our liver through the help of its very own self-reactant known as “expoxides”. In effect, it becomes minimally dangerous as it is converted to M1.

This is the actual microscopic image of a lethal component in food known as aflatoxin.

This is the actual microscopic image of a lethal component in food known as aflatoxin.

Different Types of Aflatoxins

According to the conceptual paradigms of science, there are different types of aflatoxins which are found to be poisonous if not properly addressed or inherently regulated by our body system. These are as follows:

  1. Aflatoxin M2 (Metabolite of Aflatoxin B2) – A type of aflatoxin, that is commonly found in cattle’s milk when animals are being fed with contaminated food.
  2. Aflatoxins that are classified as B1 and B2, are yielded by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus.
  3. Aflatoxins G1 and G2 – These are the types of aflatoxins which are produced by the same breed of Aspergillus parasiticus.
  4. M1 aflatoxin, is a metabolite of B1 which is both found in animals and humans when extremely exposed to higher levels of ng which emanates from a mother’s milk.
  5. Aflatoxin Q1 (AFQ1) – This is a primal metabolite of AFB1, which is found in the vitro livers of the so-called “higher vertibrates”.

Contaminating Factors of Aflatoxin

Aspergillus and its affiliates, which co-produce aflatoxin are not extraordinary. But, they are literally germinating in nature. Imagine this. The microscopic aflatoxin can even permeate and mostly contaminate those grained-natured food like corn, rice and popcorn. Some of these food incur aflatoxin during their storage for a longer period of time. Likewise, aflatoxin floods those food which are rich in carbohydrates. Similarly, among the finest root crops and those modern physical aesthetics of today are allegedly contaminated with aflatoxin. Some classic examples of these are: Sorghum and groundnuts, peanut butters, cooking oils, lipsticks and eyeshadows among others. On the other hand, notable product samples in the market have been found to possess 48 to 80 percent of the deadly aflatoxin. Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration has exceeded its aflatoxin’s significant level of safety which inevitably poses an irreversible health hazard in the not so distant future.

Health Dangers of Aflatoxin

Continuous consumption of aflatoxin although it is difficult to avoid, might lead to the prevalence of aflatoxin syndrome which is characterized by the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Abdominal discomfort.
  2. Convulsions.
  3. Pulmonary edema.
  4. Fats development in the liver, kidneys and heart.
  5. Limb swelling.

Influential Factors Relating to the Onset of Aflatoxin

Of course, there are eminent factors that largely catalyze the emergence of aflatoxin syndrome in humans. These are: Sex, gender, age, nutritional requisites, triggering instrumentalities of viral diseases and other hereditary considerations if your child has liver cirrhosis.

Treatment Modalities

In resolving the mysterious aflatoxin syndrome, the subsequent treatment approaches must be readily adopted by your attending physician. These are:

  1. Decontamination procedures.
  2. Systematic desensitization of physiological symptoms.
  3. Supportive measures, which might include the use of strong antibiotics and other related health supplements.

Aflatoxin is really life-threatening. Along this line, medical and agri-experts alike must be able to find the most effective forms of exigencies so as to swiftly solve this jeopardizing parasite in the soonest time possible. On the part of humans, they also have to do their share in terms of preparing food with utmost care and meticulousness to constantly ensure the safety and healthy well-being of their loved ones.

Category: Health

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