Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is the main metabolite of aflatoxin B1, which is a mycotoxin produced by the mold species Aspergillus. Aflatoxins are some of the most carcinogenic substances in the environment. Aflatoxin susceptibility is dependent on multiple different factors such as age, sex, and diet.
Where can Aflatoxin be found?
Aflatoxincan be found in beans, corn, rice, tree nuts, wheat, milk, eggs, and meat. In cases of lung aspergilloma, aflatoxin has been found in human tissue specimens.
What damage can Aflatoxin cause?
Aflatoxin can cause liver damage, cancer, mental impairment, abdominal pain, hemorrhaging, coma, and death. Aflatoxin has been shown to inhibit leucocyte proliferation.
Clinical signs of aflatoxicosis are non-pruritic macular rash, headache, gastrointestinal dysfunction (often extreme), lower extremity edema, anemia, and jaundice.
The toxicity of Aflatoxin is increased in the presence of Ochratoxin and Zearalenone.
Treatment should include fluid support to prevent dehydration. The toxicity of Aflatoxin is increased in the presence of Ochratoxin and Zearalenone. Aflatoxin is removed through the glutathione S-transferase system. This system can conjugate activated aflatoxin with reduced glutathione. This leads to aflatoxin becoming more water soluble, which assists in its excretion. It is theorized that variations in levels of P450s, glutathione transferase, and transporters can account for the variation in response patients have to aflatoxin exposure. In addition to glutathione, the use of binders is also recommended. To treat possible fungal infections caused by mold exposure patients can take pharmaceutical medications such as itraconazole or nystatin. Retesting is recommended after 3-6 months of treatment.
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