Abstract
AFLATOXINS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON THE BIOLOGICAL SYSTEM

Ojochenemi E. Yakubu*, Kayode A. Arowora, Christopher O. Shaibu and Imadojemu Osagie

ABSTRACT

Aflatoxins are mostly toxic secondary fungal metabolites which are derived from some certain strains of fungi such as species of Aspergillus, specifically Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus and they are quickly absorbed by blood cells in the human body if consumed in any aflatoxin contaminated food. It can also lead to serious threats to both human and animal health hazards by causing various diseases. Aflatoxin breaks down DNA and cause genomic damage during cell division, leading to cancer even death where these breakdown products accumulate in the liver. Aflatoxin B1 which is mostly found in nature is known to have contaminate most important foods such as wheat, maize, rice, groundnuts, dried fruit, pearl millet, tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), black pepper, coriander, turmeric, zinger cocoa beans etc. This review discusses Aflatoxins and its Effect on Biological System. The consumption of aflatoxins causes diseases known as aflatoxicoses. Chronic aflatoxicosis leads to cancer, immune suppression and other, slow pathological conditions, whereas acute aflatoxicosis leads to death. Liver is the main target organ and liver damage occurred when poultry, fish, rodents and non human primates are fed with the food is contaminated with aflatoxin B1. In conclusion, this review work have provided the fact that Aflatoxins (mainly aflatoxin B1) are responsible for liver cancer which are spread by contamination of Aspergillus spp. that mostly occur by Aspergillus flavus. Though, several techniques have been established and can be employed for the effective control and safety of food and its management worldwide.

Keywords: Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, Aflatoxin, Aflatoxicosis.


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