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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2010 Dec;80(6):355-68. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000021.

Aflatoxin B1 albumin adducts in plasma and aflatoxin M1 in urine are associated with plasma concentrations of vitamins A and E.

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  • 1Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA.



Although aflatoxin exposure has been associated with micronutrient deficiency in animals, there are few investigations on the effects of aflatoxin exposure on micronutrient metabolism in humans.


To examine the relationship between aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) albumin adducts (AF-ALB) in plasma and the aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) metabolite in urine and plasma concentrations of retinol (vitamin A) and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) in Ghanaians.


A cross-sectional study of 147 adult participants was conducted. Blood and urine samples were tested for aflatoxin and vitamins A and E levels.


Multivariable analysis showed that participants with high AF-ALB (>or=0.80 pmol/mg albumin) had increased odds of having vitamin A deficiency compared to those with lower AF-ALB [Odds Ratio (OR)=2.61; CI=1.03-6.58; p=0.04]. Participants with high AF-ALB also showed increased odds of having vitamin E deficiency but this was not statistically significant (OR=2.4; CI=0.96-6.05; p=0.06). Conversely, those with higher AFM1 values had a statistically nonsignificant reduced odds of having vitamin A deficiency (OR=0.31; CI=0.09-1.02; p=0.05) and a statistically significant reduced odds of having vitamin E deficiency (OR=0.31; CI=0.10-0.97; p=0.04). Participants with high AF-ALB or high AFM1 (>or=437.95 pg/dL creatinine) were almost 6 times more likely to be hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive (OR=5.88; CI=1.71-20.14; p=0.005) and (OR=5.84; CI=1.15-29.54; p=0.03) respectively.


These data indicate that aflatoxin may modify plasma micronutrient status. Thus, preventing aflatoxin exposure may reduce vitamin A and E deficiencies.

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