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Food Addit Contam. 2006 Jul;23(7):700-8.

Determinants of aflatoxin M1 in breast milk in a selected group of Egyptian mothers.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, Finland.


In Egypt, there is a paucity of biomarker data on aflatoxin (AF) exposure. The study assessed the level and frequency of breast milk AFM1 as a biomarker of maternal exposure. Breast milk samples were collected from a selected group of 388 Egyptian lactating mothers of children attending the New El-Qalyub Hospital, Qalyubiyah governorate, Egypt, during May-September 2003. Following aflatoxin extraction, AFM1 levels were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection. Approximately 36% of mothers tested positive for AFM1 (median 13.5 pg ml-1, interquartile range (IQR) 10.27-21.43). Non-working status (p = 0.018, odds ratio (OR) = 2.87), obesity (p = 0.004, OR = 3.01), high corn oil consumption (p = 0.002, OR = 2.21), number of children (>1) (p = 0.025, OR = 1.99), and early lactation stage (<1 month) (p = 0.028 OR = 3.57), contributed to the occurrence of AF in breast milk. AFM1 contamination of breast milk was frequent, albeit at moderate levels. Growth and development of the infant is rapid and thus it is possible that AF exposure through breast milk has a significant health effect.

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