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Basic Life Sci. 1985;34:87-96.

Mycotoxins as carcinogens.


Fungi which contaminate food and feed products produce toxic metabolites under favourable conditions, thus posing a serious health problem. A variety of mycotoxins are produced by different fungi, but aflatoxins have been investigated more extensively. Varied reports are available on the production of aflatoxins by different species of Aspergillus and Penicillium; however, A. flavus and A. parasiticus have the greatest capacity and appear to be the primary sources of aflatoxins. Preformed mycotoxins are ingested by man through the consumption of vegetable and animal products (milk, meat, etc.). Factors affecting toxicity include species, age, sex, and nutrition. Evidence from animal experiments provides enough information to indicate that most of the mycotoxins are carcinogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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