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Nat Toxins. 1995;3(4):187-92; discussion 221.

Role of mycotoxins in human and animal nutrition and health.

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Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom.


The impact of mycotoxins on human and animal health is now increasingly recognised. Mycotoxin entry to the human and animal dietary systems is mainly by ingestion but increasing evidence also points at entry by inhalation. Mycotoxins exhibit a wide array of biological effects and individual mycotoxins can be mutagenic, carcinogenic, embryotoxic, teratogenic, or oestrogenic. Average levels of ingestion of currently known mycotoxins in most EEC countries are rather low. Little is known about the consequences to humans of such mycotoxin intakes. Establishing a causal relationship between mycotoxin exposure and human disease is complicated by uncertainties associated with human epidemiological studies. Analysis of mycotoxin adducts in human populations can act as a surrogate for human genotoxicity. Mycotoxins can also be immunosuppressive and appear to involve cellular immune phenomena and non-specific humoral factors associated with immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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