Aflatoxin is a natural toxin produced by moulds. It may be found in mouldy maize, peanuts, nuts, grains, pulses and dried fruit, but also in products made from these ingredients, such as peanut butter, bread and beer.
In developing countries in particular, where the above-mentioned products are often stored in a warm and humid environment, there is a substantial risk of aflatoxin developing.
Aflatoxin is poisonous to humans. As it is a stable and heat-resistant substance, aflatoxin cannot be rendered harmless through heating.
The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) strictly monitors the maximum permitted levels in foodstuffs.
Consequently, the risk of exposure is small.
Aflatoxin and your health
There are health effects associated with aflatoxin contamination.
Aflatoxin contamination increases the risk of liver cancer
The most common variant, aflatoxin B1, is a toxin which, if consumed regularly, is associated with a clearly proven risk of liver cancer. Your liver is responsible for processes including breaking down toxins. Aflatoxin increases the risk of liver cancer in particular if a person has also contracted hepatitis B or C.
iGene offers you an insight into your personal risks of developing conditions and tells you whether limiting exposure to aflatoxin may be particularly important for you to help prevent certain conditions. In addition, an iGene Passport provides you with information on what else you can do to reduce any risks.
Here we focus on behaviour that will help you maximise the benefits to your health. In the publication below you can read more about what iGene can do for you.