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October 2021

Nat Toxins. 1997 ; 5(4): 168-71.

Aflatoxin exposure is higher in vegetarians than nonvegetarians in Thailand.

Vinitketkumnuen U, Chewonarin T, Kongtawelert P, Lertjanyarak A, Peerakhom S, Wild CP.

Department of Biochemistry, Chiang Mai University, Thailand. [email protected]

Aflatoxin-albumin (AFB-albumin) adducts and hepatitis B markers (anti-HBs, and anti-HBc) were measured in vegetarians and nonvegetarians from Chiang Mai, Thailand. The AFB-albumin adduct levels were detected in 62% (37 of 60) of the vegetarian samples and 22% (22 of 100) of nonvegetarians. Somewhat higher levels were detected in vegetarians sera collected in the summer than in the winter, although this difference was not statistically significant. Subjects who were hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive had slightly higher AFB-albumin adduct levels than subjects who had evidence of past exposure (anti-HBc-positive) or no HB virus infection. This study indicated that vegetarians may have a higher frequency of aflatoxin exposure than nonvegetarians. Thai vegetarians consume various vegetables, grains, peanut, soybean, and fermented products, which have been reported to be sources of aflatoxin.

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