Aflatoxin Contamination Risk: Bioactive Natural Compounds for Animal Health and Healthy Food

  • Doriana Tedesco
  • Chiara Barbieri
  • Stefano Lugano
  • Laura Garavaglia
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


Mycotoxin contamination is a worldwide problem and significant economic losses are associated with their impact on human health, animal productivity and both domestic and international trade. The FAO has estimated that up to 25% of the world’s food crops and a higher percentage of the world’s animal feedstuffs are significantly contaminated by mycotoxins and represent a human safety risk. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a potentially lethal metabolite, is a known human carcinogen. AFB1 is toxic to the liver, immunosuppressant, hepatocarcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic. Aflatoxin carryover to animal products poses a health and economic liability and drives the demand for a method to prevent aflatoxin contamination of feedstuffs and/or animal food products such as milk, eggs, and meat. One of the innovative methods to overcome the toxic and carcinogenic effects of AFB1 is to enhance its metabolism by natural substances reportedly possessing hepatoprotective effects. In this study we reported the effect of silymarin, a potent antihepatotoxic agent used as a hepatoprotector in man, on reducing aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) excretion in cows’ milk and the effects of a silymarin in reducing the toxic effects of AFB1 in broiler chickens.


Aflatoxin animal contamination hepatoprotector milk excretion chicken 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doriana Tedesco
    • 1
  • Chiara Barbieri
    • 1
  • Stefano Lugano
    • 1
  • Laura Garavaglia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Science and Technologies for Food SafetyMilanItaly

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