Food Additives and Contaminants, February 2008; 25(2): 134–145

Innovative sorption strategies for the detoxification of aflatoxins have been developed. NovaSil clay (NS) has been shown to prevent aflatoxicosis in a variety of animals when included in their diet. Results have shown that NS clay binds aflatoxins with high affinity and high capacity in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a notable reduction in the bioavailability of these toxins without interfering with the utilization of vitamins and other micronutrients. This strategy is being evaluated as a potential remedy for acute aflatoxicosis, and as a sustainable human intervention for aflatoxins via the diet. Phase I and II clinical trials confirmed the apparent safety of NS for further study in humans. A recent study in Ghanaians at high risk for aflatoxicosis has indicated that NS (at a dose level of 0.25%) is effective in decreasing biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure and does not interfere with the levels of serum vitamins A and E, and iron and zinc. In summary, enterosorption strategies/ therapies based on NS clay are promising for the management of aflatoxins and as a sustainable public health intervention. The NS clay remedy is novel, inexpensive and easily disseminated. Based on the present research, aflatoxin sequestering clays should be rigorously evaluated in vitro and in vivo, and should meet the following criteria: (1) favourable thermodynamic characteristics of mycotoxin sorption, (2) tolerable levels of priority metals, dioxins/furans and other hazardous contaminants, (3) safety and efficacy in multiple animal species, (4) safety and efficacy in long-term studies, and (5) negligible interactions with vitamins, iron and zinc and other micronutrients.

T. D. PHILLIPS1, E. AFRIYIE-GYAWU1, J. WILLIAMS2, H. HUEBNER1, N.-A. ANKRAH3, D. OFORI-ADJEI3, P. JOLLY4, N. JOHNSON1, J. TAYLOR1, A. MARROQUIN-CARDONA1, L. XU 5, L. TANG5, & J.-S. WANG5
1Department of VIBS-MS 4458, Texas A&M University, Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station, TX 77843, USA, 2Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA, USA, 3School of Public Health, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana, 4Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA, and 5Institute of Environmental/Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, TTU/TIEHH, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163, USA