Can Clay Help Adsorb Harmful Aflatoxins in the Body? Texas Trial Provides Clues

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A silent threat contaminates foods across the globe, but a common clay shows promise for intervention

Researchers conducted a study in Texas to evaluate if taking a refined calcium montmorillonite clay called ACCS100 could help lower exposure to aflatoxins,[1] toxic chemicals produced by Aspergillus mold species that contaminate many foods globally.

Aflatoxin exposure through contaminated food[2] is unfortunately extremely common across the developing world.[3] However, due to the unpredictable nature of Aspergillus fungal growth, even countries with modern agricultural practices like the United States are susceptible to sporadic contamination events, especially as the climate warms.[4][5] Corn,[6] peanuts,[7] tree nuts,[6] spices,[8] rice,[9] wheat,[10] cottonseed,[11] milk,[12] and other grains/legumes[6] are among the most commonly contaminated food products. Chronic dietary exposure[13] to these aflatoxins (especially Aflatoxin B1) is a major risk factor for developing liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a form of liver cancer.[14]

This randomized clinical trial, conducted from 2012-2014, enrolled 234 healthy adult volunteers from Texas' Bexar and Medina Counties, areas with elevated liver cancer rates. Participants were randomly split into 3 groups and given either a placebo, 1.5 grams per day of ACCS100 (low dose), or 3 grams per day (high dose), taken orally in capsule form over 3 months.

Researchers analyzed changes in the aflatoxin B1-lysine serum protein adduct (AFB1-lysine), a validated biomarker of internal aflatoxin exposure,[15] in blood samples taken at baseline, 1 month, 3 months and 1 month post-treatment.

Both ACCS100 doses appeared extremely safe based on self-reported symptoms and standard blood tests. The low dose ACCS100 group saw AFB1-lysine levels drop significantly, around 35% compared to placebo after 1 and 3 months of treatment.[16]

While further trials are warranted, this initial Texas study demonstrates refined calcium montmorillonite clays could be a promising interventional strategy to reduce aflatoxin exposures from contaminated foods.


















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