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Dietary aflatoxin exposure and impaired growth in young children from Benin and Togo: cross sectional study\ud

By Y.Y. Gong, K. Cardwell, A. Hounsa, S. Egal, P.C. Turner, A.J. Hall and C.P. Wild


Fetal and early childhood environment, including the\ud nutritional status of the pregnant mother and the\ud infant, are considered critical for growth and risk of\ud disease in later life. Many people in developing coun­\ud tries are not only malnourished but also chronically\ud exposed to high levels of toxic fungal metabolites\ud (mycotoxins). One family of mycotoxins, the aflatoxins,\ud are carcinogenic and immunotoxic and cause growth\ud retardation in animals. Aflatoxins contaminate staple\ud foods in West Africa, particularly maize and ground­\ud nuts, as a result of hot, humid storage conditions that\ud promote fungal growth. High exposure to aflatoxins\ud occurs throughout childhood in the region, suggest­\ud ing that growth and development could be critically\ud affected.We assessed exposure to aflatoxins in relation\ud to anthropometric measures in children in Benin and\ud Togo

Year: 2002
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