CORVALLIS, Ore. A new study has found that chlorophyll and its derivative chlorophyllin are effective in limiting the absorption of aflatoxin in humans. Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus that is a contaminant of grains including corn, peanuts and soybeans; it is known to cause liver cancer and can work in concert with other health concerns, such as hepatitis.
Levels of aflatoxin are carefully regulated in the United States, but are often found in the food supplies of developing nations, especially those with poor storage facilities.
OSU scientist George Bailey, a distinguished professor of environmental and molecular toxicology, pioneered studies of aflatoxin in China, where he found that in one region, one out of every 10 adults died from liver cancer.
But what has the science world particularly intrigued with this follow-up study is the methodology used by the researchers a new "Phase 0" approach that safely tests low levels of carcinogens in human volunteers to measure the total aflatoxin exposure and to determine the effect of dietary chlorophlls on reducing this exposure.
Results of the study were just published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
Bailey and several other researchers, including lead author Carole Jubert, were part of the recent study. The journal also included a perspective written by a pair of Johns Hopkins researchers Thomas Kensler and John Groopman who praise the methodology and suggest that these Phase 0 "microdosing" studies should be expanded.
They wrote: "microdosing studies with carcinogens have the potential to provide important insights into chemopreventive interventions and to enhance the overall clinical development and safety evaluation of preventive agents."
The Phase 0 study "may open the door for all kinds of new research," said Jubert, a former researcher in Bailey's lab at OSU's Linus Pauling Institute. Jubert now works for Life Microsys
|Contact: John Mata|
Oregon State University