In case you have grown up in the United States, then you have probably consumed the ‘famous’ Peanut butter at some point in your life. Even though it is delicious, it isn’t so healthy. In fact, peanut butter is one of those processed foods that the majority of people don’t know about.
Despite their name, peanuts aren’t nuts as they grow in their pods, underground. Peanuts may be a good plant-based source of protein, but here comes the sad part. They belong to the legume family. That’s why a large number of people are allergic to peanut butter and peanuts. Believe it or not, peanuts are among the 8 major food allergens in the United States.
The Peanut Allergy May Be Connected to the Natural Mold Called Aflatoxin that May Lead to Liver Damage
Peanut butter and peanuts possess aflatoxin, which is a known carcinogen. Specifically, aflatoxin B1 belongs to a group of mycotoxins created by A. parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus. It is one of the most hepatocarcinogenic and hepatotoxic among all aflatoxins. Moreover, it actually occurs as a contaminant in various foods.
This mycotoxin is created by a fungus known as Aspergillus flavis that lives on moldy beans, corn, and grains. In other words, this fungus grows in the moist soil where peanuts are planted, so that they create the aflatoxin B1. As the peanuts grow, they actually absorb these toxins.
As mentioned above, aflatoxins can enter your body through some widely-available foods, particularly legumes and grains. So, you should make certain changes in your diet, such as minimizing your intake of legumes and grains in order to reduce your exposure to these alfatoxins. Next, you should take certain supplements in order to help your body detoxify itself of aflatoxin and boost your immune system.
Furthermore, there are certain areas where the exposure to aflatoxin B1 is unavoidable. Therefore, human studies have been done in all these regions.
The Connection between Cancer and Aflatoxins
The mold that creates aflatoxin is one of the most concerning toxins related to peanuts. Moreover, aflatoxin is a known carcinogen because it may bind with DNA and contribute to cell mutation.
The frequent dietary exposure to aflatoxins is one of the main the risk factors for Hepatocellular carcinoma. Aflatoxin B1 is a genotoxic hepatocarcinogen that may presumptively trigger cancer by stimulating DNA adducts, resulting in genetic changes in target liver cells.
- Lee, N. ˮPeanuts: Bioactives and Allergensˮ;
- Malterre, Tom. ”The Elimination Diet”;