Friday, February 22, 2019 12:55 pm
Prof. Austine Omoigberale, the President, Paediatric Association of Nigeria, has warned against over consumption of groundnut, saying it is contaminated with aflatoxin, a toxic fungi.
Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by some molds in crops, especially peanuts.
The molds cannot be completely destroyed by boiling or roasting groundnuts and toxic fungi can start growing in crops during farming, or as they are moved from the farm to buyers or from sellers to consumers.
Omoigberale, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja described aflatoxin as cancerous.
He said that when one consumed contaminated groundnut, it would also affect the way cells replicate and affect the liver.
“Certain food can predispose one to cancer due to the presence of toxic fungi or substances in them.
“For instance, it is advisable not to eat too much groundnut because it contains aflatoxin, toxic fungi.
“When you eat food generally, the food is acted upon by enzymes in your body to degrade them to usable forms either to build blood or give you energy or whatever.
“But when you take groundnut for a very long time, it can predispose one to cancer of the liver because of high level of aflatoxin contamination.
“The risk increases with the level of exposure to the contaminated nuts, the level of immunity of the consumer and the quality of the food consumed daily. The presence of the toxins in our bodies increased cancer risks.
“This contamination takes place slowly when small quantities of the affected nuts are consumed regularly over time or when large portions are consumed at once,” he said.