Aflatoxins in Nuts: Danger or Hype?

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Due to their relatively high fat content. But these aren't just empty calories along with those healthy unsaturated fats. You're also getting fiber and protein which help keep you from getting hungry. And that could be why dieters who include nuts in their meal. Plans lose more weight and report feeling less hungry, and in general people who eat nuts on a regular basis are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Despite those calories nuts are also rich in vitamin E, which is good for your skin heart and brain, they contain Fido stairwells natural plant compounds that help to regulate your cholesterol levels and regular consumption is linked with reduced risk of heart disease and other diseases. So far, the news is all good. But several of you have written to ask me about aspergillus or aflatoxin in nuts. And whether this is something that we need to worry about I can tell you that some of the. Scariest things you may have encountered on the internet are probably exaggerated or taken out of context. Nonetheless. These are not imaginary concerns first, let's take a minute to understand exactly what these compounds are. And we're we're likely to encounter them aspergillus is a type of fungus that's found in the soil, and it can cause disease in certain food crops, especially leg. You gms. Grains and tree nuts. An aspergillus infection can weaken the plants enough that it reduces crop yield. And that's obviously a concern for the farmers. But even when crop yields are affected, only minimally the aspergillus fungus continues to be a problem after the crops are harvested, it can cause grains or nuts to rot in storage leading to more losses for farmers or distributors. But the main concern in terms of human health is that aspergillus produces potentially harmful compounds called micro-toxins in particular were concerned about a group of micro-toxins called aflatoxin. Zain's? These are known to be carcinogenic chronic aflatoxin exposure can lead to liver damage or liver cancer, especially in individuals with pre existing conditions such as hepatitis b infection breathing in the spores of the aspergillus fungus can also cause lung irritation or damage again, especially in individuals with pre existing lung disease such as to Berkeley losses or COPD. And that's why most developed nations have very stringent monitoring for aspergillus and aflatoxin in foods products that are most likely to be infected such as peanuts or tree nuts are routinely screened, and if those aspergillus are aflatoxin levels are above a certain very low threshold the foods cannot be distributed. Now, this is obviously motivated growers to develop growing and handling practices that reduce the presence of aspergillus aflatoxin in their food and their feed. Crops, and these efforts have been very successful. According to the World, Health Organization, control strategies have mostly eliminated harmful exposures in developed countries. Unfortunately, those living in developing nations may still be exposed to harmful levels of contamination. Especially those in tropical regions where these crops may also serve as dietary staple the WHO says that food insufficiency and a lack of diversity substantially contributes to the susceptibility of individuals and communities to apple toxins, knowing you consider that hepatitis B and Turkey losses are also much more common in developing countries. You can see that apple toxins present a real public health concern in these developing nations, the World Health Organization in the centers for disease control are working hard on a number of initiatives to combat the problem everything. From public information campaigns to developing aspergillus. Resistant strains of these crops to enhanced screening protocols, but the problem is not yet solved before I share some tips on how to protect yourself against this threat word from this week's

Coming up next