Challenging Role of Dietary Aflatoxin B1 Exposure and Hepatitis B Infection on Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Aflatoxins (AFT) are poisonous substances which are classified in Group 1 carcinogenic agents to humans by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). AFT can occur naturally in food commodities (maize, corn, rice) as a result of fungal contamination in hot and humid environments. In the food, toxin contamination can remain during manufacturing and long after fungi have stopped being biologically active. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most dominant and potent agent from all AFT. In developing countries, high exposure to AFB1 can cause chronic toxicity and usually increases the incidence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). However, in these regions hepatitis B is the most common risk factor for HCC cases. Many researches were aimed to enlighten the mechanism and the role of two etiological agents on risk of HCC, but the obtained data was conflicting with each other. It was uncertain that the indicators/biomarkers might be the contribution of the carcinogenic status of the patient; and, the biomarker samples from the subject may only reflect the recent effects of the toxin exposure after consumption of AFB1 contaminated commodities. The studies were facing with the errors of methods which were un-fit to enlighten the possible interaction between Hepatitis B and AFB1 on contribution to HCC. It was pivotal to understand the effect of each risk factor in order to prevent and improve public health in poor and undeveloped regions. Although some of the studies evaluate AFB1 alone as a considerable factor on HCC risk, according to this review it was concluded vice versa. This study was aimed to clarify the main etiological agent of HCC where AFB1 and HBV are endangering public health. In additionally, the purpose was to enlighten the possible synergistic effect between these two factors among HCC pathogenesis. Hence forth, appropriate and right applications could be conducted in undeveloped countries in order to protect public health.
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