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Molds In Maize, Groundnuts Can Cause Cancer - KNUST Scientists Reveal
 
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30-Mar-2018  
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Cancer treatment in Ghana could soon see significant improvement as Ghanaian scientists have found how mold in maize and groundnuts cause liver cancer.

Researchers at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology say the poisonous substances suppress important mechanism in cell function.

Maize is the third most widely-consumed staple, after rice and wheat, in the world.

A cereal survey in Ghana in 1990 established 94 percent of households in Ghana eat maize, at least, every two weeks.
 
Groundnut, soybeans and other products form major part of Ghanaian diet.

Contamination of these foods by molds is common in Ghana due to the high humid temperature and poor storage conditions.  

The molds may develop by-products that are toxic or harmful to both human and animal health.

One of such toxic substances from molds is Aflatoxin B1.

Aflatoxin contamination remains a concern in West Africa. In Ghana, it’s said to be alarming.

“In 2013, I saw papers giving a range of 228 ppb. Even now I’m conducting a research where I went to major groundnut production regions in Ghana and I found as high as 250ppb in the samples,” said Kwabena Asare Bediako of the West African Centre for Crop Improvement, University of Ghana.

Liver cancer rate is high in the country. A 2012 study found it accounts for 21.2 percent of all cancers in males.

The Ghana Health Service says many people die more from liver cancer than others.

“All forms of liver disease if not checked can develop from mild, to probably moderate to severe and from there can graduate to scaring of the liver and finally end up in hepatocellular cancinoma.” Said Dr. Osei Sampene senior pathologist at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

A 2004 study in Kenya found continuous exposure to aflatoxin is associated with increased risk of liver cancer, impaired immune function and malnutrition.

However, mechanism of cancer formation is largely unknown.

Lead researcher, Dr. Mohammed Mutocheluh, and his team got to work and the long-held hypothesis became a reality.

“We found that key signaling proteins like JAK 1, STAT 1, RF9 and 0AS 3 of the anti-cancer type I interferon signaling pathway were all suppressed by aflatoxin B1”.

“It was a significant discovery for us because that could influence future therapeutic strategy”, he added.

“We should be aware they’re microbes called molds which produce Aflatoxins and therefore, we should take measures to reduce them in our foods, ‘’ he recommended.

Dr. Mutocheluh’s team in collaboration with a team from the University of Surrey in the UK Plan to test a new hypothesis to understand how both aflatoxins and viruses speed up cancer formation in the human liver. 
 
 
 
Source: myjoyonline.com
 
 

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