Development of High Capacity Enterosorbents for Aflatoxin B1 and Other Hazardous Chemicals.
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Previously, a calcium montmorillonite clay (NovaSil) included in the diet of animals has been shown to bind aflatoxin B1 (AfB1) and reduce the symptoms of aflatoxicosis. To investigate and improve the capacity and efficacy of clay-based materials as aflatoxin sorbents, we developed and tested calcium and sodium montmorillonite clays amended with nutrients including l-carnitine and choline. Also, we determined the sorption of AfB1 by isothermal analysis and tested the ability of these amended sorbents to protect adult hydra from AfB1 toxicity. The results showed that exchanging montmorillonite clays with l-carnitine and choline inhibited swelling of the clays and increased the sorption capacity and efficacy of clay surfaces for AfB1. Results from dehydroxylated and heat-collapsed clays suggested that AfB1 was primarily adsorbed in the clay interlayer, as predicted from thermodynamic calculations and computational modeling. The hydra bioassay further indicated that the modified clays can significantly protect adult hydra from AfB1 with as low as 0.005% clay inclusion. This enterosorbent therapy may also be applied to screen hazardous chemicals such as pesticides and PAHs based on similar sorption mechanisms. Taken together, enterosorbent therapy could be delivered in nutritional supplements, foods that are vulnerable to aflatoxin contamination, flavored liquids and animal feeds during emergencies and outbreaks of acute aflatoxicosis, and as a screening model for hazardous environmental chemicals.