Calcium montmorillonite clay reduces urinary biomarkers of fumonisin B exposure in rats and humans. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fumonisin B (FB) is often a co-contaminant with aflatoxin (AF) in grains and may enhance AF's carcinogenicity by acting as a cancer promoter. Calcium montmorillonite (i.e. NovaSil, NS) is a possible dietary intervention to help decrease chronic aflatoxin exposure where populations are at risk. Previous studies show that an oral dose of NS clay was able to reduce AF exposure in a Ghanaian population. In vitro analyses from our laboratory indicated that FB (like aflatoxin) could also be sorbed onto the surfaces of NS. Hence, our objectives were to evaluate the efficacy of NS clay to reduce urinary FB in a rodent model and then in a human population highly exposed to AF. In the rodent model, male Fisher rats were randomly assigned to either FB control, FB+2% NS or absolute control group. FB alone or with clay was given as a single dose by gavage. For the human trial, participants received NS (1.5 or 3gday) or placebo (1.5gday) for 3 months. Urines from weeks 8 and 10 were collected from the study participants for analysis. In rats, NS significantly reduced urinary FB biomarker by 20% in 24h and 50% after 48h compared to controls. In the humans, 56% of the urine samples analysed (n=186) had detectable levels of FB. Median urinary FB levels were significantly (p<0.05) decreased by >90% in the high dose NS group (3gday) compared to the placebo. This work indicates that our study participants in Ghana were exposed to FB (in addition to AFs) from the diet. Moreover, earlier studies have shown conclusively that NS reduces the bioavailability of AF and the findings from this study suggest that NS clay also reduces the bioavailability FB. This is important since AF is a proven dietary risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in humans and FB is suspected to be a dietary risk factor for HCC and oesophageal cancer in humans.

published proceedings

  • Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Robinson, A., Johnson, N. M., Strey, A., Taylor, J. F., Marroquin-Cardona, A., Mitchell, N. J., ... Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Robinson, A||Johnson, NM||Strey, A||Taylor, JF||Marroquin-Cardona, A||Mitchell, NJ||Afriyie-Gyawu, E||Ankrah, NA||Williams, JH||Wang, JS||Jolly, PE||Nachman, RJ||Phillips, TD

publication date

  • May 2012