Fumonisin B1 Contamination of Cereals and Risk of Esophageal Cancer in a High Risk Area in Northeastern Iran

  • Alizadeh, Ali Mohammad (Cancer Research Center, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Roshandel, Gholamreza (Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Golestan University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Roudbarmohammadi, Shahla (Department of Medical Mycology, School of Medicine, Tarbiat Modres University) ;
  • Roudbary, Maryam (Department of Medical Mycology, School of Medicine, Tarbiat Modres University) ;
  • Sohanaki, Hamid (Department of Physicology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Ghiasian, Seyed Amir (Medical Parasitology and Mycology Department, School of Medicine, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Taherkhani, Amir (Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Golestan University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Semnani, Shahryar (Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Golestan University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Aghasi, Maryam (Cancer Research Center, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Introduction: Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxin produced in cereals due to fungal infection. This study was conducted to determine FB1 contamination of rice and corn samples and its relationship with the rate of esophageal cancer (EC) in a high risk area in northeastern Iran. Methods: In total, 66 rice and 66 corn samples were collected from 22 geographical subdivisions of Golestan province of Iran. The levels of FB1 were measured for each subdivision by thin layer and high pressure liquid chromatographies. The mean level of FB1 and the proportions of FB1 contaminated samples were compared between low and high EC-risk areas of the province. Results: The mean of FB1 levels in corn and rice samples were 223.64 and 21.59 ${\mu}g/g$, respectively. FB1 contamination was found in 50% and 40.9% of corn and rice samples, respectively. FB1 level was significantly higher in rice samples obtained from high EC-risk area (43.8 ${\mu}g/g$) than those obtained from low risk area (8.93 ${\mu}g/g$) (p-value=0.01). The proportion of FB1 contaminated rice samples was also significantly greater in high (75%) than low (21.4%) EC-risk areas (p-value=0.02). Conclusion: We found high levels of FB1 contamination in corn and rice samples from Golestan province of Iran, with a significant positive relationship between FB1 contamination in rice and the risk of EC. Therefore, fumonisin contamination in commonly used staple foods, especially rice, may be considered as a potential risk factor for EC in this high risk region.


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