Protective effect of food additives on aflatoxin-induced mutagenicity and hepatocarcinogenicity

Cancer Lett. 1997 May 19;115(2):129-33. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(97)04710-1.


Food additives such as turmeric (Curcuma longa), and active ingredient curcumin (diferuloyl methane), asafoetida (flavouring agent), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and ellagic acid were found to inhibit the mutagenesis induced by aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) (0.5 microg/plate) in Salmonella tester strains TA 98 and TA 100. Turmeric and curcumin, which were the most active, inhibited mutation frequency by more than 80% at concentrations of 2 microg/plate. Other food additives were also significantly effective. Dietary administration of turmeric (0.05%), garlic (0.25%), curcumin and ellagic acid (0.005% each) to rats significantly reduced the number of gammaglutamyl transpeptidase-positive foci induced by AFB1 which is considered as the precursor of hepatocellular neoplasm. These results indicate the usefulness of antioxidant food additives in ameliorating aflatoxin-induced mutagenicity and carcinogenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxin B1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Aflatoxin B1 / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antimutagenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Food Additives / therapeutic use*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • Food Additives
  • Mutagens
  • Aflatoxin B1