BOLETIM No. 28 - www.micotoxinas.com.br


The Fungal/Mycotoxin Ethiology of Cancer

INTRODUCTION

Lee (1993), in his recent review of the food connection to cancer, notes that the concept of diet and nutrition having an important influence on health is an age-old one. its link with cancer was mentioned in Chinese medical writings in the Twelfth century.

Recent interest in this subject started in the 1930’s with animal studies which progressed to extensive investigations of dietary factors implicated in various human cancers both from an etiology and a protective perspective.

The belief that diet is related to cancer is now generally accepted. However, the studies are confusing in that some show increased cancers associated with a particular food, while other similar studies show no such relationship. The only logical explanation to such conflicting reports is that the particular food itself is not the cause but is associated with a variably present co-factor. Thus, the first question becomes:

WHAT IS VARIABLY PRESENT IN FOOD WHICH CAUSES CANCER?

Cancer Risk is To Unnaturally Occurring Carcinogens

Scheuplein (1992) of the Food and Drug Administration has recently reviewed the relationship of cancer to diet, particularly the dietary carcinogenic risk to the specific classes of foodstuffs, food additives, pesticides, etc. These are typically regulated by the FDA.. Scheuplein indicated that virtual all of the calculated cancer risk can be attributed to "naturally occurring carcinogens" in the diet and not from additives and pesticides as is the popular conception. Thus the second question posed becomes:

WHAT "NATURALLY OCCURRING CARCINOGENS” CAUSE CANCER?

The major "naturally occurring carcinogens" present in food which are well documented to cause cancer are the fungi and their toxins. Furthermore, they are variably present such that the involved food correlates with cancer when fungal colonization and mycotoxin contamination is maximal, and does not when it is minimal or absent.

There are two other "naturally" occurring items which must also be addressed, nitrosamines and viruses. However, viruses are not proven to cause any type of cancer in humans and the nitrosamines are increasingly being shown to be produced by a number of fungi, particularly in stored, cured and fermented foods.

It therefore appears that the answer to the two question posed above is:

 

Fungi and Mycotoxin

FUNGI AND MYCOTOXINS ARE THE NATURALLY OCCURRING
CARCINOGENS WHICH ARE VARIABLY PRESENT IN FOOD

 

Food Additives and Trace Pesticides Do Not Cause Cancer

Food additives and insecticides have for too long enjoyed a place amongst the popularly believed causes of cancer. However, there is little, if any, documentation to support that belief.

Doll (1992), in his keynote address to the Nutrition and Cancer Conference, noted that there has begun to emerge a consensus that diet is responsible for 30-60% of cancers in the developed world.

Doll also re-enforces the position of Scheuplein that food additives and pesticides, while constituting a popular belief that they play a major role in causing cancer, simply have not been documented to do so in humans. He states the very small effects, if any, can be attributed to food additives and to trace pesticides.

Dietary Changes Do Prevent Cancer

Doll (1992) also noted that it was generally agreed that the principal dietary changes to prevent cancer are:

1. A reduction in the consumption of fat,
2. An increase in the consumption of fruit,
3. Increased green and yellow vegetables,
4. An increase in dietary fiber,
5. Improvement in "food preservation".

Lack of a Unitarian Explanation For Dietary Prevention Of Cancer

Interestingly, these five dietary measures described to prevent cancer share little in common except that fiber is also present in fruits and vegetables. This lends further support to what everyone knows; the cause of cancer has escaped elucidation.

Conversely stated, once we know the cause of cancer, we will then be able to explain just how these four dietary measures protect against cancer. Of course, that same explanation will also show us why some particular foods are variably linked to cancer.

The Fungal/Mycotoxin Etiology Of Cancer Provides a Unitarian Explanation

The fungal/mycotoxin etiology Of cancer does provides a Unitarian explanation for each of the dietary factors which has been documented to either cause or to prevent cancer.

CONCLUSION

With the exception of the cancers caused by cut/cured/ fermented tobacco leaf, the cause of cancer is generally stated as being unknown.

That statement is made invalid by the published research data collected and presented here which documents that fungi and their mycotoxins cause virtually every type of human cancer in either animals or humans or in both.

The viral etiologic concept of cancer in humans is unproved and therefor no longer acceptable.

There is a food connection to cancer but only to its connection with contaminating fungi and the mycotoxins which those fungi produce.

A future volume of the Fungalbionic series will present data proving the beneficial aspects of each dietary item, which prevents cancer.

Each item will be discussed with the appropriately cited references which support its benefit.

These dietary facts provide the basis for a tasty and high quality food intake, which should become one's personal Garden of Eden where cancer is non-existent.


 

THE AUTHORS

A.V. COSTANTINI, M.D.
Head,
World Health Organization (WHO)
Collaborating Center For Mycotoxins In Food
Division of Clinical Chemistry
Department of Internal Medicine
School of Medicine
Albert Ludwigs University
Freiburg, Germany
and
Clinical Professorial Faculty (Retired)
University of California
School of Medicine
San Francisco, California U.S.A.

HEINRICH WIELAND, M.D.
Medical Director,
World Health Organization (WHO)
Collaborating Center For Mycotoxins in Food
Division of Clinical Chemistry
Department of Internal Medicine
School of Medicine
Albert Ludwigs University
Freiburg, Germany
and
Professor and Medical Director,
Division of Clinical Chemistry
Department of Internal Medicine
School of Medicine
Albert Ludwigs University
Freiburg, Germany

LARS 1. QVICK, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Medical Director,
World Health Organization (WHO)
Collaborating Center For Mycotoxins In Food
Division of Clinical Chemistry
Department of internal Medicine
School of Medicine
Albert Ludwigs University
Freiburg, Germany
and
Medical Director,
Pharmacia AB Stockholm, Sweden


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