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Short-Term Safety and Efficacy of Calcium Montmorillonite Clay (UPSN) in Children

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  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana; Ejura-Sekyedumase District Hospital, Ejura, Ghana

Recently, an association between childhood growth stunting and aflatoxin (AF) exposure has been identified. In Ghana, homemade nutritional supplements often consist of AF-prone commodities. In this study, children were enrolled in a clinical intervention trial to determine the safety and efficacy of Uniform Particle Size NovaSil (UPSN), a refined calcium montmorillonite known to be safe in adults. Participants ingested 0.75 or 1.5 g UPSN or 1.5 g calcium carbonate placebo per day for 14 days. Hematological and serum biochemistry parameters in the UPSN groups were not significantly different from the placebo-controlled group. Importantly, there were no adverse events attributable to UPSN treatment. A significant reduction in urinary metabolite (AFM1) was observed in the high-dose group compared with placebo. Results indicate that UPSN is safe for children at doses up to 1.5 g/day for a period of 2 weeks and can reduce exposure to AFs, resulting in increased quality and efficacy of contaminated foods.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Nii-Ayi Ankrah, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, PO Box LG 581, Legon, Accra, Ghana. E-mail: NAnkrah@noguchi.ug.edu.gh

Financial support: This work was funded by US Agency for International Development—Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program Grant USAID LAG-G-00-96-90013-00.

Authors' addresses: Nicole J. Mitchell, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, E-mail: mitch441@anr.msu.edu. Justice Kumi and Nii-Ayi Ankrah, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana, E-mails: JKumi@noguchi.ug.edu.gh and NAnkrah@noguchi.ug.edu.gh. Mildred Aleser, Ejura-Sekyedumase District Hospital, Ejura, Ghana, E-mail: msgbireh@yahoo.com. Sarah E. Elmore, Kristal A. Rychlik, Katherine E. Zychowski, Amelia A. Romoser, and Timothy D. Phillips, Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, E-mails: selmore@cvm.tamu.edu, kabrown@cvm.tamu.edu, kzychowski@cvm.tamu.edu, aromoser@cvm.tamu.edu, and tphillips@cvm.tamu.edu.

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