Steve Jobs lived more than 30 years after developing pancreatic cancer thanks to his vegan diet.
That’s the preposterous claim made by Dr. John McDougall in a lecture that has been viewed by more than 52,500 people on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81xnvgOlHaY and widely touted in the vegan community as a scientifically sound example of veganthink.
McDougall speculates that Jobs first developed cancer in his twenties, which might well be the case given that most cancers develop years before diagnosis. But by that line of thinking, anyone diagnosed with cancer who has made it to mid life could be living thirty years past the initial cancer cell divide. Most of those people will have been on Standard American Diets, high in sugar, starch, factory-farmed animal products and all American junk food. Somehow McDougall holds that animal products caused those cancers but Jobs’s nearly lifelong obsession with veganism could only have prolonged his life!
So why did Jobs develop cancer despite what McDougall himself concedes was a “strict vegan diet” with few lapses over his lifetime? McDougall’s position — and he’s sticking to it! — is vegan diets prevent and cure cancer. Therefore, it must have been bad luck — the equivalent of “being struck by lightning” or “hit by a car” – that caused Jobs’s cancer and fueled its progression. How else to explain the fact that Steve Wozniak (an overweight fast-food junkie), Bill Gates and other computer pioneers are alive despite similar exposure to carcinogenic lead and cadmium from soldering computer parts, long-term bombardment from radiation and EMFs, and other lifestyle risk factors that would have put all of them at increased risk for cancer? The reason those things caused cancer in Jobs but not the others must have been luck of the draw because Jobs’s vegan diet “could only have helped him.”
None of us, of course, can say for certain what caused the pancreatic cancer that led to Steve Jobs’s death, or what, if anything could have saved him. Dietary, lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors all must have come into play. But McDougall’s failure to even consider the role that Jobs’s vegan diet – and frequent fruitarianism — may have played in his death is unhelpful at best and irresponsible at worst.
Shortly after Jobs’s death on October 5, 2011, I read the Walter Isaacson biography Steve Jobs
and posted two “iVegetarian” blogs at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website and one at Psychology Today. The links are:
With the help of the Isaacson biography, I thoroughly documented a longstanding pattern of food fanaticism, eating disorders and mood swings dating back to Jobs’s teenage years. On the plus side, his diet seems to have been organic and high quality, and at no point, did he appear to have been a junk-food vegan who indulged in all-American junk foods such as soda, chocolate, cookies and crackers. On the con side, Jobs was a picky eater who moved in and out of fruitarian phases for most of his life, but consistently favored a lot of fruit and fruit juice. The refrigerators at Apple were always well stocked with Odwalla juices, and numerous sources over the years reported him ordering juices frequently at restaurants. Indeed, this was the most consistent part of his diet for life.
Fruits and fruit juices are not only high on the glycemic index, but loaded with fructose. In all but small quantities, they greatly stress the liver and pancreas, contribute to diabetes and many other blood sugar disorders, and have been linked to pancreatic cancer. Jobs suffered from a type of pancreatic cancer known as islet cell carcinoma, which originates in the insulin-secreting beta cells.
That the fructose in Jobs’s fruit heavy diet likely contributed to this cancer is supported by research published in the November 2007 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concluded there was “evidence for a greater pancreatic cancer risk with a high intake of fruit and juices but not with a high intake of sodas.” In other words, the “healthy” juices regularly drunk by Jobs may have been been even worse than the soft drinks he seems to have rejected. More recently, in the August 2010 issue of Cancer Research,Dr. Anthony Healy of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and Director of the Pituitary Tumor and Neuroendocrine Program at UCLA, proposed that aberrant fructose metabolism—and not just aberrant glucose metabolism—might be involved in the pathogenesis of Jobs’s type of pancreatic cancer. Seems fructose provides the raw material cancer cells prefer to use to make the DNA they need to divide and proliferate.
Although the UCLA findings are preliminary, done with cell lines, and at this point more suggestive than bulletproof, the Reuters headline “Cancer Cells Slurp Up Fructose” is fair warning to any of us addicted to fruit and fruit juices.
McDougall read the Isaacson biography and based a lot of speculation on it. Yet he somehow missed — or chose to ignore – the fact that Jobs’s brand of veganism included massive amounts of fruit juice, with its dangerous load of fructose. Instead, McDougall speculates that the main flaw in what he sees as Jobs’s mostly excellent diet was eating meat analogue products high in carcinogenic soy protein isolate. In fact, as I discuss extensively in Chapter 16 of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, products are risk factors for the exocrine type of pancreatic cancer that killed actors Michael Landon, Patrick Swayze and astronaut Sally Ride, but not for the much rarer endocrine type that killed Jobs.
Furthermore, we have little evidence that Jobs ate much soy. In a book full of food references, Isaacson does not mention soy even once. Certainly, the Apple culture was soy friendly with soy milk readily available in vending machines and at coffee stations and with soy meats served up at company cafeterias, but we have no good evidence at this point that Jobs ate much of it over his lifetime. Indeed, it is very likely he rejected it because of his longstanding fascination with the book The Mucusless Diet Healing System by Arnold Ehret (1866-1922). Ehret’s peculiar brand of VeganThink held the human body is an “air-gas engine” that runs well only on fruits, starchless vegetables and edible green leaves. Soy and other legumes, according to this way of thinking, were to be disdained as mucus-producing forbidden foods. Ehret — whose own “air-gas engine” sputtered, stalled and died at age 56, the same age as Jobs – not only condemned protein and fat as “unnatural” but said they could not be used by the body.
Inspired by Ehret’s theories, Jobs appears to have eaten a diet low in both fat and protein for most of his life. And what did he eat instead? Carbs high in fructose, the very type of carbs linked to blood sugar problems and pancreatic cancer.
McDougall’s VeganThink also includes a strong opinion about Jobs’s earlier trials with painful kidney stones, which he declares were not kidney stones at all, but misdiagnosis of a diseased pancreas. How so? Those organs are located close together in the body after all, thus easily confused by doctors less wise than himself. His main reason though is kidney stones simply cannot occur to anyone on a vegan diet. As per the VeganThink theory of kidney stones, the acid load from animal proteins causes loss of bone, leading to dissolved calcium in the blood, overwhelm in the urinary tract, and build up of kidney stones. Vegan Jobs could not have had acid buildup, therefore could not have developed kidney stones.
A more likely scenario is Jobs’s kidney stones were the predictable result of his high fructose diet. Sugar – including fructose, the fruit sugar vegans believe is super healthy – upsets mineral balance in the body, interferes with calcium and magnesium absorption and can lead to a host of health problems, including kidney stones. Indeed there is so much research linking high consumption of fruit juices by children to higher incidence of kidney stone development in youngsters as early as kindergarten age that the issue has been covered in the New York Times.
Veganthink further fails to recognize how often kidney stones develop from oxalates, which are indigestible compounds found only in plant foods. Oxalates are especially high in vegan staples such as spinach and other dark leafy greens, parsley, beets, carrots, strawberries, nuts, peanuts, soy and chocolate. Isaacson says nothing about Jobs eating nuts, peanuts, soy or chocolate, but a great deal about his love affair with fruits, veggies, salads and juices.
Where else does McDougall go astray? Interpreting reports of Jobs’s skin and eyes turning yellow and orange in his twenties as proof of the obstruction of the bile ducts and the early onset of the deadly pancreatic cancer that Jobs’s vegan diet somehow kept at bay for an astounding 30 years. The obvious reason — widely acknowledged even in the vegan literature — is excessive carrot juice consumption, which Jobs was well known to have consumed.
In short, McDougall’s lecture is a whole lot of speculation, assumptions and questionable claims, including the entirely wrongheaded idea that it is the nature of cancer cells to divide and tumors to grow in such an orderly, predictable way that disease progression can be calculated using multiplication tables. Really? Though even his simple math doesn’t compute, most of the YouTube “commentators” have chosen instead to carp on his pseudo-French pronunciation of the word centimeters as “sahntometers.” I guess some doctors somewhere sometimes say it that way, but the overall impression is pretentiousness in the service of pseudo science.
McDougall starts out by saying he “like the challenge of learning new things.” He ends by saying that noone – noone – has yet or ever will disprove his theory. Veganthink
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It is well known that obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, a disease where the body fails to control blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are characteristic in obesity and diabetes. What is less well known is that diabetes and obesity are also linked to an increase in cancer risk. That is, the diabetic population has up to double chances to suffer pancreatic or colon cancer among others, according to well sustained epidemiological studies. With obesity in British and Spanish children reaching 16%, the highest in Europe, this epidemic has major health implications. How obesity or diabetes increase cancer risk has been a major health issue.
Scientists led by Dr. Custodia Garcia-Jimenez at the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid have uncovered a key mechanism that links obesity and diabetes with cancer: high sugar levels, which increase activity of a gene widely implicated in cancer progression.
Dr Garcia Jimenez’s laboratory was studying how cells in the intestine respond to sugars and signal to the pancreas to release insulin, the key hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Sugars in the intestine trigger cells to release a hormone called GIP that enhances insulin release by the pancreas.
In a study published in Molecular Cell, Dr Garcia Jimenez’s team showed that the ability of the intestinal cells to secrete GIP is controlled by a protein called β-catenin, and that the activity of β-catenin is strictly dependent on sugar levels.
Increased activity of β-catenin is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal, a key step in early stages of cancer progression. The study demonstrates that high (but not normal) sugar levels induce nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and leads to cell proliferation. The changes induced on β-catenin, the molecules involved and the diversity of cancer cells susceptible to these changes are identified.
Dr. Custodia García said “We were surprised to realize that changes in our metabolism caused by dietary sugar impact on our cancer risk. We are now investigating what other dietary components may influence our cancer risk. Changing diet is one of easiest prevention strategies that can potentially save a lot of suffering and money”.
Colin Goding, Professor of Oncology at the University of Oxford, UK said ‘Previously we were unsure about how increased blood sugar found in diabetes and obesity could increase cancer risk. This study identifies a key molecular mechanism through which high blood glucose would predispose to cancer. It opens the way for potential novel therapies aimed at reducing cancer risk in the obese and diabetic populations.’
Estimations published by the World Health Organisation (WHO): Obesity predisposes to diabetes and its prevalence is doubling every 20 years worldwide. More than 1 in 10 adults worldwide (12%) are obese (BMI>30). 1 in 6 children in UK and Spain suffer obesity.
Diabetes caused 4.6 million deaths in 2011, more than 2 deaths per hour in Spain, more in USA. Worldwide, 1 in 10 adults (10%) suffered from diabetes in 2010 and more than one-third of individuals with diabetes are unaware they suffer from the disease. The national cost of diabetes or cancer is in the order of billions of pounds or euros in Spain or England.
More than half (63%) of premature deaths worldwide are due to non communicable diseases (NCD) of which cancer and diabetes are among the 4 causes more frequent.
At least 1 in 3 of the main cancers (27–39%) can be prevented by improving diet, physical activity and body composition.
Office for Universities and Research
Council of Education of Madrid
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The man, whose name has not been disclosed to the public, found an unused pregnancy test that had been left at his home by his ex-girlfriend. As a joke, he decided to pee on it, and was shocked when the results indicated that the test was positive.
He posted a comic about the experience on Reddit to be humorous, but savvy Reddit users well-versed in oncology urged him to see a doctor. “You may have testicular cancer! Get to an oncologist, tell them you took a pregnancy test and it came out positive,” one Reddit user said.
Pregnancy tests check for the presence of a hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotropin. In pregnant women, the hormone appears in the urine and blood as a result of the growing placenta. But other conditions can produce the hormone, beta hCG for short, like some forms of testicular cancer.
Sure enough, the man went to his local physician, where a test revealed that he had a small testicular tumor. The tumor was caught early, fortunately for him, but he may still have to have his testicle removed.
The American Cancer Society says that testicular cancer has an extremely high survival rate. The survival rate for all men with testicular cancer is 95 percent. Even if the cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes or to organs, men have a 72 percent chance of living for at least five additional years, by which time cancer is largely considered cured.
Though a pregnancy test may be a clue, most men discover that they have testicular cancer by finding a painless lump in their testicles. Doctors suggest that men perform self-examinations in the shower to check that everything has remained the same.
Source: Medical Daily
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A little-known plant with a truly bizarre name is now making headlines as a cancer killer, with the compound of the plant vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer. Known as the ‘thunder god vine’ or ‘thundelei gong teng, the Chinese plant is actually integrated into Chinese medicine and has been used for ages in remedying a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period – even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.
Study leader and vice chairman of research at the Cancer Center explained to Bloomberg how he was blown away by the effects of the simple plant:
“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” he said.
And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no money for major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.
Nevertheless, the Big Pharma sponsored corporate scientists have managed to ignore these spices as much as possible. In fact, they have even been caught time and time again faking thousands of studies to fraudulently demonstrate the supposed value of pharmaceutical drugs pushed by major pharma juggernauts – many of which are later forced to pay millions in fines which only slightly stack up against their billions in profits.
Profits that are threatened by the many real studies that were performed by scientists examining the rejeuvenating power of cheap ingredients like turmeric, which has been found by peer-reviewed research available on PubMed to positively influence over 590 conditions.
While it is great news that this study is bringing the beneficial effects of inexpensive and near-free plant compounds to light, the bad news is that the individuals responsible for the research are actually looking to create a pharmaceutical drug from the essential component triptolide. A drug that will seek FDA approval and ultimately be patented, nutritionally ruined, and sold for exorbitant amounts of cash. Instead, just get your hands on some thunder god vine for yourself.
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Older adults who drink coffee have a lower risk of death by about 10 percent, according to a large observational study of over 400,000 people published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study, which followed participants aged 50 to 71 during a 14-year window, examined common causes of death, including heart and respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections. For each life-ending ailment, coffee drinking correlated with lower risk of death in both men and women, with cancer being the only condition that showed no correlation in women and a slight increase in risk of death for men who are heavy coffee drinkers.
However, while it would be easy to draw the conclusion that drinking coffee helps you live longer, the raw data from the study actually shows coffee drinkers die younger. Why? Because a number of bad habits and detriments to longevity are associated with coffee drinking, likely negating any benefits from coffee itself.
The study was conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute and funded by the NIH and AARP as part of a diet and health study in older Americans (unfortunately, the full article is behind a paywall, but you can access the abstract here). The data were collected via a baseline questionnaire that gauged demographic and lifestyle characteristics along with diet, then monitored until they died or the study ended.
When the data were first analyzed, coffee consumption was associated with an increase in the mortality of both men and women. To arrive at the result that coffee drinking may lower the risk of death, the researchers accounted for particularly damaging vices that coffee drinkers are more prone to engage in, such as smoking. It was only after accounting for the statistical contribution that smoking adds to increasing the rate of mortality did they arrive at the result that coffee drinkers have increased longevity.
A quote from the study indicates the bad habits that coffee drinkers are guilty of:
As compared with persons who did not drink coffee, coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke cigarettes and consume more than three alcoholic drinks per day, and they consumed more red meat. Coffee drinkers also tended to have a lower level of education; were less likely to engage in vigorous physical activity; and reported lower levels of consumption of fruits, vegetables, and white meat.
With over 170 million Americans drinking coffee and over 1 billion coffee drinkers worldwide (coffee is the second largest commodity in the world, after all), the effects of coffee on health have been researched and disputed for a long time. Previous studies have shown that coffee has multiple benefits that can fight depression, prevent diabetes, protect against liver fibrosis, and even help fight cancer, but the scope of this most recent study helps to take a much broader view of its benefits, even taking into account the known problems with observational studies. Although this study shifts the tug-of-war between the health benefits and risks of coffee back toward the healthy side, the particularly damning observation that the health benefits of coffee are negated by a slew of poor lifestyle choices is a lesson for both coffee and non-coffee drinkers alike.
But ultimately the issue of this study is, if coffee is preventative medicine, drink it up. If it’s poison, everyone should avoid it. Simple, right? Well, not exactly.
The question of whether coffee is good or bad for you is inherently a complex one. The process of roasting coffee produces over 1,000 compounds — some of which are antioxidants, while about 19 are known rodent carcinogens. These compounds create the taste and aromatic richness associated with different roasts. But the fact remains that the vast majority of these compounds have not been tested individually for their health effects and likely won’t be for a long time to come.
Furthermore, the study suffers from another longstanding problem from large-scale statistical analyses, which the authors admitted: correlation does not mean causation. In other words, it is impossible to tell whether coffee itself directly contributed to extending the lifetimes of drinkers or if coffee drinking is part of a lifestyle of people who tend to live longer.
But coffee drinkers in general can help their longevity through some simple lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking (in case you haven’t heard that before) and joining the 35 percent of coffee drinkers who take it black, which eliminates the milk and sugar both of which are detrimental if you’re drinking 4-5 cups a day.
This study illustrates just how tricky it is to fish out all the lifestyle factors that impact health. But in the end, one thing is clear: coffee’s reputation isn’t as black as previously labeled.
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University of Arizona Cancer Center member Dr. Mark Pagel will receive a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of personalized baking soda therapy to treat breast cancer. In other words, clinical trials on the use of oral sodium bicarbonate for breast cancer treatments are about to start! Obviously there are people in the know who have understood that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), that same stuff that can save a person’s life in the emergency room in a heartbeat, is a primary cancer treatment option of the safest and most effective kind.
Of course I feel vindicated for everything I wrote in Sodium Bicarbonate – Rich Man’s Poor Man’s Cancer Treatment, which still stands as the only full medical review on the subject of using simple baking soda in the practice of medicine. When taken orally with water, especially water with high magnesium content, and when used transdermally in medicinal baths, sodium bicarbonate becomes a first-line medicinal for the treatment of cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, influenza and even the common cold. And importantly, it is also a powerful buffer against radiation exposure, so everyone should be up to speed on its use. Everybody’s physiology is under heavy nuclear attack from strong radioactive winds that are circling the northern hemisphere.
Actually it is no surprise that a University of Arizona researcher received this grant because there has been cancer research going on for years there. Dr. Robert J. Gillies and his colleagues have already demonstrated that pre-treatment of mice with sodium bicarbonate results in the alkalinization of the area around tumors. The same researchers reported that bicarbonate increases tumor pH and also inhibits spontaneous metastases in mice with breast cancer. It also reduces the rate of lymph node involvement.
I recently published about fungal infections, and breast cancer has been found to be associated with increased frequency of mold-fermented cheese consumption. Fungi produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins that can cause cancer. Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin with carcinogenic potency that is found in inferior peanut butter and other nut and dairy products. Researchers in 1993 examined human breast cancer tissue and found significant carcinogenic aflatoxin within the cancer tissue implicating aflatoxin and thus fungus as a cause of breast cancer.
The pH level of our internal fluids affects every cell in our body.
Chronic over-acidity corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked
will interrupt all cellular activities and functions. In other words,
over-acidity interferes with life itself. It is at the root of cancer.
Sodium bicarbonate medical treatments are the time honored method to “speed up” the return of the body’s bicarbonate levels to normal. Sodium bicarbonate happens to be one of our most useful medicines as it treats the basic acid-alkaline axis of human physiology.
The pH of our tissues and body fluids is crucial and central because it affects and mirrors the state of our health or our inner cleanliness. The closer the pH is to 7.35-7.45, the higher our level of health and wellbeing. Staying within this range dramatically increases our ability to resist acute illnesses like colds and flues as well as the onset of cancer and other diseases. Keeping our pH within a healthy range also involves necessary lifestyle and dietary changes that will protect us over the long term while the use of sodium bicarbonate gives us a jump-start toward increased alkalinity.
The pH scale is like a thermometer showing increases and decreases in the acid and alkaline content of fluids. Deviations above or below a 7.35-7.45 pH range in the tightly controlled blood can signal potentially serious and dangerous symptoms or states of disease. When the body can no longer effectively neutralize and eliminate the acids, it relocates them within the body’s extra-cellular fluids and connective tissue cells directly compromising cellular integrity. Conversely when the body becomes too alkaline from too much bicarbonate in the blood, metabolic alkalosis occurs, which can lead to severe consequences if not corrected quickly.
Jon Barron presents a way of looking at pH that opens up one of the major benefits of alkaline water:
Hydrogen ions tie up oxygen. That means that the more acid a liquid is, the less available the oxygen in it. Every cell in our body requires oxygen for life and to maintain optimum health. Combine that with what we know about hydrogen ions and we see that the more acid the blood (the lower its pH), the less oxygen is available for use by the cells. Without going into a discussion of the chemistry involved, just understand that it’s the same mechanism involved when acid rain “kills” a lake. The fish literally suffocate to death because the acid in the lake “binds up” all of the available oxygen. It’s not that the oxygen has gone anywhere; it’s just no longer available. Conversely, if you raise the pH of the lake (make it more alkaline), oxygen is now available and the lake comes back to life. Incidentally, it’s worth noting that cancer is related to an acid environment (lack of oxygen)—the higher the pH (the more oxygen present in the cells of the body), the harder it is for cancer to thrive.
Understanding this is important for two reasons: (1) it reveals one of the primary benefits of alkaline water—more “available” oxygen in the system and (2) it explains why alkaline water helps fight cancer.
The ocean, the mother of all life, has an average pH of about 8.1.
The ideal pH for blood sits at about 7.4, slightly alkaline—not acidic.
If you’re eating well and living cleanly, then yes, you want to drink water with a naturally occurring pH only slightly above neutral. However, if you are eating the typical Western diet, high in meat, grains, sodas, and sugars that acidify the body, then you have a different problem. Your pH balance is now so far out of normal that you must go beyond normal in the other direction to counter it. My recommendation for daily drinking water pH is about 7.5-8—depending on how acid forming your diet is. Long-term consumption of higher pH water should be reserved for special circumstances. The most famous mountain waters in the world, waters renowned for their healing properties, are highly alkaline. I’m referring to the waters coming down from the Himalayas, and specifically to the waters of the Hunza Valley, which have a pH that runs between 9 and 11.
One does not have to be a doctor to practice pH medicine. Every practitioner of the healing arts and every mother and father needs to understand how to use sodium bicarbonate. Bicarbonate deficiency is a real problem that deepens with age so it really does pay to understand and appreciate what baking soda is all about.
 One sample study is by Le, et al. (1986), in a French case-control study of 1,010 breast cancer cases and 1,950 controls with nonmalignant diseases, found that breast cancer was found to be associated with increased frequency of mold fermented cheese consumption.
 Going, et al. (1990) found that weddellite (calcium oxalate) crystals are present in calcifications found in the breast tissue of patients with breast cancer. Calcium oxalate crystals are formed when calcium binds with oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a mycotoxin that can be produced by a number of different fungal species. Some fungi produce such large amounts of oxalic acid that they are used for commercial production of chemicals. Aspergillus niger fungal infection in human lungs produces large amounts of oxalic acid.
 Researchers examined human DNA from a variety of tissues and organs to identify and quantify aflatoxin DNA-adducts. Such adducts are considered to be proof of the mycotoxin’s presence in a particular tissue.Their finding? “Tumor tissues had higher aflatoxin-adduct levels than did normal tissue from the same individual.”