Urinary fumonisin B1 and estimated fumonisin intake in women from high- and low-exposure communities in Guatemala




Fumonisin (FB) intake can be high when maize is a dietary staple. We determined (i) urinary FB (UFB) in women consuming maize in high- and low-exposure communities in Guatemala, (ii) the FB levels in maize, (iii) the relationship between UFB and FB intake, and (iv) the relative excretion of UFB1, UFB2, and UFB3.

Methods and results

Urine and maize were analyzed for FB for 1 year in three departments. Maize consumption was estimated by an interview questionnaire. Fumonisin B1, B2, and B3 (FB1, FB2 and FB3), were detected in 100% of maize samples. FB1 in maize and urine was significantly higher in Jutiapa compared to Chimaltenango or Escuintla. The FB intake paralleled UFB1 in a dose-dependent manner but UFB1 was present in much higher levels than UFB2 or UFB3 compared to maize.


In Jutiapa, agroecological conditions favored FB production. UFB1 mirrored the estimated FB intake. UFB1 > 0.1 ng/mL resulted in a dose-dependent increase in the risk of exceeding FB intake of 2 μg/kg b.w./day compared to women with no detectable UFB1. More than 50% exceeded 2 μg/kg b.w./day when UFB1 was >0.5 ng/mL. UFB2 and UFB3 were rarely detected confirming that FB1 is either absorbed better or preferentially excreted in urine.