Addition of sequestering agents to feeds and foods has been proposed as a protective strategy against mycotoxins. To investigate the efficacy of Volclay, a bentonite clay, to protect against aflatoxicosis, rats were fed peanut butter (50% wt/wt)-based diets containing 1,500 ppb aflatoxin (AF), 1,500 ppb aflatoxin with 0.1% Volclay supplementation (AF-LD), or 1,500 ppb aflatoxin with 1% Volclay supplementation (AF-HD) for 8 weeks. The control group was fed a peanut butter-based diet without aflatoxin or Volclay supplementation and a fifth group was fed the control diet with 1.0% Volclay supplementation (VC). No differences in appearance, behavior, or selected hematological and serum chemical variables were observed. Decreased weight gain, decreased food consumption, and liver lesions consistent with hepatic aflatoxicosis were found in AF-fed rats. Weight gain and food consumption of the AF-HD group were comparable to the control and VC groups and were significantly increased compared to AF-fed rats, even though weekly aflatoxin ingestion of AF-HD rats equaled or exceeded that of the AF group. Body weight and food consumption of the AF-LD group were slightly increased compared to AF group and decreased compared to the control, VC, and AF-HD groups, but the differences were not statistically significant. Liver lesions were found in all AF and AF-LD rats. Lesions were also detected in eight of 10 AF-HD-fed rats, but were subtle and significantly less extensive than in AF and AF-LD rats. The data suggest that Volclay is nontoxic and may be an efficacious sequestering agent for residual aflatoxin in peanut butter.

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