Scientists Link Colon Cancer to Shellfish Consumption

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 27, 2008

A group of Spanish scientists suggested this week that shellfish consumption is contributing to increased incidences of colorectal cancer and is urging further study on the toxins often found in shellfish.

"[Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning] toxins, present in some seafood products, seem to behave like tumor agents," wrote E. Manerio and colleagues in a study published in the April 1 edition of Disease Prevention Week.

The Complutense University of Madrid researchers said DSP toxins (okadaic acid and its derivatives) accumulate in shellfish, provoking gastrointestinal illnesses. However, the toxins could cause further health problems.

"There are no relevant studies on real health-risk of consuming DSP toxins, just some experimental and ecological evidence," Manerio wrote. "A review of legislation on DSP toxins is urgent."

Manerio and colleagues added that efforts have been made in recent years to reduce the cancer incidence in the European Union. The prevention programs have obtained satisfactory results except for colorectal cancer.

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