Mycotoxins from Mold CAN Hurt You. Mycotoxin Update.

What are mycotoxins from mold?

When mold spores reproduce, or sporulate, they release toxins called mycotoxin. These toxins can have a serious impact on the health of people, pets and livestock. In fact mycotoxins from mold have even been used in biological warfare because they are so poisonous. In the US it is estimated that exposure to mycotoxins from mold causes 500,000 deaths every year..

How do mycotoxins from mold make you sick?

Mycotoxins from mold can be ingested orally, inhaled or be absorbed into the body through the skin. They can harm almost every organ in the human body with some symptoms resembling radiation exposure. Seventy percent of those with confirmed exposure to toxic mold had neurotoxic symptoms including convulsions, ataxia (lack of muscle coordination) or behavioural and cognitive changes.

Mycotoxins from mold growing in petri dish.How can exposure to mold and mycotoxins affect my health?

There are over two hundred mycotoxins from common molds. Mold exposure can bring about many common ailments but few people think that mold could be a cause. Increasing awareness for the public and physicians is critical because of the seriousness of many of these symptoms.

A number mycotoxins from mold can be more dangerous than heavy metals or pesticides — they can be damaging to multiple biological systems in peoples bodies. Exposure to mycotoxins can produce toxic reactions effecting respiratory, digestive, vascular, reproductive, nervous, urinary and immune systems. The immune system has a difficult time fighting fungi because it can mutate rapidly and suppress the immune system at the same time

Some people are extremely sensitive to mold and have allergic reactions that can present as chronic symptoms. People whose immune systems are under stress are also vulnerable. No one should have a false sense of security because mycotoxins from mold can still be a potentially dangerous health risk.

One of more frightening aspects of mycotoxins from mold is they can directly enter your brain. Anything you smell or inhale can be carried by olfactory neurons directly to the brain—there is no blood-brain barrier. Optic muscles and optic nerves is another such entry point. Dangerous brain complications can arise if left untreated.

Mycotoxins from mold are lipid-soluble and are quickly absorbed by skin, respiration and intestinal lining. They can damage DNA, messing with with RNA synthesis. Even dead mold spores continue to be toxic.

Toxic effects from trichothecenes mycotoxins have received the most attention. These are mycotoxins that come from Aspergillus versicolor and Stachybotyrs chartarum (aka black mold).

Black Mold

In the 1920s in Russia cattle started dying from eating hay that had gone moldy. This was the first time Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, was reported.

In the 70′s in Southeast Asia biological attacks called “Yellow Rain” were conducted. It was the  aerosolized mycotoxin of black mold. Poisoning by black mold is called stachybotryotoxicosis.

The appearance of Stachybotrys chartarum can be gray with a powdery texture or dark and slimy. The actual colour of the mold has no relation to its toxicity. If you have this kind of mold in your home you should certainly be careful and take immediate action but its presence does not mean it is currently releasing toxins.

Researchers have found that mycotoxins from mold are forty times more toxic when they are inhaled compared to when they are ingested orally. Animal testing showed that Stachybotrys chartarum can damage bone marrow and lymphoid tissue and cause varying degrees of damage to the immune system, even destroying it. Animal subjects also hemorrhaged from their brains, lungs, livers and other organs.

Humans exposed to black mold have had a multitude of symptoms including but not limited to: autoimmune disease, memory loss, dermatitis, cough,rashes rhinitis, nose bleeds, cold and fever, headache, general malaise, respiratory symptoms including emphysema, hair loss, pulmonary hemorrhage and cancer.

Aspergillosis: mold in your lungs

Often finding a home in decaying vegetation like compost heaps, aspergilli are  common environmental molds. In homes it frequently lives in heating ducts, insulation, air conditioning and on food. Most strains are not dangerous but a few can produce toxic spores that can present health issues.

Aspergillus is associated with lung and body infections called aspergillosisInvasive aspergillosis is when toxins are spread throughout the body by infecting blood vessels.

In rare instances aspergillosis can grow a fungal material in the lungs called aspergilloma, a “fungal ball”. The Mayo Clinic, reports that this fungal infection can spread to your skin, kidneys, heart or brain.

Aspergilloma symptoms may include: chest pain, coughing up blood (hemoptysis), facial swelling, wheezing, shortness of breath, fatigue and pulmonary hemorrhage.