Mycotoxins: What Everyone NEEDS to Know

Mycotoxins can cause various health problems

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Mycotoxins could be lurking in your home (or workplace!), waging war on your body and making you chronically ill.

But what are these silent invaders? Why haven’t we heard about mycotoxins before? And is it possible to reverse their effects?

Gaseous Mold?

Mycotoxins come from various fungi such as toxic molds. Mold releases toxic gas compounds— mycotoxins— into the air that can be dangerous to human health. While most molds are harmless and can be used for our benefit, there are some that we need to watch out for. One mycotoxin-producing mold that’s famous for the danger it poses to humans is black mold. These molds can grow inside buildings, HVAC units, foundations, and the like. Scarily enough, some mycotoxigenic fungi can even affect crops such as grains!

Illness or Exposure?

Mycotoxin poisoning can be challenging to diagnose as many people may not even realize they’ve been exposed. Symptoms of exposure may vary based on the type of mycotoxin involved and the person’s own genetic and metabolic makeup, but commonly mimic allergies or even severe autoimmune conditions. Many doctors, even wholistic doctors, may be unfamiliar with mycotoxins and may not know what to test for when their patients present with symptoms. As research on this topic continues to proliferate, hopefully, awareness among medical practitioners and the general population will continue to rise. When determining whether your symptoms are related to mold or not, a mycotoxin urine test may reveal the mycotoxins in your system.

Your genetics is another place where answers can be found. As many as 25% of Americans may have a genetic predisposition related to the HLA_DR gene. Individuals with certain expressions of this gene are more susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins. Their immune systems are unable to make the antibodies necessary to recognize and remove these toxins from the body. Instead, the toxins are stored in the body’s tissues where they can wreak long-term havoc on the body. Testing is available to determine if someone is dealing with this genetic predisposition.

Autoimmunity Connection

One of the more concerning topics surrounding mycotoxins is the role they play in autoimmunity. Mycotoxins cause damage to the mitochondria of our cells. Mitochondria are famously known as the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell, acting as energy factories that take nutrients from the things we ingest and turn them into energy for the body to use. Energy is essential for all functions of the body. Mycotoxins are known to trigger autoimmunity within the body such as the creation of antimitochondrial antibodies— antibodies that attack healthy mitochondria. Researchers have not yet determined all the potential manifestations of mycotoxin poisoning, but it is clear that it may play a significant role in various autoimmune conditions.

Detoxing Mycotoxins

So, what if you or someone you know has suffered significant mycotoxin exposure or has a gene leaving them vulnerable? The first step is to determine the source of exposure. If you are living or working in a moldy environment, it may be time to renovate (with expert help) or move. Testing kits are available to test the environment such as your home for mycotoxins. In some cases, mold remediation may be a possibility, although often it is a costly process. Once someone is removed from exposure, the next step will be to support the body’s natural detoxification processes. This includes optimizing liver health and working to stimulate the lymphatic system. The goal is to help clear the body of mycotoxins. Some doctors recommend the use of binders such as charcoal to help coax the toxins out of the body. If you suspect mycotoxins have affected your health, it’s important to talk to a doctor experienced in this area to receive proper testing and treatment.


We hope that this information on mycotoxins is useful to you.

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