Understanding Mould illness
Since the recent flooding mycotoxins are gaining a significant amount of interest. Human evaluation as to what the different mycotoxins do in our bodies is difficult to assess. More than 400 chemically diverse mycotoxins have been identified and can be a public health concern. The way they affect people is highly individualised.
Persons already affected by Mast Cell Activation syndrome (MCAS) could have a stronger response. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is most commonly found on investigations. This toxin can have a detrimental effect on the kidneys and lead to increased inflammation. We ingest OTA through our skin, oral and inhalation route. Some is eliminated through bile, but many people have issues with bile flow and production.
All mycotoxins bind to albumin in the blood and can feely move around our system.Mycophenolic acid (MPA) is a better understood mycotoxin. The liver tries to excrete MPA through a detox pathway called glucuronidation. This pathway can be defective due to genetic SNP’s and needs to be supported. Zearalenone (ZEA) is very commonly found on grains and could upset our hormones as it has an oestrogenic effect. People can also become more reactive to foods when the gut has been exposed to mould.
Aflatoxin found in peanuts can lead to a reduction of the beneficial bacteria in our gut. Suddenly people present with high Secretory IgA. Mould can also affect the brain and Limbic system. This can lead to low cortisol and high adrenalin leading to symptoms such as heart palpitations, anxiety and insulin resistance. A-acetylcysteine (NAC) and Melatonin can be useful here. A collection of mycotoxins from a group called Trichothecenes (TCT) have unique toxic effects on humans even affecting DNA synthesis. TCT producing moulds include Stachybotrus (Black Mould) which is found in damp indoor areas (water damaged buildings).
Human exposure can also come from foods. Grains, nuts and seeds are highest in mycotoxins. The biological activity of TCT is that they can easily pass through our cell membrane and change the cells activity. This can lead to changes in protein synthesis and increased oxidative stress leading to mitochondrial damage. Mould toxicity can present like Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, atypical Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic Sinusitis.
For the treatment of Mould Illness different binders are needed to remove the various toxins. Before using a binder, the inflammation must be addressed first. MCAS patients could benefit from eating a low histamine diet. Good nutrition is needed to assist with the substrates for optimal liver detox. Consume at least 12 - 15 portions of plant-based foods in a day. Thiols are especially important, and these are found in onions and garlic.
At Resolve Health, we can refer you for a Mycotoxin panel to assess your body load and determine the best method of treatment. Each case needs to be individualised.
Antai & Petzinger (2006), Immunotoxic activity of Ochratoxin A, J.Vet Pharmacol Therap, 29, 79-90.
F.Fung & R.F. Clark (2004), Health effects of Mycotoxins: a Toxicological Overview, Clinical Toxocology, Vol 42
A.M Ratnaseelam, I Tsilioni et al (2018), Effects of Mycotoxins on Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Immune Processes, Clinical Therapeutics, Volume 40, Number 6E. Janik, M Niemcewics et al (2021) T2 Toxin. The most toxic Trichothecene Mycotoxin: Metabolism Toxicity and Decontamination Strategies, Molecules
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