Mold Toxins—A Hidden Threat to Health and Vitality

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Do you struggle with mysterious symptoms that persist, despite your best efforts? Maybe you’re dealing with frequent allergies, or other signs of immune dysregulation. Or perhaps, like so many, you don’t seem to have the energy you need to get through the day. 

If any of this sounds familiar, it may be time to look at mold toxicity. 

Unfortunately, mold—including dangerous toxic black mold—is more pervasive than you might realize, and finds its way into many types of environments. The truth is, a high number of people harbor mold toxins in their body, they just might not realize it.

That’s partly because symptoms of mold toxicity overlap with many other chronic conditions, making a clear diagnosis difficult. In addition, many doctors don’t recognize mold poisoning as a unique condition. What this all means is that many patients with mold poisoning are misdiagnosed, and not adequately treated.

Symptoms of mold toxicity are varied but can include many of the following: 

  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Respiratory issues 
  • Chronic cough and/or wheezing
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Aches and pains
  • Brain fog and memory issues
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Sinus problems
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Rashes
  • Digestive issues

Mold toxins can trigger a wide range of symptoms—but like many other chronic conditions, these symptoms stem from one key problem: damage to your immune system.[1] Not only can mold toxins damage your immunity and trigger a wide range of symptoms as a result—but they can also make you more susceptible to a wide range of other conditions. This damaging cycle can wreak havoc on your long-term health—unless you take the right steps to address it. 

Mold is Everywhere

Mold is surprisingly common. It can be found virtually anywhere, but most molds thrive in wet areas, especially within the protected environment of a water-damaged building. Mold and mold toxins are also common in foods. Items where mold is found most include dried goods like grains, legumes, cereals, nuts and seeds, spices, coffee—and also dairy.[2] Mold can be airborne and also attach to your belongings like clothes and shoes, traveling with you. [3] If you’re carrying mold and it ends up somewhere even slightly damp, it will set up residence.  

Mold Toxins can be Dangerous 

Many types of mold can be hazardous—especially if you’re genetically susceptible, which we’ll discuss below. Harmful molds produce a class of toxins called mycotoxins. These toxic compounds are found on mold and mold spores, and can trigger severe reactions and health problems for many people.

The two most common mycotoxins that cause problems are called aflatoxin and ochratoxin. These two toxins have been linked to a number of health issues—from allergies to cancer.

The problem is, many people can’t remove these toxins easily, so they linger in the body and cause long-term immune problems. 

Mycotoxins Damage Your Health… and Your Immune System

Mycotoxins are often far more dangerous than the actual mold or mold spores they came from. For example, mold can’t enter your bloodstream—even though it can colonize areas like your nose and lungs. But mycotoxins can actually get into circulation and wreak havoc throughout your body.

If your immune system is already compromised, mycotoxins make your condition much worse. But even if you’re healthy, mycotoxins can still cause significant problems.[4] 

Mycotoxin exposure is shown to:

  • Inflame the lungs, causing breathing problems[5]
  • Disrupt microbiome by killing beneficial bacteria and allowing pathogens a foothold[6]
  • Cause Chronic Fatigue[7]
  • Impair cognition[8]
  • Damage the liver and drive cancer[9]
  • Fuel allergies and asthma[10]

Genetic Predisposition to Mold 

It’s estimated that roughly 25% of the general population is genetically predisposed to mold sickness. A blood test called the HLA-DR test, can identify if you’re in that vulnerable group.[11]

For these mold-vulnerable people, their immune system doesn’t easily eliminate mycotoxins. Worse, even small exposures to mycotoxins can trigger serious symptoms in these folks. 

But it’s important to realize that even if you’re not in this mold-vulnerable group, exposure to mold and mycotoxins can still affect you, especially if exposure is ongoing, or particularly high. And immuno-compromised people are also vulnerable—even if they’re not genetically predisposed. 

Eliminating Mycotoxins

Because of how pervasive and harmful mold can be, anyone can benefit from the safe removal of mycotoxins—regardless of your health status. But for anyone struggling with ongoing mold exposure, proper mycotoxin removal is extremely important. 

The best way to eliminate mycotoxins toxins is with safe detox binders that trap these toxins in the body and prevent them from being reabsorbed through the GI tract.  

One drug called Cholestyramine, a prescription-based cholesterol medication, binds strongly to some mycotoxins – especially ochratoxin and helps remove them. However, there are more natural, and in my experience, beneficial agents that can help bind and eliminate mold and other toxins, while providing additional protective benefits. 

In my practice, I recommend the researched form of modified citrus pectin (MCP) which is clinically proven in multiple published studies to be a gentle yet effective detoxifying binder. Because MCP does not remove essential minerals, it’s safe for long-term use to help eliminate mycotoxins as well as other environmental toxins and heavy metals from the body. MCP works especially well when combined with another powerful natural binder: alginates from seaweed that bind tightly to toxins in the GI tract and prevent reabsorption.

MCP also offers additional key benefits that make it an excellent ingredient for combating mold exposure. 

Controlling inflammation—MCP is proven to control unhealthy inflammation and its downstream effects so it can be helpful in controlling many of the mold symptoms listed above. 

Removing heavy metals—Fungus thrives on mercury. MCP as well as alginates are proven to safely bind and remove toxic metals including mercury, lead, uranium, arsenic  and others from the body. 

Balancing immunity—MCP is a powerful immune support agent that works to enhance, modulate and balance immune function, while preventing the immune system from going overboard and attacking the body with the harmful cytokine storm. 

When addressing mold exposure, it’s also key to strengthen your microbiome (the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut and elsewhere in your body). The best way to do this is with a high-quality probiotic formula with prebiotic nutrients, that can effectively colonize your GI tract with beneficial bacteria to keep your GI and immune systems functioning optimally.

If you’re concerned about mold toxicity, these simple detox measures can make a significant difference. It’s also important to work with an experienced mold practitioner who can help diagnose and design a treatment plant that works best for your unique needs. 

The truth is, mold is a part of our natural environment. But in today’s age, mold toxins often accompany a long list of other environmental toxins, pollutants and emerging health threats. Our bodies need assistance to address these imbalances, and the best way to provide this is with natural, proven therapies that provide multiple targeted benefits for optimal support and protection.

[1] Kuhn DM, Ghannoum MA. Indoor mold, toxigenic fungi, and Stachybotrys chartarum: infectious disease perspective. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003;16(1):144–172

[2] Kumar P, Mahato DK, Kamle M, Mohanta TK, Kang SG. Aflatoxins: A Global Concern for Food Safety, Human Health and Their Management. Front Microbiol. 2017;7:2170.

[3] Basic Facts About Mold and Dampness. December 16, 2019. Page accessed March 28, 2020.

[4] Bennett JW, Klich M. Mycotoxins. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003;16(3):497–516.

[5] Wong J, Magun BE, Wood LJ. Lung inflammation caused by inhaled toxicants: a review. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2016;11:1391–1401. Published 2016 Jun 23. doi:10.2147/COPD.S106009

[6] Liew WP, Mohd-Redzwan S. Mycotoxin: Its Impact on Gut Health and Microbiota. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2018;8:60.

[7] Brewer JH, Thrasher JD, Straus DC, Madison RA, Hooper D. Detection of mycotoxins in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Toxins (Basel). 2013;5(4):605–617.

[8] Eiser AR1. Why does Finland have the highest dementia mortality rate? Environmental factors may be generalizable. Brain Res. 2017 Sep 15;1671:14-17.

[9] Wild CP, Gong YY. Mycotoxins and human disease: a largely ignored global health issue. Carcinogenesis. 2010;31(1):71–82. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgp264

[10] Schütze N1, Lehmann I, Bönisch U, Simon JC, Polte T. Exposure to mycotoxins increases the allergic immune response in a murine asthma model. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Jun 1;181(11):1188-99.

[11] Valtonen V. Clinical Diagnosis of the Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome: Review of the Literature and Suggested Diagnostic Criteria. Front Immunol.

[12] Hope J. A review of the mechanism of injury and treatment approaches for illness resulting from exposure to water-damaged buildings, mold, and mycotoxins. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013;2013:767482.

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