This article provides info on how to test yourself or your child for exposure to mold, mildew, fungi and mycotoxins. A simple urine test can provide detailed information about potential environmental exposures to molds and mycotoxins, the metabolites produced by fungi and mold which can infest buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs.
The majority of mycotoxin exposures are through food ingestion or airborne exposure. Many foodstuffs are contaminated with Aspergillus and Penicillium and other molds, whose waste products are released into the body where they damage the liver and endocrine systems.
Inner wall materials of buildings, wall paper, fiber glass insulation, ceiling tiles, and gypsum are all surfaces that fungi will colonize. These fungi like Black Mold then release mycotoxins into the environment causing symptoms of many different chronic diseases. Symptoms abd diseases linked to mycotoxin exposure include fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, heart disease, rheumatic disease, asthma, sinusitis, cancer, memory loss, vision loss, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, depression, ADHD, anxiety, and liver damage.
I offer the MycoTOX Profile to identify mycotoxin exposures and make recommendations for detoxification and elimination treatments. The MycoTOX diagnostic test screens for seven different mycotoxins from four species of mold and requires just one urine sample.
Recommendations for Treatment
If you have been diagnosed with mycotoxin exposure, the first step is to eliminate or reduce exposure to mold. The majority of exposures result from contaminated food, skin contact, and inhalation of spore-borne toxins, which is often caused by water-damaged buildings. Inhalation of spore-borne toxins can be limited by detecting and eliminating damp and moldy environments, both indoor and outdoor. There are companies that provide environmental testing for your home and office and can help you identify the potential source of problems.
Mold can enter homes through open windows, vents, doorways, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold grows well on organic products such as paper, wood, cardboard, and ceiling tiles. Mold can also grow on insulation, drywall, wallpaper, carpet, fabric, and upholstery. Mold can be controlled by cleaning and drying after water intrusion; having proper ventilation for showers, laundry, and cooking areas; making sure that windows, roofs, and pipes are free of leaks; and by controlling humidity levels. After moisture problems are alleviated it is recommended that mold removal be performed by a licensed contractor. Attempts to remove mold may cause mold spores to scatter and spread to other areas. In addition, treating mold without proper ventilation could result in health problems caused by the release of mycotoxins from the mold spores.
A diet of carrots, parsnips, celery, and parsley may reduce the carcinogenic effects of mold. Bentonite clay and zeolite clay are reported to reduce the absorption of mold found in food. Supplementation with chlorophyllin, zinc, A, E, C, NAC, rosmarinic acid, and liposomal glutathione alone or in combination have been shown to mitigate the oxidative effects of mold.
Examples of MYCOTOX Markers
- AFLATOXIN-the main metabolite of aflatoxin B1, which is a mycotoxin produced by the mold species Aspergillus. Aflatoxin can be found in beans, corn, rice, tree nuts, wheat, milk, eggs, and meat. Clinical signs of aflatoxicosis are non-pruritic macular rash, headache, gastrointestinal dysfunction (often extreme), lower extremity edema, anemia, and jaundice
- OCHRATOXIN A-a nephrotoxic, immunotoxic, and carcinogenic mycotoxin. This chemical is produced by molds in the Aspergillus and Penicillium families. Exposure is primarily through contaminated foods such as cereals, grape juices, dairy, spices, wine, dried vine fruit, and coffee. Exposure to OTA can also come from inhalation exposure in water-damaged buildings. OTA can lead to kidney disease and adverse neurological effects. Studies have shown that OTA can cause significant oxidative damage to multiple brain regions and the kidneys. Dopamine levels in the brain of mice have been shown to be decreased after exposure to OTA.
Examples of Species of Mold tested
- Aspergillus is the most prevalent mold group in the environment. Two of the most common Aspergillus mycotoxins are aflatoxin and ochratoxin. The main target of these toxins is the liver. These toxins have been found in all major cereal crops including peanuts, corn, cotton, millet, rice, sorghum, sunflower seeds, wheat, and a variety of spices. They are also found in eggs, milk, and meat from animals fed contaminated grains. Diseases caused by Aspergillus are called aspergillosis. The most common route of infection is through the respiratory system. Aspergillus can cause severe asthma when the mold colonizes the lung, forming a granulomatous disease.
- There are over 200 species of Penicillium that have been discovered. Penicillium chrysogenum is the most common of these species. It is often found in indoor environments and is responsible for many allergic reactions. Penicillium is also a known contaminant in many different food items. Many different types of citrus fruits can become contaminated with Penicillium, but it can also contaminate seeds and grains. One reason that Penicillium is such a common infestation is because of its ability to thrive in low humidity. In the home, Penicillium can be found in wallpaper, carpet, furniture, and fiberglass insulation. The most common mycotoxin produced by Penicillium is ochratoxin (OTA). Ochratoxin is nephrotoxic, which means that it damages the kidneys. It is also carcinogenic.
Please contact my office if you would like for us to drop ship a test kit to you anywhere in the US.