Types of Mycotoxins

American Society for Microbiology – Mycotoxins

Some of the different types of mycotoxins are:

  • Aflatoxins (produced by Aspergillus) – includes Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, M1 and M2 
  • Ochratoxin – includes Ochratoxin A, B, and C
  • Trichothecene (produced by Stachybotrys) – includes Satratoxin-H, Vomitoxin and T-2 mycotoxins
  • Fumonisins – includes Fumonisin B1 and B2
  • Zearalenone

Size of Mycotoxins

Like mold spores, mycotoxins are too small for us to see with the naked eye. Mycotoxins are as small as 0.1 microns. Mold spores are between 1 and 20 microns. Human hair, for comparison, is about 100 microns thick.

Mycotoxins and You

How Mycotoxins Enter the Human Body

When people are around toxic mold they are usually exposed to airborne mycotoxins by breathing them in. These mycotoxins end up in the lungs and cause breathing problems and other severe symptoms.

Mycotoxins in the air can also enter through a person’s eyes, and can be absorbed through the skin as well.

Another way mycotoxins get into a person’s body is by the person eating food with mycotoxins in it. This can happen if toxic mold has been growing on crops.

Many mycotoxins remain toxic even after being cooked. This is one reason why mycotoxins are a big problem in agriculture. A binding agent is used on crops such as grain after harvesting to remove mycotoxins.

During 2004 in Kenya, 125 people died after eating maize contaminated with aflatoxin mycotoxins. There have been many cases of pets dying from eating pet food with mycotoxins in it as well.

How Long Do Mycotoxins Stay Toxic

According to experts, some mycotoxins can remain toxic for several years. Things like ultraviolet light or freezing temperatures do not have much effect on mycotoxins.

Safe Levels of Mycotoxins

The tolerable daily intakes used by governments and international risk managers, such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission, are to establish maximum levels of mycotoxins in food. The maximum levels for mycotoxins in food are very low due to their severe toxicity. For example, the maximum levels for aflatoxins set by the Codex in various nuts, grains, dried figs and milk are in the range of 0.5 to 15ng/g.

Killing Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins aren’t actually alive like mold spores. So when we talk about “killing mycotoxins” it really means breaking down mycotoxins and their toxicity so they are no longer dangerous to humans.

It takes fire at 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) for half an hour or fire at 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes to destroy trichothecene mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins do eventually break down and lose their toxicity after some time. Some types of mycotoxins can take several years though, for example trichothecene mycotoxins which are among the most resilient.

System of the body affected by Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins absorbed by the skin, airways and intestinal lining affects multiple organs, including the lungs, musculoskeletal system, as well as the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Mycotoxins effect Mitochondria Findings suggest that mycotoxins such as citrinin, aflatoxin, effect mitochondrial dysfunction. Mycotoxins can induce oxidative stress even at low concentration/dose that may be one of the major causes of mitochondrial dysfunction.

How are Mycotoxins used?

Mycotoxins have been used in war

Some Mycotoxins may already have been used as weapons. The Soviet Union was alleged to have provided mycotoxins to the armies of Vietnam and Laos to use against resistance forces in Laos and Cambodia and to have used mycotoxins in combat operations in Afghanistan.

Mycotoxins are used in Statins 

Statins use Mycotoxins to block reductase in the mevalonate pathway and by doing so reduce cholesterol by stopping the production of Lipoproteins. In Lipitor’s data sheets it warns about Rhabdomyolysis, Myopathy and the increase of sugar in the blood as potential side effects. Under over dose it states that dialysis is not effective because the drug bonds with blood proteins.  In a recently published document 80 mg dose is no longer recommended due the increased chances of Rhabdomyolysis. 
Rhabdomyolysis –  is the breakdown of damaged skeletal muscle, due to a direct or indirect muscle injury,  physically caused or chemically induced.  Death of muscle fibers  cause a release of biological wastes calledmyoglobin into the bloodstream. This can lead to serious complications such as renal (kidney) failure. This means the kidneys cannot remove waste and concentrated urine.

Myopathy –  myopathies are neuromuscular disorders in which the primary symptom is muscle weakness due to dysfunction of muscle fiber. Other symptoms of myopathy can include muscle cramps, stiffness, and spasm. 

Having concerns over the levels of Mycotoxins in a 80 mg dose of Lipitor, I had the drug tested at a lab specializing in Mycotoxins.

The results were as follows 
Ochratoxin A - 11.98 ng/g
Citrinin - 26.96 ng/g
Total - 38.94 ng/g

Agencies have put 15 ng/g as the maximum tolerable daily allowance.

As you can see from the drug tested above, my daily dose was 2.5 times the daily tolerable allowance!

Here are the lab test results for my daily dose of Lipitor.

Ochratoxin A is the most common mycotoxin found in foods and water-damaged buildings, and has been associated with serious health problems, including severe neurologic issues, in humans.

Citrinin – is a mycotoxin which is often found in food. It is a secondary metabolite produced by fungi that contaminate long-stored food and it causes different toxic effects, like nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic and cytotoxic effects.

In 2007 the world health organization wrote a letter to the FDA in regards to complaints from Statin users who got ALS. Nothing was done.

Finally in 2018 a report on adverse effects of drugs was published showing increased incidents of statins and ALS. The study released details and broke them down by brand. Lipitor had 217 people with ALS reported in the USA in 2017. Because doctors have no training in mold or Mycotoxin poisoning and most patients would have no idea what has happened to them, the actual numbers may be far greater than reported.

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