Mycotoxins Contaminate 10 Food Staples
Fungi produce secondary metabolites called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins were discovered in 1962 in London, England, when a peanut ground meal was found to have caused approximately 100,000 turkey deaths. Metabolites from the common fungi Aspergillus flavus had contaminated the peanut meal. This led to many studies on mycotoxins, especially on aflatoxins, which derive from the Aspergillus species.
Aflatoxin’s damage to the human body
Studies have shown that when humans are exposed to small amounts of aflatoxins over an extended period of time, they develop a wide range of serious health problems including growth impairment, liver cancer due to DNA mutation, and a suppressed immune system.
Aspergillus, the most common fungi consumed
Aspergillus often grows in damp harvested grain but can also grow on grain before it’s even harvested. Aspergillus grows on substances like corn, cottonseed, peanuts, and hay. The American Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 25 percent of the food crops in the world are affected by mycotoxins.
10 common sources of mycotoxins
Corn – Most corn is contaminated with fumonisin and other fungal toxins such as aflatoxin, zearalenone and ochratoxin. Fumonisin and aflatoxin possess known cancer-causing effects, while zearalenone and ochratoxin cause estrogenic and kidney-related problems.
Wheat – Wheat products like bread, cereals, and pasta are often contaminated with mycotixins. In pasta, much of the mycotoxin is discarded when the boiled water is drained, but more harmful, heat-stable, fat-soluble aflatoxins remain.
Barley – Barley, used in the production of several cereals and alcoholic beverages, is commonly contaminated with mycotoxins, especially when harvested in times of drought and flood.
Sugar – Crops like sugar cane and sugar beets can be contaminated with mycotoxins. Sugars also feed fungi. Consuming sugar is like spoon feeding the fungus in the body.
Peanuts – In 1993, a study revealed that peanuts harbored 24 different types of fungi that colonized even after the peanuts were sterilized.
Alcoholic beverages – Alcohol is the mycotoxin of the Saccharomyces yeast – brewer’s yeast. This fungi may play a significant role in the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes. Both ailments are provoked using yeast fungi, according to studies.
Sorghum – Sorghum is used in a variety of grain-based products intended for both humans and animals. It is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages.
Cottonseed – Cottonseed, usually found in the form of cottonseed oil, is also used in the form of grain in animal food and is often contaminated.
Cheeses – Many types of cheese are an excellent substrate for mold growth.
Antibiotics – Antibiotics contain penicillium which is actually a mold found commonly in soil and many fruits. This fungi excretes substances called mucotoxins which are chemicals fungi produce to kill the growth of other organisms, like bacteria. When you ingest antibiotics, they kill bacteria in the gut, both bad bacteria and good. The human body’s immune system relies on a good balance of beneficial gut bacteria. Antibiotics destroy that harmony.
Health-e-Solutions comment: Many of the substances listed above are often consumed in day to day life. This means most people are contaminated with some form of mycotoxin. This makes it imperative that each and every person take responsibility and detoxify their body. There are many different approaches to detoxification, but the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle is anti-fungal and eliminates all the items mentioned above and other like them. Being anti-fungal is another of the key elelments by which we select foods for optimal blood sugar control and better living in the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle.
One of the Primary Food Filters we employ to help us select only the best foods for thriving health and better blood sugar control is to determine the risk of mold or fungal contamination. While they are ubiquitous in our environment, they can be managed. The foods we eat have a significant impact on our mycotoxin exposure. Our Primary Food Filters downloadable, printable special report will fully equip you to make the best food and ingredient choices following the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle.
- (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Mycotoxins: Risks in Plant, Animal and Human Systems. Task Force Report No. 139. Ames, IA. Jan 2003)