Moldy? What to do About it
Unresponsive to traditional treatments? Mold toxin exposure may be holding you back.
We learned how to accurately assess mold toxicity in a previous post. Now armed with that information, let’s walk through how to do something about it.
If you have determined that mold is in your home, school, or workplace, the first order of business is to avoid it. While some in our community have taken to living outdoors in tents or packing up and moving to the arid west, this may not be an option for most.
If you do not have the luxury of escaping your moldy environment, opt for a high quality air filter. Several models are on the market at different price points.
Biotoxins from molds do not leave the body on their own. They are lipophilic—taking residence in fat tissue. Removal then can be challenging and take time.
There are both natural and pharmaceutical interventions that may aide in biotoxin removal. Both methods aim to bind bile acids in the intestinal tract and facilitate their removal in the stool. Since biotoxins are lipophilic, removal of bile (mostly composed of cholesterol and fatty acids) results in removal of insoluble, fat-biotoxin complexes.
An added bonus is improvement of serum cholesterol levels, as has been demonstrated in randomized-controlled trials.
It is important to monitor labs and VCS scores, as talked about in a previous post, to assess effectiveness of removal.
Work with a knowledgeable physician who can prescribe heavy duty binders such as Cholestyramine or Welchol. In addition, consider adding natural, gentle binders to facilitate biotoxin removal. It is important to support liver detoxification pathways during this process. This includes supplemental liposomal glutathione, lipoic acid, and milk thistle (2).
Chlorella is a gentle binder derived from marine algae. Supplementation of 5 g/day over the course of 4 weeks in a RCT showed significant reduced serum triglycerides, non-HDL-C, VLDL-C, and apo B (3). This study demonstrated its effectiveness as a bile binder in the gastrointestinal tract, similar to pharmaceutical cholesterol lowering agents like Cholestyramine and Welchol.
Charcoal may be the world’s oldest detoxifying remedy--used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine. Charcoal is a highly porous compound and can adsorb unwanted substances, carrying them out of the digestive system, thus minimizing the effects of toxin exposure. Regular supplementation may be useful if mold exposure is ongoing. Charcoal may also be of benefit for those who have Aflatoxin or Trichothecene exposure as determined by a urine study (1).
Modified Citrus Pectin
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) is a more digestible form of pectin found in fruits. It is an accepted natural chelator of metals and toxic elements as seen in controlled urine studies. The effect is thought to be due to the presence of rhamnogalacturonan II, a known metal chelator. MCP can bind fat-soluble molecules such as metals and may provide a gentle means of detox for patients with mold toxin buildup (4).
Supporting Normal Detoxification with Glutathione
Mycotoxin removal can occur via normal liver detoxification pathways. However, if the exposure exceeds detoxification demands, additional support is required. To worsen matters, mycotoxin exposure decreases the formation of the key antioxidant glutathione. This occurs due to the ability of mycotoxins to decrease expression of genes required to form glutathione.
In mice exposed to inhaled mycotoxins, boosting glutathione levels through supplementation prevented the mycotoxin-induced increase in inflammation of the airway. In children with mycotoxin-related asthma, restoration of glutathione improved macrophage activity to clear the mycotoxins. Boosting glutathione may therefore play an important role in removing mycotoxins.
Has mold been an issue for you? Tell us your mold story in the comments.
1 Forsgren, S, Nathan N, Anderson, W. Mold and Mycotoxins: Often Overlooked Factors in Chronic Lyme Disease. Townsend Letter 2014. http://www.gordonmedical.com/unravelling-complex-chronic-illness/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Townsend-Letter-Mold-Article-1.pdf
2 Guilford FT, Hope J. Deficient glutathione in the pathophysiology of mycotoxin-related illness. Toxins (Basel). 2014 Feb 10;6(2):608–623. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/24517907.
3 Ryu NH, et al. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutr J. 2014 Jun 11;13:57. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24920270
4 Eliaz I, Hotchkiss AT, Fishman ML, Rode D. The effect of modified citrus pectin on urinary excretion of toxic elements. Phytother Res. 2006 Oct;20(10):859-64. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16835878
5 Guilford & Hope (2014) Deficient Glutathione in the Pathophysiology of Mycotoxin-Related Illness. Toxins (Basel). 6(2): 608–623. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942754/