any toxic substance produced by a fungus
Mycotoxins are poisonous chemical compounds produced by certain fungi. There are many such compounds, but only a few of them are regularly found in food and animal feedstuffs such as grains and seeds. Nevertheless, those that do occur in food have great significance in the health of humans and livestock.
Now, let us not get lost in all the scientific jargon and the big words. And don’t be misled by the beauty of the mycotoxin in the photo shown above. Looks can be deceiving. What we can infer from the definition of the mycotoxin is that it comes from fungi. We know that fungi can grow anywhere, given that the environment is moist and acidic. It can grow on food and when we eat it, there are serious health consequences.
Different kinds of mycotoxins can cause different damages to our body. One kind of mycotoxin, Aflatoxins, which is the most toxic, can cause great damage to our DNA. This strain is also shown to cause us liver cancer. More general health effects of mycotoxin are kidney damage, stomach disorders, reproductive system ailments, and a suppressed immunity. But the human body can tolerate a daily limit of mycotoxin and anything less than the limit will not be harmful to your body.
These food items are the most common sources of mycotoxins:
Corn. Mycotoxin in corn can cause cancer and estrogenic and kidney-related problems.
Barley. The barley harvested during drought or flood contains the most number of mycotoxin.
Wheat. Bread, pasta, and cereals will often have mycotoxins in them. When heated, such as in boiling the pasta, the mycotoxin can be removed although aflatoxins are resistant to heat.
Peanuts. Even when peanuts are sterilized, they still carry with them 24 kinds of mycotoxin.
Sugar. Just like humans, fungi love sugar. The more sugar we eat, the more fungi inside our bodies will thrive.
Alcoholic beverages. The fungi in alcohol are related to arteriosclerosis and diabetes.
Cheeses. Fungi like cheese and can grow exponentially on them as well.
Antibiotics. The penicillin found in antibiotics are actually fungi. The harm in taking too much of this is that antibiotics can kill both the good and the bad bacteria.
Coffee. Before you stop buying coffee, take note that only the cheaper coffees harbor mycotoxin because of the poor bean quality and the manufacturers allow the usage of moldy beans.
Detox is the answer
These are just a few of the food items with mycotoxins. There are more. And unfortunately we consume food daily. So how do we make sure that we don’t suffer the bad health effects of mycotoxin?
First of all, we need to make sure that consume these food products on a limited basis. Most of the food items mentioned already have bad effects like sugar and alcohol, we might as well lessen it even more.
Second is to detoxify. There are several detoxication diets and processes that we can do to empty our body of these kinds of waste. Don’t forget to start asap!
This video is very informative if you want to learn more about mycotoxins:
Now that you are not intimated by all the scientific jargon, spread the word and let everyone know about mycotoxin!