3 min|Dr. Maya Kuczma
5 Surprising Foods that Might Contain Mold ToxinsWellness, Health
While there could be many factors playing a role in these inconsistent reactions, molds - and the toxins they produce (known as mycotoxins) - could be to blame. There are certain foods that tend to become ‘moldy’ and laden with mycotoxins, particularly if they are not stored properly. Unfortunately, both the USA and Canada have limited regulations when it comes to mycotoxin content, allowing for greater levels of mycotoxin contamination than the EU and many other areas of the world. (1, 2) For example, a 3-year study of cereal-based infant foods sold in Canadian stores discovered at least one mycotoxin in 100% of samples tested. (3)
Individual reactions to mold, and mycotoxins, vary greatly depending on our ability to detoxify, whether we have an allergy to mold, certain genetic markers, as well as our overall exposure to mold and mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can cause inflammation in the sinuses, lungs, bladder, and digestive tract; they can damage mitochondria and DNA and are poisonous to the nervous system. They also weaken the blood brain barrier, inhibit the immune system, and have been linked to certain cancers. (4,5,6)
Due to this lengthy list of effects, symptoms of mold sickness can be wide-reaching and vague. They may occur following a move, or starting a new job or school, indicating that your location may be water-damaged (and mold-infested). Symptoms could occur after a leak in your building. Or, you may notice an exacerbation of symptoms following a meal that combines foods higher in mycotoxins. Mycotoxin contamination can occur during production, processing, transport, and storage; these common foods are most likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins (4):
Dr. Maya Kuczma
Maya Kuczma, ND, is a freelance medical writer and Naturopathic Doctor at Integrative. The central focus to her writing and medical practice is identifying biochemical, environmental, and emotional triggers of illness. Her treatment plans are rooted in evolutionary biology and ancestral nutrition, and aim to utilize ancient wisdom to alleviate the stressors of our modern way of life.