After writing the master blog called The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins I thought I would write smaller blogs on each of the main mycotoxins. Let’s look at Gliotoxin.
What Is Gliotoxin?
Gliotoxin is a sulfur-containing mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain moulds (fungi).
What Moulds Produce Gliotoxin?
Gliotoxin is both the major and the most potent toxin produced by Aspergillus fumigatus
What Foods Are High In Gliotoxin?
It is thought that the main exposure would be via water damaged buildings however, such as a water leak of a damp property with poor ventilation.
Gliotoxin And Human Health
Gliotoxin penetrates and impairs the integrity of the human blood-brain barrier in vitro
The toxin is known to be:
- Immunosuppressive: inhibits phagocytosis, inhibits the transcription factor NF-κB thereby blocking inflammatory response and cytokine production and blocks mast cell degranulation.
- Neurotoxic: it can penetrate the blood–brain barrier, and damage the astrocytes.
How Do I Avoid Exposure To Gliotoxin?
The World Health Organisation advise the consumer to:
- Carefully inspect whole grains and nuts for evidence of mould, and discard any that look mouldy, discoloured, or shriveled.
- Buy grains and nuts as fresh as possible; that have been grown as close to home as possible, and which have not been transported over a long time
- Buy only reputable brands of nuts and nut butters – aflatoxin moulds are not entirely killed by processing or roasting, so can show up in products e.g. peanut butter
- Make sure that foods are stored properly and are not kept for extended periods of time before being used
- Try to ensure his/her diet is diverse; this not only helps to mitigate aflatoxin exposure, but also improves health and nutrition. Consumers who lack dietary diversity need to pay extra attention to minimize the risk of high exposure to aflatoxins. For example, extensive aflatoxin exposure has been reported from areas where people get a major part of their daily calorie intake from maize; this foodstuff is commonly contaminated with aflatoxins and needs to be handled properly both before and after harvest.
However, this is not considering the mycotoxins that might be produced from water-damaged buildings – really the most common cause of mould illness. In these situations, leaving the property may be needed. There are other considerations that be considered also, as I appreciate this is sometimes just not achievable. Check out my article The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins for more information on this.
Great Plains Laboratory state that the three most common exposure routes to Citrinin are through ingestion, inhalation, and skin contact
How Do You Remove Gliotoxin From The Body?
Check out my article The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins which discusses interventions to support the detoxification of mycotoxins.
Climate And Mycotoxins
A paper entitled Aflatoxins in the Soil Ecosystem: An Overview of Its Occurrence, Fate, Effects and Future Perspectives states:
“Current regulations provide minimal options for the disposal of aflatoxin-contaminated crops, amongst which is the incorporation of residues into the soil for natural degradation. This form of mycotoxin loading into the soil could potentially change its physicochemical characteristics and biotic parameters. Recent studies suggest that as climate conditions change, the occurrence and geographical distribution of aflatoxins might increase, posing significant health risks to the soil ecosystem, food crop production and human health.”
How Do I Test For Mycotoxins And Gliotoxin In The UK
Books On Mycotoxins
- Break The Mold – By Dr. Crista
- Mould & Mycotoxins – by Dr. Nathan
- Toxic – by Dr. Nathan
- Mould: The War Within – by Kurt and Lee Billings
Practitioners to follow:
- Detection of Mycotoxins in Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Dampness and Mold Hypersensitivity Syndrome and Vaccination as Risk Factors for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- The Putative Role of Viruses, Bacteria, and Chronic Fungal Biotoxin Exposure in the Genesis of Intractable Fatigue Accompanied by Cognitive and Physical Disability
- Chronic Illness Associated With Mold and Mycotoxins: Is Naso-Sinus Fungal Biofilm the Culprit?
- Mycotoxin: Its Impact on Gut Health and Microbiota
- A Review of the Mechanism of Injury and Treatment Approaches for Illness Resulting From Exposure to Water-Damaged Buildings, Mold, and Mycotoxins
- Deficient Glutathione in the Pathophysiology of Mycotoxin-Related Illness
- Role of Mycotoxins in the Pathobiology of Autism: A First Evidence
- Mycotoxins and human disease: a largely ignored global health issue
- Ochratoxin A and human health risk: A review of the evidence
- A Review of the Diagnosis and Treatment of Ochratoxin A Inhalational Exposure Associated with Human Illness and Kidney Disease including Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis
- Co-occurrence of Citrinin and Ochratoxin A in Rice in Asia and Its Implications for Human Health
- Red Yeast Rice: An Unsafe Food Supplement?
- Functional Food Red Yeast Rice (RYR) for Metabolic Syndrome Amelioration: A Review on Pros and Cons
- Mycotoxin-assisted Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Cytotoxicity: Unexploited Tools Against Proliferative Disorders
- What do we know about the role of gliotoxin in the pathobiology of Aspergillus fumigatus?
- Gliotoxin penetrates and impairs the integrity of the human blood-brain barrier in vitro