Mould and mycotoxin exposure, have been shown to contribute to both functional and structural changes in the gut causing gut problems such as IBS.
Other blogs that you might be interested in include:
- Mould Illness: A Functional Medicine Approach
- The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins
- Ochratoxin A
- The Ultimate Guide To IBS
- SIBO: What Causes It
Certainly, mycotoxins cause perturbation in the gut, particularly in the intestinal epithelial.
Firstly it is important to point out that research has stated that that the gut microbiome is capable of eliminating mycotoxins naturally, provided that the host (i.e you or I) is healthy with a balance (diverse) gut microbiome.
But mould illness and mycotoxins can cause gut problems such as IBS via several mechanisms:
Mould Can Change The Microbiome
Mycotoxins have been demonstrated to be able to modulate the gut microbiota composition, and such alteration in gut microbiota can be observed up to species level in some of the studies. This is often termed dysbiosis.
Most, if not all, of the reported effects of mycotoxins, are negative in terms of intestinal health, where beneficial bacteria are eliminated accompanied by an increase of the gut pathogen.
Mould And Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is a common, and perhaps, misunderstood term these days. Research explains how the intestinal barrier functions as a filter against harmful mycotoxins. However, some mycotoxins have been found to exert their detrimental effects by altering normal intestinal functions such as barrier function.
Mould And Weight Loss
Mould and mycotoxins can alter the normal intestinal functions such as nutrient absorption contributing to weight loss, and gut problems such as IBS.
Mould, SIBO And Increased Risk Of Infection
Trichothecenes (a type of mycotoxin) have been linked with a decreased level of IL-8 (an inflammatory immune molecule) in the intestine, which is responsible for pathogen removal. So mould can increase our susceptible to a gut infection by suppressing immunity in the gut. This leaves us at greater risk of post-infectious IBS.
Overall, mycotoxins exert negative impacts on GI tracts specifically on the gut absorption, integrity, and immunity.
Probiotics And Mould
Probiotics, which may generally help restore the natural harmony of the gut microbiota, coupled with its mycotoxins reducing ability, could increase its health-promoting value. Options include:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus casei
- Saccharomyces boulardii
If you’re trying to reduce your total mycotoxin load and detox, I encourage you to supplement with a multi-species probiotic containing these strains.
Testing For Mycotoxins UK
There is a mycotoxin urine profile available from Regenerus Labs in the UK.
Other Treatment Of Mycotoxins (discussed in more detail in The Ultimate Guide To Mycotoxins)
- A low mould diet
- Supplement binders such as activated charcoal, anti-fungals like oregano oil, liposomal glutathione. There are others that can be considered on an individual basis.
- Sweat – sauna therapy is a great option, as is exercise (if this is tolerated).
So, yes mould and mycotoxin exposure can cause gut problems such as IBS.
- Mycotoxin: Its Impact on Gut Health and Microbiota
- Effects of Mycotoxins on the Intestine
- Impact of Mycotoxins on the Intestine: Are Mucus and Microbiota New Targets?
- Modulation of Intestinal Functions Following Mycotoxin Ingestion: Meta-Analysis of Published Experiments in Animals
- Probiotic Supplementation Reduces a Biomarker for Increased Risk of Liver Cancer in Young Men From Southern China
- Effect of Supplementation of Fermented Milk Drink Containing Probiotic Lactobacillus Casei Shirota on the Concentrations of Aflatoxin Biomarkers Among Employees of Universiti Putra Malaysia: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Cross-Over, Placebo-Controlled Study