Can Mould & Mycotoxin Exposure Cause Gut Problems Such As IBS?

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Mould illness, and mycotoxins, have been shown to contribute to both functional and structural changes in the gut causing gut problems such as IBS.

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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

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
  • Propionibacterium freudenreichii
  • 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)

Resources

References

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