By Dr. Robert Fredrickson
Most people are aware that mold can cause respiratory problems, but few realize that it can also significantly impact nutrition and mineral absorption.
Mold releases mycotoxins into the air, and these toxins can enter the body through the lungs or the skin. Once inside, they can disrupt our gastrointestinal and respiratory tract’s intestinal barriers, affecting the absorption of several nutrients required for detoxification, including Magnesium, CoQ10, Zinc, Vitamin D, and B-Vitamins (3)
Up to 50% of chronic illnesses can result from indoor air pollution, with exposure to a water-damaged indoor environment likely being a fundamental cause. (1)
Increased mold growth in damp, wet indoor environments has been documented for poor health effects by the World Health Organization. (2)
Mold is naturally occurring and is all around us. For some, it’s not problematic, and for others, it can be detrimental, especially for 25% of the population with a copy of the HLA-DR gene, which can make some individuals more sensitive to mold exposure. (4)
When you think of mold exposure and toxicities, most people typically think of black mold (Stachybotrys) on walls and ceilings. Still, mold can exist in foods and beverages in the form of mycotoxins.
If you are wondering if mold is affecting you, ask yourself a few questions:
- Has my office or home recently had water damage?
- Do I have better respiratory health when I go on vacation?
- Do you have water damage?
- Do you see black spots anywhere in your home? Kitchen, shower, floorboards, etc.?
- Do you feel better when you avoid coffee or peanuts?
- Do you have brain fog or lack of clarity when being present in certain rooms of your home?
If you would like to do more testing to see if you are exposed to mold, you can do a free test online called the VSC visual contrast sensitivity test, and you can also do home mold testing with the MyERMI Test.
Improving air quality can also decrease the chances of mold exposure.
Most people know about good outdoor air quality for health, but indoor air quality is often overlooked. However, the air inside our homes and workplaces can be more polluted than outside. Poor indoor air quality can lead to various health problems, including nutrition deficiencies, reduced physical performance, and feelings of fatigue or general ill-being. In severe cases, it can even cause respiratory infections. There are several ways to improve indoor air quality, such as:
- Using an air purifier in multiple rooms
- Opening windows periodically to let fresh air inside.
- Routinely changing air filters in your home.
- Opening your washer after use and not letting water sit for long periods.
- Adding green plants to your home.
By taking steps to improve the air quality indoors, we can help protect our health and wellbeing. If you think your home is being affected by mold, I recommend seeking a mold remediation company for further evaluation and restoration.
As we get older, some of our bodies natural detoxification processes can become weaker. One theory behind this is that we stop producing less of our bodies’ master antioxidant-Glutathione as we get older, which makes detoxing from everyday exposure more difficult as we age. (5)
Increasing Ability to Detoxify from Mold Exposure Naturally
- Supplementing L-Glutathione
- Infared Sauna 2-4x per week
- Magnesium Supplementation and Magnesium Rich Foods
- B-Vitamins from food and supplements
- Eating and supplementing with Chorella and Chorlyphyll.
- Drinking plenty of mineral-rich waters.
- Eating cleaner sources of coffee, nuts, and berries and minimizing mold-containing foods.
- Completely avoiding tobacco and vape-like products.
- Minimizing alcohol consumption during your detox period.
- Use short-term binders like shilajit, activated charcoal, zeolite clay, fulvic and humic acids, etc for additional support. (Most providers advise taking these away from supplements, as the binders have broad binding properties).
While mold exposure can be challenging to avoid altogether, it’s vital to be aware of the potential health effects and ways to help your body detoxify at its full potential. If you are still struggling with getting rid of mold toxins in your home, I would consider reaching out to a mold remediation specialist. If you are still having trouble regaining your health after mold exposure, I recommend seeing an integrative physician who can help test and put you on an individual health plan.
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Special Legislative Committee on Indoor Air Pollution, Indoor Air Pollution in Massachusetts,” April 1989.
- E. Rosen and J. Heseltine, “WHO guidelines for indoor air quality: dampness and mould,” WHO Report, 2009.
- Janette Hope, “A Review of the Mechanism of Injury and Treatment Approaches for Illness Resulting from Exposure to Water-Damaged Buildings, Mold, and Mycotoxins”, The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2013, Article ID 767482, 20 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/767482
- Knutsen AP, Vijay HM, Kumar V, et al. Mold-sensitivity in children with moderate-severe asthma is associated with HLA-DR and HLA-DQ. Allergy. 2010;65(11):1367-1375. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02382.x
- Rajagopal V Sekhar, Sanjeet G Patel, Anuradha P Guthikonda, Marvin Reid, Ashok Balasubramanyam, George E Taffet, Farook Jahoor, Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation–, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 94, Issue 3, September 2011, Pages 847–853, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.110.003483