Black Mold and Mycotoxins: Dangers of Exposure and Symptoms of Toxicity

Take a deeper look at the dangers of black mold and mycotoxins & learn some helpful protection tips.

Published August 13th, 2019

Updated May 10th, 2023

Our homes are a place that we come to every day to feel safe and protected. But if our homes become too toxic to live in, we can find ourselves in a very awkward predicament.

Unfortunately, the dangers of black mold exposure aren’t something to be taken lightly. If your home has black mold, it needs to be addressed immediately.

But sometimes we may not even know our homes harbor black mold… and our homes aren’t the only culprit. Mold can grow inside schools and our workplaces while going undetected for years.

Table of contents.

  1. The dangers of black mold exposure. 
  2. Symptoms of black mold toxicity.
  3. How to detoxify your home of black mold.
  4. How to detoxify your body from black mold.

The dangers of black mold exposure.

Black mold is a silent health threat that can easily be mistaken for other health conditions. It prefers moist, humid conditions, and for these reasons is often found in places like cabinets, basements, crawl spaces, drywall, and any areas that have had water damage in the past. Bathrooms and kitchens can also be breeding grounds for mold spores, because of water use and lack of proper ventilation.

When mold starts to grow in a building, it can encourage the growth of “gram-negative” and “gram-positive” bacteria. The synergistic action between the mold and bacteria can exacerbate inflammatory conditions even more than just the mold itself. When it comes time for treatment, it becomes difficult, because you aren’t just dealing with a fungal infection, but a bacterial one as well.

What are black mold mycotoxins and how are they harmful?

Another issue with black mold is the toxic substances produced by the mold itself, called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are more toxic than heavy metals because they affect more biological systems in the body. They do so by escaping the helper cells of our immune system, rapidly mutating and producing chemicals that suppress the immune system.

If you already have a compromised immune system (such as anyone with an autoimmune condition), or if you’re naturally just very sensitive and have allergy-like reactions to different agents (like multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome), you’ll be even more sensitive to mold than the average person. As a result, you’ll display more symptoms, and your health could rapidly deteriorate faster than someone who isn’t as sensitive. Even if you are quite healthy, mold can still affect the way you live and function.

Mycotoxins are extremely potent and affect almost every organ system in our body. The central nervous system is often most heavily targeted by toxic mold spores and can produce cognitive and behavioral changes, ataxia, and convulsions. The reason for this is that mycotoxins have the ability to cross directly into your brain.

According to mold expert, Dr. Jack Thrasher, your olfactory neurons are in direct communication with your brain – there is no barrier. If you’ve ever inhaled or smelled something that has mold spores on it, these spores can go directly into your brain via these olfactory neurons. Mycotoxins have also been found to enter the brain by way of the optic muscles and optic nerves (that’s right – they can enter through your eyes, folks!).

When you’re living in an environment that has these mycotoxins present, they can suppress and destroy your immune system. The result is short-term health issues that can eventually turn into larger chronic conditions that are often diagnosed as “mystery” health conditions.


Symptoms of black mold toxicity.

The first signs and symptoms of black mold toxicity can easily be mistaken for other health issues. Most of the symptoms are characterized by allergen-like reactions, people can easily mistake them for seasonal allergies.

  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Dermatitis and skin rashes
  • Headaches

If left untreated, or if the source of the issue is not dealt with properly, mold will continue to build up inside your body. Mold and fungus favor warm, moist conditions – so the mucous membranes of the lungs and respiratory tract (like the nose, mouth, and throat) will quickly become colonized.

As mold builds up in the body, it can develop into more “mysterious” chronic health conditions such as the following:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic coughing
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Nerve issues (like numbness in the hands and feet)

Other symptoms like ice pick headaches, hair loss, muscle cramps, digestive complaints (like diarrhea), abdominal pain, joint pain, nervous system disorders, night sweats, excessive thirst, metallic taste, vertigo, and increased urination could also be longer-term symptoms of black mold poisoning.

While eradicating mold completely isn’t always an easy process, it needs to be done in order to get better. It is a two-step process that first involves clearing up the problem areas in the home (and purifying the air from mold spores) and then pulling mold from the body through the use of different herbs and supplements. By doing so, you’ll dramatically reduce the toxic effects of mold infestation, both in the home, and body.


How to detoxify your home of black mold.

When addressing the dangers of black mold exposure, you’re probably only thinking about how to get the mold out of your body. But there is more to it than that. You can continually treat yourself with all the supplements and foods in the world, but unless your environment is free of mold spores, they’ll continue colonizing every cell of your body.

There are two main things that need to happen in order to detox your home of black mold.

1. Get to the source.

Eliminating black mold from your home is the single most important step that should be taken before anything else. Black mold is incredibly harmful and should be removed by a professional mold removal company as soon as possible.

According to the CDC, “If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household products, soap, and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.”

Another option to ensure what you have is actually black mold (since black mold can easily be confused with other mold types), is to order a black mold test kit, which you can use to collect mold samples yourself. You can then send the samples to a professional mold testing company and get the results back within a week.

2. Invest in a high-quality air purifier.

The second most important step for ensuring the air in your home is spore-free is by investing in a high-quality air purifier like the Intellipure Compact. I’ve personally been using an Intellipure air purifier for over six years, and I honestly wouldn’t know what to do without one, so I wanted to share how amazing this little machine is!

Carly Fraser, founder of Live Love Fruit, poses with the Intellipure Compact air purifier.

Even though the unit is cheaper, it still comes with the same air filtration properties (DFS technology) as the larger Ultrafine 468 air purifier. The only difference is that the Compact cleans a space of 500 square feet, compared to 1,200 square feet for the Ultrafine 468.

The Intellipure Compact air purifier is great for home or small office use. It utilizes the same DFS technology as the Ultrafine 468, capturing 99% of all particles down to 0.007 micron in size!

The Compact air purifier features a 6-stage volatile organic compound (VOC) adsorption filter for heavy removal of harmful gasses and odors. The VOC prefilter, paired with the main filter and DFS technology, will create a substantial reduction in airborne microorganisms, mold, chemicals, smoke, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses.

A zoomed in image of the Intellipure Compact air purifier with plants in the background.
The 500-square-foot cleaning capacity of the Intellipure Compact machine makes it the perfect option for a bedroom, small living area, or office space. Although small, this machine will give you a high rate of filtration with 150 CFM (cubic feet/minute).

There are four fan speeds on the Intellipure Compact – Low, Medium, High, and Turbo. The machine is super quiet, too, and I personally keep it turned on in my room 24/7 (yes, I even sleep with it on!). Not to mention, all of the Intellipure machines are incredibly energy efficient – if you kept the machine running on low 24 hours a day, you’d only be spending around one dollar a month extra on your utility bill.

I trust and believe in Intellipure so much, that I partnered up with them to make it easier for you to try the same air purifiers I’ve been using for years.


How to detoxify your body of black mold.

You can detox your body from black mold during or after the process of black mold removal from the home. If you decided to move out of your place and into a different one, you can start the body remediation process immediately.

Since many people don’t normally take these supplements or perform these therapies on a daily basis, do beware that some minor detox symptoms may present themselves during the process.

When utilizing the following therapies and supplements, also take a look at your diet and focus on whole, plant-based, living foods. When the body is properly supported with the right nutrients and fiber, the body has a better idea of how to get rid of what isn’t supposed to be there (like mold spores). Eating a healthier diet will also improve digestion, which will naturally boost the immune system. Eliminating inflammatory foods like processed meats, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and refined sugar is of utmost importance.

The supplements and therapies mentioned below help support the immune system, boost our detoxification systems, nourish the gut, reduce inflammation, and boost our mitochondria. Mycotoxins mostly target your mitochondria and immune system, which explains why mold poisoning affects the brain and heart more than anything else (these areas of the body house the highest concentration of mitochondria). When your mitochondria and immune system are properly supported, mycotoxins stand no chance.

Eight natural remedies to help eliminate the danger of black mold and mycotoxin exposure.

 

1. Phosphatidylcholine

The mitochondria of the brain undergo a lot of inflammation and structural damage from mycotoxins. By supplementing with phosphatidylcholine, you’ll help build up the defense system of your mitochondria by strengthening their outer membrane. You can take phosphatidylcholine on its own, or take it mixed with a liposomal vitamin C supplement (as an added immune system boost). You can take 1,000-2,000mg of the liposomal vitamin C supplement or phosphatidylcholine supplement every day, with food.

2. Glutathione

Glutathione, known as the “master antioxidant” is great at protecting your mitochondria from the damaging effects of oxidative stress. This antioxidant will help your mitochondria ward off the damage caused by mycotoxins so that they can return to their normal state of being and start repairing themselves. One of the best brands of glutathione that I know of is the company Pure Therapy RX. Aim for around 200mg each day (this can be gradually increased up to 500mg per day).

3. Garlic

Raw garlic is an excellent anti-fungal, which is exactly what your body needs when put up against the pressure of dangerous black mold exposure. It fights off all sorts of fungi, molds, and yeasts, so if you take enough of it, you’ll be sure to kill off all those nasty spores. For toxic mold exposure, take around 2-4 grams of fresh garlic per day, or 600-900 mg of garlic tablets daily.

4. Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll protects DNA from damage caused by mycotoxins like aflatoxin. It also possesses antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it the perfect supplement for remedying black mold symptoms. Chlorophyll is what makes green vegetables & leafy greens, green, so if you eat them regularly, then you’re getting plenty of chlorophyll.

5. CoQ10

CoQ10 is the primary antioxidant that helps protect and support mitochondria. Without enough CoQ10, the level of ATP (energy) that the mitochondria produce drops, the energy that is available to that tissue decreases, and dysfunction and health conditions can then develop. Since mycotoxins target our mitochondria, adding some CoQ10 to our diet can help strengthen the mitochondria, and naturally provide us with more energy. Taking around 200mg a day of CoQ10 should suffice.

6. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal can be taken as a supplement to assist in the removal of mold from the body. Because of the adsorbent properties of activated charcoal, it quite literally traps toxins (like mycotoxins) in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so that the body doesn’t reabsorb them. Just make sure the activated charcoal you take is made from coconut shells or other natural sources (like this brand).

7. Probiotics

Our immune system starts in our gut, so if our gut isn’t properly supported, then our immune system will fail as a result. If your immune system is strong, mycotoxins will have a hard time colonizing the body. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, water kefir, and the like. You can also take a high-quality probiotic supplement to help rebuild healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut.

8. Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy can help recover mitochondrial function and clear out mold from the body. While this option is a little less easy to do (as it has to be done with a doctor’s supervision), it is a great option for people dealing with extreme mold toxicity in their bodies.

Have questions? Contact Intellipure for more information.

Blog written by Carly Fraser, Live Love Fruit 


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