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Mycotoxins from Mold (Mould), Depression & Anxiety

Emerging evidence between depression, anxiety, and exposure to mold has surfaced. It is thought to be associated with many complex health problems. Black mold species such as Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Stachybotrys produce mycotoxins that are toxic to central parts of the body, including the brain.


How does mold cause damage to our brain and body?

Many mycotoxins are neurotoxins causing lesions in the brain, in the grey matter and the white matter. This directly affects the frontal cortex, and causes dopamine dysfunction which can create psychological disorders like anxiety or depression. These disorders occur when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages.


Mold is a biotoxin, and it releases toxic gas and spores into the air. When the toxins enter your body, via skin or air, the toxic gases cause a disturbance in many organs, including your brain.


woman observing black mold on a wall

Brown University conducted a series of cases linking mold, anxiety, and depression back in 2007. This was a large study, analyzing data from 5,882 adults in 2,982 households. Molds are toxins, and some research has indicated that these toxins can affect the nervous system or the immune system or impede the function of the frontal cortex.


Mold spores act as irritants, which can trigger the body to mount an immune response. This can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the brain can impair cognitive function, and in the case of chronic inflammation, this can lead to long-lasting cognitive impairment.


Mold is a sometimes silent and yet formidable trigger of symptoms. It is lurking in our homes, offices, cars, washing machines, and bathrooms without notice. It is quite literally a silent but deadly killer of our immune system and trigger of brain-related issues. If you have been exposed, you must detox mold from your body as soon as possible.


How can you test for mold toxicity?

One of the best tests to detect mycotoxins is from Great Plains Laboratory (https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/gpl-tox)

Here is a sample report from Great Plains Laboratory--https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/MycotoxinReport-GPD.pdf

(Or visit our page on lab testing)


How do you treat mold toxicity?

If you find you have mold (mycotoxin) exposure it is recommended to consult with a certified functional medicine practitioner or physician for the best treatment.

It is also imperative to do a deep dive into your home or work environment to identify where the mold is coming from. If mold is discovered the next step is to hire a professional company to do a mold remediation.

healthy food and functional medicine practitioner Georgina Compton

Written by Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP, of The Functional Medicine University.


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