We know fungi are bad, but how do they actually make us sick? Fungi are ubiquitous, which means they are everywhere; there is not an ecosystem on planet earth wherein you will not find some species of fungi. That said, our exposure to them is inevitable. We know that some species of fungi can cause us harm. In order to better protect ourselves from any deleterious effects of fungal exposure, it helps to know how they might be able to harm us.
Mycotoxins are poisonous byproducts created by fungi as a result of their natural life cycle. These poisons are known to cause harm to humans and animals; in fact, farmers are generally quite aware of the harmful effects of mycotoxins on livestock, because the havoc they can wreak on animals has very real consequences for their bottom lines.
You might wonder how you could possibly be exposed to a poison you’ve perhaps never heard of, but the answer is simply the same as the way the aforementioned livestock are generally exposed––through what you eat. Mold and fungi are known to contaminate certain food stuffs, particularly grain, corn and peanuts. If you are eating foods like pasta, bread, corn chips, or peanut butter regularly, chances are you are getting steady, small doses of these poisons.
If you drink alcohol regularly, you are certainly exposing yourself to mycotoxins.
If you take antibiotics––themselves derived from fungi––you are exposing yourself to mycotoxins.
These exposures can add up over time, causing health problems that may be difficult to discern the cause of, if any cause can be discerned at all. Mycotoxins are carcinogenic, can wreak havoc on hormones, cause infertility and a wide variety of other problems.
Fungal Overgrowth and Infection
Naturally, we all have yeasts residing in our natural microbiome, but these can be problematic if they grow unchecked. This can happen when the colonies of beneficial bacteria are damaged, which can happen as the result of poor diet, stress, alcohol consumption, mycotoxin exposure, or from taking antibiotics. This problem can be worsened by a diet high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates, which is fungi and yeasts’ food of choice. Once these yeasts overgrow in the gut, they can proliferate throughout the body and cause harm.
We can also have fungi introduced into our bodies via contaminated foods, through cuts in the skin (particularly if you garden or work in the soil), or through the air we breathe. Fungal spores can lie in wait until such time as immune systems are weakened, and then take root and flourish throughout the body, causing illness.
In both instances, fungal overgrowths are known to cause health problems inside the body. This documented in the medical literature. Some fungal infections are even known to mimic diseases like cancer on Xray. Despite this, fungi is not often considered when diagnosing diseases. But there is some evidence that fungal infections, and the health problems they can cause, are far more prevalent than we are lead to believe.
Both of these broad ways in which fungi and their poisons are known to harm humans are addressed with The Kaufmann Diet and Anti-fungal program.