Mycotoxins & Your Immune System
Your immune system is your first and only line of defense against invading pathogens. Without it, you are in big trouble. Obviously, we want to do everything in our power to keep it functioning optimally.
There are, however, some things that work against us in that regard.
There are many elements of modern society that are thought to beat down our immune system, from poor diet to stress, to environmental pollution. All of these factors combined over time are thought to wear down our immune system, leaving us vulnerable to sickness and disease.
There is, however, another commonly overlooked factor, and that is mycotoxins that contaminate our food supply.
Much research has pointed to the fact that certain elements of our food supply are tainted with the toxic byproducts of mold and fungus, which often infest certain crops under the right conditions––particularly if they are stored in silos. Many common crops, such as corn, grain, sugar, peanuts, and soy are known to be at risk for contamination with mold and fungus and can subsequently be at risk for mycotoxin contamination, as well.
Now, there are regulatory agencies tasked with screening for these poisons, but in spite of this, some research has shown foods like corn to be universally contaminated with mycotoxins. Therefore, if you are eating anything containing corn, you are likely getting minute doses of these poisons in your diet.
Mycotoxins are known to cause a variety of health problems, but among them, they are known to suppress, or impede, our immune system. Mycotoxins are so good at this that the drugs we give to transplant patients to prevent rejection of transplanted organs are often fungus-derived mycotoxins!
If you eat a diet rich in corn, grains, sugar, soy, and peanuts, it is not unreasonable to assume that you are steadily being exposed to these poisons on a regular basis. Subsequently, you may be slowly degrading your immune system. This might be why you are always the first person to get sick or to catch a cold, or why you get infection after infection.
Furthermore, it might be how some people ultimately wind up with an underlying fungal infection, such as yeast overgrowth. Without an immune system to properly fend off invading yeasts and fungi, these organisms can take root, grow and proliferate––parasitizing the host (which, in this case, could be you). After some time, they can cause a variety of odd, difficult to diagnose symptoms and even mimic some very serious diseases.
Mycotoxin contamination in foodstuffs has been shown in recent years to be a more common occurrence, largely because of factors associated with climate change, including drought, higher atmospheric temperature and higher levels of carbon dioxide. The best thing you can do to avoid these poisons––and assist your immune system in optimally functioning––is to avoid foods that have a high likelihood of mycotoxin contamination. These include corn (or anything with ingredients derived from corn, i.e., corn starch, corn syrup, etc.), grains (including wheat), sugar, peanuts, pistachios, soy and a variety of other foods.
This is one of the ideas behind The Kaufmann Diet; by eliminating certain foods from your diet, you decrease the risk of being exposed to fungi and poisonous fungal byproducts that can wreck your health. More information on the anti-fungal diet can be found in our books, located in the bookstore.