Certain fungi, like mushrooms or yeast, are a delightful addition to your plate; when it comes to mold, however, we cannot say the same. Like yeast and mushrooms, mold thrives in a moist environment, but unlike the former, molds damage the material on which they live, impairing structural integrity and wreaking havoc on our health.

Concerns about mold can fall into two basic categories: the mold that grows in our homes and the mold that grows in our food.

Home-Based Mold

This may be hiding under carpets, behind damp drywall, or on your shower curtain. Indoor mold is ugly,odorous, with a harmful character that causes infections, allergies and even sick building syndrome.

So important is the control of indoor mold that a classification system has been formulated. Class A molds are deemed highly hazardous to health and should not exist in places habituated by humans. They demand immediate attention. Class B includes those that may incite allergic reactions if encountered over a long period. Class C fungi are not known to be a health hazard, but may be an economic or cosmetic burden.

Their strains number in the hundreds. The worst fall into these categories:

Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus and Stachybotrys.

How to combat it: As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense. Dehumidification is a good start, especially in the cellar. Additionally, you should be drying wet areas immediately and ensure that your home has proper ventilation.

Food-Based Mold

Mold was first described in the mid-1800s by Czech physician and mycologist August Carl Joseph Corda, as the cause of livestock decimation in Eastern Europe, where the animals were dying of blood and nervous system disorders. Stachybotrys (black mold) was tagged as the culprit, due to its growth in wet hay and animal feed. Molds associated with the food supply are implicated in conditions including liver disease, kidney cancer, neural tube defects, and hormone-sensitive cancers.

Unfortunately, the ingestible mycotoxins produced by mold have been found in boxed cereals and processed grains. Of the risky mycotoxins, Ochratoxin A (OTA) has the worst reputation, having been found in more than half of breakfast cereals sampled in one study (Nguyen, 2014). Apparently stricter than the FDA, the European Commission allows only 3 ng /gram of OTA in cereals and cereal-based products, a regulation not yet enjoyed in the U.S. The tested cereals were contaminated with as much as 7.43 nanograms of OTA per gram. Regrettably for consumers, the half-life of ochratoxins is sufficiently long to present a significant danger to public health. Nuts, dried fruits and infant foods also may be infected with OTA. For cereals, the contamination, in descending order, was highest in oats (84%), followed by wheat (56%), rice (44%), and lastly corn (14%). It is possible, though, that cereal accoutrements, such as honey, chocolate and dried fruits could have embellished the levels. In addition to OTA, other mycotoxins of note include fumonisin (common to corn), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone and aflatoxins (peanuts).

While removing mold from the home is a matter of using common elements like hydrogen peroxide, bleach, tea tree oil, and borax, removal from foods is an unwieldy venture after packaging. Therefore, we rely on farmers to harvest their crops when the time is right…and dry. We also rely on food makers to decontaminate grains prior to, or during, processing and refining.

How to combat it: When mold and its mycotoxins make their way into our food, the best we can do is build up our immune system. One way to keep potential damage from mycotoxin exposure at bay is by incorporating a butyrate supplement, such as BodyBio Sodium Butyrate, into your routine. This short-chain fatty acid is produced by the bacterial fermentation (Bacillus subtillus) of resistant starch, something you’re unlikely to consume enough of organically in order to reap its benefits (Zhao, 2014). Sodium butyrate, particularly, has shown strong inhibition of fungi in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in a significant reduction of filamentous mycotoxin strains.

Perhaps equally important is the simultaneous impediment of biofilm formation and the enhancement of macrophage discouragement of mycotoxin manufacture (Nguyen, 2011). For all its celebrity, butyrate, regardless of its specific type (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium), is known to inhibit the growth of tumors, to promote healthy bacteria in the gut and respiratory system, and generally aids in digestion.

Additionally, mycotoxins alter phospholipid integrity, leaving cell membranes structurally and functionally vulnerable to damage. Some fungi reduce phosphatidylcholine (PC) content of the membrane by as much as half, thereby reducing lung surfactant (Hastings, 2005), debasing gastric and other mucus and allowing lipid degradation. These enemies of the cell stiffen a membrane that is naturally flexible, resilient and permeable. Restoration of the membrane to its original glory demands attention and the administration of nutriments that can satisfy the need. Here, a PC supplement, such as BodyBio PC, restores the fabric of the cell membrane, rectifies disorganization of hepatic tissue (Burger, 2007) and its subsequent disease state, and affords the methylation required for the regulation of gene expression. BodyBio Balance Oil influences the free passage of energy into the cell and waste material out and guarantees high octane membrane activity.

It isn’t only the mold on the cellar wall or the shower wall, or the spores that dwell in the air that we have to worry about. Those fungi that defile the food supply are equally contemptible, though less apparent. We depend on food purveyors to deliver a pristine commodity, a reliance that has lost its honor. For optimal health of the cell, its membrane and cytoplasmic occupants, we can depend on BodyBio PC, BodyBio Balance Oil and BodyBio Sodium Butyrate or its relatives.