liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Microbiology: FUNGUS II

Disease list from:
*Diseases caused by fungi and their mycotoxins (Costantini, A. et al. The Garden of Eden Longevity Diet. Fungalbionics Series. 1998):

Alcoholic cirrhosis
Anorexia Nervosa
Balkan Nephropathy
Biliary cirrhosis
Crohn’s disease
Cushing’s disease
Muscular Dystrophy
Familial Mediterranean Fever
Heart failure
Hyperactivity Syndrome
Hyperlipidemia (high lipids)
IgA Nephropathy
Kidney stones
Leukocytoclastic vasculitis
Inflammatory bowel disease
Mollaret’s meningitis
Multiple Sclerosis
Nephritis (kidney inflammation)
Precocious puberty
Pulmonary Hypertension
Raynaud’s Syndrome/disease
Reye’s syndrome
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Shoulder-hand syndrome
Thrombocytopenic purpura
(low platelets)

KOH for diagnosis
--potassium hydroxide (KOH) microscopy
--aids in visualizing hyphae and confirming the diagnosis of dermatophyte infection
--Procedure: obtain scale from the active border of a lesion, pull out several loose hairs from the affected area or, in the case of nails, obtain subungual debris. A moist cotton swab rubbed vigorously over the active border of a lesion works as well as a scalpel blade and is safer. Transfer the scale, hair, or debris to a glass slide, and add a few drops of 10% to 20% KOH. For nail material or hair, gently warm the slide. The wet-mount preparation is then examined under a microscope (3400) with back-and-forth rotation of the focus knobs. This technique aids the visualization of hyphae (branching, rod-shaped filaments of uniform width with lines of separation [septa]).
--tinea capitis, the hair shaft may be uniformly coated with minute dermatophyte spores.

WOOD'S LAMP for diagnosis
--ultraviolet light
--limited usefulness: most dermatophytes currently seen in the US do not fluoresce
--for diagnosing a brown, scaly rash in the scrotum or axilla: erythrasma, caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium minutissimum, fluoresces a brilliant coral red
--tinea cruris or cutaneous candidal infections do not fluoresce.
--tinea (pityriasis) versicolor fluoresces pale yellow to white
--tinea capitis caused by two zoophilic Microsporum species that fluoresce blue-green (a minor percentage of tinea capitis cases in North America)

Here's David A. Holland's list of top ten mycotoxic foods:
booze, corn, wheat, barley, sugar, sorghum, peanuts, rye, cottonseed, hard cheese.
Long version below:

1. Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol is the mycotoxin of the SACCHAROMYCES yeast--brewer’s yeast. Other mycotoxins besides alcohol can also be introduced into these beverages through the use of mold-contaminated grains and fruits. Producers often use grains that are too contaminated with fungi and mycotoxins to be used for table foods, so the risk is higher that you are consuming more than just alcohol in your beverage (Council for Agricultural Science and technology. Mycotoxins: Economic and Health Risks. Task Force Report Number 116. CAST. Ames, IA. Nov 1989). Before you drink for the health of your heart, consider the other possible risks of drinking. There are safer ways of consuming antioxidants.

2. Corn

Corn is "universally contaminated" with fumonisin and other fungal toxins such as AFLATOXIN, zearalenone and ochratoxin (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Mycotoxins: Risks in Plant, Animal and Human Systems. Task Force Report No. 139. Ames, IA. Jan 2003). Fumonisin and aflatoxin are known for their cancer-causing effects, while zearalenone and ochratoxin cause estrogenic and kidney-related problems, respectively. Just as corn is universally contaminated with mycotoxins, our food supply seems to be universally contaminated with corn--it’s everywhere! A typical chicken nugget at a fast food restaurant consists of a nugget of corn-fed chicken that is covered by a corn-based batter that is sweetened with corn syrup!

3. Wheat

Not only is wheat often contaminated with mycotoxins, but so are the products made from wheat, like breads, cereals, pasta, etc. Pasta may be the least-"offensive" form of grains since certain water-soluble mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin), are partially removed and discarded when you toss out the boiling water that you cooked the pasta in. Unfortunately, traces of the more harmful, heat-stable and fat-soluble mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin, remain in the grain. Regarding breads--it probably doesn’t matter if it’s organic, inorganic, sprouted, blessed or not--if it came from a grain that has been stored for months in a silo, it stands the chance of being contaminated with fungi and mycotoxins.

4. Barley

Similar to other grains that can be damaged by drought, floods and harvesting and storage processes, barley is equally susceptible to contamination by mycotoxin-producing fungi. Barley is used in the production of various cereals and alcoholic beverages.

5. Sugar (sugar cane and sugar beets)

Not only are sugar cane and sugar beets often contaminated with fungi and their associated fungi, but they, like the other grains, fuel the growth of fungi. Fungi need carbohydrates--sugars--to thrive.

6. Sorghum

Sorghum is used in a variety of grain-based products intended for both humans and animals. It is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages.

7. Peanuts

A 1993 study demonstrated 24 different types of fungi that colonized the inside of the peanuts used in the report (Costantini, A. Etiology and Prevention of Atherosclerosis. Fungalbionics Series.1998/99). And this was after the exterior of the peanut was sterilized! So, when you choose to eat peanuts, not only are you potentially eating these molds, but also their mycotoxins. Incidentally, in the same study the examiners found 23 different fungi on the inside of corn kernels. That said, if you choose to plant your own garden in an attempt to avoid mycotoxin contamination of corn or peanuts, it does you no good if the seed (kernel) used to plant your garden is already riddled with mold.

8. Rye

The same goes for rye as for wheat and other grains. In addition, when we use wheat and rye to make bread, we add two other products that compound our fungal concerns: sugar and yeast!

9. Cottonseed

Cottonseed is typically found in the oil form (cottonseed oil), but is also used in the grain form for many animal foods. Many studies show that cottonseed is highly and often contaminated with mycotoxins.

10. Hard Cheeses

Here’s a hint: if you see mold growing throughout your cheese, no matter what you paid for it, there’s a pretty good chance that there’s a mycotoxin not far from the mold. It is estimated that each fungus on Earth produces up to three different mycotoxins. The total number of mycotoxins known to date numbers in the thousands.

On the other hand, some cheeses, such as Gouda cheese, are made with yogurt-type cultures, like Lactobacillus, and not fungi (Costantini, 1998/99). These cheeses are a much healthier alternative, fungally speaking.

Naturally, with this list coming from a group that opposes eating food that is merely contaminated with fungi, we’d certainly oppose eating the fungus itself! That would include common table mushrooms and so-called myco-protein food products.

Other foods that could potentially make our list are rice, oats and beans, given that these too are sources of carbohydrates. And occasionally food inspectors will come across a batch of mold-contaminated rice or oats. However, all other things being equal, these crops are generally more resistant to fungal contamination (CAST 1989).
Tags: alcohol, disease, food, fungus, microbes

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