Health Effects of Trichothecenes and Other Fusarium Toxins

 

 

Fusarium is a type of mold that is often toxic and that grows in fields of a variety of different grain crops, including wheat, corn, oats and barley. It therefore is of particular concern in the food supply as well as for farm workers who may inhale it.

In addition, some individuals who have become sensitized to mold toxins report being affected by it in the general air in certain agricultural regions.

Some species of Fusarium – especially Fusarium oxysporum – produce trichothecenes, which are similar in structure and effects to the trichothecenes produced by Stachybotrys chartarum (a mold that grows mostly indoors).

Trichothecenes produced by Fusarium include T-2 toxin (which is thought to have been used as a bioweapon), HT-2 toxin, and deoxynivalenol (abbreviated “DON”).

These trichothecene toxins are recognized as exerting toxicity through oxidative stress and as protein synthesis inhibitors.

They are very toxic to the intestinal system, especially the intestinal lining (thus contributing to or causing “leaky gut”). They also are especially known for causing damage to the blood-brain barrier; to the immune system; and to the mitochondria.

In addition, DON (also called “vomitoxin”) is associated with anorexia and vomiting.

Other types of Fusarium produce zearalenone (an estrogenic mycotoxin) or fumonisins (mycotoxins that are especially known to have negative effects on the kidneys and liver).

The usage of glyphosate (a chemical originally produced by Monsanto under the name Roundup) in fields makes it more likely that Fusarium molds will grow in large quantities and that high levels of T-2 and HT-2 toxins will be present.

Although levels of some of these mycotoxins are regulated in certain other countries (including in Europe), there is no regulation and little monitoring with regard to the extent to which they are present in the U.S. or Canadian food supply.

Nonetheless, because these mycotoxins can have very damaging effects on livestock, more than a thousand articles on the health effects of these toxins on mammals of various kinds (including humans) is in the literature.

These citations have been organized by category and can be viewed by clicking on the following orange links (no underlining).

 

Overview

Antibodies

Bioterrorism

Cancer

Cardiovascular

Cytokines

Cytotoxicity

Endocrine

Genotoxicity

Growth

Immune

Intestinal

Kashin-Beck

Kidneys

Liver

Mitochondria

Neurological

Oxidative Stress

Pathogens

Protein Synthesis

Reproductive

Skin & Bones

Spleen

Thymus

Weight Loss

Other Disease

Animal Studies

Interactions

Prevalence

Biomarkers

Clearance

Milk & Eggs

Protective Agents