Chris Kresser wrote a blog article on “How Mold Exposure Can Hurt Your Gut Health.”
From the article:
Mycotoxins produced by mold impair gut health on a structural and functional level. They disrupt the balance of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in the gut, increase intestinal permeability, interfere with nutrient absorption (causing malnutrition), generate oxidative stress and inflammation, and increase your susceptibility to bacterial, viral, and parasitic gut infections.
Mycotoxins can increase levels of harmful gut bacteria and deplete beneficial microbes. Research has found that exposure to deoxynivalenol (DON), a fumonisin mycotoxin, significantly increases levels of Bacteroides in the gut; also, a high proportion of Bacteroides is associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). (3) Ochratoxin reduces levels of Lactobacillus reuteri and bifidobacteria; the reduction of beneficial lactobacilli and bifidobacteria decreases the intestinal production of short-chain fatty acids, leading to impaired gut immunity. (4)
Mycotoxins also promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria. In animal studies, ochratoxin ingestion increases the growth of a family of bacteria that includes Staphylococcus and Listeria. A combination of aflatoxins and fumonisins enhances the growth of Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli, a type of E. coli that causes diarrhea, UTIs, and bloodstream infections. (5, 6)