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Mycotoxins: A Hidden Poison in Foods - Essay Kitchen

Molds are microscopic fungi. They are found everywhere. You cannot not and should not try to keep your home mold free. Molds can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as food, moisture and oxygen are present. They play an essential role in nature, breaking down dead organic matter, such as fallen leaves. Molds are also useful to us. Penicillin, for example, is obtained from a specific type of mold.

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A very thorough essay on mold indeed. For more information, feel free to visit . We are constantly adding new articles on mold.

Molds only produce mycotoxins under specific environmental conditions. So, just because you have a mold known to produce mycotoxins does not mean that the mold is in fact releasing mycotoxins. Molds known to release mycotoxins under certain circumstances include Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus versicolor and several toxigenic species of Penicillium. When mycotoxins are present, they occur in both living and dead mold spores, and may be present in materials that have become contaminated with molds. The infamous “toxic black mold” discussed in news stores is Stachybotrys chartarum. “Stachy” is a greenish-black mold that can grow on materials that contain cellulose, such as drywall or sheetrock, ceiling tiles and wood. Not all greenish-black molds are Stachybotrys chartarum. It does not grow on glass or ceramic tiles or cement, so the mold in your shower is most likely not Stachy.

Some molds release small molecular toxins, called mycotoxins, under certain conditions. Mycotoxins may cause toxic effects in people. In news stories, the molds that are capable of producing mycotoxins are often referred to as “toxic molds.” Despite media hype, considerable debate exists in the scientific and medical communities about claimed toxic effects resulting from mold exposure by inhalation. Both toxic effects resulting from ingesting mycotoxin-contaminated foods are well known. But toxic effects resulting from inhalation of molds and mycotoxins is unresolved despite several high profile lawsuits and news reports. Claimed toxic effects include wheezing, difficulty breathing, nasal and sinus congestion, light sensitivity, blurry vision, watery or runny eyes, sore thrown, cough, skin irritation, chronic fatigue, immune suppression, aches and pains, loss of memory, constant headaches, mood changes, diarrhea, and brain damage. The health effects associated with long term exposure to mycotoxins are unknown.

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According to Williams et al., (2004) the International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified AFB1 as a Group carcinogen alternatively known as an agent which is considered to be carcinogenic to human beings. It has been established that the liver is the chief target organ for Aflatoxin B1, but some research also show that lungs can also be targeted due dietary and inhalation exposure and this has been supported by epidemiological and laboratory evidence (Massey et al., 2000). Not all hepatocellular carcinoma is because of the action of AFB1. All the possible risk factors should be evaluated before making a conclusion on the AFB1 as the contributing risk factor in human hepatocellular carcinoma despite the fact that they have found to be carcinogenic in a number of experimental models as stated by Kumar et al., (2000). The analysis of the toxic effects of the mycotoxin effect more so in the case of Aflatoxin B1 has shown the following in liver histopathology, Centrilobular necrosis, fatty changes in midzonal region, polymorphonuclear, infiltration and fibrin in sinusoids, bile duct proliferation with periductal fibrosis, bile stasis gastrointestinal bleeding in bile ducts, multinucleated giant cells dilated biliary canaliculi, foamy cytoplasm, extensive fibrosis, giant, cell transformation of

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