Mycotoxins Tested For
Ochratoxin A (OTA) – A toxin produced by different Aspergillus and Penicillium species — is one of the most-abundant food-contaminating mycotoxins. It is also a frequent contaminant of water-damaged houses and of heating ducts. Exposure can also come from inhalation in water-damaged buildings.
Zearalenone – Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin that is mainly produced by Fusarium fungi. Zearalenone has a strong affinity towards the estrogen receptor, which can lead to increased activation of the receptor. This activation can lead to multiple reproductive disorders such as low sperm count, abnormal levels of progesterone, disruption of ovulation, infrequent periods, reduced birth weight, and lower survival rate of the fetus.
Besides the reproductive problems that ZEA can cause, it can also cause detrimental effects on the intestinal tract. ZEA can decrease the cellular integrity of the cells that form the intestinal barrier. This can lead to a phenomenon known as “leaky gut.” ZEA has a negative effect on the microbiota in the gut and patients with high ZEA levels have decreased microbial diversity in their gut, which can lead to a variety of problems. Lastly, ZEA has been shown to cause enhanced cell proliferation of colon carcinoma cell lines. ZEA down-regulates the expression of tumor-suppressor genes in intestinal cells. This could lead to a higher risk of cancer.
A family of fungi strains that affect plant products, aflatoxins have been linked to liver cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and other health issues. Exposure occurs when consuming contaminated plant products, eating meat or dairy from animals that have eaten contaminated feed, or inhaling dust while working with contaminated products.
Aflatoxin B1 – Of the four aflatoxins that cause cancer in humans and animals, aflatoxin B1 is the most toxic, and is classified by the World Health Organization as a class 1 carcinogen. Though it primarily attacks the liver, this mycotoxin can also affect the kidneys, lungs and other organs.
Aflatoxin B2 – Like aflatoxin B1, aflatoxin B2 is produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. It’s also a toxin and carcinogen that contaminates food products, primarily affects the liver and kidneys and enters the body through the lungs, mucous membranes (nose and mouth), or even the skin, but is less potent than aflatoxin B1.
Aflatoxin G1 – Born from a soil-borne fungus like the other aflatoxins, G1 also contaminates a wide range of food products including peanuts, cottonseed meal, oilseeds, vegetable oils, corn, and other grains in human food and animal feed. Aflatoxin contamination is most common in humid environments, especially tropical and subtropical regions.potent than aflatoxin B1.
Gliotoxin – The most common cause of mold diseases in humans is Aspergillus fumigatus, which produces gliotoxin, a mycotoxin that suppresses the immune system. Found in many homes and buildings, A. fumigatus typically only infects individuals with compromised immune systems but can be deadly: Invasive Aspergillosis (IA) is the leading cause of death in immunocompromised people.
Produced by at least five types of fungi, this group of mycotoxins includes around 170 types of toxins. Some types contaminate plants, including grains, fruits, and vegetables. Others thrive in soil and decaying organic material. Several types of trichothecenes are infamously produced by Stachybotrys chartarum, also called black mold.
Satratoxin G – Though all of the trichothecenes are highly toxic, tests have determined that Satratoxin G is the most dangerous to people and animals. The black mold Stachybotrys chartarum produces several types of trichothecenes, but produces Satratoxin G and H in greater amounts than other toxins.
Satratoxin H – Not all strains of black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) produce mycotoxins, but the ones that do typically produce more than one kind, including Satratoxin H. The mold is found on some agricultural materials, and in damp or water-damaged environments. Evidence suggests the mold is a serious problem in North America.
Isosatratoxin F – Another trichothecene mycotoxin produced by Stachybotrys chartarum, Isosatratoxin F is one of the contributors to “sick building syndrome,” where health issues of building occupants are directly tied to time spent in mold-infected buildings. A 1984 World Health Organization Committee report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings are possible causes of health problems due to poor air quality.