Corn Mold: The Corn We Eat is Infested with Toxic Mold

Are you making it easier for fungi to flourish?

GM Corn, Monsanto study

Corn mold is toxic. Are you Chronically Sick? You may be suffering symptoms of a corn mold allergy. The cfu level (colony forming units level) is high in corn. As most Healthy Family readers already know, we have been dealing with a corn intolerance issue in our house for over two years. Our eldest son, also diagnosed with celiac, has had to eliminate corn after an IgG test. Grains are a tricky food to eliminate, especially when you find yourself surrounded by them at every possible social function you attend. But we got rid of the corn. We stopped eating corn sweeteners, corn gluten, and corn starch.

I recently attended the Conference on Natural Treatments for Tics, OCD, Tourette Syndrome, and Depression last weekend in Dallas. I heard Doug Kaufmann speak at length about mycotoxins and their negative effect on the body. He spent a great deal of time on corn mold.  Kaufmann is the author of eight books on fungi and host of the syndicated television show, “Know the Cause.” Kaufmann claims that these corn mold toxins are capable of causing various health problems. If you have food allergies or celiac  and you are still sick, corn mold may be why. Kaufmann says corn mold is very toxic and can be the root cause of chronic illness for people with food problems.

Corn Mold Problems Common for Celiac Patients

Many folks who resort to a gluten free diet wind up there for many reasons. You may have tested positive for gluten intolerance. You may have found out you suffer from celiac disease. Maybe you have even been diagnosed with candida overgrowth. If you are still suffering after changing your diet, it could be a problem with corn mold.

In our case the IgG food intolerance test helped us get control over my son’s dysbiosis. Over time I came to believe that corn avoidance was only necessary when you have either a corn allergy or a corn intolerance. But Doug Kaufmann really challenged my assertions about corn. He carefully described the nature of corn mold to his audience. He also talked about other foods that harbor toxic mold to his audience last weekend. I learned that corn mold is more toxic than the corn itself in many cases.

I came home armed with two of his books about toxic mold. I have since done further research on corn mold. Now I question the health benefits of corn altogether. Honestly, what kind of nutritional benefit is there to eating conventional corn? Well, let’s see….it’s high in fiber.

Hmph.

Now how about the corn mold, or fungi as Doug calls it? A moist corn crop will have mycotoxins present. Storage will make it worse. Even when the corn crop is treated the mycotoxin present remains.

Learn about toxic corn mold and how to avoid health issues related to fungi.

Well, that’s the problem. There are several studies that talk about the dangers of corn mold in our food. According to David Ellis’ 2002 article in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (49), there are at least 70,000 to possibly 1,500,000 fungal species but only 300 species have been associated with human infections. Only about a dozen yeasts and 30 molds that are identified most commonly as human pathogens in scientific studies(7). So in short, we have a lot to learn on the subject of corn mold. If you have a chronic illness, consider the fungus link. Getting rid of toxic corn mold in your diet might help heal you.

Now I’m going to get a little scientific about corn mold. The most commonly discussed food fungus is Aspergillus flavus. It creates the aflatoxin mycotoxin on corn and peanut crops. You can see it growing on mold infected corn kernels. It has the appearance of yellow green spots. Hot dry weather coupled with insect attacks and heavy use of fertilizers will actually increase the levels of this mycotoxin on corn. So GM corn has far more toxic corn mold than organic corn.

By the way, in case you were wondering, many seed companies are well aware of this common corn mold problem. Monsanto is working to produce another genetically modified seed for the corn mold problem. They think that it will lessen corn’s tendency to develop aflatoxin on its kernels. The Food and Drug Administration will allow aflatoxin levels to reach no higher than 20 parts per billion in food and feed. It is currently the only mycotoxin that is screened by the government. According to Kaufmann, in The Fungus Link, Volume 3:

“Literally hundreds of mycotoxins, along with their toxic effects, have been thoroughly documented. Yet, despite their known, harmful effects, we still only screen grains for one– aflatoxin– in our grain foods. And even then, based on ‘allowable’ levels (20 parts per billion) of aflatoxin, it is estimated that we consume between .15 mg and 0.5 mg of this particular mycotoxin every day” (113).

Now aflatoxins are known to be cancer causing. Of course we want to avoid that type of corn mold. But GM corn also harbors another type of toxic mold: Fusarium. Kaufmann explains that toxic corn mold fusarium is are present in all corn and corn-based products. He sites Dr. Ruth Etzel, M.D., PhD, who claims that toxic corn mold fusarium may be linked to birth defects. Another toxic corn mold is also prevalent in wheat products. This fungus is called vomitoxin. The name alone makes one think of puking, so there should be no surprise that it can cause nausea, headaches, and abdominal cramps.  The vomitoxin belongs to the trichothecenes family of toxic molds.

“The trichothecenes, ” Kaufmann writes, “have been documented as having the ability to suppress our immune system when eaten via contaminated food or inhaled in mold infested buildings” (111).

Have I completely grossed you out yet? Still reaching for that bag of Cheetos made with GM corn and laced with toxic corn mold by default?

There are other toxic corn molds to talk about. Fumonisins are a group of mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi. This toxic corn mold is tied to human esophageal cancer according to scientific studies. This toxic corn mold is currently not regulated by the government. It is not illegal to feed moldy corn to livestock. Fumonisin mold is found “wherever corn is grown,” According to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.

It “appears white to salmon colored, although it may not be visible on the corn kernel. This fungus often produces a symptom on the corn kernels referred to as ‘starburst.’ or a white streaking of the kernel.”

The problem with prolific corn mold is actually well documented in Agricultural science. But corn is not the only grain infested with mycotoxins. Kaufmann attributes Dr. David Holland, M.D. in The Fungus Link Vol. 1, 2nd Series, with the following statement:

“Several mycotoxins are found in foods such as corn, peanuts, beer, barley, apples, and wheat. You would nearly have to quit eating completely to avoid every source of mold and mycotoxins, but be wary of the most notorious foods like corn, peanuts, and beer” (151).

And the mycotoxins can also be found on corn-byproducts as well. This means that processing the grain does not eradicate the mold.

There is very little documented information on the dangerous toxic side effects of corn mold. We just don’t know what fusarium and other less common molds due to the average healthy person. The problem is, Americans are eating a ton of it. Over 70% of all our prepackaged foods are made with GM corn byproducts in them. Much has been written about the deadly effects of toxic mold on immune compromised individuals in clinical environments, such as hospital wards.

Toxic Mold: The Problem with Antibiotics

Kaufmann warned his audience last weekend of the toxic mold complications that can arise after a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics are made from mold. When people get sick with a bacterial infection the antibiotics will kill it. Have you ever wondered why? It is because mold kills bacteria. But we need good bacteria to digest our foods. Antibiotics kill all bacteria in our guts. If we overuse antibiotics we will destroy our immune system. This is why pediatricians hardly ever want to prescribe antibiotics to toddlers. Kaufmann stressed the importance of allowing the body to heal naturally when possible. He explained that when antibiotics strip the body of good bacteria toxic mold fungus will overgrow in the person who is already sick.

Simply put: if you are constantly sick and using antibiotics to heal yourself you may be sabotaging your own health by making it easier for fungi to flourish.

The best way to combat toxic corn mold is to eat an anti fungal diet. A grain free diet is best for celiac or food allergy sufferers. If you don’t want to do a grain free diet, simply stay away from GM wheat, corn, and soy. Focus on eating a diet of primarily fresh vegetables, fruit, and grass fed meat. Reserve antibiotic use for times when it is absolutely necessary. Eat properly both during and after your antibiotic course is finished. This means no sugars, yeast, grains, or moldy foods. Incorporate baking soda nasal washes if necessary. Baking soda will kill bacteria. Replenish your good bacteria by eating a good probiotic.

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9 Comments on Corn Mold: The Corn We Eat is Infested with Toxic Mold

  1. That was a very interesting article. What makes it even more interesting is the prevalence of corn in our diets. It’s in nearly everything we eat and it is fed to quite a few animals to fatten them up. I even read that they feed it to farm raised salmon.

    What about corn syrups? Would the processing for corn syrup destroy the fungus?

    • Rick,
      The manufacturers use aspergillus to make HFCS. Some claim heat will kill mold spores– boiling point– but it can also lay dormant for years in the soil. It can cause asthma and is very dangerous for immune compromised folks. How it affects our processed food supply, hm…. I would have to research that more….. We don’t eat much processed foods here, for other reasons.

      I found this link on fermented foods (soy sauce, et al) in Asia: Oriental Food Uses of Aspergillus (PDF) They claim that if it is properly fermented, aflatoxins are not present in the final product. Improperly fermented, they will remain. It is a matter of perfect timing.

  2. Wow thats most interesting. Heat will kill mold but it will do nothing to remove the mycotoxins. I worked with a company on a heat process for use in grain elevators in Canada. The bottom line is that the mold in our experiments died but the mycotoxins remained.

  3. Cathy states her son has gluten intolerance and Corn Intolerance shown by Ige test. Cathy, if an Ige reaction occurs to corn, then your son has an ALLERGY to corn, not an intolerance. Corn allergy (Ige mediated) is somewhat unusual. I know because I am VERY INTOLERANT to corn products, and have been since I was young in around 1970 when all the big food manufacturers began sweetening things with corn instead of sugar. Sugar, by FDA label laws bust either be cane or beet source. I stopped eating corn products in 1981 and all of by corn intolerance symptoms went away. Interesting thing about corn intolerance–and I would assume corn (Ige) allergy, is that symptoms can begin right away or may take up to 3 days. Corn intolerance symptoms are most all GI symptoms, nearly exactly the same as gluten intolerance. I wonder if your son is not gluten intolerant, and all the symptoms are rather from just the corn. I have told MD’s about my corn intolerance and many of them have assumed I really had gluten intolerance–that is how dumb some MD’s are. As there is no Ige test for gluten intolerance, the only way to figure out if your son’s problems are really just from corn is to give him some wheat and see what happens. A little gluten will not make him sick or die like a little corn would.

    • Duncan,
      I am not sure who Cathy is, but if you are referring to the article above, I clearly stated that the test my son took was an IgG test and not an IgE test. You are correct that a true IgE allergy to corn is unusual. There are many sugar products that can be corn derived aside from the usual suspects, ie: corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Visit Corn Sugars 101 for information on corn sugars.

      My son is gluten intolerant and was diagnosed with celiac disease. It is not uncommon for recently diagnosed celiacs to have intolerance to other protein foods like corn, soy, and dairy. In some cases low stomach acid is a contributing factor. But in this article I highlight the possibility that fungal overgrowth might also be a factor. There are celiacs who benefit from taking hydrochloric acid with food and notice diminished symptoms when they eat corn, soy, or dairy and so they will resume eating these protein rich foods while maintaining a gluten free diet. You mention that a little gluten will not make my son sick or die like a little corn would. I think you misunderstand celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that can only be controlled through a gluten free diet. When a person with celiac eats wheat gluten it produces harmful antibodies that cause the body to destroy healthy villi hairs in the small intestine resulting in nutrient malabsorption. This basically means that the celiac’s body cannot digest and absorb their food properly.

      There is no discovered autoimmune condition that proves corn is capable of creating the same type of intestinal damage as gluten, but I do believe that it is possible. An IgE allergy will produce immediate symptoms. IgG allergies produce delayed symptoms and are often GI related. I know that for some people soy intolerance will also cause sprue. Any person with symptoms of sprue should avoid wheat, gluten, corn, soy, and dairy at least until their gut is healed. They should also take good probiotics and possibly digestive enzymes as well to help heal their digestive system. Our immune system is directly tied to our gut.

      Food intolerance can heal. It is important to understand the root cause and to treat it. With an autoimmune disorder like celiac, however, even after the body has healed and the antibody levels have reached normal levels, the patient has to remain on a gluten free diet, period.

      I certainly hope the medical community researches corn intolerance more fully. If there is an autoimmune condition similar to celiac that is affecting corn eaters society needs to be made aware.

  4. I am totally new to this idea and have been doing a lot of reading about this. I have Doug Kaufmann’s book on Eating your way to Good Health and have a few questions: I understand that corn is contaminated with fungus but what about growing your own corn and eating it fresh? Also what about grinding my own wheat berries for recipes? Thanks

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