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.
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.
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.