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Fungus, How it Effects Our Health

Article written by Kaye Sehm, posted

Fungus, How it Effects Our Health

According to Jess G Thoene MD, professor of pediatrics and biological chemistry at the university of Michigan, rare diseases are not so rare anymore. Is there a common link in why these diseases are becoming so common? Did you know that over 50 years ago five physicians at the Duke University predicted that there would be a marked increase in rare diseases?

In 1944, during world War 11, field physicians were noticing rare medical disorders in soldiers fighting abroad. Interestingly, these doctors had been studying fungus infections during the preceding decade and they knew why such "rare" disorders were showing up in these soldiers. They were fungal disorders. A textbook published by these researchers concluded "Fungal infections are of such common occurrence that we have found it necessary to consider mycotic (fungal) diseases in the different diagnoses of practically every obscure infection." Could this mean that fungal infections may be the basis of practically every obscure disease? At the same time as this discovery, Alexander Fleming had discovered and was using penicillin on wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Yes, the discovery saved many lives, but has it been over used, and are we suffering the consequences.

Soon after World War 11, prominent medical journals began expressing concern over the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Unfortunately, such warnings have largely gone unheeded. Dr Harold Thomas Hyman reiterated medical concern over antibiotic use when he stated, "As a result of refinements in diagnostic techniques and the rising menace of fungus infections (resulting from destruction of bacteria by penicillin, the mycins, and other antibiotics), increasing attention is being given to systemic mycoses." Experts at the Kansas Centre for the Study of Mycoses estimate at least 70 million Americans have had systemic fungal infections that went undiagnosed.

Antibiotics destroy the bacteria within the intestinal tract that normally compete with fungi for nutrients, and so the fungi proliferated rapidly. It was also discovered that corticosteroid hormones, used to combat arthritis, were also implicated in causing secondary fungal overgrowth. We also know that birth control hormones are implicated in causing secondary fungal overgrowth. Today it is likely that many of the rare diseases and many common diseases we suffer from have fungal links, yet this remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

In 1994, the head of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Mycotoxins in food, AV Constantini MD, found that many common diseases had their roots in our food and medicine supply. Moulds and fungus that grew on foods and proliferated during the food storage process caused these diseases. Fungal by-products, called mycotoxins, found in corn, peanuts, and other common foods were implicated in atherosclerosis, Chrohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, psoriasis, Alzheimer's disease and even cancer. One author pointed out that the antibiotics we take are, by definition, mycotoxins, and mycotoxins are known to cause cancer.

"Mycotoxins are genotoxic carcinogens and exposure begins in utero and in mother's milk continuing throughout life; these conditions favour the occurrence of disease." Murphy, G.P. et. al. American Cancer Society Textbook of clinical Oncology., 2 nd Ed. 1995. American Cancer Society Inc. Atlanta. GA.

Mycotoxins are simply fungal toxins. They are heat-stable chemicals made by fungi that contaminate food grains such as corn, wheat, barley, peanuts and sorghum. Heat stable means that you can't destroy them in the cooking process. The toxins are ever present in our food supplies and have various effects on humans and animals, ranging from benign and beneficial to debilitating and deadly. These toxins debilitate the host's body (our body), compete for nutrients and alter the immune system of the host to such a degree that the fungus can maintain residence while avoiding the normal immune attack by host cells. Fungal cells can even damage DNA, a process that may lead to cancer.

A host of other pharmaceutical drugs are fungal derivatives. Many of the cholesterol lowering "statin" drugs are made from Aspergillus terreus and other moulds. (Physicians' Desk Reference, 48 th edition. Medical Economics Data Production Company. Montvale. NJ. 1994)

This information is being given to you so that you may become informed. It is my opinion that many fungal conditions occur because of swallowing prescriptive medicines, breathing or eating mould spores. Would it not be ironic that a person taking antibiotics for a respiratory or intestinal complaint actually worsens their condition?

Mycoplasma is a cell wall deficient organism that is very hard to detect in normal blood tests. Mycoplasma is a fungus that feeds on sugars, alcohol, antibiotics, steroids, foods containing antibiotic residues such as dairy foods, it thrives on mushrooms, yeast breads and pastries and it even thrives on other fungi moulds and other fungal spore.

Doug Kaufmann, author of The Fungus Link, reports that he has seen symptomatic reversals in thousands of patients who follow a program to eliminate these fungi.

If you think you may have a fungal problem, try the diet for a few weeks.

Fungi are parasitic, that is they rely on a nutritional supply from a host (you) in order to survive. Without carbohydrate, they will soon perish. Carbohydrates are foods that produce sugar upon digestion. It is also important to re-establish good bacteria in the bowel. The bowel is an entire ecosystem containing good bacteria and harmless yeasts. A disruption within this ecosystem is called dysbiosis. Normally your intestinal ecosystem serves two functions. It protects and defends. When you take antibiotics, birth control pills and cortisone, they negatively impact this ecosystem. If you have taken any of these you need to supplement with "good bacteria". Health food stores carry probiotics in pill or powder form. It is impossible to restore your health without restoring the integrity of the intestines

Fungal Facts

Fungus breaks things down. Terms such as yeast, mould, mildew, fungus, sooty mould and rust all describe the various forms and species of fungus. In nature they play a huge role in the breakdown of plant and animal matter and return it to the soil to be used again. The number of identified fungal species approaches 100,000, and it is estimated that there may be more than 1.5 million that have yet to be recognised. Yeasts are single-celled organisms, whereas moulds and mushrooms are groups of cell clustered together. They can reproduce either by sexually- by sharing DNA, dividing and growing- or asexually, either by releasing spores into the environment that form new fungi, or by budding new yeast cells from a parent cell. Spores can lay dormant for many years until the condition are favourable for them to multiply.

Yeasts are opportunistic organisms. This means that, as intestinal bacteria die, yeasts thrive, especially when their dietary needs are met. They can use their tendrils, or hyphae, to literally poke holes through the lining of your intestinal wall. This results in a syndrome called leaky gut. Yeasts are not the only cause of this syndrome. Some scientists have linked non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs as well as antibiotics.

In addition to causing leaky gut syndrome, parasitic yeasts cause you to binge on carbohydrates, including pasta, bread, sugar, potatoes etc. so it would come as no surprise that weight gain counts as one of the telltale signs of antibiotic damage and subsequent yeast overgrowth.

Fungal cells are overall very similar to human cells in that not only do they contain a nucleus with DNA, but they also share many of the same physiologic and biologic pathways required for growth and reproduction. They are more closely related to human cells, based on function and gene content than either viruses or bacteria. (http.// micro/myc/1.html,2003) This similarity to human cell poses a challenge to researchers in that it is difficult to find a drug that will selectively kill the fungus and not the human. Another challenge is that fungal cells can be confused for either normal human blood cells or even malignant cancer cells. Without the proper staining techniques by microbiologists and pathologists, the identification of fungal organisms can be entirely missed. Treatment errors may then follow. It is possible to receive an antiobiotic for an infection when what you require is an antifungal. In fact the antiobiotic only worsens the fungal infection by destroying our intestinal bacteria that normally serves to protect against yeast overgrowth.

In a related scenario, more than once has surgery been aimed at removing or debulking a "cancerous growth" when, upon further analysis of the growth, a fungus has been found to be the real culprit. In this new millennium, fungus is still being confused for cancer and other infectious disease.

"There are no, rapid, accurate diagnostic tests that can confirm with certainty the presence of invasive fungal disease." John Rex MD. Managing fungal infections in the new millennium.

Fungi enter humans by many routes. Their spores are in the air we breathe. Fungi and fungal contaminants universally contaminate staple grains, such as corn, thereby entering our food supply and are a problem to man and animals. Sexual transmission of yeast is very real, in fact many times either forgotten or unknown by medical personnel. Soil that is disturbed by wind or construction projects expose these fungal spores to all who breathe the air in the area. Homes flooded or damaged by water leaks, homes that are exposed to mould and dampness are at high risk for fungal toxins.

Other Fungal Toxins

A little known fact is that beer and wine are made with the help of other fungi, such as Aspergillus species. (Moore-Landecker. Fundamentals of the Fungi, 4 th ed. Prentice-Hall Inc. New Jersey 1996) These fungi make their own mycotoxins that may contaminate the final batch. On top of that many grains are used to make alcohol are contaminated with fungi.

Another large industrial application of fungi involves the use of Aspergillus Niger's ability to make massive doses of citric acid. Citric acid is largely used as a preservative in foods and in soft drink. Often we blame the loss of calcium on the caffeine or acids in sodas. What goes3 unnoticed in mainstream medicine is how some fungal toxins themselves interfere with normal calcium function in the body. It is interesting to note that chickens who consume grains laden with this chemical lay fragile, thin-shelled eggs due to CPA (a mycotoxin) binding up the calcium needed to form normal strong eggs (and bones). Since the fructose syrup used in soft drinks is mainly from corn, drinking soft drinks represent one of the main causes of osteoporosis.

Zearalenone is an estrogen-like mycotoxin made by Fusarium species of moulds. Its effects on the body have been mostly studied in farm animals. Its effects range from infertility, swelling and enlargement of female genitalia and mammary glands, problems with ovulation, menstrual irregularities, fetal miscarriage, and feminisation of male animals. In addition it has been suspect as the cause of premature puberty and cervical cancer. (CAST 2003; Peraica M et al Toxic effects of mycotoxins in humans. Bulletin of World Health Organisation, Sep 1, 1999.)

Tremorgen mycotoxin, such as penitrem A, made by Aspergillus, Penicillium and other mould species, can cause tremors, headaches, fever and dementia in animals and humans. Other neurotoxic mycotoxins like vomitoxin (DON) and the other T-2 mycotoxin, both can damage nerves, induce anorexia, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea and can suppress the immune system. (CAST 2003)

There is a broad range of symptoms

Fungus has been linked with problems related to the brain, arthritis eye problems, hair loss,diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and asthma

The following questionnaire will give an indication if your problem is fungal related. A high number of positive answers indicate this.

  • At any time in your life, have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of steroids or cortisone-based pills?
  • Have you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia?
  • Do you have, or have you ever had asthma?
  • At any time in your life, have you taken repeated or prolonged rounds of antibiotics?
  • At any time in your life, have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of steroids or cortisone-based pills?
  • Have you been diagnosed with arthritis?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • At any time in your life, have you been treated for worms or parasites?
  • Have you ever had cancer?
  • Have you ever been treated with chemotherapy or radiation for any type of cancer or other disease?
  • Do you have, or have you had, ringworm, fingernail or toenail fungus, or "jock itch"
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD)?
  • Do you suffer from fatigue?
  • Do you suffer from irritability, memory loss, or a feeling of constantly being "spaced out?"
  • Do your muscles, bones, or joints bother you?
  • Do you get headaches?
  • Do you have itching, tingling, or burning skin?
  • Do you have hives, psoriasis, dandruff, or chronic skin rashes?
  • Do you have acne?
  • Are you on medications for the skin problems listed above?
  • Do you suffer from hair falling out, itching inner ears, or vision problems?
  • Do you have high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides? Are you on medications for these problems?
  • Do you have mitral valve prolapse or heart symptoms, i.e., racing pulse or uncontrolled heart beat? Are you on medication for this condition?
  • Are you bothered by recurrent digestive problems, including bloating, belching, gas, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, indigestion, or reflux?
  • Do you have chronic infections for which your doctor keeps prescribing antibiotics?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?
  • Does your condition get worse in response to heat (for example does a shower, bath, or very hot weather make it worse?)
  • Do your symptoms get worse on damp days or in musty, mouldy environments?
  • Do you often feel "blue" or depressed? a. Are you presently seeing a therapist for depression? Are you on medication for depression?
  • Do you drink alcoholic beverages?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you presently or have you ever craved corn, peanuts, or sugar?
  • Have you ever worked on or played around a farm?
  • Have you ever encountered mouldrelated problems in your home or office? Has your home or office ever been flooded to any degree?
  • Do you suffer allergic reactions due to pollens, moulds, animal dander, dust, mites, perfumes, chemical, smoke, or fabric store odours?
  • Do you suffer allergic symptoms due to any foods?


  • Have you ever taken birth control pills?
  • At any time in your life, have you been bothered by vaginal or urinary tract problems?
  • Are your ovaries, thyroid gland, adrenals, and pancreas functioning as they should? (Symptoms of hormonal disturbances can include: PMS, menstrual irregularities, loss of libido, infertility, sugar cravings, weight problems, and constantly feeling hot or cold).


  • Do you now, or have you ever, experienced pain in the testicles unrelated to trauma?
  • Have you ever been bothered with prostate problems?
  • Are your testicles, thyroid gland, adrenals, and pancreas functioning as they should? (Symptoms of hormonal disturbances can include: loss of libido, infertility, impotence, sugar cravings, weight problems, and constantly feeling hot or cold.)

Dr Hulda Clark has researched the connection between cancer and moulds, yeasts, parasites and fungi. She advocates that in past years the native peoples from the Arctic to the Antarctica knew the value of frequent purgings that included vomiting and diarrhoea, to rid themselves of these parasites. She states (from The Cure for all Cancers) "Where have we gone astray? Why have we forsaken these wise practices? I have seen that eczema is due to roundworms. Seizures are caused by a single roundworm, Ascaris, getting in the brain. Schizophrenia and depression are caused by parasites in the brain. Asthma is caused by Ascaris in the lungs. Diabetes is caused by the pancreatic fluke of cattle, Eurytrema. Migraines are caused by the threadworm, Strongyloides. Acne rosacea is caused by Leishmania. Much human heart disease is caused by dog heartworm, Dirofilaria. And the list goes on."

This quotation refers to parasites, but all parasitic diseases are diseases caused by4 the presence of parasites within the body. Human parasites include various types of fungi, bacteria, viruses and worms. To combat all these invaders, we need to have a clean body where parasites cannot survive. Our immune system must be strong to fight against all invaders.

How to Control Fungus

Get rid of all fungus and mould in the home and work areas. Avoid dusty areas (this may be very hard in some cases, but fungal spored are carried in dust). Keep air conditioning filters clean as they are a breeding ground for fungus and moulds. Avoid chemicals, both household and industrial. Mycoplasma can live on chemicals in the body

It is very important to avoid environmental toxins as much as possible. These include any ingredient listed as isopropyl or propanol as used in cosmetics, shampoos, hair sprays, lotions and personal hygiene products or any other product that has ingredients listed that has the prefix "prop", isophorones, hexane dione and methyl ketones in flavoured foods. These are stored in the liver but the liver is unable to detoxify them and the toxins depress liver function.

Many nuts contain moulds. To help this it is wise to rinse the nuts in water (a lot of mould is removed this way), cover the nuts with water, add about ¼ teaspoon of vitamin C powder in a litre of water and mix. Let stand for about five minutes. The water penetrates the nuts, taking the vitamin C with it and detoxifies them. Pour off the water and dry the nuts in the oven at low heat. Be careful not to burn them.

If you wish to go on an anti-fungal diet the following is a list of what to eat and what to avoid. It is suggested that you stay on this diet for at least 2-3 months.

Allowed Foods

Fruit: Granny smith apples (contain antifungal properties), olives in brine, lemons, and grapefruit.
Fruit juices: None, only can use leafy green, cucumber, celery, carrot, wheatgrass, beetroot and tomato juice. Limit to 100 ml per day.
Vegetables: All fresh vegetables, organic if possible.
Cereals: No pre-packaged boxed cereals. Only use whole grains (barley, millet, oats, brown rice, wheat, buck wheat.) Rinse grains in cold water before using. Cook grains slowly over low heat for longer than normal time. Avoid using leftovers especially rice as it is very susceptible to aflatoxin (fungus). Some people who have severe fungal problems may need to minimise or avoid grains and grain products completely while on this diet.
Nuts: All nuts and seeds may be used with the exception of peanuts or any peanut product, and pistachios.
Cultured foods: Soy yoghurt and soy kefir are excellent foods, also can use miso, tofu and tempeh.
Breads and wholemeal pasta: Yeast-free sour dough cultured wholemeal bread is the only one - make sure it does not contain any yeast or sugars.
Coconut products: Use them freely as they are anti-fungal - shredded, oil, cream or fresh (caprylic acid is derived from coconut oil)
Protein: Eat some legumes and or sunflower seeds with every meal even if it is only a tablespoon - this normalises the carbohydrate levels, detoxifies chemicals/ oestrogens and assists in the repair of tissues. Minimise carbohydrate vegetables.
Celtic sea salt: Use at least 1¼ teaspoons in your cooking and on your food every day as this builds good blood.
Raw garlic is excellent to destroy parasites and viral infections. Use the whole clove crushed. (May juice the cloves in vegetable juice - but it will taste a little strong)
Anti-fungal herbal teas (cats claw, aloe vera, goldenseal, pau d'arco) Olive Leaf extract has antimicrobial abilities.
Grapefruit seed extract is very effective at killing yeast.
Tea tree oil can be used topically on the skin.

Foods to Avoid

No ice cream, cheese, eggs, dairy milk.
No left-overs as these can easily grow
bacteria, fungi, moulds and aflatoxin.
No micro-waved foods.
No packaged or processed foods.
No alcohol in any form, including herbal tinctures or extracts, or kombucha.
No animal products, may contain antibiotic residue, growth promoters, bacterial and yeast overgrowths which are heat resistant, and also may contain pathogens and parasites. All animal product contain the wrong cholesterol and may delay if not stop the healing process as fungus lives on
the cholesterol.
Sugars and any food containing sugar, especially fruit drinks and fruit juices,
Brewers yeast and food yeast and vitamin B supplements made from yeast.
All vegemite, promite or marmite.
All sugars including honey, malt and treacles.
All vinegars.
No dried fruits, fresh fruits, canned fruits, bottled fruit, only the few listed above as permissible.
No lollies, carbonated drinks, chocolates or other sweets.
No bread, pastries, rolls, cakes etc (except sour dough bread and wholemeal pasta).
No mushrooms, condiments (especially processed ones).
No artificial sweeteners.
No coffee or tea (except herbal, unsweetened).
No cooking or table salt (celtic sea salt is allowed).
No foods containing free fats or oils, including deep fried chips.
All deep fried foods.
No peanut butter.

Other things to remember

Avoid birth control pill.
Avoid steroids.
Avoid all environmental toxins.
No eating between meals.
No drinking with meals.
Chew food thoroughly.
Drink water or herbal teas between meals.
Don't eat fruit and vegetable at the same meal.
Store nuts and grains in the freezer or cupboard. They attract moisture which develops moulds.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before using.
Corn products are the most easily contaminated with mould.
When rebuilding systems, especially immune, more protein is needed than normal. Good quality protein is needed eg lentils, beans, split peas. All legumes contain Mycoplasma neutralising substances and should be eaten at every meal. (At least 1-2 tablespoons) They are also excellent for balancing hormones and anti cancerous.
Remember to keep eight laws of health. Exercise daily and breathe deeply in the fresh air. Regular sunbaths will help in destroying fungus.

A word of caution is needed as when the organism dies off it releases toxins and these toxins can make you feel sick. This is normal. Toxins coming from die off can cause nausea, diarrhoea, wind and bloating, depression, infections, rashes and just feeling down.

Look up fungus and related topics

Article written by Kaye Sehm, posted with permission.