I’ve talked about toxicity, and now it’s time to expand my thoughts and beliefs. Let me start by telling you what I mean by environmental and industrial toxins. I’ll review what I’ve mentioned in previous sections. Toxins can be divided into two categories: toxins that dissolve in fat and toxins that dissolve in water (fat-soluble and water-soluble toxins, respectively). We’re not deeply concerned with water-soluble toxins, because they dissolve into urine and are flushed out much more easily. Fat-soluble toxins—or fatty toxins, as I call them—are much more difficult to eradicate. These are the toxins I refer to when I talk about toxicity, whether environmental or industrial. Most times, toxins are so small that they go unrecognized by your own immune system, causing harmful effects before your brain and body are aware of any problems. Therefore, we test your genetics to determine your susceptibility to fatty toxins. If you possess the HLA gene and are susceptible to fatty toxins, you move out fatty toxins exponentially more slowly than people without this gene. To make matters even worse, numerous Lyme individuals possess this gene, and we’ve found that more than 93 percent of people with Lyme at our center have this gene; the national average is between 25 and 30 percent. Both environmental and industrial sources produce fatty toxins, causing an alarming threat to your brain and body; however, in addition to having toxins, the immune system of a person suffering from Lyme is always somewhat dysfunctional. The HLA gene causes you to eliminate toxins hundreds of times more slowly than individuals without the gene, so elimination is undoubtedly even slower among Lyme individuals.
Simply said, when I’m talking about environmental and industrial toxins, I’m referring mainly to fatty toxins for multiple reasons. Fatty toxins are most commonly encountered and cause an ever-growing list of damages to Lyme individuals, especially those with dangerous genetic risk factors.
Fatty toxins aren’t the only type of toxin, but they’re the most common toxins that our tests reveal in Lyme individuals. The reason I stress fatty toxins so often is their potency, which has debilitating effects in Lyme individuals.
Why Do You Emphasize Mold Toxicity?
I emphasize mold toxicity because it is fully capable of the destruction I just mentioned; however, it goes much further than that. The most common fatty toxin we see is mold toxins (mycotoxins). Did you know that mold toxins can also enter through your skin and that they’ve been mentioned and implicated in biological warfare? There’s a debate about whether mold toxins can affect you only if they’re ingested. To be honest, this is laughable. This claim usually comes from closed-minded individuals (and physicians) who haven’t done any research and don’t have much expertise in chronic disease, but I’ll leave you with this comment: if mold toxins (trichothecene specifically, the black mold toxin) have been implicated in biological warfare (yellow rain in Southeast Asia), warfare that involves airborne exposure mechanisms to inflict widespread death or debilitating symptoms, isn’t that enough to prove it’s harmful to breathe in mycotoxins? Trichothecene is four hundred times more potent than mustard gas in producing skin lesions. Oh, and “with larger doses in humans, aerosolized trichothecenes may produce death within minutes to hours…trichothecene mycotoxins have an excellent potential for weaponization”.
Anyway, you’ll get symptoms from airborne, skin, and ingestion exposure, but airborne mold toxins are the most common, the most prevalent, and the most detrimental. It’s imperative we understand that breathable toxins are more dangerous because our exposure to airborne mycotoxins is much higher than our exposure to ingestible mycotoxins.
The NIH estimates that between 30 and 50 percent of homes have poor air quality due to mold toxins; this is also known as sick building syndrome. This makes mold a serious threat to all of us, especially if you possess the HLA gene, because your body can’t recognize and move the toxins out of your system. My strong emphasis on mold is based on our lifestyles and our environment as human beings, because mold is the most abundant environmental toxin all of us encounter. Mold toxins, as well as other fatty toxins, are quite simple to remove; we do it in a matter of a few weeks. Below is an example of an individual who tried to get rid of trichothecene toxins multiple times prior to arriving at our center, with no success (as documented on the test). After just four weeks of our treatment, his trichothecene (the most potent of all mold toxins) dropped from 1.58 parts per billion (ppb) (eight times the “accepted” rate) to 0.26 ppb, a negligible amount.
Here is another example of an individual who spent a lot of time in their room suffering from debilitating fatigue, headaches, and insomnia, all of which can be caused by elevated mold toxins.
See how the trichothecene dropped from 2.11 ppb (over ten times the “accepted” rate) to 0.16 ppb (which is next to nothing and considered negative) in just four weeks of treatment. We did a follow-up test three months later (with no additional treatment except for supplements) to ensure the toxic load remained low, and it decreased even further to 0.05 ppb, showing that this individual is now fully capable of eliminating these toxins without continuous care.
Simply said, mold toxins are the most common fatty toxins present in individuals, especially individuals suffering from Lyme disease, and it’s absolutely crucial to eradicate toxins to ensure both short term and long term healing.
There is some argument regarding the validity of mold tests in general, since overall groups and not individual toxins are tested. Some argue that the T-2 toxin is not as common, yet many of the studies on the damages of mold involve T-2. I am completely aware of these arguments, and I do not reject them. What I reject is the laughable notion that mold can’t cause problems and that it rarely plays a role; that is what is ridiculous. However, just as with everything, we don’t hang our hat on only one issue, and that includes mold toxicity. I’m going to continue outlining the potential damage and what you need to know about toxicity; what I want you to keep in mind is that all environmental/industrial toxicity, including mold toxicity, can and usually does play a role in all chronic diseases, including Lyme; however, as all diseases are multifaceted, it is not the only piece.
What Are These Toxins, and What Are They Capable of Harming?
In general, when speaking of toxins, I’m referring mainly to fatty toxins, but this doesn’t exclude many common industrial toxins listed below. Let me start off by answering some questions you may have.
What’s the difference between environmental and industrial toxins?
What are some examples of those toxins?
What are they capable of harming?
Environmental toxins are naturally occurring toxins, while industrial toxins are basically man-made toxins. Fatty toxins are the most common, but as I said, there are numerous other toxins that are just as, or even more, dangerous. As mentioned, the major difference is the frequency of exposure. I talk about fatty toxins more often because they appear most frequently in Lyme individuals, but this doesn’t change the fact that all toxins need to be addressed and removed. Let me give you some examples.
- Mold toxins (mycotoxins) – environmental fatty toxins
- Benzene (smoke, fires – used to make gasoline, plastics, resins, pesticides, preservatives, etc.) – environmental and industrial fatty toxins
- Toluene (paints, thinners, gasoline, shoe polish, glues) – environmental and industrial fatty toxins
- Formaldehyde (adhesives, bonding agents, pressed wood [hardwood floors], foam insulation, synthetic clothing fibers, personal and cosmetic products) – environmental and industrial fatty toxins
- Phthalates – industrial toxins
- PVC (polyvinyl chloride) – industrial toxin
- Heavy metals – environmental and industrial toxins
- Ammonia – environmental and industrial toxin
- Pesticides – industrial toxins (can be fatty)
- Many preservatives – industrial toxins (can be fatty)
Many toxins come in multiple forms. For example, you’ve heard of benzoic acid, which is a common preservative in cosmetics, foods, and beverages. Benzoic acid reacts with vitamin C to make benzene, and since our bodies always have vitamin C on hand, benzoic acid is basically benzene. Numerous sodas, including many orange-flavored sodas, contain both benzoic acid and vitamin C. This causes a reaction inside the bottle before you drink it; it makes benzene. The FDA conducted its own study showing many sodas exceeding the 5 ppb allowable limit, with one brand exceeding this maximum limit by fifteen times (103). Moreover, toluene converts to methylhippuric acid (MHA). When both MHA and benzoic acid are present, it becomes more difficult to get rid of both toxins than it is if only one is present.
Exposure to toxins is one thing, but you must understand the damage they do to the brain and body. I’ve mentioned a few toxins below, but in large part, these are categories, as many chemicals change form as they’re broken down in your body into metabolites. They come in many shapes and sizes, and sometimes metabolites are more dangerous, sometimes less; regardless, you must remove them. We do just that. Here are some detrimental effects that have been linked to some of the most common toxins:
- Stop your cells from replicating (stop DNA/RNA synthesis, irreversibly bind to large subunit of ribosomes) (21)
- Inhibit protein synthesis (111)
- Cause lipid peroxidation (damage to anything containing lipids [fats], as I’ve stated) to the liver, spleen, kidneys, and thymus
- Cause damage to bone marrow with one dose of T-2 (trichothecene, black mold toxin) (111)
- Inhibit mitochondria synthesis (111)
- Destroy brain cells (neurons) (24)
- Destroy the barrier between the body and the brain (blood-brain barrier—astrocytes) (24)
- Destroy the myelin sheath (24, 104)
- Disrupt the cells’ gatekeeper (cell membrane) (107)
- Destroy brain endothelial cells (24, 104)
- Cause pituitary tumors (adenomas) (105)
- Are equivalent to minor traumatic brain injury (24)
- Cause short-term memory loss and disorientation (24, 106)
- Cause disruptions in balance and coordination (106)
- Cause ADHD and short-term memory issues (106)
- Cause stress to the brain and body (oxidative stress) (23)
- Decrease energy output (disrupt mitochondria) (21, 108)
- Destroy cartilage cells (chondrocytes) (22) – joint pain, chronic pain
- Destroy heart cells (cardiomyocytes) (20) – arrhythmias, high blood pressure
- Disrupt gut lining and can cause gut lining necrosis (death) (109) – malabsorption, autoimmunity
- Disrupt immunity and cause inflammation (TNF-alpha, many interleukins and cytokines) (19, 110) – susceptibility to Lyme and other infections
- Suppress reproductive organ and hormonal function – (111)
- Can cause cancers (113)
- Lower oxygen delivery – lower VEGF (17)
- Contribute to autoimmunity, leaky gut, and gluten sensitivity (17)
- Elevate proinflammatory cytokines (17)
- Cause central and peripheral neuropathies (114)
- Cause chronic fatigue syndrome (114)
- Cause liver disease and elevated liver enzymes (112)
- Cause asthma and breathing issues (24, 113)
- Causes chromosomal and mitotic spindle damage (115)
- Causes liver damage (115)
- Causes kidney damage (115)
- Causes hormonal disruption (116)
- Causes oxidative stress (damage) (117)
- Can cause cancer (117)
- Causes reproductive and developmental issues (118)
- Can cause cancer (119)
- Cause heart issues (119)
- Cause lung issues (119)
- Cause liver issues (119)
- Cause kidney issues (119)
- Cause GI issues (119)
To those who were laughed at or mocked by their physicians for bringing up mold as a potential cause of your symptoms, I am sorry. For those who think mold is a joke, please join the twenty-first century. Toxins affect multiple brain and bodily systems, and although I don’t mean to scare you, mold toxicity must be taken seriously. Hopefully, this was illuminating. Some of the types of damage that have been documented explain some of your symptoms quite well. We’ve proven toxicity plays a significantly larger role in your symptoms than does Lyme disease itself. Moreover, mold toxins have an incredible effect on the immune system while causing immune suppression. Often, a compromised immune system allows Lyme and other coinfections into your system to develop in the first place!
The detrimental effects of fatty toxins are quite vast. We’ve proven that at times toxicity explains your Lyme symptoms more than Lyme itself does. I hope you’re beginning to understand the necessity for a multitool approach. Addressing, removing, and healing the damage that fatty toxins pose is a multistep, precise process. Each step is crucial. Trying to kill Lyme only contributes to your toxic load and decreases your chances of getting better.
A Touch More on Toxicity and Autoimmunity, and Yes, Some More Science
Toxicity is a major contributor to autoimmunity and inflammation, but black mold toxins (trichothecene) cause so much inflammation and immune activation they provoke disturbances in gall bladder activity, therefore increasing the likelihood of the removal of the gall bladder in many individuals. Since toxicity plays such a large role in immune dysfunction, it comes as no surprise that your spleen and red blood cells are dramatically affected by toxicity. Many toxins cause stress in your cells, especially your red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen to your brain and body. Your red blood cells are supposed to be perfectly round discs with a smooth, circular cell membrane. Toxins cause the outer layer, the cell membrane (the gatekeeper), to become imprecisely jagged, affecting cell structure and cell function. Your spleen monitors your red blood cells, ensuring there’s no funny business going on, and when the life span of a red blood cell is over, the spleen sends signals for it to be removed and recycled. If your spleen recognizes jagged-edged red blood cells, it removes them prematurely. We see many individuals with low blood flow, but sometimes it’s caused by the spleen’s perception of these supposed deformed cells, and their untimely disposal lowers the number of red blood cells available. On top of that, toxins cause lower oxygen delivery by lowering VEGF, further contributing to poor blood flow (perfusion). This is one single mechanism by which toxins cause autoimmunity and low blood flow.
Another mechanism shows toxins binding to carrier molecules like albumin and subsequently binding to your own tissues, causing your immune system to go haywire, resulting in autoimmunity. Mold toxins as well as many other industrial and environmental toxins, such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, many anhydrides, ethylenes, and even medications, are among the most potent in the mechanism of autoimmunity. The bottom line is you must remove toxins from your brain and body.
The most likely mechanism of autoimmunity by fatty-toxin toxicity is through excess immune activation. Immune signalers just go wild and skyrocket when they see toxins, especially if you possess the HLA gene. As various markers, such as matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9), begin to elevate and immune signalers cause a cascade of events to occur (cytokines provoke interleukins), nasty stuff begins to happen. Eventually the “nukes” of the immune system become activated, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, or TNF-alpha, whose elevation has been indicated in almost every autoimmune condition and which is the target of the number one immune-suppressing pharmaceutical drug, Humira ®. MMP-9 can cross the blood brain barrier and elicit autoimmunity in the brain as well as in the body. We’ve also seen many individuals who have antibodies against their myelin sheaths from fatty toxin toxicity; that’s autoimmunity against your brain’s electrical-conducting system, by the way. If MMP-9, cytokines, and interleukins remain elevated, so do the resulting immune responses. If left unchecked, this quickly turns into autoimmunity. Therefore, many individuals with this gene stay sick much longer; over time autoimmunity becomes so bad you no longer get sick in the traditional sense. These same toxins also cause a leaky gut, further contributing to autoimmunity. Yes, foods play a significant role, but toxins cannot be overlooked. Did you know toxicity enhances the detrimental effects of gliadin, the protein fragment from gluten? This further contributes to gluten sensitivity.