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Mold in Foods

Foods Rich in Mold Protein Allergens
 
Molds belong to the fungus family of organisms and live almost everywhere. Mold prefer warm and moist environments but can also grow in cooler temperatures, such as in your refrigerator or cellar. Some molds product toxins called mycotoxins and can be the source of many health problems. One particular mycotoxin called aflatoxin has been shown to cause cancer and is most commonly found in peanuts and corn.
Mods and mycotoxins can cause many symptoms ranging from mild to severe, depending on the person and their genetic predisposition. Some common symptoms may include watery and itchy eyes, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and breathing difficulty. All individuals should try to limit their exposure to mold. However, those who are suffering from adverse symptoms may need to be more proactive and be more aggressive in avoiding foods and other common mold exposure.
Molds such as aspergillus are often used to make medications, enzymes, vitamins, and food products ( soy sauce, miso, bread, etc). It is unknown how much of the mold antigen is present in these final products. If you have concerns about mold in specific products, talk to your Functional Medicine physician for personalized guidance.
 
FOODS COMMONLY CONTAMINATED WITH MOLD:
Grains, such as corn, wheat, rice, sorghum, and bread made with these ingredients
Nuts such as peanuts, almonds, walnut, pistachio, Brazil nut, hazelnut, and coconut.
Dried and overripe fruits, fruit juice, tomato, lemons, jams, and jellies.
Cheese, such as Roquefort, Brie, blue, Camembert, Gorgonzola, Stilton.
Processed Meats, such as bacon, bologna, lunch meats, salami, ho dogs, sausage, hamburger meats.
Home-brewed, fruit varieties beer.
 
TIPS FOR REDUCING EXPOSURE TO MOLD AND MYCOTOXINS IN FOOD:
*Purchase small amounts of food frequently.
*Do not keep food for extended periods of time. Read the "best by" or "use by" dates.
*Discard any grains, nuts, or dried fruit that looks discolored, unusual, or moldy.
*Store food properly in a dry place and at moderate temperature.
*Eat a diverse diet to reduce exposure to mold and increase the variety of nutrients.
*Keep bread in the freezer.
*Eat or freeze leftover foods as soon as possible.
 
If you have any concerns about mold exposure and related symptoms, give us a call to schedule an online functional medicine assessment and telemedicine consultation.
Author
Dr. Frances Mark, Pharm.D.

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