Welcome Interested Fungus Readers!

We hope this blog brings insight to the world of health and it's relationship to fungus. Comments are encouraged. Better health is a must.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Resveratrol Benefits Discovered...At Last!

In November of 2006, the announcement was made that resveratrol kept mice from gaining weight, increased their energy and muscle strength and kept them from aging prematurely. Wow. That sounds perfect for every thirty-something and over who have been searching for the fountain of youth. This newsworthy topic certainly creates advantages and disadvantages for any supplement company who carries a resveratrol supplement.

According to Christoph Westphal, a venture capitalist turned biotech, and David Sinclair, a Harvard medical school researcher, resveratrol "may retard the onset or progression of a whole slew of age-related diseases, from diabetes to Alzheimer's to cancer. The drugs may also have an extremely provocative side effect: They might extend life span." The difference between the two men and one CEO of a tiny supplement company? It's not just the $82 million that backs Westphal's company Sirtris, but the idea that resveratrol as an anti-aging drug will most likely be accepted by the FDA, probably before the clinical human trials are completed, and promoted heavily by a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical company. On the flipside, supplement companies scratch and claw, and cautiously advertise their products, to avoid being stricken by lightning from the black cloud that constantly lingers over their heads - the FDA and government legislation.

Here's something else to think about. Will the resveratrol being produced be strictly resveratrol, or will it contain impurities, such as chemicals or additives, that will create side effects like many of the well-known prescription drugs on the market? Research, so far, hasn't made it apparent whether the 'wonder resveratrol drug' will be purely natural, synthetically made, or a combination of the two. Time will tell.

To the supplement world, it is frustrating to know that a nutrient such as resveratrol can be around for decades, and suddenly become the 'in' product because a business giant's money and influence says it may stop age-related disease. On the other hand, we can ride on their shirttails of multi-media advertising and actually get a quality product to be seen. In the end, as hard as it may be, supplement companies may be thanking the two doctors who 'discovered' resveratrol and it's overwhelming benefits, and the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the product. Wouldn't that be ironic?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Will the Real Olive Leaf Please Stand Up?

I've received several calls over the last few days regarding "harsh chemicals and solvents" in our Olive Leaf Extract. Unfortunately, there is some confusion surrounding this issue and I feel the need to set the record straight.

First, our number one priority is to kill fungus - so we try to make each product as powerful as possible. In order to do this, we concentrate the active ingredients. I have no problem with a company that sells whole herb products - but don't market them as extracts and don't make false claims about other extracts.

The best way to concentrate the active nutrients, is by using alcohol. The reason is that alcohol will break down fibers and other parts of the plant that don't do anything, concentrating the active nutrients and leaving parts of the whole plant in the product. Then it evaporates. There is little or no alcohol in most herbal extracts. The only "harsh chemical or solvent" that is used is ethanol. Once it has done it's job, it evaporates. Every batch of every extract we use is tested for heavy metals and alcohol - the result is always virtually zero - less than you would get from eating ripe fruit.

Science has also proven that we don't always want to completely isolate active ingredients. As an example, it is commonly believed that oleuropein is the most antifungal component of Olive Leaf Extract. However, by itself, oleuropein is ineffective. It needs it's derivatives and other parts of the plant to be effective. On the other hand, if you concentrate the oleuropein and it's derivatives, you can make the product stronger.

Think of it this way. If you take the gas out of your car, it will not go anywhere. But if you use a higher octane gas, you will get better gas mileage and better performance. That's what we want - the best possible antifungal nutrients available.

Again, I have no problem with whole plant or herb products. In fact, I'm a big fan. But when it comes to killing fungus, I want to have the strongest, most concentrated product I can.

Here are a couple things to think about...

*You can eat 5 lbs of yogurt - or you can take a couple of probiotic capsules.

*You can eat 2 bushels of broccoli - or you can take one tiny capsule of chromium picolinate.

*It is nearly impossible to get all the nutrients you need from food alone - that's why we take a multivitamin. The ingredients in multivitamins are extracts! How else would they be able to get individual nutrients out of the plant?

A whole herb (not "extract") olive leaf contains about 1% oleuropein - ours contains 18%. Not to mention that we have 800mg in a capsule - the strongest you can buy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We Have a Leak!

Instantly images come to a persons mind of water spraying somewhere under the kitchen or bathroom sink, but this leak is referring to a different kind of leak - one that affects your health. The leak is in your intestines and not only allows some good nutrients to seep into your system, but also undigested food particles, toxins and waste that will have a negative effect on your health. And if this sounds gross, well, the name for leaking intestines isn't any better - Leaky Gut Syndrome!

And what causes a weakened intestinal lining which leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome? The answer varies and depends on stress level, type of diet, antibiotics or other medications taken, and exposure to fungus.

The unfortunate thing about Leaky Gut Syndrome is that it often goes undiagnosed and will persist for years, causing any number of symptoms and diseases. It may cause heartburn, abdominal pain, gluten intolerance, malnutrition, allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's, and psychological problems.

The first course of action would be to strengthen the intestinal lining to stop any leakage. This may require a series of antifungals to kill off the yeast and other toxins in the body. Also, a probiotic is a must, to help force out any negative bacteria, fungus or parasites that have made the intestines their home and love to punch holes in the walls. Fiber products should be used to help absorb toxins and flush them out of the body. Lastly, but one of the most critical steps is take L-glutamine powder. L-glutamine is an essential amino acid which is abundant in the body, helps build the immune system, and works extremely well for healing wounds - like an intestinal lining that has deteriorated.

If you know you eat a lot of processed foods, sugars, drink alcohol, have taken antibiotics in the past or have a stressful lifestyle, consider making a change. All aspects of your mental and physical health depend on it, and the results will be so rewarding if an overall balance is achieved. It won't be easy, but then fixing a major leak under the sink for most people isn't easy either!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The More the Merrier!

This statement is questionable when it comes to medications and health. There are so many people, especially older people, who take more than one prescription medication on a daily basis. Many seem to be unclear of the reasons for taking half their medications. The scenario usually starts with a visit at the doctors office which continues to spiral downhill over the years.

Doctors are definately necessary and may have chosen their profession to help others. Just like any other issue in the world, the reasons for over-prescribing medications doesn't rest solely on their shoulders. Many patients expect to get more than an explanation while at a doctor visit - a fast, easy cure-all for whatever condition they may have, something to help them feel better immediately. Forget about what lifestyle changes or dietary changes they should make to feel better - that's too difficult. Society has through the years placed an urgency and decreased work ethic on individuals, and this is the backbone of more than just over-prescribing medications in America.

America is now riddled with health problems, increased medical costs and the pressure to find solutions to other unhealthy trends that have developed before the turn of the century.

The solutions? Well, this is just one opinion, but start taking ownership and responsibility for your own health issues and quit relying so heavily on doctors to fix everything. Granted, there are some people who are unable to do this, but for those who are mentally and physically able to positively change their health, they should start right now.

How? First, ask your doctor which medications are necessary. Tell him or her you want to help yourself get off medications. You may be surprised at your doctor's response. Then, tell them what physical activity you would like to start to get your body healthy - relying on it's natural functions rather than the help of medications. And, lastly, make an honest effort to eat right and get your body the proper nutrients to help daily functions.

The hardest part of the process may be making the decision to start and telling yourself you may not need a medication anymore as a security blanket. Whenever the decision is made, just remember, to talk to your doctor first. Tell them you want to take the 'more' out of your medicated daily routine, and become free to dictate your health. Try it! Your future could be a lot 'merrier' for it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Do Not Disturb

The summer in our part of the country has been fairly nice. For humans, it's been a good balance of weather. It hasn't given us much time to stew over "this hot, humid weather" or "too much rain." Each week has produced a few good swimming, boating or fishing days, and a few rainy days to replenish the moisture lost during the hot days.

One unusual difference this summer over past summers, has been the overabundance of mushrooms. They have mysteriously poked their heads out of odd places in yards, on forest floors, on trees, and about anywhere else they decide to cling. Interesting as they may be, they are most likely not edible and certainly don't look like your basic maiitake or button variety. Some look downright frightening and some beckon a person closer with their color or odd shape.

For the curious type, researching lawn and garden mushrooms on the web is a must. On one website, over 40 different varieties were identified as growing in a backyard or wooded area. The majority of them were non-poisonous, and eating a couple varieties would result in mild to acute gastrointestinal symptoms. These symptoms are due to ingestion, but what other health symptoms can their presence create?

When you have a moist climate, you generally have mushrooms and other fungal inhabitants. The spores of the fungus can be disturbed easily, sending them airborne, and causing health problems ranging from cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, skin disease, thrush, inner ear infection, and sinus infection. If left untreated, some symptoms of fungal infection may progress to central nervous system malfunction, and potentially major organ and brain infiltration.

Fungal infections related to airborne fungal spores, from mushrooms and other fungi, have occurred for centuries. Within the past two decades, a complex fungus has emerged in the Western United States. It's name - Cryptococcus Gattii (C. gattii). This problematic fungus was discovered in isolated cases on Vancouver Island in the 1990's, and over the past few years is appearing in Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Fortunately, there have been few deaths amongst the hundreds infected by the spores.

These fungal spores typically come from the soil and trees, where the conditions are perfect for the growth of fungus. Some of these fungal spores may stay in isolated areas, some may spread rapidly due to disturbance of the growing environment. Some fungal infections appear only in immunocompromised individuals, and some randomly target healthy individuals with no similar characteristics. With this in mind, the one thing of importance is to monitor your health - if you've had a sharp, irritating cough, persistent fever, and other fungal symptoms for a prolonged period of time - see your healthcare professional. It may take 2-4 months before symptoms occur, too. And, be wary of the environment you are in - step lightly and do not disturb the fungus!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Some days we have it, some days we don't. Fatigue that is. Occasional drowsiness during the day or lack of interest is a common symptom of fatigue that effects the general population, and doesn't necessarily mean there is a physical, emotional, or psychological problem of any kind. It may mean you worked too hard in the garden yesterday or had a decision that wore you out mentally. These can be overcome easily by changing the habit or process in which you do that particular task. If you've made the change and your everyday responsibilities return without an abundance of fatigue, then you most likely don't suffer from chronic or persistent fatigue.

There are a number of factors that point to a reoccurring fatigue problem. Chronic fatigue usually lasts for six months or longer and interferes with daily function. The number one problem is an overgrowth of microorganisms in the body. After years of taking antibiotics or other medications, eating processed foods and sugar, and being exposed to chemicals, airborne particulates and other irritants, the body becomes less efficient, weakens and becomes a breeding ground for fungus. The longer a body is fed additives, sugars, and medications, the worst symptoms become. The body weakens according to the level of abuse throughout the years and what the body is exposed to. This is why there is a tendency for older people to develop disease.

Symptoms are the result of a buildup of fungus in the body, which alters the function of many internal organs and processes. In other words, fungus throws a wrench into typical human physiology. People reach a certain age - symptoms occur at varying ages - and they start to feel aches, pains, sluggishness, mild depression, and sleep disorders to name a few. The body is telling you a major change is necessary.

The number one step to take is change your diet - eliminate 99% of carbohydrates, eat plenty of vegetables, nuts and meat for at least six months. This change alone should increase energy levels. Also, take antifungals to kill off any microorganisms that have accumulated in the body and are causing problems for specific functions.

Fatigue has so much to do with inactivity, which is why exercise is so critical. If you are not used to physical activity, try something you enjoy doing, motivation will not be as difficult. There are so many different kinds of exercise available even if you live in a remote area where a gym is nonexistent. If you have stairs, try walking up and down them for 20 minutes a day. Get an exercise ball and work every part of your body, along with some type of cardio workout like walking or hiking.

Keep your mental health strong by surrounding yourself with others who are positive and active. Also, set up goals, short term and long term. Sometimes the last thing someone wants to do is the best thing for them. Schedule weekly visits with friends, join a knitting club, join a basketball league or golf league, meet relatives for a picnic. There are so many opportunities to break out of a rut and turn your thought process into a brighter outlook on life.

This is not intended to oversimplify a common, sometimes very debilitating disease. There are many factors that play a role in chronic fatigue. The advice above is a list of general techniques that, if tried, have helped others in the same situation. Sometimes all it takes is just a little advice to help change your life.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Month-Long Amtrak Ride

The main reason for the long absence with this blog - family. A very broad category, but an important one.

First of all, a person can learn so much about health conditions when someone in the family has one, whether it is yourself or another person close to you. Some may be small, minor and easily treatable health conditions, and then there are those that will turn a person's world upside down and backwards.

Every day there are people having heart attacks, aneurysms, kidney failures, head trauma, suffering severe burns and so on. These people definitely suffer to varying degrees and either have persistent or chronic problems, which eventually leads to death, they adjust to a new way of living, or recover and go back to life as they had lived it.

All families are different. Here is mine - although I try to not take this blog to a personal level. Within the last few months there have been family members and two friends who suffered either a stroke, a heart attack, both, a severe foodbourne illness, have come out of remission from cancer, or lost their battle with cancer. This alters everything we like to call normal everyday routine. These people who are suffering may never get to go back to the 'normal everyday routine', or have to rearrange their idea of what normal is. And it doesn't matter how hard a person may fight for their lives or against the unknown, nature will play it's role in which road will be taken and how that road is travelled. It's like getting on an Amtrak train and telling the conductor you'll get off at whatever stop he determines. Just don't give any one of us the itinerary.

And, as far as the ages of the people each disease has affected? A niece, 20 years old; a father-in-law, 74; a cousin, 45; a friend's 12 year-old daughter; and a another friend, 72. A pretty broad range of ages, testifying to the 'it can happen to anyone' theory.

This is not a plea for sympathy, just an observation, and a vision of the hardship so many people go through daily when they're dealing with disease and trauma. Sometimes it takes going through tough times yourself to see - REALLY see - the physical, emotional and psychological pain both the sick and their families experience. It's not an easy road, but you know, it really does heighten a person's empathy and builds a stronger, more responsive self. And, in the grand scheme of things in life, being there for family is the best, most rewarding trip anyone could ever take!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Between the Lines

Wielding Microbe Against Microbe, Beetle Defends Its Food Source,
(Oct. 10, 2008)

New Sequencing Technique Could Boost Pine Beetle Fight, Improve Cancer Research (Sep. 29, 2009)

Parasite Causes Zombie Ants To Die In An Ideal Spot (Aug. 13, 2009)

Visualizing Brain Invasion by a Fungus (Apr. 27, 2010)

Efficient Consumption Of Copper Allows Fungus To Infect The Brain (Feb. 9, 2007)

HIV-Related Death: Predicting Fatal Fungal Infections (July 4, 2009)

Killer Fungus Threatening Amphibians (November 24, 2009)

All of these headlines, taken from the ScienceDaily website are specifically about fungus, however, are diverse in the biological chain and have further implications than the average person realizes.

One article focuses on how a particular insect secretes a fungus to feed its larvae and an antibiotic-producing bacterium to fight the fungus of a potential enemy mite. To some people this means nothing, but looking at overall potential "...this suggests the antibiotic could have broad-spectrum activity against other fungi and parasites, a possibility the team is now investigating. And the discovery of a novel antifungal compound is especially exciting because many of these agents can serve double-duty as anticancer drugs," says, University of Wisconsin-Madison evolutionary biologist and symbiosis expert, Cameron Currie.1

Focus on the mountain pine beetle unearths a new approach to halting the epidemic in the Northwestern U.S. and British Columbia. This article researches the fungus that attacks the pine trees in these regions turning the wood of the pine a bluish color, which then attracts the beetle, rendering the wood less marketable in the building sector. Studying the function the fungus' makeup can help the timber industry and also, according to Dr. Steven Jones, Head of Bioinfomatics at the BC Cancer Agency’s Genome Sciences Centre, “This study has much wider research implications. What we learned from assembling the draft sequence of a fungus, we can now apply to sequencing human genomes...We're now using this novel approach to decode cancer tumours.”2

The fungus Cryptococcus neoformans is known for causing meningitis and encephalitis, yet isn't harmful until it leaves the blood stream and enters the brain. Through new intravital microscopy scientists may see how the fungus enters the brain. Once the fungus stopped from traveling through a capillary, it is pushed by a protein urease into the brain. A team of researchers from the University of Calgary, Canada, suggest "...that therapeutics that inhibit urease might help prevent meningitis and encephalitis caused by infection with Cryptococcus neoformans."3

There are innumerable articles that justify plainly why some people believe the fungus theory to disease. Reading researched articles can unveil so much in the scientific world, yet sometimes its what isn't said that says so much more.

1 University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008, October 10). Wielding Microbe Against Microbe, Beetle Defends Its Food Source. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com? /releases/2008/10/081002171921.htm
2 University of British Columbia (2009, September 29). New Sequencing Technique Could Boost Pine Beetle Fight, Improve Cancer Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com? /releases/2009/09/090915154851.htm
3 Journal of Clinical Investigation (2010, April 27). Visualizing brain invasion by a fungus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com? /releases/2010/04/100426212910.htm

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not Just Physical

Good physical health is important. It is also very important to have good psychological health to defray the various physical problems that can stem from psychological issues. In certain cases, the psychological may need to be addressed for the physical symptoms to be eliminated. Mental status is a process that takes hours, days and often months of analyzing why an individuals brain responds the way they do. Until ghosts of the past or stress is chipped away and exposed, many people go through life in a state of denial, anxiety or unsatisfactory existence, constantly searching for the balance in their lives. Most likely, all that person needs is a release and a feeling of freedom. This sounds simple, but is usually a very complicated process.

Many of you have probably experienced stress, trauma or tragedy in your life. Reflecting on that time, weakened physical health may have occurred simultaneously. Did you start overeating which caused weight gain? Did depression set in and enthusiasm disappear? Did you experience exhaustion and not want to get out of bed? Become irritable, short-tempered or lose focus on the future? Did you have a heart attack, increase in blood pressure, or increase in substance abuse? Psychologists have determined that hardiness and resiliency levels determine how a person responds to life changes and whether they can easily overcome the adversity.

Over the past decade there has been larger, worldly issues that create stress, depression, and anxiety - the war, fear of attacks in the U.S., and a large number of natural disasters. It is difficult for people to be resilient when their home has been destroyed by water, an earthquake, or a family member dies in the war. These all add to the growing psychological problems in the country.

According to the American Psychological Association, "trauma disorders are a common and costly problem in the United States. An estimated 5.2 million American adults ages 18 to 54, or approximately 3.6 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In 1990, anxiety disorders cost the U.S. an estimated $46.6 billion. Untreated PTSD from any trauma is unlikely to disappear and can contribute to chronic pain, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and sleep problems that impede a person's ability to work and interact with others."

This growing need for solutions to psychological health will also affect a population physically. People can currently address their psychological problems more openly because of increased acceptance in the past few decades. And helping a person's psychological health will also help their physical problems, too.

Friday, April 30, 2010

C. gattii Invasion!

In mid-April online news broadcast a story about a species of fungus which migrated from its usual tropical and subtropical climates to the northwestern coast of the United States. It was first discovered when 200 people became infected with the fungus on Vancouver Island in British Columbia in the late 90’s. Experts say it may have arrived in North America by importation of trees and plants, and more than a decade later has travelled along the coast of Oregon and Washington. Northern California is potentially the next target.

The airborne fungal spores - Cryptococcus gattii, or C. gattii - can harbor themselves in the body for 2 to several months, and cause some life-threatening symptoms. Researchers are mainly concerned about the intensely toxic fungal spores inhabiting a non-specific group - any age range, different backgrounds, non-smokers, and has also affected some domestic and wild animals.

For humans, the symptoms include shortness of breath, an extremely painful persistent cough, headache, fever, and night sweats. Antifungal treatments are the most effective, taking 10 to 12 months to eliminate symptoms. One woman told CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) the cough was severely painful and it took a year to build her energy levels to normal.

There isn’t a preventative for infection, but don’t let this alarm you. Anyone living on the Northwestern coast of the United States should be aware of the symptoms and should be tested for the C. gattii fungal infection, beginning an antifungal regimen immediately. Or, for precautionary measures, start taking daily doses of antifungals and probiotics to decrease the severity of the infection or keep it from initially taking over your body.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Scary Word

Why is it that fungus is generally thought of in an unsavory manner? It could be because fungus is associated with rot, old food in the refrigerator, unsightly looking material in the garbage can, and unusually colored organisms that grow in the backyard or woods. If the fungus isn't visible it can be noticed by its distinct smell, especially mold in the home. Fungus can grow just about anywhere it feels advantageous, especially in dark, moist areas.

There are many people who are unfamiliar with fungus, it's origin, background, and its effects on the human body. A woman called our office the other day and said her face was breaking out because she started taking Olive Leaf Extract. Without hesitation, she was told, "It's just the fungus being killed off." She was horrified. Fungus!

A larger number of people have heard of fungus, or yeasts and molds, because it's visible in our homes, yet fungus in the body is more discreet. Our association with Doug Kaufmann, a fungal expert, and host of Know the Cause has increased our awareness of the internal effects on humans. Doug says "localized or systemic (throughout the body) mycoses (fungi) are not rare." In fact, fungal disease was more widely talked about in the medical field before the prevalence of bacteria and viruses. Everyone has some type of fungus in the body because we have all been exposed to antibiotics, birth control pills and polluted air, food and water.

The next time fungus is mentioned, remember, it's not just related to the home. It can be eliminated from the home and from the body if carefully approached. Don't let fungus scare you, either, because we are humans and we have the ability to overcome anything if we try.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Change

Some people wait until something serious happens, either to themselves or someone else, to make a change in their lifestyle. A lifestyle change refers to getting an adequate amount of sleep, eating less of certain foods, exercising more, taking supplements, becoming sober, or thinking positively. These are just a few areas in a person's life that can be changed - some easy and some not so easy.

It can become frustrating for anyone looking from the outside in on a life full of destructive choices. The effects of this choice or choices, more often becomes apparent to friends and family before it is noticed by the individual. Choosing the right time to confront someone about concerns regarding poor choices can be a touchy subject, but in certain cases it could mean life or death. Bottom line is, a person has to make the decision to change on their own, but it doesn't hurt to place a bug in the ear to start the thought process.

Living by example is also a good way to influence another person. There is more impact on an individual when surrounded by friends and family with the same priorities, principles and morality. Motivation from others is a great way to stimulate response and action. What's better than doing anything alone? Doing it with a friend or relative. Plus, a person's motivation can be increased when the mind is distracted from the actual work at hand.

So, what better time to analyze your lifestyle - springtime. The change doesn't have to happen in a few hours - take a few days, or a week. Don't set expectations too high either, because it could lead to disappointment. Take baby steps, and think about what the change can do positively for you and those close to you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weighty Issue

The weight issue has been the hot topic over the past few years in healthcare. A few reasons weight is such an issue in our society is because of increasingly sedentary lifestyles due to technology and the accessibility of overprocessed foods. Some people jump in their vehicle to travel to the store to buy a bag of chips or quart of ice cream instead of walking or riding a bicycle.

If you're in the 30 year old and up range you probably remember parents and grandparents talking about walking two miles to school every day, riding bicycles to the nearby river to fish all morning, dancing on Friday nights, planting and harvesting the garden, canning vegetables and fruits, playing outside for hours, and the list goes on. A majority of people in those days, men and women alike, were lean and slender, and obesity was uncommon in social circles. Remember how tiny women's waists were in the 40's?

We certainly can't bring back those days, but we can certainly learn from history. Get outside and be active - ride a bike, walk, run, shoot some baskets, swing, dance, garden - get the whole family involved. And adopt healthy eating habits like preparing meals with fresh ingredients. After a few weeks, your body will thank you by making you feel so good, and will rebel against high fat, high calorie, high carbohydrate foods found in many processed foods.

So, let's take the challenge to turn a sedentary, packaged food lifestyle into an active, fresh food lifestyle. You and so many others could become the mentors of good health, the weight issue would decline in popularity, and obesity would possibly become an issue of the past.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WHO says!

Here's something to mull over. The World Health Organization openly says the world needs food security and food safety. Food safety plays a huge role in nutrition, improved health, functionality and economic status in the international population, especially in countries where grains, nuts, spices, milk, and meat are the primary food sources and primary exports. The potential for these countries to physically and economically thrive unfortunately relies on the weather and quantity of food that becomes contaminated. In any given year a food source could devastate hundreds of people and reduce much needed income for a country.

The number of people exposed to aflatoxin contaminated food in developing countries is daunting - 5 billion. Yes, BILLION! There are many practices in agriculture that can prevent aflatoxin occurrence, however, there are certain natural incidents that are uncontrollable - amount of insect infestation, severe weather, temperature changes, soil content, humidity and conditions for crop drying.

Much evidence shows chronic aflatoxin exposure may lead to impaired immunity, reduction of nutrient absorption, and decreased growth in humans and animals, and have a negative influence in people with malaria and HIV/AIDS. Also, aflatoxin may heighten susceptibility to a larger number of diseases.

Unfortunately, there are no standard international regulations to the content of toxins in crops, but there are procedures starting with preharvest that should be followed to keep levels low. Any programs to prevent and raise awareness of toxicity in crops should be available to all farmers, too. This always takes time and money, but in the long run will decrease the prevalence of aflatoxin poisoning in humans and animals.

If you'd like more to read on mycotoxins in our food, just look on the WHO (World Health Organization) website:

Mycotoxins in Food

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Heightened Awareness

Pathogens are anything capable of producing disease - like fungi, bacteria, virus and other microbials. The popular cause of disease in the last few decades have been the viral and bacterial diseases, but like anything, the tables are turning more and more towards extensive fungal disease. According to Dr. Brian Shaw, Texas AgriLife Research plant pathologist, "some 70 percent of the major disease-causing organisms are fungi."

In the past few years focus has increased toward understanding fungi and their relationship to disease in humans, agriculture and the environment. Fungal disease is prevalent in humans either in a minor form, such as a toenail infection, or can become a potentially life-threatening, systemic infection. Our nations farmers have fought for hundreds of years to eradicate fungal disease and it's effects from their crops. In some areas of the world crop destruction by fungal disease has caused huge economic devastation.

This topic has warranted enough attention for the American Academy of Microbiology to suggest reports on the following:

"Evaluate the Impacts of Mold in Homes and Businesses

There is a serious lack of scientific data to support any stance with respect to indoor mold toxicity or remediation. More effort should be devoted to testing and long-term monitoring of mold contamination and human health in New Orleans and other areas flooded by Hurricane Katrina. Natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina provide natural laboratories for understanding how fungi respond to disturbance and the subsequent impacts they have on human health.

Create a Fungal Genomes Database

Researchers involved with fungi must focus efforts on developing a comprehensive fungal genomics database in order to make the vast quantities of sequence data more available and to enable the field to fully capitalize on the promise of genomics.

Report and Track Fungal Infections

Public health agencies should implement formal programs to report cases, track disease progress, and design interventions in outbreaks of fungal disease. The lack of reporting and tracking systems has made it difficult to control the spread of fungal pathogens, because good epidemiological data on the scope of infection is usually not available."

American Society for Microbiology (2008, July 3). Fungi The Cause Of Many Outbreaks Of Disease, But Mostly Ignored. ScienceDaily.

Friday, March 5, 2010


This blog has been going on for about 2 months now. For an outsider (meaning one who doesn't yet believe in fungal-related disease) the notion of fungus and its connection with so many diseases is hard to comprehend. I remember about 8 years ago when my boss was giving me his theory on disease and fungus, and thinking how far-fetched it was. I was thinking this guy was a little off the wall.

My thinking has changed for a few reasons.

The owner of the company advertises on a television show called Know the Cause with Doug Kaufmann. Watching this show unfolded the meaning of the word etiology - the study of the cause of disease - and the unusual fungus relationship. Doug Kaufmann, a nutritionist, fungal expert and researcher since 1969, talked about patients who would go through the same medical experience time and time again, never eliminating the initial medical problem. Patients would go from doctor to doctor, tell them their symptoms, end up with a medication or antibiotic, follow the same unhealthy diet, feel better for a short period of time, then be back to feeling symptoms again.

The dedication in Doug's book, The Fungus Link, sums it up. "This book is dedicated to...the living and deceased patients erroneously diagnosed with a serious disease when all the while they were actually suffering from an undiagnosed fungal condition, and...(dedicated to) the open-minded physicians who help the sick and prevent pain, suffering, and death by treating every symptom and disease of unknown etiology as though it was due to fungus. Your peers will scoff, but your patients will flourish."

The second reason for seeing fungus as the underlying culprit of disease - the amount of evidence, testimonials, and information that has had me and hundreds of others say, "It all fits together." That's not a great explanation, but when you see Doug Kaufmann's television show, you will be saying "it all fits together" too.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Whoa-oa-oa, Candida!

The most common Candida fungus out of 200 known species is Candida albicans, already present in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract in the human body. For the majority of people, especially anyone following a healthy diet, exercise and a supplemental program, Candida rests in the system without being noticed. A weakened immune system, stress, or physical injury can be the incentive for fungus to branch out. There are other factors that collaborate with a weakened immune system to activate the overgrowth of fungus - large amounts of carbohydrates in the diet, yeast products, antibiotics, and other medications.

Certain characteristics of the fungus make the human body a perfect host. The fungus thrives in a warm, moist environment and carry a sticky protein in the cell wall, making it easier to adhere anywhere inside the body. To make matters worse, Science Daily reported, "...Candida strains have evolved and ensured their survival by adapting their genetic makeup to respond to changes in their environment. Candida species are the most common cause of opportunistic fungal infection worldwide."

The fungal infection, Candidiasis, is most often caused by Candida albicans, and ranges from a trivial rash to potentially life-threatening systemic infection, affecting the male and female gender alike. These diseases can infect the skin, hair, nails, eyes, mucous membranes, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, major organs, musculoskeletal system, and genitourinary tract.

Candidiasis is an infection that can be eliminated by antifungals, probiotics, fiber, and a low-carbohydrate diet. The process may take a number of months or a few years depending on the severity of the infection. Dosage and frequency of antifungal use and consistency of the sugar-free diet is monumental in the time it takes to get rid of the infection.

So, if Candida has found a weakness in the body, it will advantageously mount and continue on this path until the decision to start an all-out war against it is made. Remember, it's easier to reign in Candida before it becomes too prolific.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Opportunity Calls

It is unusual for anyone to go through life without acquiring a fungal infection of some kind. The most common minor fungal infections are athlete's foot, psoriasis, eczema, thrush, jock itch, yeast infection, and nail fungus. Like any type of infection or disease, if left untreated it may intensify and eventually become a systemic fungal problem, causing other areas of the body to be symptomatic.

Fungus usually enters the body through an abrasion or cut in the skin, by antibiotic use, or breathing airborne mold spores. They go unrecognized for three days up to two weeks and will appear as a rash, scaly patch, itching in the affected area, dry cough, or by discoloration of the nail. It loves to take advantage of weakened points, caused by some type of trauma, in the body. Fungus detects weakness and becomes very opportunistic.

To get rid of any or all symptoms requires antifungals, probiotics, a change in diet, and some patience. The average fungal infection may take from two months to six months to completely eliminate, and a systemic fungal problem may take a year or longer depending how persistent you are in taking the antifungals and steadfast you are with the diet. It can get confusing and frustrating for anyone attacking fungus in the body because there may be times progress stalls, and a redirection needs to take place to shatter that hindrance. Just stay focused and determined. (If you'd like support taking antifungals, check out Terri McCann's "Think Fungus First" blog.)

There are antifungals that will work in two ways: topically and orally. Oil based antifungals are easier to apply topically because a hole can be poked in the softgel and a small amount squeezed directly onto the infected area. Powder antifungals will work, however, the contents (powder) need to be mixed with water or an EFA to make a paste and then applied topically to the area. Antifungals may be used topically and orally until the infection has ceased.

Determine a strategy of elimination with the first signs of fungal infection, otherwise, if too much time passes opportunity will constantly call more fungus to grow internally and shift the minor infection to a systemic one.

Monday, March 1, 2010


"Histo" is the shortened version for the fungal disease called Histoplasmosis that infects the lungs of humans living primarily in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valley's. The fungus was not known until just before the 1950's, showing many doctors prior to this time the same signs as tuberculosis. Once again, antibiotics were given which would kill off bacteria and leave the fungus behind to thrive in the body.

According to Tom Volk, a professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, there have been 40 million people who have had histoplasmosis in the U.S., and 200,000 new occurrences of the disease every year. Anyone can get the fungal disease, but people with an autoimmune disease, infants, children, the elderly, and the immune-suppressed have a likelier chance of being seriously affected. Certain professions such as construction workers, landscapers, archaeologists, poultry farmers, geologists, and pest control workers are extremely susceptible to inhalation of the fungal spores because of their close proximity to bird or bat droppings.

Histoplasmosis comes from soil contaminated with bird or bat droppings that has been disturbed, sending the fungal spores into the air where inhaled by humans. Symptoms occur between 3 to 17 days after exposure and are generally mild - chills, fever, dry cough, chest pains and an ill feeling. Mild infection of the fungus will subside on its own, while more severe cases are treated with antifungals.

The only way to avoid the disease is to avoid areas heavily inhabited by birds or bats. Before digging in a particular area, ask your local soil resources division whether the soil is known to be contaminated by the feces. To ensure protection, wear gloves and a mask.

The fungal spores of this infection have affected a large number of people throughout history, and the numbers could be even more innumerous knowing of the misdiagnosis pre-1950's. The next time you want to dig in the soil or work around areas potentially littered with bird and bat droppings, remember "Histo" and take extra precaution.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hitting Home

A river runs through a community a few miles north of our main office. Many local people and tourists use the river, especially in the summer, to kayak, canoe, tube, swim, and fish. Activity on the river has been abundant since the discovery of the river over a hundred years ago.

A few decades ago, there became a pattern among a few residents and their pets. They acquired symptoms such as coughing, fatigue, mild fluid in the lungs, and fever, which resemble symptoms for a number of other diseases. Of course, doctors prescribed antibiotics with no luck, the symptoms persisted and evolved into more serious conditions involving the skin, bones, urogenital tract and central nervous system.

The mystery disease was Blastomyces, a fungal disease, which has often been misdiagnosed as tuberculosis, chronic histoplasmosis, or a bacterial disease. If not treated properly, the symptoms could become fatal. Humans and dogs acquire this from inhaling the fungal spores in areas with high organic content, such as along riverbanks.

Unfortunately, the only remedy for a fungal-related disease is an antifungal. Antibiotics amplify the symptoms because they are only effective on bacterial infections. Some of the best natural antifungals available are olive leaf extract, oregano oil, caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, neem, curcumin and apple cider vinegar. Probiotics, positive bacteria, also work against the fungus by multiplying in the intestinal tract, crowding out any negative microorganisms that have taken hold.

Blastomycosis has become a familiar name in this area of the United States, as have other fungal diseases. It can really hit home in a small community when some of these diseases affect so many people, and are the result of enjoying nature in your backyard.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Air to Crops to Humans

Grain crops have been associated with fungal disease for many years. Each type of grain seems to have its own battle against specific fungal disease, the rye plant with ergot poisoning, and the wheat plant with fungal head blight. There are also the fungal diseases carried by insects that infect plants in the fields and grain in storage areas. All of these can produce mycotoxins harmful to humans.

Fungal head blight, or Fusarium Head Blight, has been occurring on spring and winter crops of wheat, barley and durum in North Dakota and other areas of the United States. Yield of these crops are significantly reduced because blight can not be contained to a particular part of the plant or one section of a field. The wind rapidly spreads the spores of the fungus from crop to crop, or from flower to flower, rendering all exposed plants useless.

Insects may also carry viruses and fungal diseases from plant to plant, leaving traces of the disease anywhere it lands. Aphids are particularly harmful to crops by sucking the juices out of the plant, drying it up and taking the majority of nutrients, also spreading disease.

The majority of farmers in recent years have practiced a combination of preventative steps to prevent transmission of disease in grain crops - planting the most resistant type of grain, rotating crops, tilling to bury effected plant particles, planting high-quality seeds, and alternating planting times. This certainly decreases risk of acquiring contaminated grain products but is not full-proof.

Even though harmful effects of toxins in grain has been greatly reduced over the years, on occasion some may slip through the cracks of quality control and end up in a food product. Buying organic foods is probably the best decision to avoid potential consumption of grain products contaminated with fungus.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rye, Oh, Rye!

Fungus on rye crops has been a perpetual problem throughout history. Farmers and consumers of the contaminated grain were oblivious to its effects, which is why symptoms of gangrenous extremities and nervous dysfunction persisted for hundreds of years. Few people attempted to solve the mystery of these symptoms. All that was known was they occurred prominently among the poor, attacked children and weaker adults, and was without the normal, rampant spread that had been seen in plagues across Europe.

The fungus, ergot, which inhabited many rye crops since the 1st century A.D. was so prevalent on rye it was thought to be part of the plant. The plant was harvested, milled, and sold with the toxins in the flour, and then consumed. Consumption of the toxins affected people differently, with the most common being gangrene in fingers, toes, and other extremities, convulsions and hallucinations.

Symptoms in humans were well documented, but the actual cause of ergotism, or ergot poisoning, was not known until the 1670's when a French physician studied commonalities among patients. The physician was able to treat patients, but wasn't able to convince the farmers of the problem and its consequences. Ideal climate conditions for growth of ergot continued, farmers continued to harvest the grain, and thousands of people suffered over the next two hundred years.

Professor Mary Kilbourne Matossian, is a current expert on historical correlation between consumption of grains containing mycotoxins and death in rats and humans. Her past studies include plagues, epidemics of madness, witchcraft and the Salem Witch Hunts in the United States.

Prof. Matossian studied reports of different age groups and of nervous symptom disorders and found innumerous similarities, including hallucinations, convulsions, compulsive bodily movements, reduction in fertility and spontaneous abortions. Matossian linked the Salem Witch Hunts and witchcraft to ergotism by studying where the incidents occurred, the temperature, rainfall, the crops grown in that area and who was affected. The areas where most trials occurred were areas conducive to growing rye, where the temperature was colder and wetter, and ergot fungus was prolific.

Crazy as it sounds, fungus can do just about anything to the health of humans. Ergot poisoning is pretty rare these days, but there is plenty of other fungus lurking in unwanted places to cause a person to wonder where their symptoms came from.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Historical Disease

In the 1960's over 100,000 turkeys died within a two month period on poultry farms in England. Ducklings and pheasants also experienced large losses. The cause of thousands of poultry deaths was determined by analyzing the feed for the animals, a peanut meal showing high levels of the fungus Aspergillis flavus. This particular fungus produces a toxin, called aflatoxin, and is not only harmful to animals but to humans as well.

Here is an example of an ear of corn with Aspergillus flavus:

Another well known fungal catastrophe happened in Ireland around 1845 and lasted approximately 7 years. It was the potato blight. During this time, approximately 750,000 people died because of their dependence on the potato for food. In 1845 an airborne fungus blew into the Irish countryside, landed on the leaves of the plants and turned them black. The fungal spores then multiplied, spread to the surrounding plants, settled in the soil, and infected the potato tubers, eventually turning the tubers to mush.

There have been other instances throughout history showing plant disease outbreaks with similar far-reaching effects - powdery and downy mildews of grape in France (1851 and 1878); coffee rust in Ceylon (starting in the 1870s); Fusarium wilts of cotton and flax; southern bacterial wilt of tobacco (early 1900s); Sigatoka leaf spot and Panama disease of banana in Central America (1900–65); black stem rust of wheat (1916, 1935, 1953–54); and southern corn leaf blight (1970) in the United States.

It is unfortunate for these natural disasters to occur, and for all the lives lost. Hopefully one thing learned from the past is the knowledge there was a fungal problem in food and other crops, and if any one of them reoccurs they can be stopped before becoming disastrous.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Its Not Just What We Breathe

According to the USDA, millions of foodborne illnesses occur each year with most of them being preventable. Foodborne illnesses are mainly due to improper storage, and cooking or handling of certain foods, however, other factors determine an individuals level of fungus contamination. The source of food and susceptibility of the individual - age and physical health - play a crucial role in being and staying healthy.

Definately pay close attention to foods purchased and their source. Doug Kaufmann, a national expert on fungus, recommends avoidance of grains, animal products from animals fed with contaminated feed, and certain nuts. The University of Minnesota - Extension explains why: "Fungal infestation and subsequent mycotoxin production can occur during plant growth, maturity, harvesting, storage, and processing of grains....In addition, grain that is damaged, immature, drought stricken, or otherwise stressed is more susceptible to mold growth. Molds may reduce the nutrient content and quality of the grain, but the toxic effects of metabolites are generally of primary concern."

Many of the food items contaminated with fungi are corn and other grains, peanuts, tree nuts, and soybeans. In this case, the fungus itself is not the harmful agent but the aflatoxin produced by the fungus. Aflatoxins have been linked to a slew of diseases, including cancer.

A good immune system should help prevent illness and disease, yet over time overexposure to aflatoxins in food can build in the body and break down a functioning, healthy system. Anyone with an autoimmune disease, young children, the elderly, and pregnant women are most susceptible to effects of fungus. This does not mean everyone else is exempt from aflatoxin exposure. They should be just as aware of food purchases that contain grains and certain nuts. Most communities have health food stores, although a little more in price, offer organic foods that are unparalleled for safety.

Along with mold exposure in the home, food contamination poses risk to anyone's health. The best course of action for both - eliminate them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What To Do!

There are people who are sick who don't realize their symptoms originated from mold exposure. Itchy, burning eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, rashes, respiratory problems, asthma, and other sinus problems are usually a result of exposure to some type of mold and can occasionally be pinpointed to a particular situation. Good examples of periods of exposure may be from past jobs like landscaping; remodeling the home; cleaning; repairing pipes, walls, or a ceiling; or rummaging in a basement or attic.

What does one do if they are exposed to mold in some way? Try to remember when symptoms started - deliberate day, time, and actions - and this will give a clue on how exposure occurred. Once this is known, plan a regimen for improving overall health.

The immune system will need to be boosted, so a good multivitamin/multimineral should be taken to give the body nutrients, such as antioxidants; vitamin A, C, and D; and magnesium and calcium. Also, start taking a probiotic to incorporate positive bacteria into the gut, crowding out negative microbials that cause damage to the immune system.

Probably the most critical nutrients for eliminating mold symptoms are antifungals. Very effective antifungals for this type of situation are olive leaf extract, caprylic acid, undecylenic acid, grapefruit seed extract, apple cider vinegar, garlic, oil of oregano, and curcumin. Four of these should be taken, alternating them to outsmart the fungus in the body and constantly attack the foreign microbials.

After the microbials are killed off, a fiber product should be used daily to remove the waste. The fiber products that tend to work best are flax seed, psyllium hulls, and kamut grass, because they not only offer help in excreting waste but add nutrients to the body.

Another important step to take is eat a very low carb diet, which will starve the fungus. Fungus, like mold particles, typically feeds on sugars ingested and will continue to spread throughout the body, excreting waste of their own, called mycotoxins. Studies show an antibiotic will also add to the fungal problem.

The best procedure to follow after mold exposure is start a plan of attack to get healthy again. Start an antifungal program which will rid the body of harmful microbials and provide much-needed energy to function better in life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Minor Mold

Mold easily becomes airborne if there is an overabundance present and is disturbed. For this reason, remediation can be difficult. Surface and airborne molds can cause health problems for anyone inhabiting the mold infested building, especially if someone is an infant, has a weakened immune system, or is susceptible to respiratory problems. Anyone falling under these categories should not be around when mold remediation is occurring.

To start, the moldy area should be assessed for severity. If the area is small, the mold may be eliminated by the owner, while taking precautions to protect himself from the mold by wearing rubber gloves, a respirator mask, and eye gear. All masks and goggles should fit snuggly for protection from airborne particles, and gloves should be long enough to cover the forearm.

Detergent solutions and water should be used to remove any physical signs of the mold. The area should then be allowed to dry completely. Check the area approximately 24 hours later to see if mold has grown back or a moldy smell is present. If mold is visible or a moldy smell persists, there is most likely a serious water or moisture problem that needs to be addressed.

Most water or moisture problems can be fixed by removing the infested material - wallboard, paneling, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpet - and fixing the water problem. Typically, the mold problem will not reappear if the water problem is resolved. The situation should be reassessed if mold reappears and a professional should be called.

Bottom line is: eliminate the water problem and the mold problem will be eliminated. And contain the mold! Moldy surfaces and airborne mold particles in a building can create ongoing health concerns for family members, friends or coworkers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Remediation - Caution

Starting in the 1970's and through the 1990's, there were changes in building construction which were probably intended to improve living or workspace environments, but unfortunately created problems with moisture buildup. Buildings became so airtight that ventilation and air flow had a negative impact on breathability and humidity, resulting in mold growth. In some cases, the mold problem is visible, yet in other cases it may only be identified by smell - an overwhelming moldy, musty smell.

Once the mold problem is evident, remediation should be considered. A careful plan should be made, along with precautionary measures, before attempting removal. Always remember the primary goals are to control the amount of mold and mold spores that become airborne, to eliminate all affected areas, and to eliminate the cause of the moisture to prevent future mold growth. Here are some key points to consider BEFORE deciding who will attempt the actual mold remediation:

1) Determine the size of the exposed area. If the area is small - less than a 3' x 3' area - consider doing the removal yourself. Larger, more severe areas should be done by remediation specialists.
2) Removal will result in debris and possible airborne particulates. This should be contained to prevent the dispursement of harmful microbials.
3) Has the mold caused any health problems for the occupants? If so, consider relocation until the mold has been thoroughly removed and building air is safe.
4) Type of material affected is also a determining factor. Will the housing materials be easy to remove and replace? Should it be done by professionals to ensure proper removal and repair?

The epa also has some extremely important safety tips to follow if considering removal of mold yourself:

Safety Tips While Investigating and Evaluating Mold and Moisture Problems
Do not touch mold or moldy items with bare hands.
Do not get mold or mold spores in your eyes.
Do not breathe in mold or mold spores.
Have the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and follow containment guidelines.
Consider using PPE when disturbing mold. The minimum PPE is an N-95 respirator, gloves, and eye protection.

And, for more information, go to the CDC website.

We cannot stress enough how much caution should be taken when dealing with mold growth. There have been too many serious health problems in the United States from persistent mold exposure and improper removal.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mold Woes

Type in the words 'hazardous mold in homes' in the Search box on the msn home page and you will receive pages and pages of credible websites discussing the health hazards of mold in a home, home remediation, home buying and how to prevent mold from developing in a home. According to the number of websites listed, mold can be a common problem not only throughout the United States but the world. In the last few years mold has become an increasingly troublesome issue in the United States due to the number of hurricanes that have pummeled the South and the flooding problems throughout the Midwest. Homeowners in the crossfires of one of these natural disasters may not realize the potential affects extreme moisture may have on their health.

Here's what the CDC had to say about this worldwide problem:

"Problems of indoor air quality are recognized as important risk factors for human health in both low-income and middle- and high-income countries. Indoor air is important also because populations spend a substantial fraction of time within buildings. In residences, day-care centres, retirement homes and other special environments, indoor air pollution affects population groups that are particularly vulnerable due to their health status or age. Microbial pollution involves hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi that grow indoors when sufficient moisture is available. Exposure to microbial contaminants is clinically associated with respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma and immunological reactions."

The EPA states:

"Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth."

And FEMA released this information:

"MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- One of the worst effects of water damage comes in the form of mold. Following a hurricane or severe floods, mold may develop, causing serious health problems. The state and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are working to inform the public as to the health hazards associated with mold, what can be done to minimize mold, and what ways can be effective in cleaning up mold.

If your home has water damage, mold could develop in as short of a time as 24 - 48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it may continue to grow until steps are taken to thoroughly dry out the premises and eliminate the source of moisture. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that you may recognize mold by the sight-wall and ceiling discoloration, and smell-a musty, earthy odor.

Although mold is a naturally existing substance, it can be harmful to humans. When airborne mold spores are present in large quantities, they can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and other respiratory problems. Continued exposure to mold may result in nasal or sinus congestion, eye, nose, or throat irritations, and adverse effects to the nervous system."

Don't take mold lightly. Mold woes can develop quickly - 24 to 48 hours after water exposure - and can produce serious health problems if not effectively prevented or remediated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That Bogged Down Feeling

Anyone who pays close attention to their body and how it reacts to foods know the difference between feeling "light as a feather" and feeling "bogged down." Once again, this is in reference to bowel movements. A person with regular bowel movements tend to feel lighter, clothes fit better, and general mood is more positive. The bowels have more of an effect on overall health than some people realize.

To get the system into a regular routine, use fiber instead of laxatives. Laxatives may help temporarily but if overused will cause weakness in the bowels. Laxatives don't help the bowels move waste through the system naturally, they have more of a quick flushing action which confuses the natural contracting rhythm of the gut.

There are quite a few fibers on the market that are good for bowel movement regulation. Personal preference usually determines the decision. There are psyllium hull powder capsules that are taken orally, go through the system and expand in the intestines and colon. The psyllium, derived from seeds, works like a scrubbing sponge in soaking up toxins and will help push waste out of the body naturally. It is essential to drink plenty of water if taking psyllium.

Ground flax seed, rich in soluble fiber, can be taken in combination with psyllium hull powder. The flax seed has a large number of vitamins and minerals, and contains nutritious fats. It has been known for its positive cardiovascular, colon, immunity, and healthy skin properties too.

Another unique fiber that combines organic kamut grass leaf powder, slippery elm, and FOS is the Green Sweep. It is a powder which is mixed in water, V8, or other juice, and taken daily to create just the right consistency of stool. It has vitamins and minerals, the antioxidant-rich chlorophyll and is pleasant to drink (at least I think so).

So, get your bowels in natural working order with a fiber product like the ones listed above. Wouldn't you prefer the "light as a feather" feeling rather than "that bogged down feeling?"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

High Fi---ber

This is definately not the most pleasant topic to talk about but may be one of the most important. There's a general saying that goes, "What goes in must come out," so make sure its high fiber foods with plenty of nutrients. Bowel movements tell a person a lot about their health. There are specific signs to look for in a bowel movement to know if it is healthy.

Frequency of bowel movements is number one. There are discrepancies in how often a person should have a bowel movement among healthcare professionals, but at least know that once a day would be healthier than once a week. It's all about the elimination of waste. The sooner the waste is eliminated from the body the better.

Color of the stool is important. A medium brown is the proper color. If the stool is dark, this means it has been in the intestines for longer than necessary and some of the byproduct gets absorbed into the system. Pale stool could be due to a decrease in bile output, affected by an infection, gallstones, or other illness, or from too much undigested fat in the diet.

Size and consistency of stool reveals much about an individuals diet. Large, hard stools, or constipation, means lack of fiber and water to help loosen waste. Constipation increases anxiety if stool is large and hard in consistency because it can be painful. It is fairly common for people with infrequent bowel movements to develop hemorrhoids and fissures that can add to the pain. A consistent, long term high fiber diet is the best solution to ease constipation and its effects.

And the last sign pertains to the olfactory organ - smell. All stool will have an odor, however, on occasion a foul smell may emit from the stool. The foul smell tends to be from different foods in the diet, but could also be from an overabundance of bacteria, a parasite, or fungi in the intestinal tract.

Even though this topic is an uncomfortable one, it should be of high importance in a person's health regimen. Pay particular attention to frequency, color, consistency and smell of the stool and adjust your diet accordingly. You'll be much healthier for it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowel Highlights

Okay, just thank my boss for the play on words in the heading. The idea obviously came to him since last night was the annual football game of football games - the Super Bowl. I have to admit it was a pretty good game.

Well, what do a lot of people do if they are at a Super Bowl Party? Eat junk food, maybe have a few beers or sodas, possibly put a few dollars down for potential four quarter winnings. The first two have more effect on the health of an individual than the last, unless of course, you easily become obsessive-compulsive, you become addicted to gambling and then your mental health goes downhill.

If your diet is consistently good, then your digestive system probably retaliated after the junk food frenzy. Many of the Super Bowl foods don't contain fiber, are high in sodium, and don't contain many positive nutrients to keep your system functioning properly. There are a few answers for keeping the internal organs functioning properly on a regular basis.

One is to take Green Sweep. This is a powder with organic kamut grass leaf powder, slippery elm, and FOS combined. Mix this with either water, juice or V8, drink it down and you're on your way. Take the Green Sweep consistently as directed for a few days to see how the bowels react to it, then reanalyze the effects to determine if you need more to produce a bowel movement. Remember, this also contains vitamins, minerals and a prebiotic to increase the health of the bowels by increasing the amount of positive bacteria and nutrients in your system.

The second thing to do is drink plenty of water. It has been stated, by doctors and nutritionists, that a person needs to drink at least half their body weight in ounces, of water a day. Water is a purifier and will replenish any lost hydration from overly salted foods and alcoholic beverages.

Those are the day-after Super Bowel highlights. Hope they work well for you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Don't Feed It!

Fungus. Most fungus will proliferate if the body continues to function on a diet high in carbohydrates and simple sugars. Any body will retaliate if subjected year after year to this kind of diet. This is not natural and not meant to be the food of choice for humans. And the general public and medical practitioners wonder why there are so many health problems in this world today, specifically in the United States?

Its bad enough when a person eats poorly, but then add environmental exposure to chemicals, molds, and airborne microorganisms, and the use of medications, and the perfect haven for fungus in the body is created. Its no wonder people acquire fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, migraines, skin conditions and stomach disorders.

Address the real issue, the real cause of these conditions and start the recovery process. Start a diet with little or no carbohydrates, eliminate peanuts and grains, and fruits high in sugar and the biggest step has been taken. Within the first week there will be a positive difference in sleep patterns, weight, digestion and mood. Continue with this diet and also follow an antifungal regimen to eliminate the toxins in the body and your body will definately thank you.

Stop feeding the fungus inside you today and start feeling better than ever before!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mold Exposure

Suddenly, everything falls into place. The reason family members, friends or coworkers have been experiencing ill health is due to mold. This person has been persistently sick for an extended period of time with the most common causes being ruled out. Some day the question of exposure to mold at the doctor's office will be in the top ten list for diagnosis. Until then there are many people suffering without knowing the cause.

The following article excerpts are from "Doctor's Prescription for Healthy Living" magazine.

...Harlem, Georgia - something in the home of Iris Harden was making her sick. "I wasn't educated," she says. "I didn't know it was mold. All I knew was that something in that house was doing it to me."

Her headaches and burning in her eyes were so painful she had to move out of her home.

Eventually an environmental testing firm found elevated levels of mold spores in her kitchen and bedroom. Confirming the diagnosis of fungal infection, Immunosciences Lab, of Beverly Hills, California, found extremely high levels of two toxic molds, aspergillus and stachybotrys, in her bloodstream. Her levels were in the top one percent that the laboratory had seen out of the more than 20,000 tests they had performed.She probably took in the molds by breathing them and they diffused into her bloodstream, according to Dr. Aristo Vojdani, an expert in immune-related illnesses....read more.


Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated many homes in 2005. What was also traumatic were the homes left standing, saturated with water for days, that developed black mold on the interior. Many of the people affected were relieved to have their homes but found an unknown nightmare lingering.

FEMA followed evacuation protocol. It didn't occur to a particular family of four that a few weeks in a mold infested home created the onset of illness. They were relocated yet were still ill over time. Doctor after doctor told the husband "he must have gotten into something horrible in Louisiana," and gave him antibiotics to treat the so-called bacteria. He got worse. It took one year and a coincidence to learn his family was sick due to exposure to mold, and the antibiotics prescribed to help were actually making the illness worse.

Mold exposure is not uncommon. It occurs wherever there is toxic mold present, which can grow in any moist, damp areas, and so easily become airborne if disturbed.

So, the next time you are sick, take a look and smell around the home and office. If there is any question about the presence of toxic mold - check it out. You'll be much healthier because of it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Serious Molds

There are so many species of molds in the world. Some we know as common mushrooms or the type you find on foods in your refrigerator on occasion. Some molds have such extravagant names we dismiss them from our minds, or just throw them into the general category of molds. Here is a little bit of background about specific molds.

Molds are actually fungi, and according to Wikipedia, there are approximately a thousand different species. They get their energy from residing in organic matter, and are typically unseen by the naked eye. It is when molds multiply into colonies that we witness their existence, and is a time when they are harder to eliminate and have become hazardous.

Each species rely on different levels of temperature and moisture. The most common found on foods is Aspergillis, which tends to grow where there is oxygen. One species of Aspergillis multiplies readily on nuts, and produces aflatoxin - a toxin and carcinogen. Other species can be found on grain products and are just as harmful to humans and animals if ingested.

Cladosporium is a common household mold that turns green or black in the presence of moisture, however, is not as detrimental to health as Stachybotrys. This mold is also known as 'black mold' or 'toxic mold'. It rapidly multiplies in moist areas of the home exposing the inhabitants to mycotoxins that affects the lungs, skin, eyes, and mucous membranes of the mouth.

These are just a few species of mold that can cause minor to serious health concerns. The more serious symptoms are chronic fatigue, severe headaches, vomiting, disorientation, depression, rapid heart rate, upper respiratory problems, neurological problems, and even death.

To find out more information on molds and health hazards, go to the following websites:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Moist Living

In general, moisture in the home, office or public building should be balanced like many other areas in life. There are living and working environments that should be checked for oversaturation - bathrooms, basements, dark corners, laundry rooms, kitchens. These are the most obvious. Moisture can also accumulate where a structure is weakest or creates an unusual juncture, such as where two sections of the roof meet, creating leaf or ice buildup, harboring moisture. A crack in the external or internal part of the home may also be a magnet for water to settle without notice until someone becomes sick or the discoloration of mold develops.

Environmental conditions play a huge role in whether a building ranks high for moisture. Questions to ask yourself are: Do I live or work in a humid climate? Has there been a flood, hurricane or other storm that has affected the building? Has there been a plumbing leak anywhere in the building? Does the building receive adequate ventilation? Is the measured humidity between 30 and 60 percent?

These are all concerns. Look in susceptible areas for moisture and mold. If there is mold, a percentage of it has affected the air quality and has been inhaled. Wear a face mask if mold is significant before cleaning these areas thoroughly with detergent and water, then dry completely. Extreme moisture and mold may require expert removal so concentration of airborne particulates don't increase and cause health problems.

Some of the health problems from mold are from mycotoxins produced, and appear as lack of energy and appetite, changes in sleep patterns, and changes in the senses. These minor health problems may lead to larger conditions if the mold is not taken care of properly. The immune system becomes weaker as more mold and mycotoxins build in the body.

There will never be an answer to how much mold contributes to our health, but there has been enough evidence to say mold attacks healthy human beings according to the amount of mold present in a building. A number of episodes of 'House', a medical television show, ended with a patient's diagnosis of ill health due to exposure to moldy conditions. Even mainstream t.v. can see that 'moist living' is detrimental to human health.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Food for Thought!

Food can be the enemy to someone who may have a stomach or intestinal disorder, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The time may come when adjustments have to be made to the diet otherwise a person suffers. The effects from food may be gas, constipation, cramping, diarrhea, or a diverse number of other problems. Once the balance in the intestinal tract and stomach are disrupted, it could take months to reverse the damage, or determine what specific food may be the cause. The damage in the intestines affects proper absorption of nutrients to supply all cells in the body.

Some people are able to improve the health of the intestinal tract by eating the proper foods for their condition, however, there are people who have a different understanding of 'proper foods'. There are packaged foods available in a grocery store that promote good health but still need to be scrutinized for nutritional content. Over time some of these foods may help with an intestinal problem yet hurt other functions in the body.

The best action is to eat fresh. Buy fresh foods available at the local grocery store. Some stores carry organic produce and meats which are always best, yet may take a toll on a person's budget.

Try not to think of food as the enemy. There are plenty of foods that will make you feel good and will taste good. Just conquer that enemy - use willpower - the next time you step into the grocery store.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Red Flags

Lets talk about food. Some people are avid label readers, choosing those food products that list good-for-you ingredients and are the freshest, and some people have the 'its a free-for-all' attitude and put whatever they want in their shopping cart. Here are a few thoughts on what foods to avoid to help the already conscientous shopper and create hesitation in those who aren't.

Choosing the right foods to eat can be a time consuming and costly process. The most obvious steps to take are to read food labels, check for organically, locally grown foods, and the least obvious steps - think about a food's origin and look closely at all foods for any signs of mold or deterioration.

There are food products in this country, and elsewhere, that should raise a red flag for mold content or any contamination. Remember Mad Cow Disease? But, it isn't just meat that can be tainted. Grains are a breeding ground for molds and mycotoxins (the waste product of molds) that may not necessarily be seen in the final product. They are stored in silos for periods of time, and if exposed to moisture, initiate mold very quickly. Once the mold is present, it should not be eaten, by livestock or humans. Mold contamination easily affects feed for livestock, which then potentially gets passed on to humans through the meat and dairy products.

Also, fruits and vegetables have high moisture content. They need breathing room to stay dry and inhibit mold. Purchase the dryest, freshest fruits and vegetables possible that are stored in packages adequately vented. Organic foods are best but can still become wet and lay compacted in the vegetable case. Always store fruits and vegetables in a clean, breathable area in the refrigerator to not pass on mold from previous foods stored. Noticably contaminated food is hard to throw when there are hungry people in the world, but for safety and health reasons, it should be a given.

This topic is not meant to be frightening, just as a hint of caution. Maybe it will help make the next trip to the grocery store a little easier knowing about these red flags.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toxins, Microbials, Fungus, Oh My!

Fungus, toxins, and microbials should not be treated as one. They would probably be offended, because they are technically different organisms or the byproduct of organisms.

To set the record straight - a fungus is a single-cell or multi-branched organism that lacks chlorophyl and vascular tissue, toxins are the poisons produced by any organism, and microbials are bacterias, parasites, or other tiny, living organisms.

At BioActive we tend to include toxins and microbials in the broader category of fungus, which is not accurate, but is a little catchier to the ear than microorganisms. We like to say, "You have fungus," which means there are more negative organisms in the body than positive, and the body is reacting to the overgrowth or overpopulation of those organisms.

The meaning of "You have fungus" also includes the symptoms a person feels, whether its sinus infection, yeast infection, arthritis pain, brain fog, lethargy, and so on. Relief from these symptoms would mean eating a low carb diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water and taking supplements to push the body to the positive side of the health scale.

So, when hearing "You have fungus," it encompasses many different topics in regards to health by BioActive Nutrients' standards. Keep in mind, most people have negative bacteria, parasites or other organisms in their system. Its just a matter of keeping the body more positive than negative.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

US Olympic Women's Hockey Supporters!!!

When BioActive Nutrients heard of a local woman playing for the 2010 U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Team, we jumped at the opportunity to help support her! Not only is the boss at BioActive a former hockey player and coach, but there are a few employees who have a little hockey blood running through their veins too. The boss bought all of us a t-shirt signed by Molly Engstrom to help with her expenses.

All the employees, including Boo, Guy's dog, are shown in these pictures taken at the Northwest Sports Complex rink in Spooner, WI. We can't wait for the 2010 Olympics to start so we can cheer on Molly and the Women's Hockey Team. Go U.S. Women!

Patience and Benefits

Supplementation can be a tricky thing. It takes careful planning to start and maintain a supplement regimen. We suggest doing as much research about a company - background information, product certifications, product testing, return policy, and customer service - as would be done on a particular type of product.

Feel comfortable with a company before ordering. Does the company seem to have high standards? Do they seem trustworthy? These can be substantiated by browsing the website and calling the company directly. Once this is established and the company feels like the right company for you, the next step would be to research their products.

Research the products that would be good, everyday supplements like a multivitamin and multimineral, probiotics, fish oil and L-glutamine powder. Start each product at intervals to judge the effects of the product. After a short period of time, these four basics will keep you feeling good by helping a broad range of minor symptoms and maintaining a healthy immune system.

If there are specific conditions to be addressed, wait a few months after starting a few supplements before incorporating another supplement in your daily regimen so the body can tell you what is working well and what may need to be adjusted. Taking too many supplements initially may create problems and become discouraging because there is the potential for a reaction to an ingredient. Eliminating each product over time becomes a long process to determine which ingredient is the cause.

Patience just may be the key to supplementation. Its definately a slow process to ultimately take whats right for you and your specific conditions, however, just think about how long it has taken for you to get unhealthy. And, even though it may take some thought, work and time to get healthy, the future will hold everyday benefits.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


No, this is not a new aerobics class.

To synergize is to combine certain actions or things to acquire a greater result. Some things just work better alone, and some things work much better in combination. Take, for instance, your health. Wouldn't it be better to eat right and exercise to acquire better health, than to do one or the other?

This theory applies to a number of situations in life. Today, we will address synergy in supplementation - combining vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Did you know that vitamin A needs the B-vitamins, vitamin D and E, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc for proper absorption and function? And that magnesium should be taken with calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and D? This is one reason for taking a multivitamin and multimineral, otherwise, the positive effects on the body are at a minimum.

The cleansing process needs to incorporate a combination of supplements to achieve the greatest effect, particularly in an antifungal cleanse. An antifungal cleanse requires taking a multivitamin and multimineral to continuously feed the body nutrients and keep inner functions working properly.

A probiotic is essential for keeping the intestinal tract inhabited with positive bacteria instead of being overtaken by toxic microbials that weaken the immune system and inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Any antifungal product, such as caprylic acid, olive leaf extract, undecylenic acid, grapefruit seed extract, neem, apple cider vinegar and garlic, should be taken two products at a time to eliminate harmful microbials and toxins. These should be rotated, or alternated, with two other antifungals once a month to kill off lingering microbials and toxins.

To completely eliminate dead microbials and other waste from the body, a fiber should be used. There are some fiber products that latch onto anything negative in the intestinal tract and help remove them. Each fiber has its own way of cleansing.

It may be difficult to decide what to do in certain situations in life. Hopefully today one thing was learned, when it comes to acquiring maximum health - just 'synergize'!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Food for Fighting Fungus

When we say 'Food for Fighting Fungus' this usually means an extremely low sugar and carbohydrate diet. It may mean learning and thinking about food in a completely different way than the past.

The key to a fungus-free diet, and getting healthy, is to reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrate intake, and eliminate moldy foods and yeast products. Reducing sugars will cut off the food supply for fungus and yeast already in the body, and curtail toxins produced by them. Its the toxins and byproducts from the fungus and yeast that build up and rear their ugly heads as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, rashes, brain fog, sinus problems and a multitude of other conditions.

Time is also critical for a fungus-free diet. If the practice of an unhealthy diet has been occurring over a period of years, it will take at least six months of a high protein, vegetable laden diet to start feeling better. The fungus in the body will search for food, but finding none over time will cause it to eventually die off.

Antibiotics, prescription drugs, chlorine and polluted environments may make the healing process harder and work against a healthy diet. These elements only add to any toxic fungal exposure that is already present in the body. Avoidance and elimination will help, plus are some of the easier, healthier steps to accomplish.

Here is a short list of some foods to eat to deprive the fungus:

Green apples, any kind of berry, grapefruit, avocado, eggs, real sour cream, meats (organic, free-range, grass fed are best), vegetables, and nuts.

So make the change. Eating food to fight the fungus will help you feel a whole lot better!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fungus As The Norm?

Think about fungus. If you don't know much about fungus and its effects on humans, do some research on it. There are plenty of credible websites on the Internet. The more we know and talk about it, the more others will become aware of the link to illness and humans.

There is an article about Candidiasis on the website http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/213853-overview that states, "Candidiasis is caused by infection with species of the genus Candida, predominantly with Candida albicans. Candida species are ubiquitous fungi that represent the most common fungal pathogens that affect humans." And later the article says there is an increasing number of people who have been affected by Candida, however, time and lack of fungal testing and diagnostics creates a black cloak over fungal etiology. Fortunately, in the past few years, there has been a smattering of medical news articles taking the results of studies of fungi in humans and publicly sticking their necks out.

In 2003, the Mayo Clinic addressed sinus infection in a study and found the presence of fungi in...nasal mucus. The answer to this problem - antifungal drugs. Treatments that had been used, such as antibiotics and steroids, provided less improvement than the antifungals recently tested. Now, this is a major breakthrough for anyone who believes fungus is the cause of health problems.

There are a large number of supplements and lifestyle changes that will eliminate the effects of fungus. If you're not accustomed to either of these, starting making them a part of your day. You will start feeling better.

The most effective supplemental antifungals we know of are olive leaf extract, caprylic acid, undecylenic acid, grapefruit seed extract, neem, apple cider vinegar, garlic, curcumin, and oil of oregano. Also, a probiotic is absolutely necessary.

Lifestyle changes that help are a healthy diet and exercise. A healthy diet means eliminating sugars and most carbohydrates for a period of time, which can be difficult, but essential. Starting an exercise program can be hard mentally and physically, so you may want to see a doctor first to determine what kind of exercise is best for you. Any type of exercise should be scheduled on a daily basis according to your routine and body type.

Familiarize yourself with fungus. It will help you realize how much sense there is to the connection between fungus and human illness.