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.

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.