Ochratoxins and Mold
Ochratoxins are a class of mycotoxin produced by some types of mold, including some species of aspergillus and penicillium. Ochratoxins are carcinogenic. Molds that produce ochratoxins are therefore particularly dangerous toxic molds.
There are three types of ochratoxin: A, B and C. Ochratoxin-A is the most commonly occurring myotoxin in food. Ochratoxin-B is rare, and type C has never been encountered in natural products.
The molds that produce ochratoxins can grow on cereals (such as corn, barley, wheat, and oats), peanuts, coffee, grapes, dried fruit (e.g. raisins) and wine.
Some studies indicate a high level of ochratoxins in house dust (Romer Labs).
This toxin can accumulate in the body. This of particular concern when eating meat. The problem appears to be of greatest concern with pork.
Ochratoxin Mold Symptoms
The effects of ochratoxins produced by mold do not seem to have been carefully studied in humans, which is strange, given its importance as a toxin. The following list is compiled from a number of websites, including the ones listed in the External Links section.
- Kidney problems
- Kidney failure
- Reduced immune function (in animals, not confirmed in humans).
- Wikipedia on Ochratoxin
- Food Info on Ochratoxin
- KnowMycotoxins (“aims to help you better understand the growing mycotoxin problem in the feed industry”)
- Romer Labs on Mycotoxins
- Wikipedia on mold