Mold Effects on the Immune System


Asthma stands out as one area of medicine where mold is recognized as a trigger.  Researchers in this study searched for mold’s mechanism of action in the immune system of 33 patients exposed to mold at their workplace.  By comparing the levels of many cytokines and immune markers of these patients with levels in 17 normal controls, they uncovered a significant list of differences.

As a functional MD caring for mold toxic patients, I hear a lot of complaints from them about feeling short of breath.  They usually don’t have asthma nor do they have wheezing, but they just feel like they can’t get a good breath in.  Their oxygen level remains just fine but they don’t feel right.

In this study, a long list of immune related markers were found to be higher or lower with those patients experiencing mold toxin reactions. The pattern of changes stood out differently also from a second chemical called ionomycin that researchers used for comparison.  The reaction to mold toxins was not just a generic reaction to a lung irritant, but a specific response to mold toxins.

While many in conventional medicine reject the idea that inhaled mold toxins contribute to patient’s poor health, this study connected inhalation exposures directly with lung symptoms and immune objective markers.  Just another episode of being thankful that as a functional medicine MD I can see beyond the party line and help patients live a healthier more abundant life.




Rosenblum Lichtenstein, J. H., Hsu, Y.-H., Gavin, I. M., Donaghey, T. C., Molina, R. M., Thompson, K. J., … Brain, J. D. (2015). Environmental Mold and Mycotoxin Exposures Elicit Specific Cytokine and Chemokine Responses. PLoS ONE, 10(5), e0126926.

Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

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    I have been living in a moldy ( black, green and yellow ) environment for 8 year’s, now finally NOHA is doing something about it. But I have suffered, and I was only told to move out. But I think I should file a law suit against them.

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