Environmental Toxins Impact ALL LIFE: Human, Animal, and Marine
By Cesar Collado
While this newsletter is primarily a discussion on the impact of environmental toxins on human health, particularly in relation to mold and to toxins created by mold,
today’s frontpage news (Saturday, August 18, 2018) profiling Florida’s toxic algae crisis provides a reminder that environmental toxins can impact an entire ecosystem.
In addition, when toxins flood an environment, wildlife, economies, and human health are all negatively impacted in equal measure. The pictures of dead wildlife featured in the article had a significant impact on my thinking. Sometimes, a shift in perspective provides valuable insights and validates concepts. In this case, learning about Florida’s environmental crisis actually deepened my understanding of mold and mycotoxins.
In simple terms, the entire ecosystem and economic climate in Florida are threatened. Tourism, Florida’s primary industry, is stalled. An important food source and export is at risk, and Scientists are being mobilized to address the crisis. Florida Governor, Rick Scott, has declared a “State of Emergency” due to the red tide. As a result, beaches have posted warning signs to deter visitors and residents alike. Toxins are now airborne and can affect human health. Most disturbing are the images of beaches littered with dead marine life.
While “red-tides” are a natural phenomenon that occur naturally and seasonally, this situation is different. In saltwater, the primary cause for red tides is a single-celled organism called Karenia Brevis. “K. brevis” produces toxins that cause “neurotoxic shellfish poisoning,” where shellfish accumulate large amounts of the toxin in their bodies. When these shellfish are eaten by other wildlife or humans, the toxins are then passed on and can cause extreme sickness or death, if eaten in large enough quantities. Humans present with a variety of digestive, respiratory, and neurological symptoms when affected.
The red tide itself absorbs oxygen in the water and kills marine life. Florida authorities normally shut down shellfish harvesting during red tides and often test the shellfish for
toxins before they are sold. When disturbed by waves, these toxins can be aerosolized and later inhaled inland, causing respiratory symptoms and irritation to the skin, throat, and eyes. The aerosolized toxins also produce a pungent odor that is prevalent in coastal areas. Hospital records indicate that respiratory and gastrointestinal illness increase significantly (>50%) during red tides.
Florida is also experiencing another microbe overgrowth of toxins in its freshwater bays. These are blue-green algae, which could be any of thousands of species of cyanobacteria.
Cyanotoxins can be ingested through contaminated water, fish and algae dietary supplements. They can cause stomach pain, headaches, rashes, and even cause kidney and liver damage.
The current Florida Algae Crisis is responsible for the tragic situation in Florida where scores of dead marine life are regularly found spoiling on beaches and waterways. The crisis has made breathing difficult for locals, diverted tourism, and littered popular beaches with odorous carcasses of fish, eels, porpoises, turtles, manatees and one 26-footwhale shark.
Some endangered species, such as sea turtles, have seen even greater decreases in population. These harmless animals normally live very long lives.
Algae and mold have many similarities as toxic microbes. In fact, they can often be mistaken for each other in humid climates. Similar to mold, research on the toxic illness caused by algae is extremely limited due to the sporadic cases that occur with random physicians in different locations without large enough numbers or coordination for research. It can often take decades or a natural disaster to identify the cause of illness (mold or algae) and to directly trace the toxin to a time and place. A similar phenomenon occurred with mold illness after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. All of the water-damaged homes and buildings created enough study subjects and data to accumulate research on toxic molds and their impact on human health. Unfortunately, without such disasters, sporadic cases make most scientific study and verifiable research almost impossible.
The Cause of the Toxic Algae Crisis
The massive overgrowth of K Brevis or “Red Tide” in saltwater is caused when nutrients that are normally on land end up in coastal waters. Over many years, chemicals, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, among other elements found in fertilizer, have provided a significant boost to the algae growth, also called a “bloom.” These chemicals reach the ocean through surface runoffs, which occur after a rainstorm, tropical storm or hurricane. Historically, hurricanes have caused disturbance to coastal waters that fuel the algae overgrowth. This was observed after Hurricane Katrina. Last season’s hurricanes have clearly contributed to today’s crisis.
Inland, in freshwater bodies, the bloom is not naturally occurring. Nutrient pollution from agricultural and urban runoff causes the majority of freshwater cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae blooms. Heavy rains in May caused Lake Okeechobee to discharge water containing blue-green algae into rivers and canals. Wildlife such as Manatees live in these waterways. Sugar plantations have been the topic of discussion as one of the primary causes of the blue-green algae blooms in Florida’s lakes and rivers.
Similarities and Differences between Mold and Algae Overgrowth
Both algae and mold are single-celled organisms that can reproduce rapidly when provided nutrients. Both can produce dangerous toxins. Algae is more plant-like in that it needs sunlight and nutrients to grow. Mold prefers moist, dark environments. Both produce toxins and can be aerosolized and travel airborne. Algae gets its nutrients from water, whereas mold is parasitic. It gets its nutrients from moist, organic matter. Therefore, mold is part of the natural decaying process in nature. It consumes the matter where it lives. When mold is provided with organic matter and moisture, overgrowth is triggered. While there is less mold than algae, it can become an indoor menace. Algae needs a continuously wet environment. That is why it is mostly encountered indoors in aquariums and ponds, swimming pools, and sometimes roofs. Mold only needs access to continuous moisture or a non-breathing enclosure to maintain moisture. This can occur with s very small leak or absorption into drywall, behind wallpaper, carpet, or upholstery. Humidity above 50% indoors is enough to trigger mold growth when it encounters organic matter, dust, or even the dead skin cells we shed continuously as our cells reproduce.
Removing Toxins from our Bodies
Whether toxins are introduced to us via digestion or inhalation, we rely on our body’s natural excretion methods to remove them from our systems. The toxins must pass through our body’s organ systems to be excreted via waste or perspiration through our skin. Because of the burden toxins place on our bodies, inflammation or tissue damage can occur, and many nutrients and minerals become depleted in our bodies. For that reason, detoxification is a process that must be followed under a healthcare professional supervision. Both mold and algae toxins are treated in the same manner. This is why this article is pertinent to mold patients. There has been significant research over the years on blue-green algae patients and the specific chemical binders used by physicians that worked best (cholestyramine and Welchol).
It is critical to gain an understanding of which essential vitamins and minerals are depleted in a patient suffering from any toxicity.
Blood diagnostics should be required. Hormones, nutrients, and supplements must be balanced to equip the human body for maximal detoxification function. Adequate rest and sleep are imperative. In addition, detoxification cannot occur without clean air, food, and water. In some cases, nutrients must be provided intravenously (IV) to bypass the acidic gastrointestinal process. (Learn more about helping the body’s detoxification process HERE).
It is important to note that there are an overwhelming number of products advertised as aids for the body’s detoxification process. These products come from a variety of sources with varying quality. It is important to follow a physician’s guidance when selecting these products and using them in combination. There are too many unnecessary risks to use poorly selected supplements without a knowledgeable doctor as your guide.
Micro Balance Health Products’ Homeopathic Medicines
In addition to a detoxification protocol, you can help your body heal by boosting your immune system and by supporting cellular healing. Adequate hormone levels and function speed recovery.
Sinus Defense provides rapid absorption of Transfer Factor into the bloodstream, aiding the body’s natural ability to immediately identify, mark, eliminate, and remember foreign invaders, like mold, allergens, and viruses. Sinus Defense was developed to attack a much larger population of antigens. Because of the quick delivery, Sinus Defense can employ the body’s cell-mediated immunity (T cells and Natural Killer Cells) to be effective immediately. Relief comes within days of taking the supplement consistently.
Celltropin provides pituitary, circulatory,and DNA Support to promote cellular healing and turnover.When mold enters the body, it can disrupt pituitary function causing hormone dysregulation, low thyroid, and adrenal fatigue. CellTropin is formulated to normalize hormone deficiencies. It contains Argenine to improve circulation and astragalus root to decrease the DNA damage inherent with toxic exposures.