Ochratoxin A has been found in barley, oats, rye, wheat, coffee beans and other plant products, with barley having a particularly high likelihood of contamination. There is also concern that ochratoxin may be present in certain wines, especially those from grapes contaminated with Aspergillus carbonarius.
Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans. Aflatoxins, are the most toxic and have been shown to be genotoxic which means they can damage DNA and cause cancer in humans and animal species. There is also evidence that they can cause liver cancer in humans. Other mycotoxins have a range of other health effects including kidney damage, gastrointestinal disturbances, reproductive disorders or suppression of the immune system.
The growth of fungi on animal and human hosts produces the diseases collectively called mycoses, while dietary, respiratory, dermal and other exposures to toxic fungal metabolites produce the diseases collectively called mycotoxicoses.
Mycoses range from mild such as athlete's foot or thrush to life-threatening as with invasive aspergillosis. The fungi that cause mycoses can be divided into two categories, primary pathogens such as Coccidioides immitis and Histoplasma capsulatum and opportunistic pathogens such as Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. Primary pathogens affect otherwise healthy individuals with normal immune systems. Opportunistic pathogens produce illness by taking advantage of debilitated or immunocompromised hosts. The majority of human mycoses are caused by opportunistic fungi.
Mycoses caused by opportunistic pathogens are largely diseases of the developed world, usually occurring in patients whose immune systems have been compromised by advanced medical treatment. Mycotoxicoses, in contrast, are more common in underdeveloped nations. One of the characteristics shared by mycoses and mycotoxicoses is that neither category of illness is generally communicable from person to person.
A number of rare and obscure diseases have been hypothesised to be possible mycotoxicoses, often on extremely meagre evidence.
Mycotoxins are named after the organ they affect. For instance, mycotoxins can be classified as hepatotoxins (liver), nephrotoxins (kidneys), neurotoxins (brain and nervous system) or immunotoxins (immune system) etc.
Fungal infections and ingestion of mycotoxins can cause far more damage if they happen alongside a viral infection.
VIRUSES AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
The herpes virus is particularly virulent and has vastly increased within the human population. The vast majority, a full two-thirds of infected individuals, never show symptoms which is how it has spread so rapidly. Following initial infection, the herpes virus becomes latent in the sensory neural ganglia. Virtually any part of the neuraxis may be affected by this virus, including the retina, brain, brainstem, cranial nerves, spinal cord and nerve roots.
Herpes simplex virus 1 usually infects the trigeminal ganglion which is located at the base of cranium and cell bodies here receive sensory information from the face and mouth. They then project to the brainstem.
Herpes simplex virus 2 usually infects the sacral ganglion which is any of ganglions on either side of the body at the base of the spinal cord but it can infect any other parts of the neural ganglia.
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is an autoimmune disease marked by a widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. ADEM typically damages myelin, causing destruction of white matter. It is often triggered following a viral infection or vaccination. ADEM's symptoms are similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) and it is considered part of the multiple sclerosis borderline diseases. It can reoccur and leave the individual with motor deficits.
Because viruses can remain in the body for life and reoccur during times of bacterial and fungal infections, hormone imbalance, immunosuppressant drug ingestion, nutrient deficiency, mycotoxin overload, stress and various other factors, and because chronic fatigue syndrome is also an immune system disorder, it is highly probable that it may have a root cause of any of the above factors or prior microbial infections from bacteria, fungi or viruses that the body is unable to eliminate.
TH1 SPECTRUM DISORDER
Th1 spectrum disorder refers to the group of chronic inflammatory diseases, which are hypothesised to be caused by the Th1 pathogens, a microbiota of bacteria which include L-form, biofilm and intracellular bacterial forms. Although the exact species and forms of bacteria, as well as the location and extent of the infection, vary between one patient suffering from chronic disease and the next, the disease process is common: bacterial pathogens persist and reproduce by disabling the innate immune response.
Although patients who become infected with the Th1 pathogens are given a variety of diagnoses, there are often no clear cut distinctions between one disease and the next. Rather, symptoms frequently overlap creating a spectrum of illness in which diseases are more connected to one another than mutually exclusive disease states.
The evidence supporting a bacterial cause for chronic disease is strong but there are other competing explanations including:
NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
All vitamin and minerals act with, for and against each other and are so intricately dependent upon each other that any imbalance can have a knock on affect which can lead to liver disorders, a compromised immune system, pain and inflammation, nerve damage and chronic fatigue.
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that helps the body turn glucose into energy. Adding to its potency as an antioxidant is its ability to rehabilitate other antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamins C and vitamin E. Most other antioxidants at work in the body tend to wear themselves out and dissipate, but alpha-lipoic acid can rehabilitate these free radical-fighting substances and get them working again. It also has a protective effect in the brain and nerve tissues. Alpha-lipoic acid works as an antioxidant in both water and fatty tissue, enabling it to enter all parts of the nerve cell and protect it from the damage caused by peripheral neuropathy.
Natural sources of alpha-lipoic acid: Brewers yeast, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, flaxseeds, organ meats, peas, rice bran, spinach, Swiss chard, tomatoes and watercress.
Anserine is a dipeptide found in the skeletal muscle and brain. It is an antioxidant which helps fight fatigue. It has also been reported to lower the uric acid level, remove active oxygen and lower blood pressure. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can be of help to people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
Arginine is an amino acid which is used to make nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes the blood vessels and can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Decreased fatigue and deeper sleep have been noticed with Arginine consumption.
Natural sources of arginine: almonds, amaranth, apples, apricots, beef, black seeds, buckwheat, cod, egg white, nuts, pine nuts, seaweed, sesame seeds, shellfish, soya beans, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pheasant, pumpkin seeds, spirulina, tofu and walnuts.
Iron increases immunity, raises energy levels, holds the energy level stable and promotes a calm sleep therefore a lack of iron may also be a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. The World Health Organisation estimates that 600 - 700 million people are deficient in iron, probably making it the most common nutritional deficiency disorder in the world. Iron deficiency can be caused by infections, malnutrition and the excessive use of drugs and chemicals as well as an imbalance of vitamins C and E as mentioned above. It may cause nutritional anaemia, lowered resistance to disease, a general run down condition, pale complexion, fatigue, shortness of breath on manual exertion and loss of interest in sex.
Highest sources of iron in milligrams per 100 grams
Manganese is necessary for a healthy functioning nervous system. It is also necessary for the production of feminine hormones, the normal structure of the bones. brain function, the formation of thyroxin (thyroid gland hormone), the synthesis of structural proteins in the body and the metabolism of glucose and is a useful mineral for athletes.
The human body contains 30 to 35 mg of manganese, widely distributed throughout the tissues. It is found in the liver, pancreas, kidney and pituitary glands. This mineral helps nourish the nerves and brain and aids in the coordination of nerve impulses and muscular actions. It helps eliminate fatigue and reduces nervous irritability. Manganese is also important for regulating blood sugar.
Highest sources of manganese in milligrams per 100 grams
Selenium and vitamin E are synergistic and the two together are stronger than each one alone. Selenium is an important antioxidant that plays a role in the body's utilisation of oxygen. Alcoholics, as well as patients with candidiasis, chronic fatigue syndrome and arthrogryposis-renal dysfunction-cholestasis (ARC), have all shown low levels of selenium.
Therefore chronic fatigue syndrome could be the result of a myriad of causes including underlying infections, especially bacterial and viral, nutrient imbalances, intestinal flora imbalances or toxic overload or a combination of any of these factors.
The easiest one to address first of all would be the diet because, once imbalances of nutrients are corrected they may, in fact, relieve the other causes. A full count blood test should be done and a diet of natural organic foods, with plenty of colourful vegetables and fruit, should be adhered to. The addition of nuts, oily fish, lean meats like rabbit and venison, seeds and whole grains plus herbs and spices will help to provide the body with the nutritional support it needs to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome and infections of most types.
Adding prebiotic and probiotics foods to the diet can help to address any intestinal flora imbalances as can entirely eliminating all processed and refined foods, especially those containing additives. Also, the avoidance of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, toxins and unnecessary drugs will help strengthen the immune system and the liver and readdress imbalances that may exist.
Highest sources of selenium in milligrams per 100 grams
Highest sources of vitamin B12 in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: One μg is one microgram.
Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases are often deficient in 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-D) and consuming greater quantities of vitamin D further elevates 25-D levels, which can alleviate disease symptoms. Molecular biology has identified 25-D as a secosteroid which would typically be expected to depress inflammation and this explains the short-term symptomatic improvement but it can cause long-term harm due to its immune-modulatory effects. Therefore, vitamin supplements, especially vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin D can make chronic fatigue symptoms worsen and should be avoided.
In the developed world, especially in the northern hemisphere of the planet, many people may be deficient in vitamin D. This is mainly due to the fact that fear of skin cancer from over exposure to the sun has increased the use of sunscreens and many do not consume enough vitamin D rich foods and often work inside during daylight hours. This, generally, does not cause ill effects for healthy people, however, once a person becomes infected by microbes, yeasts or viruses this can make the infection worse and prolong the disease.
The body has natural stores of dehydrocholesterol, a cholesterol precursor. When exposed to energy, specifically ultraviolet light, dehydrocholesterol becomes pre-vitamin D3. Pre-vitamin D3 spontaneously isomerises to vitamin D3 via a process called sigmatropic shift.
Located in the nucleus of a variety of cells including immune cells, the vitamin D receptors act as a control system. When exposed to infection and damage, especially that which is caused by pathogens, the body begins to convert the inactive form of 25-D into the active form, 1,25-D. As cellular concentrations of 1,25-D increase, 1,25-D activates the vitamin D receptors, turning on any number of genes the receptor commends.
This significantly affects more than 200 human genes. Many of these genes have long been associated with autoimmune diseases and cancers including, for example, the genes IRF8 (linked to multiple sclerosis) and PTPN2 (connected to Crohn's disease and type I diabetes). The activation of certain genes also leads to the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides which are the body's “natural antibiotics” and have a potent anti-bacterial effect.
However, bacteria create ligands, which like 25-D, inactivate the vitamin D receptors and, in turn, the innate immune response. This allows the microbes to proliferate. In response, the body increases production of 1,25-D from 25-D, leading to one of the hallmarks of chronic inflammatory disease: a low 25-D and a high 1,25-D.
A confusing picture that emerges from the variety of the diseases that vitamin D supplements are claimed to affect beneficially, is the belief that supplemental vitamin D will both reduce infections and suppress the immune system at the same time. It is hard to envision that a substance can have strong anti-infectious properties while at the same time having a strong immune suppressive effect.
For a variety of reasons, neither increased consumption of vitamin D supplements nor the body's synthesis of additional 1,25-D is ultimately effective at combating infection.
Highest sources of vitamin D
Nickel and vitamin C share a common antagonist; vitamin E. This inhibiting effect of vitamin E is not related to the antioxidant properties of vitamin C or vice versa (both are antioxidants, so in that respect they are synergistic), but they are antagonists, ratio wise to one another, and to other chemical members: For instance, vitamin C increases iron uptake, which vitamin E inhibits. Vitamin C lowers manganese and zinc, while vitamin E helps increase manganese and zinc absorption. As a result, a very high intake of vitamin C will require an equally high intake of vitamin E to maintain the same ratio. Therefore those taking supplements of extra vitamin C may be in danger of manganese and zinc deficiencies. Similarly anyone who consumes excess vitamin E rich foods or supplements and not enough vitamin C rich foods may suffer from an iron deficit.
Vitamin E deficiency is very rare in healthy people and is almost always linked to certain diseases where fat is not properly digested or absorbed. Examples include Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, liver diseases and certain rare genetic diseases such as abetalipoproteinemia and ataxia with vitamin E deficiency. Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it.
Deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness and/or vision problems. Other signs of deficiency are inflammation, a weakened immune system and fatigue.
Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: Vitamin E dietary supplements can interact or interfere with certain medicines as follows:
Zinc deficiency can result in alopecia, delayed wound healing, depression, diarrhoea, fatigue, frequent infection, growth retardation, impaired immunity, impaired senses, impaired taste, loss of hair, impotence, male infertility, night blindness, photophobia, poor appetite, reproductive failure, scaly skin inflammation and skin diseases, sterility and weight loss. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may have a zinc deficiency.
Heavy drinkers lose a lot of zinc in their urine and if an individual ingests excessive amounts of caffeine, drugs or sugar, it is more than likely that a zinc deficiency will develop. Low zinc levels can cause liver deterioration and diminished functioning of the reproductive organs, immune system and skin. Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium.
Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams
Chlorella 71 mg
Wheat germ 16.7 mg
Beef 12.3 mg
Calf's liver 11.9 mg
Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg
Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg
Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg
Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg
Lamb 8.7 mg
Venison 8.6 mg
Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg
Crab 7.6 mg
Lobster 7.3 mg
Agave, basil, beefalo, broccoli, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg
Cocoa powder 6.8 mg
Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg
Cashew nuts 5.6 mg
Pork 5.1 mg
Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg
Peanuts 3.3 mg
Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg
Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg
Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg
Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg
Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, braod beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red), wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg
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