Don't miss out on Dr. Sharol's newsletters: Get notices of herbal conferences, any book giveaways and new articles released.
Biotoxins are toxins that are created by living organisms. They can be acquired from the air, water, food or from insect or reptile or bites. Technically, most specialists and dictionaries use the word toxin to denote a harmful substance made by metabolic acitivities of an organism. So, the word biotoxin is redundant. However, it is commonly used by us "non-specialists" and you will see it in the literature regarding toxins quite often. In fact most people use the word poison and toxin interchangeably for all harmful substances. Therefore, the word biotoxin helps to be more specific.
Catagorizing Biotoxins By The Type Of Critter Making The Toxin
- Fungal mycotoxins
- Microbial biotoxins
- Viral biotoxins
- Plant biotoxins
- Animal biotoxins
- Reptile biotoxins
- Parasite biotoxins
- Insect biotoxins
Examples Of Specific Toxicants Of Biological Origin
Ciguatera from Dinoflagellates : associated with tropical fish
Shelfish Toxins from dinoflagellates: associated with shellfish
Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids from various plants: asssociated with cereals, honey and some herbs
Histamine from bacteria in spoiled food: associated with spoiled or fermented foods
Botulinum toxin and Tetanus toxin from Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani respectively
Tetrodotoxin found in some fish, blue-ringed octopus, moon snails, rough-skinned newts, Psudoalteromonas, Pseudomonas and Vibrio as well as other creatures
Our own bodies make glutamate and nitric oxide which although essential in small amounts would be considered biotoxins when in excess amounts at which point they are neurotoxic
Categorizing Biotoxins By The Effect They Have
• Hemotoxins which destroy red blood cells, and are transmitted through the bloodstream. An organism that producse hemotoxins is the rattlesnake.
• Necrotoxins which kill cells they encounter and slowly eat away the tissue. An example of an organism that possesses necrotoxins is the brown recluse spider.
Common Biotoxin Emitting Organisms:
- Mold in water damaged buildings (moldy buildings)
- Fungus that grows in your body. - such as yeast that makes the toxin acetylaldehyde or Aspergillus mold that makes many mycotoxins
- Fungus that is found in food
- Other critters known to have toxic bites
- Fish/Seafood known to cause poisonings by harboring toxins within them
Screening Test For Biotoxin Exposure
A person can be screened for biotoxin exposure by using an online or in-office visual contrast sensitivity test (VCS).
Using Binders For Biotoxin Exposure
For data on using binders to remove biotoxins, click here.
Some exposure necessitates internal use of binders while others may necessitate external use such as when bitten by a spider. External use of certain binders can help pull toxin out of the injected site if put on immediately. It's ability to help depends on the biotoxin and the binder. I have treated even older brown recluse bites with bentonite clay and seen remarkable recovery, but it helps much better if treated immediately after the bite. Plus, it is necessary with this spider bite to use internal herbs for immune system support also. We need more investigation and research into the use of binders both internally and externally for various biotoxins as we are saddly lacking in treatment options specific to various biotoxin illness.
Where Are These Biotoxin Producing Organisms Found
- Mold (type of fungi) found in water-damaged buildings and sometimes outdoors - Such as Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium
- Mold (type of fungi) found in food Fusarium, Aspergillus
- Fungi found in/on the body such as Candida or Malassezia
- Bacteria found in the body - numerous
- Parasites found in the body - numerous
- Shellfish Poisoning
- Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning - from algae toxins saxitoxin and gonyautoxin that accumulates in shellfish
- Amnesiac Shellfish Poisoning - from domoic acid that is from diatoms. Shellfish accumulate the domoic acid.
- Neurotoxic poisoning from brevetoxins
- Diarrhetic poisoning from okadaic acid and inophysistoxin
- Dinoflagellate found in estuaries and the ocean such as Ciguatera (sea food poisoning associated with tropical fish)
- Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) - found in fresh water - such as Cylindrospermopsis and Microcystis
- Spider venom such as from Brown Recluse or Black Widow
- Tick born pathogens - Toxins from Borrelia burgdoferi and Babesia microti
Reactions Associated With Shellfish Poisoning
Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning
Toxin: Domoic acid
Algal Species Associated: Pseudonitzshia pungens
- short-term memory loss
Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning
Toxin: Okadaic acid
Algal Species Associated:
- Dynophysis acuta
- Dynophysis acuminata
- Dynophysis fortii
- abdominal pain
Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning
Algal Species Associated: Ptychodiscus brevis
- reversal of hot and cold temperature sensitivity
- vertigo - mild
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
Algal Species Associated:
- Alexandrium (Goyaulux) cartenella
- Alexandrium tamarensis
- Numbness in fingertips and lips
- Incoherent speech
- respiratory paralysis
Odd Things We Eat That Contain Toxins
Sea Turtles: Have been known to contain heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury, organic compounds such as the pesticide chlordane and polychlorinated biphenyls as well as biotoxins such as those produced by blue-green algae on which turtles feed. Eating sea turtles has made people ill as well as killed people. The name for this poisoning is Chelonitoxism. Symptoms of chelonitoxism vary according to the toxin and include gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea, vomiting and oro-esophageal ulceration, sometimes followed in severe cases by neurologic signs such as paresis, agitation and coma.
Meant to list more things here, but just ran out of time. In the future I will be back.
Removal of Biotoxins From The Body
Most people are able to remove biotoxins from the circulation with the help of the immune system and the biotransformational system (largely in the liver). They are then excreted largely in the urine or feces. However some people have trouble eliminating these toxins. They don't have the correct immune response or their biotransformational system or their organs of elimination are not working up to par for various reasons such as genetics, environmental toxin or pathogen load, lack of nutrients etc. In these cases the biotoxins can remain in the body and cause acute or chronic symptoms.
Generally a biotoxin would be marked by the immune system for removal. The immune system would then break it down and cells have a biotransformation system that can turn toxins into more water soluble items to remove in the urine or they may go to the liver and be removed in the bile which ultimately dumps into the intestines, where it is excreted in the feces. It turns out that part of the population has HLA-DR genes that may not be functioning correctly and the immune system may not properly go through this whole process of marking the biotoxin, and ultimately making an antibody to remove the toxin. They also may have other genetics that may cause biotransformational inadequacies that keep them from transforming these biotoxins properly. It is also thought that epigenetics plays a big part in this process of turning these genes on or off and therefore someone may go through much of their life without an issue and suddenly their environment changes or a big stress happens in their life and suddenly they are reacting to biotoxins differently than they had previously.
The biotoxin binds to surface receptors in many, if not most of the cells of the body. This causes a constant inflammatory reaction in the body as the cells are continually upregulating inflammatory pathways due to the continuous biotoxin stimulation.
Remember To Send This To Friends And Family Who Will Benefit From Reading It!
You Are The Healer exists due to the generosity of my readers.
The Crowdfunding I receive through regular patrons allows me to continue this website. “I welcome donations through my company Wise Acres LLC, of any amount in lieu of using ads from outside sources, and thank you!” Please use the Pay Pal donate button. Purchasing my paperback books from this website or e-books from Amazon is another way to support this website. Please note we are not non-profit and donations are not tax deductible.