Urine Tests For Mycotoxins
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Testing urine for mycotoxins can be helpful if you want to see if your patient has a specific mycotoxin load or to follow how severe that load is. This type of test, examines the excretion of mycotoxins in the urine only at that one time. This does not tell us anything more than that. However, it can be useful. Finding specific types of mycotoxins tells us that the person is being exposed to either external mycotoxins in their environment or in their body. With some specific mycotoxins it may lead us to consideration of colonization in the gut or respiratory tract. The most likely scenario though is that the mycotoxins are coming from ingestion of food or from the environment.
If the person is unable to transform/detoxify mycotoxins in their body, they will not show up well in the urine unless the individual does something to mobilize these mycotoxins. So, a negative result could be that they have no or little exposure to mycotoxins, and no mycotoxins in their body, or it could be that the person has a heavy load of mycotoxins in their tissue and is not able to detoxify themselves adequately and remove them in the urine. To help the individual move the mycotoxins out prior to urine collection, they can use near infrared saunas or other methods of sweating such as a hot tub or regular sauna the night before up to 30 minutes before urine collection. (Not tolerated by everyone and not to be used with a patient with POTS or adrenal insufficiency.) The best method, in my opinion is to use glutathione as a method to move mycotoxins out of the body and into the urine. Liposomal glutathione or acetyl glutathione 500 mg two times per day is used for a week prior to the urine collection to mobilize the mycotoxins so they will show up in the urine. Either of these methods will mobilize toxins and it may make the person feel worse. If the person feels worse, this means they are indeed mobilizing mycotoxins and they don't need to wait for a week on the glutathione, they can take the urine test immediately. The glutathione usually works much better than the sauna method. If a person already knows that glutathione bothers them, or if they tend to be sensitive in general, I have them take 100 mg of glutathione, twice on the first day, 200mg of glutathione, twice on the seond day, 300 mg of glutathione, twice on the third day, 400 mg of glutathione, twice on the 4th day, and 500 mg of glutathione, twice each day after for the rest of the week. Many sensitive people never make it to the 500 mg level. They have to stop at 200mg or 300 mg as they feel bad. This is because their cells are removing mycotoxins and other toxins faster than their body can remove them. When this happens, it is time to take the urine test and stop taking glutathione. If they are feeling ill from the increased toxins in circulation, there will usually be enough showing up on the test to get a helfpul lab result.
There are additional lab tests that can help to identify biotoxin illness such as CIRS-due to water-damaged buildings (mold illness).
Real Time Laboratories
Real Time Laboratories (RTL) offers testing for three types of mycotoxins in the urine using ELISA technology that relies on antibodies. Please note this is antibodies and they are not testing for actual mycotoxins.
They are Tricothecenes, Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin .
Tricothecenes are evaluated by using Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay (ELISA). The test at RTL has been validated as a qualitative test. Thus, RTL reports whether tricothecenes are PRESENT or NOT PRESENT.
Aflatoxins are evaluated using ImmunoSorbant Columns containing antibodies to the group of aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, and G2). Results are reported as PRESENT or NOT PRESENT.
Ochratoxin A is evaluated using immunoSorbant Columns containing antibodies to the Ochratoxin A. Results are reported as PRESENT or NOT PRESENT.
Specimens that have been validated are urine, sputum, nasal washes, tissues. To discuss cost of these tests, please call the laboratory. You don't usually find mycotoxins in the blood as macrophages pick them up and remove them by storing in tissue.
Great Plains Laboratory
Great Plains Laboratory has a test called GPL-MycoTOX Profile that uses liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technology. They claim to be able to detect mycotoxin amounts in the parts per trillion for many of the mycotoxins they test. They test 8 mycotoxins that are commonly made by the molds Aspergillus, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Fusarium. Some of these mycotoxins may be made by other molds also, but are most commonly associated wtih these molds. Please note that mycotoxins can be conjugated or broken up into other metaoblites that will not be picked up by this test.
Aspergpillus: aflatoxin, ochratoxin, patulin and fumigillin - includes aflatoxin M1 which is the main metabolite of aflatoxin B1.
Stachybotrys: roridin E and verrucarin
Fusarium: zearalenone and fumonisin
The mycotoxins they test for are:
- AFLATOXIN M1 (AFM1)
- OCHRATOXIN A (OTA)
- STERIGMATOCYSTIN (STG)
- RORIDIN E
- VERRUCARIN A
- ENNIATIN B
- ZEARALENONE (ZEA)
- MYCOPHENOLIC ACID
- CHAETOGLOBOSIN A
As of 2018 they are able to detect over 40 different strains of disease-causing mold. Here is a table that illustrates all of the different mold species that they can now detect:
GPL also offers a Mold IgE Allergy Test to determine if a person is having an IgE or allergic reaction to molds. They test blood serum for reaction to mold spores or mold cell components using ELISA testing.
Vibrant Wellness offers a urine-based assay for 31 of the most common mycotoxins produced by molds to which humans are exposed. This test is measured on their proprietary microarray platform, to produce the most accurate and clinically relevant assessment of difficult-to-detect toxins that can cause serious disease in humans. The mycotoxins they test for are listed below.
- Aflatoxin M1
- Ochratoxin A
- Roridin E(Trichothecenes)
- Verrucarin A (Trichothecenes)
- Enniatin B1
- Fumonisins B1
- Fumonisins B2
- Fumonisins B3
- Aflatoxin B1
- Aflatoxin B2
- Aflatoxin G1
- Aflatoxin G2
- Mycophenolic Acid
- Chaetoglobosin A
- Nivalenol (NIV)
- Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)
- T-2 toxin (rare)
- Satratoxin G (Trichothecenes)
- Satratoxin H (Trichothecenes)
- Isosatratoxin F (Trichothecenes)
- Roridin A (Trichothecenes)
- Roridin H (Trichothecenes)
- Roridin L-2 (Trichothecenes)
- Verrucarin J (Trichothecenes)
Other Types of Testing
Urine testing for mycotoxins is just one type of test used by practitioners to help them diagnose and follow a patient who has been exposed to toxins in a water-damaged building. Other tests can be considered. They include testing for inflammatory markers, endocrine testing, testing for autoimmune illness, allergies to mold/mycotoxins and others. This link will take you to a page that gives you a list of the many tests that may be considered.
Additionally, there are various blood tests for antibodies to either mold or mycotoxins that can be undertaken to see if a person is reacting to either mold or the toxins it makes. These are listed in the article Testing For Mold Illness.
Additionally, there is testing for the building. This is very important and details about testing buildings can be accessed here.
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