Pub Med new paper: Describes a case of CFS recovered by avoiding mold


Senior Member
With the recent studies showing energy metabolism abnormalities in ME/CFS, it is worth pointing out how certain mycotoxins have toxic and inhibitory effects on mitochondria:

In Dr Joseph Brewer's 2013 paper, he says:
OTA is also a mitochondrial poison. Mitochondrial abnormalities resulting from OTA include membrane swelling, disarray of cristae, loss of transmembrane potential, inhibition of succinate cytochrome c reductase and succinate dehydrogenase and inhibition of succinate-supported electron transfer, and activities of the respiratory chain.

The toxicity of OTA appears to result from oxidative stress leading to nuclear DNA damage, cytotoxicity and apoptosis.

Note: OTA = ochratoxin A

Ochratoxin A — a toxin produced by Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus carbonarius, and Penicillium verrucosum — is one of the most-abundant food-contaminating mycotoxins. It is also a frequent contaminant of water-damaged houses and of heating ducts.

Source: Ochratoxin A - Wikipedia

Dr Brewer's 2013 study found ochratoxin A in 83% of ME/CFS patients, and his current theory is that ME/CFS patients may harbor mold infections internally in the body (such as in the sinus cavities), constantly producing mycotoxins.

Note however the set of comments on the possible methodological flaws in Dr Brewer's study, a set of comments which is linked to at the top of his 2013 paper.

This 1974 paper also looks at the toxic effects of ochratoxin A on mitochondria and mitochondrial transport.


Senior Member
With the recent studies showing energy metabolism abnormalities in ME/CFS, it is worth pointing out how certain mycotoxins have toxic and inhibitory effects on mitochondria:

For me, the issue is not whether it is called ME/CFS, CIRS, Mycotoxin illness, etc, vs. just the acknowledgement that exposure to severe levels of mycotoxins from mold can be very damaging to someone's health. They affect the immune system, mitochondria, and for me it was the final trigger that led to my MCAS. Just like many became ill from vaccines, pesticides, etc, there are many environmental triggers and mold/mycotoxins in one of them that often gets overlooked. Thanks @Hip for acknowledging this and posting that info!
Medford NJ
I agree Gingergirl. Without a lot of research all we do know is that our mitochondria , immune system ect are abnormal. Great. Money needs to be spent in orders to tease out the cause, ( probably multiple stressors from viruses, genetics, envioronment.)
When I first became ill a well known blogger who had fibromyalgia ( my initial diagnosis) stated that she followed excepted allopathic care. She claimed that scientists much more astute in medicine were researching the probkem. Of coarse they are. I had a semester of biochemistry in the 1980's.

I have never been to a " mold" doctor. I have never had a gazillion metabolic test.
I have gained tremendous ground. I see my family doctor and I do not have any other major health issues except Hadhimoto's. I did have " pots" symptoms but this improved with mold avoidance.
Dr. Shoemaker may not have the whole " biotoxin illness model " correct, but I agree with Hip that a biotoxins component to CFS cannot be discounted, and should be at a minimum investigated further.

I think a lot of information about " toxic mold" is suppressed due to the tremendous economic impact it would have if it were admitted to be a problem. ( like Cfs!) For now , I am just another mold " nut"

IFurther along in

my illness with no quality of life I realized how paltry and practically non existent this was.
Painful as it was I saw many people ( including doctors) assumed we had a mental illness . I began investigating treatments to try. I had a very bad quality of life.

All I can do is use myself as a Guinea pig, within reason. My drug knowledge helps me because I am well aware of benefits versus risk. Cholestyramine increased my energy level and more importantly helped me find my true personality again. This happened after we remediated mold in our home.


Senior Member
While I don't believe in any of the science in this paper, I would like to mention that I (and others) have found dramatic improvement in symptoms when changing location.