What are mycotoxins? What are the symptoms of mycotoxins from mold? And, how long do mycotoxins stay in the body? We will cover all of this and more in this post.

You may have never heard of mycotoxins. Approximately 22% of people and about half of all buildings in the U.S. have a mold problem. Think about how many different buildings you walk into in a month. You probably are exposed to toxic mold.[11]

Do you find yourself struggling with unexplained symptoms even though you’re eating healthy, exercising, and getting proper sleep? Have you seen countless doctors saying nothing is wrong or suggesting something you know isn’t true? It’s OK, we’ve been there. If this sounds like you, it may be time to look into mycotoxin poisoning. 

In this post, we are going to dive into more detail on why you need to be aware of mycotoxins and how they can affect your health.

Mycotoxins: What are They?

Great question!  

Mycotoxins are toxins naturally produced by molds and fungi. Over 400 different types of mycotoxins have been found since being discovered in 1965. They can be very toxic if inhaled, consumed, or absorbed by the skin. They are mostly found in foods such as corn, cereal, soybeans, and peanuts. Though, they can be found anywhere that has mold.[1,2,3] 

Mycotoxicosis occurs when the harmful effects of mycotoxins are exposed. This can lead to chronic diseases and even death. Anyone can be exposed to mycotoxins from mold. Many factors can put someone at risk of mycotoxins, but most of us are exposed on a daily basis.[1]

What are the Symptoms of Mycotoxins in the Body?

How do I know I have mycotoxins in my body? Let’s move on to the symptoms you may be experiencing if you have mycotoxin exposure.






The symptoms you can get depend on the type of mycotoxin and many other factors like the amount of exposure and the person’s genetics, age, health, and diet. So if you’re wondinerg how long do mycotoxins stay in the body, keep in mind there are a variety of factors with genetics, environment, overall health, diet, and more all playing a major role.[4,5]

Something to note is that mycotoxin poisoning is different from a mold allergy. With a mold allergy, symptoms include stuffy or runny nose and itchy eyes when there is a high amount of mold in the area. Most of the molds people are allergic to are not toxic or don’t contain mycotoxins. [4]

Two studies have shown a correlation between toxic mold and brain abnormalities. One study showed that 17 patients exposed to mycotoxins showed abnormalities in the brain compared to the control group. The other study showed that the inflammatory cytokines that mycotoxins produce are present in major depression patients. Could toxic mold be a root cause of depression? It definitely can cause depression, but more research needs to be done to know if it is a root cause.[18,19,20] 

What are the Most Common Sources of Mycotoxins?

There are only about six important mycotoxins that have been examined in research. The most common types are aflatoxin, ochratoxins, fumonisins, trichothecenes, patulin, citrinin, and zearalenone. Below is the name of each mycotoxin with a summary of their toxic effects and what foods they can be found in. 

Aflatoxin: Causes cancer, liver damage, suppressed immune system, changed DNA structure, and hemorrhaging. It is found in cereals, pulp, and coconut.

Fumonisin: Causes fluid buildup in the lungs, neurotoxicity, heart failure, esophageal and liver cancer. It is mostly found in cereals and corn.

Ochratoxin: Causes kidney and liver damage, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and suppressed immune system. It is found in cereals, herbs, figs, beef jerky, fruits, and wine.

Patulin: Causes brain bleeds, skin lesions, skin cancer, and lung disease. Patulin is found in wheat, apples, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. 

Trichothecenes: Causes a suppressed immune system, cell death, anemia, and low blood pressure. Common foods it is found in are cereals, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

Zearalenone: Causes cancer, mood swings, and reproductive issues. It is found in cereal and corn.

Believe it or not, some of these toxins could be in your kitchen right now. But don’t forget, mycotoxins aren’t just found in foods. They can be found in indoor environments, specifically moisture-damaged homes and buildings.[3,10] Window leaks, leaky roofs, leaks behind dishwashers, damp basements, and areas with poor ventilation are all breading grounds for mold to grow and produces their harmful mycotoxins.

What Foods are High in Mycotoxins?

So we learned about the most common types of mycotoxins and what foods they can be found in. Now we’re going to dive into what specific foods are high in mycotoxins.

According to the world health organization, mycotoxins in food are very low because of their toxins. For example, let’s take the mycotoxin aflatoxin, found in cereal and coconut. Aflatoxin allowances are 20 ppb in foods.[6,7]

Even though the maximum allowance of mycotoxins in foods is low, mycotoxin exposure is way more common than you think. The amount of mycotoxins have to do with how food is grown or stored, but some foods are just higher in them than others. Foods that are high in mycotoxins include: [1]

  • Grains (corn, wheat, barley, and rye) 
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts (peanuts, pistachios, and Brazil nuts)
  • Sugar (sugar cane and sugar beets) 
  • Hard cheese
  • Chocolate 
  • Dried fruit 
  • Coffee beans

If you’re a coffee lover like me, don’t fret! Purity Whole Bean Coffee and Bubs Naturals ground coffee are one of several brands that now offer lab-tested mycotoxin and mold-free coffee options. We have a detailed comparison of the best mold-free coffee brands, including some grown at super-high altitudes for higher antioxidant content.

Check out our post on The Ultimate Bulletproof Coffee Alternative to discover an amazing bulletproof coffee alternative that will give you energy without caffeine, jitters, and no excessive saturated fat.

We also personally like the Purity swiss water decaf that is 99.9% caffeine-free and created without any chemical solvents, unlike other decaffe coffees.

Something important to note is that organic and inorganic foods are equally susceptible to mycotoxins. 

How to Minimize Exposure to Mycotoxins

You should purchase food from companies that prioritize their quality. Most companies prioritizing quality are made with clean ingredients, limiting mycotoxins. When shopping, try to buy the freshest food. Fresh foods can be found locally and organic is preferred. 

Make sure to look at the date when foods expire. The further back the expiration date, the fresher. To go along with this, eat the foods soon after purchasing. Keeping foods for an extended time can contribute to mycotoxin production. When storing foods, avoid placing them in moist, warm environments.

Eating different types of healthy foods and being diverse with your choices can limit exposure to mycotoxins. Make sure you’re consuming foods with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, pay attention to foods that may make you feel sick. This can help to know which foods are causing unwanted symptoms.[8]

How Long Do Mycotoxins Stay in the Body?

Many of you are probably wondering, about how long does mold stay in your body or how long do mycotoxins stay in the body? Mycotoxins can stay in the body for about six months to a year. Most mycotoxins reduce their toxicity as they break down over time, though the mycotoxin, trichothecene, takes many years to break down.[9]

How Does the Body get rid of Mycotoxins?

So we answered the questions on how long do mycotoxins stay in the body. Now let’s get into how the body gets rid of mycotoxins.

When you are exposed to a mycotoxin, the intestines, liver, and gallbladder work to remove toxins from your body. After it is filtered through the liver, the body gets rid of mycotoxins through urine and stool. 

Though, about 25% of the population cannot naturally detox from mold. In this case, these people will still have inflammation in the body even if they remove themself from mold toxins. For people who cannot get rid of mycotoxins naturally, toxins are reabsorbed in the body rather than getting excreted. These types of people can use supplements in order to help get rid of toxic mold.

Can you Reverse Mold Toxicity?

Yes! When you get rid of mold in your body, the unwanted symptoms will go away and you will begin to feel better. This time of recovery can vary from person to person depending on a factor of things–diet, genetics, and how much mycotoxins you were actually exposed to.[12]

To reverse mold toxicity it’s best to start by getting rid of mold in your environment. You can do this by cleaning the mold yourself, throwing away items or hiring a professional for things like water damage. You need to also get rid of food high in mycotoxins, like the ones we mentioned earlier. If you don’t eliminate foods containing mycotoxins, you will continue to have mycotoxin exposure. [13]

After removing the main source of toxicity, you can add supplements and therapies that will help flush out, bind to, and remove the mycotoxins. A study was shown that mycotoxins mostly affect your mitochondria. This is why mold toxicity affects your brain and heart, causing neurological symptoms, more than other functions of the body.[14] It is also the primary reason why mold toxicity causes fatigue- impaired mitochonidra = decreased energy.

Supplements to Enhance Mold Detoxification & Boost Mitochondria Function

Some supplements and therapies you can use to help boost the mitochondria as well as detoxing from mold include:

1. Phosphatidylcholine: This is essential to help build back up your mitochondria. It is recommended to take 1000-2000 mg of a phosphatidylcholine supplement per day with food. Eggs are also packed with phosphatidylcholine but if you’ve been exposed to mold, you may react negatively to eggs making the supplement form preferable.

There are many great phosphatidylcholine supplements on the market. One thing to keep in mind is that many people will need a large dose thus making it easier to take in a powder form as opposed to several couples. Personally, we put a scoop or two into our smoothies often and you won’t even taste it.

We recommend and use Phosphatidylcholine powder from Designs for Health. You may purchase this supplement from Amazon but, if you’re interested in saving over $15 you can 👉purchase through Fullscript👈 using our discount. Even better, once you create an account using our link, you can purchase any supplement on the site using our discount for life.

2. Glutathione: Glutathione is the king of antioxidants that will protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress

3. Synapsin: Synapsin is a nasal spray that cleans up toxins. This needs to be prescribed by a doctor. 

4. Cholestyramine and activated charcoal: These are both great for removing toxins. A prescription is needed for cholestyramine, and it is particularly effective at removing toxins. 

Ozone insufflation to overcome mold toxicity and limit how long mycotoxins stay in the body

5. Ozone therapy: This is the least studied therapy for toxic mold, but it is incredibly powerful in treating mycotoxins from the body.[11,15] We’ve personally done 10-pass IV, rectal ozone, and ozone saunas as part of our therapy to recover from mold toxicity and named it one of our top recommendations for reducing inflammation in the body fast.

Don’t believe us? Nationally renowned functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman said it was the most powerful treatment he used to overcome his mold toxicity after trying everything and world-famous biohacking Dave Asprey also mentions it as one of the concernstones for his treatment to overcome mold. Asprey continues to use ozone therapy on a regular basis and mentions it in his book Super Human as one of the best things to do to live longer and healthier.

How Long Does it Take for Mold to get out of Your System? 

After answering the question–how long do mycotoxins stay in the body, we learned that they can stay in the body for almost a year until they start breaking down naturally.  On the other hand it may take a few weeks to a year for mold to get out of your system. Everyone is different. 

For people who may take longer to detox, after addressing change in diet, supplementation, environment and aiding the mitochondria, it is recommended to talk to a functional medicine doctor to provide testing for infections, nutritional deficiencies, genetic factors, digestion and possible other toxins. Though, this is only necessary when you already eliminate mold from your environment and foods for a long period of time. A study showed that it takes 35 days for the kidney and bladder to fully flush out mycotoxins so I would recommend waiting at least a month to see if symptoms start to improve at all. [13,16]

If you want to know if you truly have mycotoxins in your body, you can also try mycotoxin testing method. We will get into this way of testing soon.

Can Mycotoxins Cause Permanent Damage?

Unfortunately, mycotoxins can cause permanent health issues. This is why knowing the symptoms and understanding that almost everyone is exposed to mycotoxins is so important. 

We learned that mycotoxins can stay in the body for up to a year. That’s a long time of toxins constantly growing in your body. The scary thing is, most people don’t even know they are exposed to toxic mold.  From the buildings they work in to the food they consume everyday, mycotoxins can easily get into our bodies.

Mycotoxins that are in food have been affiliated with long term effects like immune deficiency, which can increase the risk of infections and cancer. A review article testing the mycotoxin, aflatoxin, found that repeated exposure of low levels of aflatoxin resulted in immune system dysfunction. [17]

Mycotoxin Testing Methods

You have the symptoms. You suspect it could be mycotoxin poisoning. You decide you need a test to figure it out. There are a few different types of mycotoxin testing methods. We are going to give you the top 2 testing methods if you are wondering if you have mycotoxins in your body.

Mosaic Dx

Mosaic Dx is a testing service that brings clarity to complex health conditions where they provide tools to create personalized treatment protocols.

They use the MycoTOX profile method to test patients with mycotoxin exposure. The MycoTOX profile is a urine based test that can determine 11 different mycotoxins. This includes Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin A, Zearalenone, and Trichothecenes. This test was designed to support clinicians.

This test is a urine test which you can get results back in 1-2 weeks. You can begin this process by speaking with your health care provider about your symptoms. They can recommend a mycotoxin test method and order the test so that it can be shipped right to your door. From there you carefully follow the instructions and then ship the urine sample back to Mosaic Dx. The results can be viewed online in your MosaicDX portal. They recommend scheduling a follow up appointment with your clinician to go over results and find a way to move forward. Prices are around $345.

RealTime Lab

RealTime Lab is similar to Mosaic Dx with it being a urine test also. RealTime Labs mycotoxin urine test panel is known as the most comprehensive test available. It tests 16 of the most common and toxic mycotoxins that are produced by indoor mold. 

RealTime Lab offers an environmental mold and mycotoxin assessment to test your living or work place for the presence of the 10 most common molds as well as the 16 mycotoxins. They offer discounts if follow up tests are purchased.

Different from Mosaic Dx, RealTime Lab offers physician consultations to discuss results. They provide a Patient Navigator to help you understand your results. After understanding the results, there is a provider page on their websites you can search for in your area if you need help with treatment from mycotoxin exposure.

Just like Mosaic Dx, RealTime Lab ships the kit directly to your door where you will take the urine sample and ship it back to them. Results typically come back within 10 business days. The price is $399 or $319 for the environmental test.

After you get your results back and if you discover mycotoxins in your body you can then ask the health provider questions like how long do mycotoxins stay in the body and how long does mold stay in your body. The clinician will help determine the best ways to detox and the process that goes along with it.

Conclusion on Mycotoxins and Toxic Mold

Mycotoxins are toxic substances that can be found in your everyday foods, workplaces and homes. Half of all buildings in the United States have a mold issue, meaning most people are exposed. Many people experience symptoms they think are “normal” like depression, skin issues, gut issues and more. 

Mycotoxins naturally can break down in the body, but this takes months. Some people have a harder time of naturally breaking them down than others. Toxins are eliminated from the intestines, liver and gallbladder and are released through stool and urine. Supplementation as well as avoiding mycotoxin foods and environments exposed can help to minimize your exposure and reverse toxicity. This is important because mycotoxins can lead to permanent health issues like infections and cancer.

Finding out if you have mycotoxin exposure can help you to get rid of your unwanted symptoms for good. Using at home mycotoxin testing methods can help to figure out toxicities you have. From there you can speak with a healthcare provider about how long do mycotoxins stay in the body (for a detox) and how to avoid them moving forward. If you want to figure out if you have mold toxicity of mycotoxins, you can schedule a FREE 15-minute call with one of our dietitians to overcome your symptoms once and for all.


  1. https://www.jillcarnahan.com/2020/02/05/mycotoxins-and-gut-health/
  2.  https://extension.psu.edu/what-are-mycotoxins
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772566922000155
  4. https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/toxic-mold#
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164220/
  6. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mycotoxins#:~:text=The%20maximum%20levels%20for%20mycotoxins,one%20billionth%20of%20a%20kilogram).
  7. https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/41603/15640_aer828h_1_.pdf?v=0#:~:text=The%20standard%20for%20aflatoxins%20is,immature%20animals%20or%20unknown%20destinations.
  8. https://www.immanencehealth.com/8-foods-high-in-mycotoxins
  9. https://ojuslife.com/blogs/blog/all-you-need-to-know-about-mycotoxicosis
  10. https://molekule.com/blogs/all/what-are-mycotoxins
  11. https://daveasprey.com/black-mold-poisoning-test/
  12. https://coem.com/blog/brain-damage-from-mold-exposure/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10849253 
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705282/
  15. https://daveasprey.com/ozone-therapy-benefits-safety/#ref-list
  16. https://goop.com/wellness/health/how-to-identify-hidden-mold-toxicity-and-what-to-do-about-it/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8619365/#B40-ijms-22-12269
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24946038
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444319/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19150053