The secondary metabolites produced by fungi known as mycotoxins, are capable of causing mycotoxicosis (diseases and death) in human and animals. Contamination of feedstuffs as well as food commodities by fungi occurs frequently in a natural manner and is accompanied by the presence of mycotoxins. The occurrence of mycotoxins’ contamination is further stimulated by the on-going global warming as reflected in some findings. This review comprehensively discussed the role of mycotoxins (trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins, ochratoxins, and aflatoxins) toward gut health and gut microbiota. Certainly, mycotoxins cause perturbation in the gut, particularly in the intestinal epithelial. Recent insights have generated an entirely new perspective where there is a bi-directional relationship exists between mycotoxins and gut microbiota, thus suggesting that our gut microbiota might be involved in the development of mycotoxicosis. The bacteria–xenobiotic interplay for the host is highlighted in this review article. It is now well established that a healthy gut microbiota is largely responsible for the overall health of the host. Findings revealed that the gut microbiota is capable of eliminating mycotoxin from the host naturally, provided that the host is healthy with a balance gut microbiota. Moreover, mycotoxins have been demonstrated for modulation of gut microbiota composition, and such alteration in gut microbiota can be observed up to species level in some of the studies. Most, if not all, of the reported effects of mycotoxins, are negative in terms of intestinal health, where beneficial bacteria are eliminated accompanied by an increase of the gut pathogen. The interactions between gut microbiota and mycotoxins have a significant role in the development of mycotoxicosis, particularly hepatocellular carcinoma. Such knowledge potentially drives the development of novel and innovative strategies for the prevention and therapy of mycotoxin contamination and mycotoxicosis.
About the Author
Emily Rachal is co-owner of Texas Mold Inspectors, (or TMI), along with her husband, in the Houston, TX area. After her family’s devastating experience that not only injured her whole family, but also resulted in the loss of their youngest son Malachi, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to now educating and assisting families affected by toxic mold with their state-licensed mold inspection company.
Emily is the founder and owner of MAM. Additionally, she has recently started a non-profit organization in the name of her youngest son, called Malachi’s Message Foundation, to aid in financial support and offer hope to families who feel isolated and are unable to afford all the complex obstacles of overcoming a toxic mold exposure.