Health Vibed Radio EP #2 – Rob Dahl’s Personal Toxic Mould Story (Transcript)

(The Podcast Audio Will Be Here Shortly, Just Doing Some Final Edits 🙂 )

Nick:
Welcome back to Health Vibed radio, this is episode number 2. In this show I'm going to be talking to a lovely guy called Rob Dahl and he's from ModernLifeSurvivalist.com. I chose Rob to be one of the first speakers on the show here because his website and a lot of the stuff he covers is very similar to the kind of things that we discuss on HealthVibed.com. I thought it would be a great idea to have Rob on the call, especially because Rob is very knowledgeable when it comes to the topic of toxic mold and has been a sufferer of this problem himself and thus learned a lot about it and how to overcome it. That's what this call is going to be all about. We're going to be talking about some very interesting things that I personally have never come across until now. Toxic mold is something that a lot of people don't realize but is probably one of the main causes of a lot of chronic illnesses. Chronic fatigue syndrome there is a big link there. We've got some great stuff to go over in this call.

Just to give you a quick run through of the things we're going to be talking about. We're going to be discussing the best ways to test for toxic mold in your environment. We'll be discussing some of the most common symptoms that are associated with toxic mold exposure and some of the supplements you can use to detoxify your body if you are dealing with a toxic mold exposure problem. The interrelation between fungus and bacteria and how that affects our health. Obviously mold is very much related to fungus. At the end of the show we're just going to give you a really good overview of the top resources that you should be looking at if you're someone who wants to learn more about this topic. On that note, I'm going to introduce Rob and we'll get started with the show. Hey, Rob, what's up, nice to have you on the call.

Rob:
Hey, Nick, good to be on the call.

Nick:
Thanks for joining us man, it's great to have you back on the show. For those who don't know, and actually no one would know, at this point, Rob was on the call before. We did another call about diet and intro to Paleo diet mostly and we had a couple of technical issues, so we might have lost that call. It may come back into [crosstalk 00:02:40].

Rob:
It will be back.

Nick:
Rob is working on that himself so that should be good. Okay, well this call, Rob, as you know, is going to be all about toxic mold and the effects on health and how prevalent it is. I think from what I've been researching it's actually a lot more prevalent than I ever realized.

Rob:
Absolutely.

Nick:
Yeah, so firstly, just wondering if you can give us a brief history of how you became so damn knowledgeable about toxic mold and its dangers.

Rob:
It's one of those things where it's not necessarily a good thing to be knowledgeable about mold because usually you find out about it just from living with it, breathing it in, consuming it. That's essentially what happened to me. I lived in, probably my whole life, was exposed to different degrees of mold but it was all in the same house or 2. I've only but lived in 2 houses in my life. I guess I had some time at college where I probably got some mold exposure there too. You get, I don't know, enough exposure to mold, some people get just a little bit and it does them very bad. I'm one of those people but I guess when you're young you're more resilient. Then I guess the people who are more susceptible to mold, I guess we'll get into that later, they hit a wall eventually and that's what happened to me. I guess that wall came around 2012. I can get into more of the details but as I got sick I started to learn a lot to try and heal myself.

Once I identified that it was mold that was a problem, it took a little while to figure that out, but it's just not something that you hear about in conventional medicine, you don't go to the doctor …

Nick:
It's not really mainstream yet, is it? People are starting to know about it a bit more regularly in the mainstream but it's still pretty fringe as a health issue I think.

Rob:
Absolutely it's grossly under covered and under diagnosed by conventional doctors. It's really hard to understand why. Well it really actually makes perfect sense why it's under diagnosed because it causes multi system, as I would say, idiopathic symptoms that are just perfect for prescribing for symptoms. You get problems in your muscles, you get problems in your lungs.

Nick:
I was actually going to ask you, could you quickly just give us a, I've heard brain fog as well, could you give us a quick small list, the most common symptoms that people experience.

Rob:
Well, to quote Dr William Rea, who is the foremost environmental doctor, he is from Dallas, Texas. He's got the Environmental Health Center out there. He says that generally his patients come in, they report muscle fatigue first. This whole chronic fatigue thing that's actually pretty well known in the alternative health circles and treated by naturopaths because it's a chronic illness that's not something you can give a pill to somebody for if you're a conventional doctor. This chronic fatigue thing is definitely related to mold, I think, usually. The muscles go, and muscles are a huge part of your system, because your organs are all smooth muscle, so if that gets compromised then your organs go. I think your gall bladder problems, your acid reflux, any kind of lower bowel disorder, gut disruptions in the gut, because there are so many toxins. Brain fog is definitely, I think, in my opinion related to the gut. Whatever happens in your gut is going to affect your brain, because the toxins get into the gut and into the blood brain barrier usually, so you've got that. The list goes on.

Nick:
Yeah, I'd say it's a pretty massive list if you're actually going to try to cover all the symptoms, which I wouldn't expect you to do. That's helpful anyway thank you.

Rob:
Of course it's asthma too, that's the one that most people can relate to, because they're, oh mold, obviously mold is going to cause breathing problems but to me that's so obvious.

I wanted to cover the ones that were not what people readily associate with mold.

Nick:
Sure, well you're talking to someone here myself who has no understanding or experience in mold. It's actually quite good in a way because, for our listeners who don't have a lot of knowledge about this topic, I've made sure my questions are covering the real basics here as well as some practical tips on what people can do to sort out this problem if they have a mold problem in their environment. Was there anything else you wanted to add there or could I move on to …?

Rob:
As far as symptoms go, I think those are the important ones. I did want to just briefly mention that a lot of the skepticism about mold diagnoses on mainstream medical community's part, and then just your random researcher type person, that's very scientific, that you will tell on the street, whatever, in casual conversation, those guys are always very skeptical because they're, “That sounds like every symptom that's ever been reported.” They're picking up the list is so vast, they're, “This is somebody who is a hypochondriac.” Like Little Mary's character in What about Bob?

Nick:
It's a little bit like I just did a call recently on gut health and leaky gut. It's a little bit like that in that way that there's so many symptoms which could be associated with gut problems. I guess it's a similar thing. It's really hard to know if it is mold. I guess what people need to do is just be aware of mold and make sure it's not in their environment and stay clear of it.

Rob:
Easier said than done.

Nick:
I'm sure, and that was your experience. I actually just wanted to, even before we go on any further, how would you define mold, toxic mold especially? What is it and is there a simple definition? Is there a real obvious difference between toxic mold and other molds? Is there other molds that are okay? Just curious about that.

Rob:
There is definitely more non-toxic molds than toxic molds. There is so much mold in the environment at any given time, it's everywhere. The key to dealing with mold, briefly, is that you're managing mold. You're never going to eliminate mold completely. That's been the human experience since time long past. You don't want to mess around with mold anyway.

Not everybody has the money to constantly test for what molds you have. If you see something growing on a wall, you probably have a moisture problem and you want to take care of the moisture problem. The toxic molds, I guess, that I know off the top of my head are stachybotrys, aspergillus, and then I think the [cladosporins 00:12:24] those sort of things.

There's definitely a few more but the ones that mostly pop up are the stachybotrys [anitus 00:12:35], aspergillus. Those are the ones where if you find it in your mold test, the guys testing it get very concerned and they want you to take further steps.
If you're just doing it like I'm a real fan of just being a practical person and you don't have to have every test. You just need to know that you should never mess with mold. If you see mold or you smell it, you detect it, you've got to take care of it.

Nick:
Yeah, absolutely, we'll get on a bit more to that I think later on in the call, how to detect it, steps to take. That's a good intro I think. I'm not even going to try to spell any of those types of mold that you mentioned there. They sound yeah, they sound like complicated words, let's just say that.

Rob:
Yeah, it's not too hard. Stachybotrys is known as black mold, and that's the one that has become so prominent, at least in the environmental health field and even in the commercial world of mold remediation. It's a buzz word, but aspergillus is a common infection, it's farmer's lung, it comes from aspergillus generally. They walk past these silos full of grain, they get aspergillus in their lungs. I believe I got an aspergillus infection in my lungs. That was part of my progression towards being a moldy is what I call it.

Nick:
Right, and is there other people that identify themselves with that term?

Rob:
Yeah, I've seen people say it. The movie, the David Asprey film that he put together came out last year and we reviewed on my website is …

Nick:
What's the name of that movie just for anyone who doesn't know.

Rob:
It's called Moldy, yeah, Moldy. He's just saying it's about moldy stuff. I don't even know if it was related to that, but yeah, I started calling myself a Moldy after that came out and I've heard other people do it.

Nick:
All right, well I'll move it on. Basically I think the next question was, if it's possible for you to answer this in any way. How prevalent do you think this issue is in modern society? Do you think it's more of a problem now than it was 200 years ago or has it got nothing to do with technology and the evolution we've seen in society over the last couple of 100 years? Is it just a fundamental of environment, I guess?

Rob:
Actually it was covered in the bible, is as old as the problem is. There's a lot of Levitical, I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Torah or anything, the first 5 books of the bible, they like to cover a lot of, you know what I'm saying?

Nick:
I do not, no I'm not very familiar with the bible, unfortunately. Sorry to disappoint all those strict Catholic listeners out there.

Rob:
In Leviticus, the third book of the bible, they cover a lot of purity laws and one of the things they actually talk about is mold in a household and what you're supposed to do under Mosaic, Moses' law, is to just literally drag the house out of town and burn it down, because that's how bad it is.

Nick:
Drag your house out of town. How do you drag a house?

Rob:
Well I would assume it's like these old Jewish towns that I guess they were always migrate so they were able to build huts all the time and take them down, so it was a lot easier to drag it. They were a little more liquid, mobile. They didn't go [inaudible 00:17:26].

Nick:
Like a tent maybe.

Rob:
Yeah, exactly, I don't know, you would imagine that they had some neat way of constructing … Houses now are just so different. To get to your question about whether it's a newfangled problem, sure I think it's more prevalent now because of the way houses are constructed for profit margins. People are always trying to cut corners. We use essentially paper, sheet rock is like paper and I don't know what's in between, clay or whatever. The paper feeds mold like a lot of the materials in modern houses feed mold and it's not at the forefront of the architect or the contractor's mind to take care of, or worry about mold. They just cut corners. There's some people, and this is where I get in to more of my encouraging of traditional practices in architecture, or in all aspects of life. We need to apply that to building too and just look at what they do in a tribe or something, just look how they deal with it. They build a perfect ecosystem for the human body, without even thinking about it or doing any testing or studies.

That's beautiful. We don't do that. We test everything, but it's a complete double standard because it's not like they're going to test every house they build to see if there's moisture problems or mold problems. They just do a really crappy job. I'm sound so Amish but I've become like that because of my experience.

Nick:
That's cool, I can't relate but I can understand why. If I'd gone through your journey with mold, mold would probably really piss me off.

Rob:
It does. Yeah, I hear plenty of evidence that mold becomes more and more of a problem. Buildings aren't getting any newer, the ones that were already poorly made. Then there is new buildings being made, I'm not sure if standards have really gotten better. It's hard to say. You'd have to have a little bit closer of a vantage point or lens on the industry and what's being done. Obviously the green building movement is going to help with that, because they're the Paleo of builders, they're looking into all angles to try and make a perfect house that will sustain itself and last a long time and you'll get your value out of it. You'll save the planet and yourself at the same time. That's the ideal.

Nick:
Right, yeah, hopefully more people start moving in that direction. Thinking about these things before they build and get the architectural designs etc. I'll move it on because we're going on a little bit of a sidetrack there, but it's definitely still highly relevant, especially for those people in the audience who are building a house right now, something you want to consider.

Rob:
Yeah, just live in a teepee or something, man, don't even waste your time. No I'm just kidding.

Nick:
Teepees are cool. All right so I'll roll it along. We talked about the symptoms. I was going to ask you what are some of the common health issues and symptoms, but really it seems like there is no way to know, from the symptoms a lot of the time, if it is mold. You really just have to do a bit of detective work, is that basically what you were saying or what?

Rob:
I really do think that chronic fatigue kind of thing is usually indicative of it. If it's combined with people get a sense, of if it's environmental in nature. If you find that when you're in your house you feel bad again. Some people report going to work and feeling well and then coming back and feeling ill again. Some people just start puking once they get home. That's a good sign that it's mold. I guess the only other thing that it could be would be some kind of endotoxin being produced in your gut that would cause chronic fatigue and constant mysterious illness that just doesn't relent. Actually John, the guy you just interviewed, he told me, we were competing on which illness was worst, we were, which is worse, MCS … Sorry I shouldn't bring that up yet, mold, and other allergies or stuff that's internal like overgrowth in your gut.

He was saying, both are the same because they both make you constantly ill. Yeah, those are basically the 2 possibilities. The only way I would say you'd distinguish it is that it would be environmental. You'd be, wow I feel great when I'm outside but I don't feel so good in this certain place or these old buildings.

Nick:
Right, that makes sense, so quick onset of returning of symptoms and that kind of thing.

Rob:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick:
All right, for someone like myself, because I'm starting to look at this issue and maybe think, because I've been through some health issues recently and I'm starting to think, is there a mold connection? I don't know. I don't know that much about it. I don't know, how can someone get an idea if they have a toxic mold issue in their environment, in their house, apart from seeing it, it being visibly obvious? Is there any tests you can do? Is there any devices or things that can detect mold that you would recommend?

Rob:
Definitely there is so many things you can do to determine if you have mold. In this case, I would say the free market has really served the progression of dealing with this terrible issue. There are tests and there is a whole industry around mold testing. It's just humongous. I really respect those guys. They do tend to exaggerate a little bit. They generally are going to give you good data. You can go with a really expensive mold test and they do air testing. Those they compare the amount of mold outside to the mold indoors and then they see if the amount indoors is greater than outside. Outside of your house versus inside of your house, immediately outside of your house. If it's higher, obviously you have a mold problem. I forget the specific name but I think it's called air testing. Go ahead.

Nick:
No, I was just saying okay because that's really interesting, no please go on.

Rob:
The other one is the ERMI which is Environmental Relative Moldiness Index, I like that. That's the one where they see how much mold has been in your house. Some say that's the gold standard. There's a doctor named Dr Shoemaker he's been my go to guy, and he actually lives in the same state as me, Maryland. He's just the foremost expert. Dr Ritchie Shoemaker.

Dave Asprey has interviewed him. I recommend you check out that podcast. He's always pushing ERMIs. He even gives you his preferred ERMI level. It's a scale of 1 to 40 or something and they take toxins off the floor or in your HVAC. They'll take it on different surfaces. I say toxins, I mean dust samples. They measure the amount of toxins to determine how much mold has been there. What you really are going for is a 2.0 but most people are pretty good in, I think it's 8 to 15 range, safe.

Nick:
Yeah, so I imagine it depends highly on the person and their genetics and their immune system and all these different factors come into play as to how much mold they can handle without it affecting them.

Rob:
Right, there's a level for people who are trying to recover, but there is a recommended level for people who are susceptible but never really were overexposed. Then there's a level that's for any normal person. Please remind me to explain exactly what it is that make some more susceptible. I'll get into that in detail later.

Nick:
I think I had a question there about genetics. Let me just make a note, I'll definitely ask you about that at the end.

Rob:
Yeah, definitely. Getting back to your question. I'm a big fan of the cheapest way of dealing with things. Those tests will run you a couple of hundred bucks. To start, you want to go through visually and do an inspection. Maybe have a friend who is allergic to mold come by your house and do a sniff test. You really can't beat the sniff test. Then you look for moisture, measure humidity in your house and look for leaks in your house as they're usually the cause. Check your plumbing.

Nick:
Yeah, so high moisture areas.

Rob:
Then really importantly, real quick, a test that you can do that's cheap. I don't know if you guys have Home Depot in Australia, but …

Nick:
Yeah, we have similar, I know what it is.

Rob:
You go to Home Depot or whatever and you get a mold test for 30 bucks, I think it might be even less. You send it in and they do the test … Leave it open, follow the instructions on the mold test. This is how I determined there was mold in the house that made me sick, put it up on the cabinet where I saw some mold spots on the ceiling, never thought they were really any big deal but sure enough, I got some growth on that plate that was visible. I sent it in for testing and it was positive for a few molds. I can't remember what they were. I think the only toxic one was cladosporium, but I'm not convinced that's all we had. I saw plenty of mold in the basement over the years I lived there.

Nick:
Yeah, and one is enough really to get you thinking about it.

Rob:
If you have 1 strain of mold, you probably have a good amount of different strains. That's just how these moist areas go.

Nick:
I guess it's like a garden, you know you're not going to have just one species of plant in a garden, that would be quite weird to see that.

Rob:
Yeah, that's exactly what it's like. Bacteria grows too, but that's not the main concern when it comes to air quality. You generally are getting these molds and they have a system of spores. They generate spores, they travel quickly and readily and they like humans. They feed on dust, and one of the main ingredients for moldy house, all you need is moisture, food and a certain temperature. Room temperature is generally mold friendly so that's not like they're going fix it like that. The reason dust is a food for mold is because it's actually human skin. Mold really likes humans, it wants to colonize you.

Nick:
That's nice.

Rob:
It's a nice thought right?

Nick:
Lovely, yeah, you've covered this a little bit by saying moist areas, but …

Rob:
You want to know specifics.

Nick:
Is there common areas, common problem areas within a household or office that typically you would want to check for mold?

Rob:
If you have a basement, you have moisture issues that you're not probably addressing. Anyone with a basement needs to address humidity in the basement. Everyone needs to become an expert about that in order to really survive. Mold is going to kick your butt if you're not addressing it in some way. Even more so if you're susceptible. Basements are the biggest one. You want to make sure your humidity is between, I'm a big fan of not overdoing it on dehumidifying, but you want to have 40 to 50% humidity. I think it starts to grow around 55 last time I looked it up. In summer you get a lot of swells of humidity that don't really last long so I wouldn't obsess over it because I'm not a big fan of running that dehumidifier too much, it's harsh on the air and on your lungs and on the skin. You don't want to be riding above 60 in your house.

In other words anywhere in your house you've got to watch humidity. That could be anywhere, especially the basement. Right now my basement is probably 70% humidity and I don't really spend time down there but it's a problem that needs to be addressed. I don't like to do it with dehumidifiers, so I'm planing on using, you can just use air conditioners, that's a little secret. Air conditioners are a lot easier on the system. If you have an HVAC, a central air conditioner, that's taking care of most of your humidity problems. That's the big secret to mold is do not let your central air turn off if you live in a humid environment.

Nick:
Yeah, that's a good tip, because I imagine the air conditioners that are not specifically for mold or humidity are … Sorry, not dehumidifiers, are much cheaper, would that be right?

Rob:
Every air conditioner is a dehumidifier, so that's how they work. Yeah, and they just happen to have the nice added feature of cooling the air as it dehumidifies. When you buy a dehumidifier, you're only getting dehumidification, which is good, because it usually is a bit more efficient. A central air conditioner is like 12 dehumidifiers in a way. It's just that powerful. You really want to keep that thing going if you live in a humid area. The ideal actually is to live in a place where it's not too humid and I would say not to dry either. I just think dry air isn't very good for you, but I know people have found perfect environments, like the Selfhacked guy, Joe Cohen, he lives in Cambria, California. He said central air is not actually very healthy for you so you really want to live somewhere where you don't need air conditioner at all and you don't need heat at all in winter. If you have to live in a temperate climate, like most of us civilized people, you have to run that central air. It's okay, it's not the worst thing in the world.

Nick:
Did he move there because he was looking for that perfect balance?

Rob:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick:
Okay right.

Rob:
He hacked it.

Nick:
I remember he was in New York before that, I'm pretty sure.

Rob:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick:
I remember Jack Kruse telling him off for being in New York and [EMS 00:36:43] and all that.

Rob:
He laid it down for him. I remember that too. I saw that episode. It was one of the few episodes that I saw because I was interested in Jack Kruse.

Nick:
It's a good call. It was a good intro to Jack's work I think.

Rob:
Definitely. I would really love to live there. I've been actually seriously thinking of moving there just to have it all covered with environment and just not have to worry about it. As it stands, if you're starting from a house that's had moisture issues in the past, or you're starting from a house that's too new or has had a lot of new items come in and chemicals are there or paint or renovations recently, which luckily my house hasn't had a lot of renovation. There has been moisture issues in this house that was my bug out from my last house. It's got mold in the basement and I'm actually trying to remediate it which you're not supposed to do if you're allergic to mold but sometimes you have no choice because you've just got to bite the bullet and do it.

Nick:
Would you say you are personally allergic to mold?

Rob:
Allergies are a red herring when it comes to mold. If you go to an ENT you get tests and yeah, sure you'll find allergies to mold. In my opinion mold is both an allergy and an allergy inducer. It emits toxins that are antibiotics, and what do antibiotics do? They disrupt the gut. What is the gut for? Basically it keeps toxins and …

Nick:
Big part of your immune system, yeah.

Rob:
It's the gatekeeper for bacteria and toxins and mold. If you're allergic to mold, it's probably because you were susceptible in the first place because you were weak in your gut area, but that could have been caused by mold. Then that lets more mold in because you now have less immunity to it because you don't have anything in that epithelial lining, you don't have the bacteria there to help keep the gates. That's the general theory of leaky gut. I'm sure you've covered on your website a lot.

Nick:
Yeah, intestinal permeability was one of my main focus areas for a while there. Now I put it in its place of a larger picture. That's why it's fascinating learning about all these things like mold exposure and yeah.

Rob:
I personally believe that mold is maybe one of the worst offenders of the gut. You've got antibiotics then you've mold. Well, they're the same thing, because antibiotics are generally mold toxins. Any one is going not have a negative effect. I think those who are susceptible to mold are people who have had a lot of courses of antibiotics in their life.

That was me, I had probably a dozen as a young baby and they just kept piling them on throughout the rest of my life. They identified early on that I couldn't take the mold based ones. I couldn't deal with the penicillin type ones. There were some other ones I was intolerant to. Then I honed in on one that was Arithromycin, or at least it was the synthetic one, the Azithromycin.

Nick:
That's actually what I took, I think I took it as a gut antibiotic to try to clear out some bad bacteria.

Rob:
Yeah, it's actually a decent one, because it never really gave me problems, it always cleared up any infection I ever had. Always made me feel like a million bucks. I'm not recommending anyone take antibiotics, just for any holistic purposes, but for some reason, even within the last 3 years, since I have learned about the evils of antibiotics, I have taken that, because I had strep throat once. It made me feel so good.

Nick:
That's interesting, maybe you should start taking it all the time.

Rob:
I live on a [Z-pack 00:41:43] every week, that would be hilarious.

Nick:
Don't do it, don't leave this call and go and order 100s of boxes of Arithromycin, we don't want to see that.

Rob:
John Brisson actually he did some research on that and he did a little homework for me after I said how well I felt, because I consulted with him as a client.

Nick:
He's a very knowledgeable guy, from my call, I'm very impressed, he seems like he has more knowledge than some of the doctors that I've spoken to, that's for sure.

Rob:
I told him, I trust him more than my doctor. He just brushed it off. Yeah, because he was just sharing some information from a [troll 00:42:43] that was saying, “Anyone who is reading this guys' posts on this forum needs to go and ask their doctor about any of this advice.” I was, “I trust you more than my doctor.” Whenever I have an infection or something, he's the guy that will help keep you out of the emergency room and he'll tell you when you need to go to the emergency room. He's, “If you have appendicitis you need to go.” Stuff like that.

Nick:
Yeah, it's about putting medical, well the allopathic medicine system or the western medicine system in its place. It's not a bad thing but it needs to be kept in its place and used at the right times. It definitely has its place. We all need the emergency room sometimes, well many people do, so it's definitely good to have that system, that's for sure.

Rob:
I think that part of the premise of Modern Life Survivalist is you need to learn survival …

Nick:
Plug alerts.

Rob:
You need to learn how to survive all areas. Navigating the toxic landscape sometimes it involves some bacteria, sure allopathic medicine likes to fear monger, and sometimes it involves a little bit of virus action. If you didn't get your vaccines, or if they haven't come up with a vaccine for it or whatever, they think they have magical powers to stop all infections with their wizardry.

Nick:
Unfortunately it's not the case.

Rob:
No, our immune systems are in the gut, we need to do that through nutrition, but because we weren't all given a great start, maybe we weren't breastfed or we were not vaginal birth, and so many other things that assist in building a rock solid wall of bacteria and epithelial cells to stop the toxins from getting in to your blood stream and thus causing allergies and infections. If you don't have that, then sometimes yeah, you've got to rely on the system, because that's how the system was built. It's a perfect system to perpetuate continually going back to the doctor.

Nick:
Yes, well that could be the topic of many further podcasts. Just to stick a little bit onto the mold thing. We talked about, someone suspects there could be toxic mold, you talked about the different tests they could use, so that's been covered. Is there any devices or products or information or anything, resources, that you would suggest for preventing toxic mold? We're talking about more prevention now instead of testing and finding that we do have toxic mold in the environment. Is prevention as simple as just keeping your air not too humid? Leaving the window open after you've showered, for example, in your bathroom, things like that. Is it really quite simple. I guess that you're going to say it depends on your environment and it depends how much humidity is in your environment without taking any other precautions. If you live in a really high humidity area, then I guess you might have to get some device to keep down the humidity, like an HVAC filter or something like that. That would be my guess but what's your thoughts on that?

Rob:
First of all, let me clarify, a HVAC itself is the dehumidifier, just by its mechanism of cooling. Any HVAC is going to dehumidify. That's the easiest way to keep it down is to keep that central air on. If you don't have central air you're going to need maybe those dehumidifiers like we talked about. A quick way to test for the humidity …

Nick:
Sorry, Rob, I just wanted to ask you, because some people wouldn't know, like myself, when you say, central aircon, is that basically the inbuilt air conditioning system in a house, for example?

Rob:
There's a lot of different kinds of air, but central air is, yeah, generically that sounds about right. It sounds like you know what I'm saying, the one that's controlled by your thermostat. I guess thermostat is more of a heater, but HVAC, what does HVAC stand for? Do you mind if I look that up real quick?

Nick:
Something air conditioning obviously. Well I would assume.

Rob:
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It's basically the solution to modern construction. They know you do need air to breathe and you do need it to be conditioned because it doesn't get constant refreshing by outdoor air, like in old construction where you use the environment. You've got HVAC to take care of those three things, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Generally people have them, but some houses don't. That's actually a nice situation too because you don't have that story about, you can just deal with each room on its own. If you're not spending time in a room, in a weird way, this is in a non-HVAC scenario, in a weird way, if you're not spending time in a room, you don't generally see too much mold accumulation because there is no dust in the room to build up mold, assuming that no one lived in there before. You've got to have cleaned it before you left it alone.

You know how people tend to put cloths over things in those old houses. There is reasons for all that stuff. It prevents dust and mold build up in houses that aren't getting ventilation it keeps the stuff from getting moldy.

Nick:
I thought it was just something that old people did.

Rob:
They just did it [crosstalk 00:50:08]..

Nick:
Just in a previous generation that's just what people did for no reason. It's just …

Rob:
They like to camouflage the ghost that lives in the room so that there's a really creepy potential for a movie or something. I got great tips for you on this stuff, so let me continue on this. Products, see this is the section where I really do plugging as you were saying before, but it's not my products, it's just people that aren't paying me, but they should be paying me to talk about their products. The latest thing I discovered, if you discover mold on a surface, particularly surfaces that might be a little porous, concrete or wood or something. It just seems like you're not going to be able to get mold out of it. You can do this product called Concrobium, C-O-N-C-R-O-B-I-U-M. It is the least offensive anti-mold product I've ever used. It doesn't really leave a smell at all. People who have chemical sensitivities, which is common after exposure to mold because of the suppressed immune system or the overactive immune system I should say, this product doesn't offend those who have chemical sensitivities.

Nick:
Sorry to ask, but what form is this product in?

Rob:
It's a spray. It was designed by very knowledgeable scientists on the metabolic processes of mold. I think it's adenosine triphosphate, no it's ADP, the other one. ATP is the power house. Yeah.

Nick:
Could you just repeat the name of it for our listeners?

Rob:
Yeah, Concrobium, C-O-N-C-R-O-B-I-U-M. It's really good. You can also get a fogger machine from home depot, you can rent them, and you can just bomb your house with it, insecticide and if you haven't taken care of the moisture problems, it's pointless because it will all grow back anyway, no matter how much Concrobium you use. If you started to take care of moisture problems, it's very appropriate and it doesn't really, like I said in the other podcast, it doesn't piss off the mold. It doesn't cause the mold to release too many toxins. From what I know. It seems to be a very benign treatment. It kills it but it doesn't cause spores to be released and further toxins in the process. That's a really nice hack for mold.

Nick:
Excellent, that's really valuable, thanks for sharing that, man. Is there anything else along that line that you would recommend or just that one?

Rob:
Some other things that you need are, a lot of your preparation of food, you need to watch for developing moisture. You should clean your coffee pot every day and I use a lot of hydrogen peroxide. That's very good for cleaning surface of food that you make, especially coffee. Vinegar is pretty good. We used vinegar on our front porch, which was cement.

It really took care of some mold. I'm not sure if it fully kills it, you might want to do a little research on it, there's a lot of debate on what actually kills mold, but I don't ever recommend bleach. It's really hard on your system and it doesn't actually kill mold, from the research I've done. Household products though, that are really good in my opinion, are vinegar and peroxide.

Nick:
That would be a white vinegar.

Rob:
White vinegar is great. Obviously if you're into apple cider vinegar, I'm pretty sure it's good for surface stuff. I've never done that myself. I usually use white. Then ammonia is actually not too bad, believe it or not. I wouldn't mix these things without doing research though. Always research. Ammonia and bleach I think is totally deadly so don't ever mess with that. Ammonia is actually pretty good. It smells awful when you use it but within 20 minutes, just turn on the ventilation fan, but speaking of ventilation fans, those are really good for dealing with …

Nick:
Just to clarify Rob, you're talking about cleaning surfaces in your food preparation area is that right? To de-mold them.

Rob:
Specifically I was saying that peroxide that's good for that. It's just a good solution for anything to do with, yeah, your pots and pans and obviously your counters and stuff, I like peroxide. I don't like peroxide for use on anything cloth, unless you're washing it in the washing machine. If you're just spraying it on cloth, that's a bad idea because it has a lot of moisture in it. It's cut with 97% water. It's only 3% peroxide. You have to use these things for the specific uses and I'm just trying to give you a little bit of a glimpse of some of the things you can do with these things.

Nick:
Yeah, sure I appreciate that. A question I actually have from my personal life and this is very related, is what about cleaning vegetables for example, cleaning fruit and vegetables? Is there a way to, I'm not sure how much mold fruits and vegetables have, but I know for example when I get cabbage, sorry, sometimes when I get cauliflower I see mold visibly on the cauliflower. It's a pretty fresh, I'm not buying garbage products I'm buying generally a fresh product, it's just there might be a little bit of mold on there. In that case I usually rinse my vegetables in a couple of liters of water with a couple of splashes of vinegar, apple cider vinegar, would that be helpful or is that completely pointless? Is there anything you could say about cleaning fruit and vegetables to prevent or get rid of any mold that is on there.

Rob:
Actually the cauliflower issue is not usually mold. I think it's just from oxidation on the cauliflower. When you see it on that particular vegetable I'm not too concerned about it, you can just cut it away and you're good. A lot of issues on vegetables, and you should look up each one if you're concerned, but generally there is ones where you can just cut away, that's, I guess the phrase I would use for it. There's cut away mold and then there's kinds that infect the whole fruit or vegetable. I have been having a lot of problems with sweet potatoes having mold because I think we're coming around the basically way out of season right before it's about to be fall up here, on the other side of the equator.

That's when our harvest time is.

Nick:
No worries mate.

Rob:
You guys, in fall do you do pumpkins and harvest and all that fun stuff? Your fall I mean.

Nick:
Yeah, I guess, grow them or …?

Rob:
A lot of our traditions are built around harvest time and do you guys do all that fun stuff like festivities?

Nick:
Rob is saying, do you guys, because I'm from Australia, by the way, at least that I'm aware, and I live in Australia so he's referencing that. I don't think we have any crazy different traditions. I don't know if maybe we have less traditions around seasonal changes than you folks there in the US but yeah, I'm really not the person to ask.

Rob:
Do you pay attention to the seasons on groceries and stuff? Do you guys have a specific fall vegetables and things like that or fall root vegetables?

Nick:
Yeah, sure. The thing is, everything is shipped from everywhere these days, so it's lost that. Yeah, I don't want to get too sidetracked but it's a bit of a shame actually that we have so much availability that we've lost the connection with the seasons and the different food.

Rob:
Yeah, sorry to sidetrack you.

Nick:
No that's fine.

Rob:
We're talking about root vegetables, is a big American thing, we're really into our turnips and our rutabagas and our sweet potatoes and carrots and all that fun stuff. That's the moldy potential is pretty big in some of these things. You want to really pay attention if you have mold sensitivities. Mold is not great for anybody, but yeah. For a beginner who is doing the dietary approach for mold, I guess you had asked about cleaning vegetables. I would just say, be vigilant about how old they are and what they look like, and smell them. That's what I do. I just try not to buy older vegetables and eat them.

Nick:
No I'm really talking about minute bits of mold in an otherwise moldless vegetable. For example, as I said, that's interesting about what you said about the cauliflower. Another example is like cabbage. I find it can look a bit funny sometimes. Maybe it's not mold, maybe it's just the way it looks naturally, but I quite often will wash and clean my cabbage in, as I said, a bit of vinegar water, just in case. No, I typically don't eat moldy vegetables, or [crosstalk 01:02:14].

Rob:
I think vinegar is a good bet.

Nick:
Yeah, it's a great all round product. Great for cleaning as well obviously.

Rob:
Definitely, but the diet side of mold is something I'm really interested in. That's how I got involved with the Bulletproof diet, because it is a specifically low mycotoxin diet, mycotoxins being the toxins produced by molds. He bases his rankings of food, it's this intricate system of ranking. You know very well, I'm sure, Nick, you stay on the green side on the Bulletproof diet and you're good. You can eat as much as you want. That's how I do it.

Nick:
Yeah, I tweaked it and adjusted it to my own diet already but yeah, I take note of his warning, I basically just try to stay in the green, as you say.

Rob:
He specifically warns against, and there is a few sources, there were a few people who have covered mold in food. It wasn't just Dave, but Dave has extensively emphasized it because of his own personal sensitivities. He warns against moldy coffee, which is basically most coffees sadly, because they're not regulated properly. I believe in the Bulletproof coffee thing 100% and I will plug his coffee all day, because I drink it and it's the only coffee I can drink.

Nick:
That was a good plug I got to say.

Rob:
Thank you. He talks about this heinous lack of regulation of it. He's right in saying that most people think that when they get jitters from coffee it's from the caffeine, but it's not, it's actually from the mold. I believe that 100% because I've experienced it from other moldy foods. The other ones are cured meats, raisins, peanuts, corn, those are the main ones you want to avoid. Yeah, anything like peanut butter is peanut related, but legumes.

Nick:
That's a shame, I love peanut butter. I don't eat it anymore, but yeah, it's a shame.

Rob:
Go for the almond butter.

Nick:
Yeah, absolutely. All right I think that was a good coverage, there's only so much you can say when it comes to mold prevention in the kitchen I think a lot of it is just common sense and just making sure you're keeping your produce fresh.

Rob:
Actually today I was going to say, I told you about this, today I had a big argument with my housemates about mold prevention in the kitchen. One thing you should never do is leave freshly picked tomatoes outside for 3 days in the rain and the sun and all that. It doesn't really balance out. If your vegetables are left outside and rained on, they're pretty susceptible. Actually, I guess tomatoes are a fruit, sorry, especially fruits, you don't want to leave those outside. It is more common a problem than you might think. You might get a stomachache after a meal or something and it could be just because of mold, because you weren't vigilant enough about whether that was an old piece of fruit. People think they're immortal, the fact is you're vulnerable to that stuff. It can have a really bad effect, definitely.

Nick:
That sounds like a pretty good idea not to do that. I would think mainly common sense, but then again some people have different ideas about how they store their food I guess.

Rob:
Yeah there is very specific rules about food storage as far as outside of the fridge, inside the fridge and inside the freezer. We learn that being parents, with breast milk, even with bacterial issues, 6 hours outside the fridge, 6 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer. That's how fruit basically works it has the similar tiers depending on where you're leaving it. There's ways of storing things. These are all traditional concepts that people do not even think about nowadays because they eat processed food that is in a box all their life. Once you start to actually eat real food, you need to learn all these rules.

Nick:
Hopefully most people listening to this call are not eating a lot of prepackaged food, because that's pretty fundamental. We talked about that a bit on the other call, which hopefully will also be posted up on Health Vibed radio at some point. Was there anything else you wanted to add to that or was that …? Rob, you there?

Rob:
Sorry about that, I was following the mute protocol.

Nick:
Oh no worries, just asking if there was anythign else you wanted to add to that part of it?

Rob:
Yeah, just emphasize, cannot emphasize enough that you've got to really learn your stuff and it's very difficult and I feel for you if you haven't learned that stuff, but it's a day-to-day thing for me. Mold doesn't just grow on cheese that's all I'm saying.

Nick:
All right, well you mentioned before, genetics and make sure you ask about that. That is my next question, actually not my next question, the question after that, sorry. I've got 1 more quick question before we get onto that, and we're coming to the end of the call. Is there any ways of supplementing that can build our body's ability to detoxify from mold exposure? Specific supplements that increase that ability or is it just generally keeping your immune system healthy?

Rob:
Well it's complicated, but yeah, there is some very specific supplements for mold, I guess prevention from succumbing to mold. I would say I've succumbed to mold and there is those who might easily succumb to it and they are fortunate enough to not have been exposed to it to any great extent. Bacteria is your biggest defense against mold. It's an eternal struggle for the ages of between fungus and bacteria. They're diametrically opposed in the way that they live. They don't really like each other.

Nick:
They're sworn enemies basically of the, I was going to say the microbacterial world but more the yeah, just the … Yeah go ahead.

Rob:
It's a downright spiritual struggle and you probably could write books about it but I won't get into that. It's pretty incredible how effective probiotics can be against mold. The trick is finding an effective probiotic. I'm very reluctant to recommend probiotics, because they seem to be pretty inconsistent, even the best ones, even the ones that cost an arm and a leg. I've had some luck. There were times I was sleeping on a mattress that had become moldy, unknowingly. This was post my large exposure to mold. I just had spilled water on this mattress that I was leaving on the floor and not checking underneath often enough. I was having really insomnia. That's another symptom you can add to that list of mold symptoms. I think you and I had talked about [myoclonus 01:12:25].

Nick:
Yes we did yeah.

Rob:
That's the thing where you're descending into a deep sleep or you're trying to fall asleep and as you fall asleep suddenly you snap awake. That's myoclonus and I was having a lot of that. The only thing that fixed it was Mercola probiotics. That was basically your lactobacillus and bifidobacteria combination. Had a strain that was of lactobacillus acidophilus, which is the most common probiotic. It was just the specific formulation of it was a little more ready. It takes better hold in the gut. A lot of probiotics they think just help for a while and then just pass through. They don't really colonize. They try to find sporoforming forms of these guys to do a little bit more damage, good damage, while they're down there.

I did that, and I also took Chlorella. Chlorella is good at binding toxins, so you can bind whatever mycotoxins might be in the gut and those mycotoxins are specifically being released by yeast that has been encouraged to grow in the gut by exposure to mold outside of you. They resonate and work together, all kinds of molds and yeast. If you live in mold you generally get yeast overgrowth. Chlorella will help bind these toxins in the gut to stop the offending mold from overgrowing, sorry the offending yeast in the gut it would be, but there are similar toxins I guess, down there. The concept is to bind toxins. Other things that bind toxins are activated charcoal, bentonite which I've never tried but I want to, and zeolite.

Nick:
Bentonite clay, yeah.

Rob:
Yeah. Then you can also get a prescription drug that Dr Shoemaker, that was his foray into mold treatment. He figured out how to bind biotoxins by prescribing Welchol or Cholestryamine, which is a cholesterol lowering drug that just happens to bind bile and any toxins that are in the bile. I took this Cholestryamine actually I took Welchol, sorry, they were similar drugs but Welchol is a little easier on the gut, supposedly and I never tried the other one. Welchol, they say it's even almost as powerful as activated charcoal or I'm sorry a lot more powerful than activated charcoal. It seemed to really clear out a lot of the brain fog and weakness and gall bladder issues I was experiencing from my residual mold exposure.

Nick:
Can you repeat the name of that again, Rob?

Rob:
That's Welchol and it's pretty easy to get at your …

Nick:
How do you spell that?

Rob:
W-E-L-C-H-O-L. It's pretty easy to get your doctor to prescribe it, because it's a cholesterol lowering drug and all doctors think that everybody has too high cholesterol. You don't want to lower your cholesterol really but it's okay to do it for a week or 2 whatever it takes. What I did was …

Nick:
Temporary detox drug basically.

Rob:
Yeah, it would be just, I think I took it for 2 or 3 weeks. The Shoemaker protocol is a little different than how it's prescribed. I think you titrate up to 3 a day. You start with 1, do it for a week, something like that, and then you double it for another week. Then you get to 3 a day for a couple of weeks. Then you come back down and then you're done.

It's such a benign treatment, it would never really cause any complications, but it's expensive, so you might want to try the cheaper things like activated charcoal and stuff first. Arguably Bulletproof activated charcoal has some pretty massive surface areas of binding potential if you follow all that. Do you know about the surface area?

Nick:
I don't actually. I've got a little bit of experience with activated charcoal, I've used it a little bit but really not much because to be honest it was just another supplement and I wanted to limit what I was taking and I didn't see any amazing benefit from taking it when I did.

Rob:
That's very wise actually, Nick, and that's part of my recommendations on my site. We barely get into supplements. I usually talk about 1 supplement and what it specifically helps with. People tend to get a little too supplement crazy in this field, this culture, whatever, this thing that we do, you and I. You're right to just do things that have a direct effect. Since you've talked about brain fog, activated charcoal, that is brain fog, it's the nemesis of brain fog. It will always take care of brain fog.

Nick:
Interesting you say that, you're the second person to tell me this, and that's actually why I got the charcoal but I didn't really notice anything. It depends how long you're supposed to use it because I probably only tried it for a few days but I was told that you take this stuff and bam, brain fog severely diminished straight away. I'm pretty sure Dave Asprey says that as well in one of his videos. It's just really fast acting, but that's not what I saw. What do you think?

Rob:
I think that sometimes with supplements it's about timing and it's hard for people to determine the best timing. I had to play with activated charcoal a lot, even when I first took it. When I was really sick I still had acid reflux, it used to come right back up. Some people say it works for their reflux. For me sometimes when I have the reflux it just aggravates it a little bit. I'm not exactly sure why, and I think we will never know unless we can measure these things in real time. You're playing a lot of guessing games.

Nick:
That's probably one of the biggest challenges when it comes to the whole, bio-hacking thing really. It's just knowing your inputs and which inputs are affecting you. There's so many inputs. This is life, and there's so many inputs you cannot control, so how can you measure what you can't control? It's hard. It's possible to some degree but you can't measure everything. I think ultimately what I realized is, hey if I get closer to where I want to be, which is optimal health, then something that I've been doing recently has helped, probably. I don't actually know, maybe it just cleared up by itself, but likely that some input that I've been controlling that I've been doing recently has positively impacted me. If I'm trying 5 new things, like I'm meditating more, I'm sleeping better, I'm trying various supplements, and suddenly I start to feel better then I'm just going to keep doing those things. Keep doing all of them, even though I don't know which one actually helped me. I think that's all you can really do.

Rob:
It's not bad to pile on, I'm not a fan of 30 things but maybe 5 to 10 things that you've decided would be good, and that are affordable. Obviously meditation is free so you're not going to worry about the price of that. Then if something goes wrong, you take 1 away that you suspect is not beneficial and you see if it made it better or worse. Some people do it the reverse way, they don't add 1 at a time, they shotgun blast and they do 5 treatments and then they take 1 away at a time and see, better or worse?

Nick:
Yeah, I think that has value as well. Especially how it depends on your symptoms and frankly how much suffering you're going through. If you're going through something really hard and say, every day is a complete nightmare then I cannot blame people in that situation who want to try everything at once, but you have to find a balance, I think that's the point.

Rob:
Let me finish quickly my supplement list, and it's going to be brief because I really try to keep it light and I really have spent a lot of time finding what really helps for mold.

Nick:
Sure, so just before you do, is that supplement specific to detoxing for mold?

Rob:
Yeah, those are good for the endotoxins too, so if you get food poisoning they work for that. Those are all the binding ones I recommend. I think I left out Spirulina, but that's essentially the same thing as Chlorella. You've got, that's the category right there of toxin binding supplements.

Nick:
Toxin binders, yeah that's right.

Rob:
Toxin binders are huge for mold and that you can start any time. Then I said probiotics. Another probiotic that's good that I've had luck with, but sometimes you get bad batches. I've written articles about this, me and John Brisson have traded articles on this, Prescript-Assist. He would never recommend it, but I would give it a try because it really did save my life, I would say. I was living outside because I was so allergic to everything. I took a whole bottle of it within, I don't know how big those bottles are, but after my first bottle I was able to move back inside.

Nick:
I've taken it and I've got some right here actually. I believe there is a 60 caps and a 90 caps bottle, pretty sure.

Rob:
Within a week, I guess I took about 20 caps in a week or something, I got so much better, but I got intolerant to it and some people have suggested it was a bad batch. I do want to add that caveat, if it doesn't work, maybe give it another try in a month or something and a good batch will come around. It works for you, though?

Nick:
I'm not sure actually to be honest. I think probiotics are one of those things, it's very, like all supplements, very hard to quantify if it's actually working but I think probiotics are actually harder than most supplements to know if they're working, because I think the gut system is so slow to change. That's my theory, so basically I didn't notice any big shifts or anything from taking it.

Rob:
Sometimes it really kicks serious butt. If you read the reviews on Amazon, I mean a lot of reviews, not just enough for them to lie or pay someone to review it. There's a lot of people getting healed from that, so I do recommend people try it if they're desperate. Probiotics you should take, in my opinion, are Garden of Life. They have saccharomyces boulardi, which is a beneficial yeast. You don't want to mess with any yeasts when you're dealing with mold and you're susceptible. You really don't, it's a bad idea. Also try not to mix, there is this other category of supplements people take which are moldicidal or yeast killing supplements, like I guess people take oregano extract, they pour grapefruit seed down their gut. They pour tons of garlic. They take tons of ginger. I'm not a fan of that stuff. I think it's way too hard on the gut and it kills a lot of good bacteria so I'm not a big fan of that. You definitely don't want to be taking probiotics and those moldicidal supplements at the same time, because it will be like biological warfare in your gut. You don't want to mess with that.

Then I think those are the main …Oh, anti-inflammatory, this is my favorite one. I have had a really great time with krill oil. It's an extremely effective omega 3 supplement that counterbalances the omega 6s you might have built up but it just transmits a signal to your body to lower inflammation and just stop these inflammatory processes, which you definitely will be having if you've had mold exposure, because that's what happens, it cascades into this citokine storm, this is what they call it. I guess citokines are these inflammatory compounds that are released in the inflammatory process, so it just calms the storm. Whenever I get acid reflux, actually I take it every night right now because I've been getting acid reflux, all I have to do is take krill oil and I'm good.

I want to recommend 1 last thing and it's my secret weapon and it works for specifically, I think, a problem a lot of people experience when they get mold exposure, especially those with this genetic issue we're going to talk about. What happens is you build up these toxins and they won't get removed from the bile. Through that detox pathway of your liver, your biliary ducts and your gall bladder. Every time you eat fat it's supposed to squeeze, but a lot of people have this problem where they eat fat and some people will suddenly have to go to the emergency room because they cannot digest all this fat they ate, because their gall bladder isn't squeezing. I was having this problem. I didn't get totally sick, I just got the pain in my side, and you get this stabbing feeling in your back because of the pressure in your liver, because actually your liver is mostly in your back. People don't know that, but you know it very well if you have this problem.

I started looking up things that would cause the gall bladder to squeeze. Sure enough it's something that in traditional diets people are covered. They take bitters, Swedish bitters is one thing you can do. This never really worked for me because they were based in alcohol. That's a problem if you have this genetic disorder we'll talk about but the thing that worked for me was artichoke extract. That stuff, the one I use, is from Nature's Way. It's cut with some blessed thistle, or milk thistle, which is also a very powerful liver detox herb. That on its own is actually pretty good but in combination, this particular supplement, artichoke extract and milk thistle, it takes care of the problem completely. It saved my gall bladder.

I almost lost my gall bladder because I had 18% ejection, which is basically not emitting bile at all. Actually even right now I'm dependent on it because for some reason after my dinner meal I get that gall bladder pain right now. I've been getting a little bit of mold exposure from my basement, so I'm thinking that's why I've just got a bit of a sluggish toxic buildup I'm dealing with. I cannot recommend it enough. If you have gall stones though you probably shouldn't take it because it will just cause those gall stones to mobilize and they might rend the tissue there. You might want to do a gall bladder cleanse. I'm not very knowledgeable on gall bladder cleanses, because I never had the stones, but the sludge is what they call it when it's really sluggish. That can be taken care of by this particular supplement. In combination with that krill oil for the inflammation it's just like the ultimate supplement, I think.

Nick:
Those 2 have been the most impactful you would say for your mold caused issues?

Rob:
Yeah, I think they're just so important for that inflammation presentation. It helps so much, and the digestion particularly.

Nick:
Awesome, thanks for that, Rob. I know your time is precious here and you want to wind down, so just wanted to, last question really is from what I understand there is a genetic connection in terms of one's ability to detoxify toxic mold and you've mentioned this. Can you talk about that and give an idea how someone would find out more about their personal genetics and if they have a mold problem in their genetics, lack of mold immunity? I'm assuming it would start with something like 23andMe.com genetic testing or something like that.

Rob:
Yeah, that's about what you do. Get your 23andMe. You can actually have John Brisson look at it if you can't interpret the results. He's speaking of plugs, man I've given him a lot of plugs tonight. He'll look at it and he'll be, hmm, here is this ALBH2 and then there's another one. I researched it a lot but I know there's 2 copies of it for whatever reason, that's how genes work, there's usually a couple of things that do similar functions. A lot of it is research in alternative health and crack health issues is in these detox pathways, but this is one of the simplest issues you can ascertain from a genetic test. It determines how well you deal with the specific toxin, aldehyde or acetaldehyde, which is the byproduct of mold or alcohol metabolism and it's also generated by yeasts when they're dying off. It's responsible for the Herxheimer Reaction which is the painful healing reaction you might experience if you were to take an antifungal. There is other Herxheimer Reactions that you can have from …

Nick:
Otherwise known as die off, right?

Rob:
Die off, yeah. In the die off there's usually, from my research is usually acetaldehyde really and if you have a defective copy of these ALDH genes, you aren't able to create aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme which breaks down acetaldehyde into acetic acid, which is basically vinegar, which is very easy for your body to remove. That is in varying levels an issue genetically for people. 24% of the population have this issue. Ti's pretty common.

Nick:
That's pretty high yeah.

Rob:
You get a lot of people dropping like flies in the moldy houses and moldy buildings but the reason those might vary is because they might be really young and they might not have been exposed to a lot of mold before or they might not have had antibiotics so they have a lot of bacterial cover in their gut. We're all pretty compromised in the bacterial area, so it becomes this common issue. If you were to completely rejuvenate your gut, I'm pretty convinced you would never have problems with mold toxins and things like that. These things that become genetic issues in the bloodstream where you're at your final defense and your liver takes over for detox.

Nick:
There's probably some sort of epigenetic connection there as well, most definitely should I say.

Rob:
You go ahead, finish.

Nick:
I was just going to say epigenetics is a pretty complicated subject but I'd definitely recommend you listeners out there go and learn what that is, at least on a very basic level, because it's going to become a lot more prevalent from a lot of what many experts are saying these days. Such as Dr William Walsh, who I was just listening to last night. He talks a lot about epigenetics. Anyway, sorry go back to what you were saying there, Rob.

Rob:
I want to add to what you said about genetics and that is that there's a few definitions of it, but from my understanding it's everything that affects how genes are expressed, so that's environmental factors. I would say that your gut biome would qualify as an environmental factor. I use it as a blanket term, epigenetics that is, of these external factors that are way more important than genetics. They predetermine whether genetics will be an issue. Even some of the foremost experts on these genetic detox pathways, like methylations. Do you know about methylation?

Nick:
Yeah, that's what William Walsh is an expert in.

Rob:
Who is the other guy, though?

Nick:
It should be, are you talking about MTHFR.net?

Rob:
Yeah, that guy.

Nick:
I can't remember what his name is.

Rob:
That guy, he is …

Nick:
People can go to the website.

Rob:
He's made his bread and butter on the genetic presentation of methylation issues.

Nick:
Yeah.

Rob:
Yeah, he says gut trumps all of that. It's really interesting to get into genetics and talk about why all of us, some of us are dropping like flies and some of us aren't. Really we're all in the same baseline of crap gut. We don't have enough anything good there anymore, because of civilization and antibiotics and dare I say some other things that people think are beneficial like vaccines and things like that. I don't know if I should drop that on your show.

Nick:
No, my show is all about open mindedness really. I don't have an agenda or agree or disagree with anything about vaccines. I don't know enough about it to be honest, to comment.

Rob:
Some would argue …

Nick:
You're perfectly fine to say whatever you think.

Rob:
[crosstalk 01:40:33].

Nick:
I can always edit it out if I don't like it.

Rob:
Exactly.

Nick:
It's cool. It's all good. Was there anything else related to the genetics you wanted to mention? Or is that pretty much, just go people who are listening who are thinking they might have some mold, specifically some weaknesses in their genetics and they seem to always have mold issues, go to 23andMe.com and then get someone to help you analyze that data like someone line as you said, John Brisson, can find him at fixyourgut.com. He's quite a knowledgeable fellow. Another good person who would help you with that kind of thing would be Joe Cohen at Selfhacked.com. I think those are some good resources. Just one other resource that came to mind and that is Dr Tim Jackson who I personally spoke with as well. He's actually quite knowledgeable in mold and he could be find at healyourbody.org. Is there anything you wanted to add into that, Rob, before we wind it up?

Rob:
Certainly, who is the guy from MTHFR mother f'er dot net?

Nick:
I can't remember his name, but people can just go to MTHFR.net and they will find him.

Rob:
Lynch, right, Lynch.

Nick:
Ben Lynch?

Rob:
Ben Lynch, yeah, he [inaudible 01:42:09] stuff, but I think he's a little decidedly more expensive. Then there's one that's gene guru or …

Nick:
There's an app or something, there's a couple of apps that …

Rob:
Genetic genie.

Nick:
Yeah, Genetic Genie, yeah that's the one..

Rob:
They will run through your detox and methylation analysis in an automated fashion. I think that's what Ben Lynch tells you to do. He says go on here and that way you can just see it. What I would add to what I had already said about the genetic component, while I'm not a big proponent of even talking about genetics because I think they're the equivalent of modern hygiene and bacteria fear mongering talk. I think people like to talk about gene predispositions to cancer when I'm more of an epigenetics guy and environment, nature versus nurture. I'm more of a nurture. I think you can overcome any weaknesses, arguably. It's doubtful that these are actually weaknesses. They're just byproducts that can be deactivated by epigenetics.

Nick:
Yeah, exactly so epigenetics has provided that whole new level of hope and it's exactly what it says really, environment changes genetics so before that we just thought you are what you're born with and that's it, if you had crappy genes then you're screwed. Sorry buddy.

Rob:
Yeah, I agree.

Nick:
Try next life you might do better. Obviously it's still challenging enough with epigenetics and controlling all these environmental factors. It's hard enough as it is, so thank god we aren't limited to our genetics and it's not preset.

Rob:
It's absolutely defeatist, depressing mentality that works perfectly for the medico-corporate system of control. It dooms you to these medications that they have already prepackaged.

Nick:
Yeah.

Rob:
To answer people like that, you can provide, okay well I can show you genetically why I'm having problems with mold, if they're being skeptical. It's almost like a mental therapy for you and your social situations because you're going to get a lot of flack for your condition. It's actually a very, I would call it a high victim blaming condition. People will often doubt you and then they'll literally ask you, why are you like this? You can answer them and say, “Well genetically I have this issue.” It's a cop out in a way but it's a cop out that works.

Nick:
All right, well was there anything else you wanted to add regarding the genetics or was that …?

Rob:
Yeah, that's essentially it. It's just an interesting thing. You can check out my article about aldehyde dehydrogenase. I talk about how it's connected to formaldehyde. Yeah, you get a lot of formaldehyde.

Nick:
If you shoot me a link I'll put it in the show notes later on. All right, excellent and any final thoughts, Rob, on the whole topic that we've just been talking about, mold toxicity? Determining it, avoiding it, fixing it, anything else you want to add?

Rob:
I think it's really important to note that, I needed to throw this in there, that you can get this complication of mold exposure that really is worse than mold itself, which is the MCS, multiple chemical sensitivity condition, which I didn't want to believe in or worry about when I first had … I was, mold's enough to think about. If you start to notice, you start to smell everything, it's because your body has no ability to detox a lot of similar compounds, from chemicals of manufacturing, from years and years of manipulation of chemicals and creation of these harmful concentrations of substances your body constantly has to remove. The modern household is full of, I don't know the number, but oodles of toxic chemicals.

Nick:
Millions.

Rob:
Millions, yeah.

Nick:
Billions, no I'm just kidding around.

Rob:
Yeah, there's actually numbers that they've actually studied and it's in the hundreds or something at least. You become susceptible, you become a canary for all of those chemicals after a certain amount of time for mold. You might not notice it at first, because you just feel crap all the time. Then when you start to get an edge and some headway away from mold complications then these little things will just start to bother you. You'll be, why do I feel like I felt a year ago when I was dying of mold exposure? You'll be, oh it was those new clothes that I just bought. It's this whole complicated topic. Look into it, MCS, it's a complication of mold. I noticed that the less mold I'm around, the less I'm sensitive to chemicals. It's a day-to-day attempt to improve yourself. The best way you can get better and less sensitive to your environment, mold is the key. I think, in my experience, and from people I've talked to, really getting rid of that mold can actually cure you of so many other problems.

Nick:
Exactly and I think that's a good note to end on. If you're unsure or you're a little bit, you think there could be a mold issue, I would say it's a good idea to research it. That's what I'm doing. I'm not an expert on mold. You are someone who has dealt with this in your own life and you've got a lot more experience than probably the average person. At the end of the day everyone needs to learn about this stuff for themselves and Health Vibed is just an educational resource, obviously and that's what this show is about, just giving you ideas. Then it's a good idea to go research these things yourself and try get as many opinions as possible before you make any solo decisions and don't move across the country right away.

Rob:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nick:
Or anything drastic like that. Yeah, it's been really informative Rob, thank you very much. Yeah, if there's anything you'd like to add to that, if not then I guess we'll wrap it up.

Rob:
First of all thanks, so much for having me, Nick, this has been a delight talking to you a few times now. Anytime, but …

Nick:
Yeah, it's a lot of fun and I'm sure we can do another call, absolutely. For listeners out there, there will be another call with Rob that will be posted, at some point in the future, let's just say, and it was actually a really fun call as well and it was about …

Rob:
Food.

Nick:
Yeah, about food, correcting your diet if you were eating a standard American terrible diet or whatever you're eating. If you're eating any processed food, stuff like that, how to get out of that trap, because that's one of the basics really that you need to look at if you want to become optimally healthy. On that note, Rob, thanks again I appreciate you and …

Rob:
Can I add one thing real quick?

Nick:
Yeah, absolutely.

Rob:
I would be very remiss if I didn't mention the documentary that we've been distributing for the past few years, that was very helpful to me about mold, and it was called Black Mold Exposure. It was directed by my friend Michael Roland Williams. It's a very personal story and it's a lot longer than Moldy. I think it provides a lot that Moldy didn't provide as far as personal experiences go. I personally thought it was a cooler movie than Moldy, but I like Moldy too. I reviewed both on my site, but anyway [crosstalk 01:52:21].

Nick:
That's perfect, thank you very much. Just before you go, I forgot to say this, is there any gurus or doctors or specific people in this little sub-world of mold exposure and toxicity that you would want to recommend just for people to go and do a bit more research?

Rob:
Yeah, just I think Dave is a really good go to.

Nick:
Dave Asprey at Bulletproofexec.com.

Rob:
Yeah, he has been my role model because he turned it around and made it into a really successful business, and I mean that in the best way. I really respect business people and he was like, “No I'm not just a guy who was sick and it's sad.” He was like, “I'm going to help people and I'm going to make people better even if they haven't succumbed to mold, I'm going to keep them from succumbing.” Him and people like that, were, I think Dr Mercola is a very good guru on everything and I think he does a little mold as well but I just think that that guy is great.

Nick:
He's helping a lot of people. That website is a huge resource and a lot of people find it as their first alternative health guide, I guess.

Rob:
Then you want to find maybe a forum. There's some forums on Facebook if you're dealing with mold and you can just talk to anybody who's been through it. You can talk to someone like me, and combined they all know a lot more than I do. They just will have your back.

Nick:
Yeah, it's a good idea, so a Facebook group. Is there any names that you can remember of any specific groups or just go onto Facebook and put in mold and you'll probably find something. Look for, I guess toxic mold and look for groups. Facebook will give you different options when you search in the search bar at the top.

Rob:
Yeah, there's a guy named Kurt Billings. He's a good guru too. There's people have written their books about it and how to deal with mold.

Nick:
What was the last name, sorry Rob.

Rob:
Kurt Billings.

Nick:
B-I.

Rob:
L-L-I-N-G-S.

Nick:
Okay Billings.

Rob:
His book is good, but I think he's pretty active on Facebook and there's a lot of groups, like Mold Survivors. I go to EI Safe Housing which covers mold and chemical sensitivity. EI Safe Housing. I love that place. They really answer anything I ever asked them about any problems. It's great.

Nick:
Awesome, well that's an excellent bunch of resources that anyone can go and look up. All right Rob, well thanks a lot, man. I'll let you go and get some sleep I guess. Probably 3:00 in the morning over there.

Rob:
I'm missing my last detox. Tomorrow i'm going to hit the toxic wall.

Nick:
Yeah, well I hope you get a nice rest and we'll catch up soon anyway.

Rob:
Yeah, it's fine, man. This is too fun. This is good stuff. Thank you so much.

Nick:
Fun and helpful. That's what I love about these shows. Everyone wins. You win, I win and our listeners get a lot of benefit hopefully and that's the whole point.

Rob:
Certainly, this has been awesome.

Nick:
All right, man. Well I'll catch up with you soon and yeah, talk to you soon.

Rob:
Okay great, peace out.

Nick:
Cheers.

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Nick Earl

About The Author - Founder at Healthvibed.com, Nick is passionate about learning and implementing all information related to achieving optimum health.

He's since made it his mission to learn, live and share these principles, many of which you can find on this blog.

Read more of Nick's personal story here, as well as our mission here on this site, here.

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