It’s not chronological, you don’t have to have listened to the last one before you listen to this one. So you can stick around here, then go back and check out the other one, if you haven’t listened to it.
But Dr. Gordon, MD, is the president of Gordon Medical research Center, and the founder and ownere of Gordon Medical associates, a private medical practice in the San Francisco Bay area, specializing in complex chronic disease. In addition to clinical practice of over 30 years, Dr. Gordon is engaged in clinical research.
In 2007 – 2009, he created a series of medical symposia bringing together leading international medical researchers, and cutting edge clinicians, focusing on chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, autoimmune diseases, and autism, among others. And he has now combined forces, in some ways, with Dr. Robert Naviaux and his research into metabolomics, I always can’t say that word, mitochondrial function and chronic inflammatory disease.
I’ll just give the disclaimer, because I remeber, you did last time, that you mostly supply the patients, and Robert the brains. So…
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah.
Michael Roesslein: That’s in a nutshell, and he’s also our doctor that we work with, personally, with Mira’s, I don’t even know what to call them anymore, multiple, maybe kind of, sort of autoimmune conditions that might be something else, and definitely suck when they happen, and he’s helping us with that. So we work directly with Dr. Gordon ourselves.
And so, mold. I know when this airs, you’re going to be in screening or hosting a Mold in Mycotoxin Summit. Editor’s Note: The Mycotoxins and Chronic Illness Summit 2.0
Before we got on air, I said, “10 years ago, something like a Mold in Mycotoxin summit, everyone would be, ‘What the hell are they doing, or why are they talking about that?’”
Now, over the last 10 years, I’ve watched mold go from some fringe thing that only weird, fringe-y, “I’m really sick forever, and don’t know what’s going on” people would be talking about, to it’s almost the firts thing now, when somebody comes in with some sort of chronic disease, they’re, “Is there mold in your house? If you check for mold, is this mold toxicity?”
What is going on? Is there more mold? Is the mold more angry, or are we more susceptible to getting sick from it?
Dr. Eric Gordon: Wow, it’s always nice to start off with a question that I don’t have a great answer for. Awesome.
Because you got to go back, is that, remember that Dr. Crook, and I’m blocking on names, but he was one of the leaders back in the ’70s, was writing about, in those days, it was Candida people followed on, but that there was something about chronic mold exposure, and mold carriage.
That’s an area that we’ll touch on, because there’s controversy over that. But anyway, but I believe it’s an issue.
That was a big deal, even in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, but it was a big deal only in, what, in those days, we called the alternative medicine community, which was much smaller and less part of the population.
And that is a good question. Do we have that much more, or do we have that much more awareness? On one level, I think we have that much more.
In a way, if you think of it, like autism. Autism in the ’60s was a rare condition, okay? Dr. Sidney, Sid Baker, who is, I consider, one of the deans of autism in America.
He’s now a little bit older than me, so he’s old, but he was at Yale in the ’60s, and actually, he was already, probably the late … Yeah, the early ’60s, he was in school there.
And he said, “When there was a kid with autism, I mean, all the residents went to see, it was rare. This was an event. This was a rare disease.”
Now it’s, I don’t know, one in 60, or one in … I mean, it’s insane.
It was one in 10,000, maybe 20-30 years ago. I mean, so things are changing.
Michael Roesslein: When I was growing up, we heard about it, but it wasn’t like we would have known. I didn’t know anybody who was diagnosed on the spectrum in any way. Not within my school.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. Well, the concept of the spectrum was something that I think we, that’s maybe a little newer. It was always there, but I think it was newer. But the amount, it seems to be going like wildfire.
I don’t think it’s just diagnosis, especially for the more severe forms of autism in young kids where they really aren’t able to function in the mainstream. A lot of people are on the spectrum can do fine with a little coaching. But there are lots of kids who just, the environment, everything sets them off.
Anyway, my point is, is that things have changed. Now, I think there was a lot of this before, and it was just unrecognized, but really, I have to admit, I hadn’t thought about this question, but it has dramatically increased now.
We started dealing with mold toxicity, remember, I’m sorry, I said, Dr. Crook. I can’t remember the other doctors who were famous for the yeast early on, the yeast connection in many other books, and I said in the ’70s, ’80s, early ’90s. But Dr. Shoemaker really brought us out in the early 2000s. He really got mold as being an issue.
Now, you remember, Dr. Shoemaker is now saying that he thinks that 80% of the problem in water damaged buildings, anyway, isn’t just mold, but it’s Actinomyces. It’s a bacteria that feeds on water damaged materials, just like mold does.
I mean, basically, mold and these bacteria are ubiquitous, they’re everywhere in the environment. You can’t get away from them, but they don’t tend to produce toxins, unless they get a lot of food for free.
That seems to be the interesting thing about toxin producing creatures, if you will. The same thing seems to happen with the red tides, where you have a whole lot of single cell organisms that are all capable of producing toxins, but don’t usually do much, and then, suddenly, just literally changed the color of the water. [crosstalk 00:08:26].
Michael Roesslein: I lived in Florida for a little bit, and I saw and smelled a red tide once, and it’s something to behold.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. Okay, well, those are algae. I mean, these are single cell organisms, but the point is, they don’t seem to happen, unless they get in a huge food source. Because it takes a lot of energy to make toxins, so you usually save it.
Michael Roesslein: Which are mold, the mold in people’s homes, or in offices or buildings, or things that are going to cause health problems, that’s generally from water damage, of some kind?
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, yeah. When they grow, yeah.
Because we see that they’re there, but without moisture, most of them can’t reproduce to the level that they’re going to start producing enough toxins.
Michael Roesslein: I got it. A significant amount of, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. Because just, seeing, we all get, you see a little mold around a window sill, I mean, that’s a hint that you’ve got excess humidity. So you should take it seriously, but that’s usually not what’s making you sick. It’s usually inside your …
Michael Roesslein: It’s the wall covered in mold that’s behind your drywall that you don’t see, or the floor covered in mold underneath the tile, that you don’t see.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Exactly, yeah.
It usually takes quite a bit to get you. But again, those are telltale signs that the humidity in the house will be too high.
There are a few molds that can grow in low humity, but something called Wallemia. But basically, most of them need a fair amount of [crosstalk 00:09:57].
Michael Roesslein: So it’s a combination of, there’s more people getting sick from mold, that’s true. And we are much better at recognizing it, or especially diagnostics.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, but you know, definitely-
Michael Roesslein: I’ve seen eight different mycotoxin tests get released in the last five years.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Oh, yeah. Well, no, and I was working on one myself. No, no, there’s definitely, I have to say, I think it is getting worse. I can, because I know we saw mold people for a long time. I said, when I first started doing this stuff in the ’80s, and really got into it, and full-time in the ’90s, we saw a lot of people with mold, but like you say, now it seems like almost everybody, well, not everybody, but, a lot of the people with chronic Lyme also now have a mold on top.
And it could be also, remember, what’s changed is, our buildings have become much tighter. Now, that’s a great way to increase humidity, and trap it in the house, is a tight building. I mean, I’ve lived in old houses, and old houses can have a lot of mold. But they also have a lot of ventilation. And that can make it [crosstalk 00:11:12].
Michael Roesslein: You can call it ventilation, you can call it unsealed roofs, I mean …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, well, okay.
But yeah. No, I think, put it like this, air exchanges. [crosstalk 00:11:19] …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, a lot more air exchange between the inside and the outside, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. If you’ve got a house that’s got one air exchange an hour, well, you got a really tight house that you’re going to have … If you have a little bit of mold, you can have a big problem. Okay?
Just the same way as you hook up the same problem with the off-gassing from the chemicals in your house. Because, I mean, these will all play roles, and it’s very hard to piece out which is doing what.
Because it is that you think it might be the mold. But if you have a really tight house, you might be just having a lot of volatile, organic compounds from stuff that you bought.
Michael Roesslein: In carpet, furniture, cleaning products, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, exactly. Because the thing that determines the level of symptoms is your genetic susceptibility. Because the reason we have such arguments over the validity of mold, and as a cause of illness, because I mean, remember, people are still fighting about this.
I mean, we know that mold can cause illness. That, everybody agrees with, okay? But the idea that background levels in houses, or how do you say, moderate levels in house, where one person is sick, and five others are asymptomatic. The fact that that’s…
Michael Roesslein: Yeah. Why is that?
Dr. Eric Gordon: Because we’re different. Hey, one guy can eat …
Michael Roesslein: The mold has been a factor in all three of Mira’s flares. There’s been a mold exposure that was involved in all three of them, and I didn’t get sick.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right.
Michael Roesslein: So, I mean …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. And especially, because, she wound up, she’s a very good example of how this can be indirect, is that she wound up with an autoimmune disease, of where her immune system lost its balance. This is a very good example.
And mold, usually, I mean, there’s one mold, what is it, mycophenolic acid, that we even make into a medicine called Cellcept, that’s used as an immune suppressant.
Michael Roesslein: Interesting.
Dr. Eric Gordon: But for her disease, for instance, that’s why it’s always so important that people understand that the immune system is all about balance. If you suppress your T health, the regulatory parts of your immune system, you can wind up with an autoimmune disease.
Normally, we think of T-cells suppress, I mean, immune suppressors, as treating autoimmune disease, because they do. But there are natural ones that can actually suppress or down regulate the cells that would actually control your immune system from overreacting.
One of the things we have is that if you knock out your cells, that being your NK cells, your Natural Killer cells. Well, the, suddenly you can get a lot of viral flares. And it’s not because…
Michael Roesslein: You get cancer, right?
Dr. Eric Gordon: … You won’t get cancer. But I mean, it can happen, probably, with mold. It can happen. I mean, that’s what COVID does. It knocks down your NK cells, your Natural Killer cells, and a lot of your cytotoxic T-cells.
That’s why people have a lot of flares of viral infections. some people with Epstein-Barr and stuff will flare after COVID.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, I saw that one study that showed pretty high correlation between high levels of Epstein-Barr, and more severe COVID.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, but it’s probably …
Michael Roesslein: But cases, it was pretty statistically relevant.
Dr. Eric Gordon: … Yeah. But it’s probably because you’ve lowered the cytotoxic T-cells, which means …
Michael Roesslein: The COVID drove up the Epstein-Barr.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, well, and so, suddenly, the Epstein-Barr can come out and play, before you can suppress. So it’s this lack of linearity, which we keep coming back to. You know how I talk about things that we have to remember.
So, mold illness has gone up. I mean, that’s what we’re seeing, because we’ve been treating this a long time. We always have talked about what to treat first, and I always look at the progression of things.
When we started really understanding that all these things were happening in the same patient we’d see, our people, we thought, had Lyme disease. Then somewhere in the late ’90s, early 2000s, we started to go, “Oh, my God, they have Babesia, also. You have to treat the Babesia first.”
A little later, we realized, “Oh, Bartonella is the big part here.” So the teaching became, “You got to treat the Bartonella first,” and those are “kind ofs.” But they’re not, people took them as absolutes, because people like rules, but sometimes, you do need to come out …
Michael Roesslein: It makes things easier to have a set of order, that you have to treat things in, though, or an order that they happen in.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah.
Michael Roesslein: I mean, we’re pattern recognition brains. We need to have that kind of …
This is where these treatments become more of an art than a science, when you have to factor in the …
Dr. Eric Gordon:
Well, that’s, you see, you said it right there. Our brains work, our brains are designed to be good engineers, okay? That’s what we do really well is, we can do, be a good engineer.
But when you’re working with things, that they’re, when you’re from the inside, you can’t be just an engineer. Because you don’t have all the data, and you can’t measure things completely. So you really are much more of an artist, but you got to keep the engineer piece happening, but just don’t think it’s everything.
So yeah, it is nice to realize that there often is a level. Just like now, we realize, is that you often have to treat the mast cells, before you can treat the mold. And you often have to treat the mold and the mycotoxins before you can get to any of the bugs.
And whether you have to treat the viruses or the bacterial ones first, that kind of depends more on the person. And it always depends more on the person, okay?
It’s not an absolute. But it makes sense that when the mast cells, those are your immune cells, these are the most primitive immune cells. I think we talked about them last time, maybe we hit on them.
They really talk right to your nervous system, that’s one of the things, I mean, all immune systems have neurotransmitters on them, and release and respond to serotonin and dopamine, and stuff like that.
But the mast cells are really keyed into the brain, and they often talk right to the nerves, to the vagus, because they’re in the tissue, and they’ll feed back the information. So, if those mast cells are really reactive, it’s very hard to do much in people who are overly sensitive without setting them off, without getting the mast cells to be a little quieter.
But it’s a circle. Once you lower the underlying inflammation, the mast cells will tend to quiet down, and stay quiet, even. So mold, I just say, has blown up, and it’s like I’ve lived with it.
I said you asked me what sounds, that I’m thinking about it, it’s such an obvious question. Why is this suddenly such a big deal? And yeah, because I do remember, mold was a thing, and we treated it.
I remember when I first got to California, there was an ear, nose and throat doctor in San Francisco, who was measuring IgG molds. Because that’s something most doctors don’t do. But molds cause more of an IgG immune response, not the alert. Because, usually, when we think of mold, we think of allergy, which is a byproduct.
Michael Roesslein: Which is IgE, right?
Dr. Eric Gordon: Which normally is IgE. By definition, it’s IgE. See, this is the engineering brain again. They defined allergy as being mediated by IgE. So if it’s mediated by IgG, it’s not an allergy. Okay?
Michael Roesslein: Because we have to have a name for it, but the person gets sick.
Dr. Eric Gordon: But the person gets sick. You get headaches, you don’t feel good, and that’s one of the important things that I like people to understand about mold illness. You can have mold allergies. You can have allergy to mycotoxins. Or you can have a toxic affect from mycotoxins.
Michael Roesslein: Let’s stop for one second. I just want to cover that word. Because we’ve said “toxin,” and molds produce toxins, and we’re using the word “mycotoxin.” A mycotoxin is not a mold.
Dr. Eric Gordon: No.
Michael Roesslein: A mycotoxin is something a mold produces. Is it a byproduct, or a metabolite, or is it actually a weapon? What’s the …
Dr. Eric Gordon: It’s a weapon. I mean, it’s how mold bacteria and molds produce toxins to kill other bacteria and molds, penicillin. I mean, these are all infectious toxins.
Michael Roesslein: We think it’s a medicine, but that’s because it kills a whole bunch of things when you take it.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. Exactly. But all we …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah. It’s a medicine to me, it’s a poison to the other things that are in my body.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. And it’s produced by bacteria, and molds. Actually, molds produce bacteria, so I’m sorry, penicillin is NC. So mycotoxins are just what molds produce to protect themselves, to make more growth area that’s safe for them. The thing is, when they’re in nature, there’s so many of them. And they’re all fighting for survival, that production is usually on the small side. Unless they get into a really large colony.
Michael Roesslein: Okay, because they’re fighting on the microscopic level against a whole bunch of other things, and rarely in nature are you going to find a wall of a certain kind of mold …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, right, exactly. They can, pretty much …
Michael Roesslein: We’ve created the environment for that to exist.
Dr. Eric Gordon: To exist. So mycotoxins are part of the fungal world’s immune system, in a way. Okay?
I mean, that’s it. It’s just how they deal with other critters, and our bodies are perfectly capable of dealing with low levels of these, by either making an antibody to it, or just chemically breaking it down, binding it.
Glutathione’s a big deal, because a lot of these guys bind sulfur, take two sulfur atoms, and bind to them, and glutathione can offer that, and then sacrifice itself, and get rid of this thing. But if you’re not good at making glutathione, you will get sicker quicker, if you get exposed to a lot of these mycotoxins.
So that’s the neat point to remember is, you got molds, and you got mycotoxins, and you can have allergy to mold. You can be somebody who maybe eats, some people have trouble with food that’s been out for a few days, any kind of yesterday’s lunch, to some, people can get them sick, because mold does grow. And that little bit of mold will cause a reaction.
Usually, that’s an allergy response, the mold, I mean, occasionally it’ll produce enough mycotoxin, that maybe they’re that sensitive to the mycotoxin levels. But most of us eat stuff that’s been sitting out for a day and don’t notice it.
Other people have to wash their fruit in hydrogen peroxide. Because if they don’t, the amount of mold that’s on the outside will cause allergic reactions. So, in part …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah. So I guess we could talk about that, because that’s one aspect. Because yes, more people are sick, yes, we’re recognizing more, yes, we’re building more buildings that make more mold. But there’s more people, percentage-wise, of people, that if you put them around the mold now, they’ll get sick, then there was 20 years ago.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Probably, probably.
It sure looks like that, it sure looks like that, yes.
Michael Roesslein: I’d like you to solve that problem right now, and tell me exactly why that is.
Dr. Eric Gordon: As I said, I think it’s the same reason. We’re looking at death by a thousand cuts. Everybody wants to be one thing. EMFs. I mean, EMFs screw with our body’s ability to dance with [EDs 00:24:12].
I mean, it’s like, if you’re a great dancer, you can ignore that your partner is klutzy. But if you’re not a good dancer…
Michael Roesslein: If you were trying to dance with me, for instance, you could still look good.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right, right. But it’s the interactions, it’s the balance of things. So you’ve got EMFs, they’re screwing with how your body can inform itself, in information flow, energy flow in the system. But for most of us, it’s fairly mild. For some of us, it’s really big.
Again, it seems, in my worldview, it’s probably, it just varies. If you’ve got other toxins, if you’re eating, I mean, what we’ve done to food.
Okay, so food. I mean, the EMFs, I think, are bigger than we know. But that’s a hard one, because unless you’re an engineer, it’s really hard to parse what’s real and what’s not.
Because the information, if you’re not grounded in physics, it gets quickly into places we don’t know. I know enough to know that it’s real, okay?
And I know enough people who, you can just see how you can cause nausea, headaches, inability to think, by being in the wrong environment, and you take them out of that environment, and half an hour later, they’re better. I mean, it’s really clear, you just shut the electric off in the house, and they’re better.
So it’s clear that they’re telling us, that a lot of that, these EMFs are really important, from a million different reasons. But I just think, the food, I mean, you can’t get away from the food and water.
I mean, just the amount of chemicals that are in our water supply, the crappy food that people eat, the fact that most people don’t eat real food. I mean, I live in a bubble. I live in Northern California, and it is a food bubble, where the grocery store, I mean, even the mainstream grocery stores, have organic sections in them.
I don’t live in a place where you have to, where you’re doing your shopping at a 7-Eleven, to buy food. I mean, when you think about what’s in that kind of store as food? Yeah, you’re going to have a lot of sick people. Because you’re feeding them stuff that their body has to detoxify at such basic levels.
You’re feeding them chemicals that aren’t meant to be food. I mean, food. I mean, you always have to have a short one. I mean, chemical food is chemicals, yes, just like GMOs are…
Michael Roesslein: Non-food chemicals are in the food, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Non-food chemicals are taking up more and more. And the high fructose corn syrup, the things that drive high fructose corn syrup, it drives insulin. Your body can’t modulate that response, I mean, when you take in glucose.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, that’s the most commonly used form of sugar in processed foods, for sure.
Dr. Eric Gordon: It’s probably causing a lot of the non-alcoholic liver disease that we’re seeing, that’s another epidemic. Anyway, so I’m kind of getting off this. I’m trying to make a point, and the point being …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, but it’s a million things contributing to people being more susceptible to …
Dr. Eric Gordon: To toxins, that we have more of them, and your body is less able to deal with them. Because the way you deal with them, these toxins are often poisoning some very primitive parts of the system.
So they’re going after, lot of these are going after your ribosomes. Ribosomes are where you actually make, you take the amino acids, and you kind of stick them together, and make them into proteins, which become the enzymes. They’re the machinery of your body. I mean, that’s what basically enzymes are.
They’re the machines. The raw materials are more, we call them metabolites. So if your machines don’t work, you can’t do much. Doesn’t matter how much nutrients you put in. This is why there’s no one important piece in the body.
A lot of these mycotoxins go after basic units. Now they also go after the membranes of mitochondria, they interfere with mitochondrial DNA. They interfere at multiple levels, but they’re exceedingly toxic stuff. But the beauty of the system is that your body can repair this. We’re not helpless, okay?
But when we’ve already been depleted, and we don’t have enough true nutrients in our system. And when our bodies had to use up, I don’t want to focus on that, but it’s antioxidant reserves, just because of the garbage that you’re eating? Instead of the food being a source of the materials that are being pumped.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah. Instead of it contributing to healing, it’s contributing to the disease process.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Exactly. They’re weakening you.
Go eat an American meal, and you’re weakening yourself. I mean, between the GMOs, between the grains? I mean, like you’re in Italy now.
Michael Roesslein: They eat grains here, but they’re not hybridized, they’re not sprayed in chemicals, they’re not GMO, they’re not crossbred.
They’re not all these, they’re the same grains that the Italian people have been eating for 2,000 years.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, and they get it. No, because, I mean, I am wheat, gluten sensitive. I don’t have celiac disease. But if I eat a lot …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah. You just don’t feel good.
You just don’t feel good when you eat it.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, no, I get fatigued. Not all the time, but I get fatigued. It’s an allergy thing. I mean, I get this … When I was a kid, I didn’t know what was going on. I’d have to slap myself to stay awake.
I mean, it’s just transient. It’d be, for instance, 15 minutes, I would just be tired. I never knew what it was. And then, finally…
Michael Roesslein: Does that happen when you’re in Europe, or when you’re …
Dr. Eric Gordon: No, that’s my point of my story, is that I remember, the thing that really shocked me, I was there, okay? I was with people, and somebody’s father owned a pizzeria, and it was a big deal, “My father makes the best pizza, [inaudible 00:31:02].”
Michael Roesslein: Oh, you can’t turn that down, or they’ll kick you out of the country.
Dr. Eric Gordon: You go there, and I was trying to be polite, and we had a little bit, and it was really good. And then they made too many pizzas. We took them with us. The next two days, I ate these pizza, and I felt fine. I mean, I was blown away by the difference in [inaudible 00:01:23].
Michael Roesslein: It happens a lot, like it happens for a lot of people.
I’ve had two … I’ve only been here a month. For those listening, I live in Italy, and I moved here about a month before this recording. I don’t know the locals. So having two people ask me in a month, which, I’ve had about five total conversations, two of them, they asked me about American food.
Because they sell processed snack foods here. They’re not super popular. But if you go to the supermarket, you can find Pringles, or certain American snack foods. But the ingredients list is different.
They’re not great, it’s not ideal, but there’s colorings, and preservatives, and certain types of chemicals and things that are not allowed to be put into food here. Even by the garbage food, like that kind of food.
It’s not like I would recommend people live off that, but they asked me, because they know that. They know that American food allows ingredients in it that are illegal in the European Union. And they were like, I’m going to be the one that’s going to be able to explain this to them.
They’re like, “Why do you allow this?” I’m like, “Well, it’s not really my call, so I don’t allow it.”
But they were confused by this, because it’s such a fundamental thing to them, their food, and the quality of their food. It’s such an important thing, they can’t understand why it’s not so there, why …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Because it’s economics in America for the last 70 years.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, since the ’50s.
Dr. Eric Gordon: All the schools of nutrition have been funded by the people who make junk food.
I mean, really, the whole thing, everything …
Michael Roesslein: So they convinced the entire country that TV dinners are the most nutritious thing you can do, in the ’50s.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Oh, yeah. Every school of nutrition in America, like in Boston, in Pennsylvania, that was where Kellogg was, and in Iowa and the Midwest, where it’s all the big dairy, and …
Michael Roesslein: Soybean, corns, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: And they control the information flow, you know what I mean, and it’s not that …
Again, it’s a little close to not being, it’s not evil, but it’s, “Here’s your grant money.”
Michael Roesslein: It’s putting money over the well-being of an entire society.
You can call it what you want to call it, but that’s it is.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. It’s what it is, it is.
Michael Roesslein: Or evil, whatever, it’s a debate, what is evil?
But it’s some people being, “I want to make a whole lot of money, and I don’t care what the consequences of it are at all.”
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, it’s often by … Well, okay, I won’t go into that, but I agree with you. But usually, it’s only a handful of people who don’t care about the consequences. The rest of them care about the consequences. But they if it turns out to, “Ooh, wait a minute, but I want my grant, and I’m going to do this. Okay.”
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, and my stock portfolio looks good, and my 401k is going up, and my retirement’s going to be sound, so let’s just leave all this alone.
But hold on. We’re going way too far away, so …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, I know. We’re going all over the place.
Michael Roesslein: The food sucks, and the food is not supporting people, it’s depleting.
Dr. Eric Gordon: It’s depleting.
Michael Roesslein: We have exposure. You mentioned VOCs.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. Well, volatile organic compounds, which is something that Actinomyces makes quite a bit of, actually, it’ll be interesting. It’s that kind of musty smell, where you get in a building?
That’s usually where the Actinomyces is, in the mold. I mean, so maybe Dr. Shoemaker has a tendency to be, I think, sometimes, to overstate things. But he often turns out to be right, at least … Yeah, I mean, I have great respect for Rich. I mean, I think he has taught me an immense amount, and…
Michael Roesslein: He was the first place I ever heard of or learned about mold, about 10 years ago, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. He’s the man who really pushed this, the information out there. He’s done a lot of, I mean, creative thought, I have to say, his ability to bring us markers. And hat’s one thing I just want to mention for the people out there.
The markers that many people look at in what’s now CIRS, now it’s chronic. He really doesn’t talk about mold anymore. It’s mostly Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, which is basically what happens when you’re chronically inflamed, and mold can be one of the causes of that.
The markers in those tests are not mold specific. That’s one of the great sadnesses is that we still don’t have great things that I’m 100% sure are mold specific, and I’ll expand on that in a minute.
But just the markers, the VEGF, and the TGF-beta-1, and the C4A, MMP9, none of these are mold specific. So they’re not [inaudible 00:36:25] enough.
Michael Roesslein: So there’s other things that can throw those off?
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. They’re just markers that your innate immune system is pissed off, and you’re just regulating, okay? Yeah. You can get there by multiple ways. I mean …
Again, if you have a mold exposure, and these are really high, and it goes down when you get away from it, in your body, that’s what’s going on. So it’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that they’re not one to one. Don’t stop looking just because you do a test, and you have these things, it doesn’t mean you have mold. You have to have a few other…
Michael Roesslein: And the mycotoxin tests, I remember when Great Plains came out with their mycotoxin test.
It was like, everyone was, “Oh, my God, this is going to be the greatest thing ever,” and it’s cool. It’s interesting to see. We’ve taken them when Mira has been sick, and for the first time, she had one million okra toxin A, and the second time, she had one million of one other kind. And so you know there’s mold, but that shows you the urine tests, they show you what is coming out of the body.
Dr. Eric Gordon: I know.
Michael Roesslein: So it’s very possible for some people that are totally inhibited in clearing any of these things, that their mold mycotoxin urine tests, which show pretty decent levels, because it’s all in their body, and not coming out of the body.
that’s the same with metals tests and different things. So yeah, I was disappointed to learn that. [crosstalk 00:37:54]. I thought we were onto something.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. Exclusion, excretion does not prove toxicity, but it does prove exposure, which is nice. I mean, that’s the thing, is that we have, just to be fair, we have RealTime, which does an ELISA, which is more of an antibody kind of test. And, I think, I always want to call them Vibrant America, call them Virgin America, Vibrant America, which is…
Michael Roesslein: The airplanes.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, I know, but … Marketing got me.
I forget if they’re doing mass spec, or … I think they’re doing antibody also, and Great Plains does mass spec. The nice part about a mass spec test is, mass spec really doesn’t lie.
I mean, they have real machines. I’ve spoke on it several times. In fact, he’s on our summit, the fellow who developed the test for them, Dr. Matt Pratt-Hyatt, yeah. But Matt is a great, I mean, I think, a wonderful scientist who really is thoughtful, and cares a lot about people, and he developed this really cool test.
But it’s not, it doesn’t tell us what we’d like it to tell us, which is, “Oh my God, you’re high, you’re sick. This is the problem.”
We’d love it to be that linear. “We measured your blood count, your hemoglobin hematocrit are low. You have anemia.”
This test? [inaudible 00:39:25], not there quite yet. The numbers are high. You are being exposed, but are you being exposed enough to make you sick? My kind of figure is, if you’re 10 times above their upper limit of normal, it’s not good.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:39:43] Both of ours were extreme, extreme, extreme.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. So there’s something going on. If there’s two to three to five something, it could possibly be even from food, because there’s a lot of mold in food. I mean, that we understand …
That we’ve learned about mycotoxins, mostly from the agricultural world. The studies of mycotoxins in people is meager.
Yeah, it’s just meager. But on animals, there’s a ton, going back to the economic articles of the world, is because if your cow dies, it costs you a thousand bucks, or a few thousand dollars, okay?
If a person dies, it’s very upsetting to all of us involved, but guess what? There’s no direct economic loss to the owner. I mean, that sounds terrible, but that’s …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, I know, but it’s that, we’re back to the situation.
Dr. Eric Gordon: I mean, why the [crosstalk 00:40:36] is so bad is because it screws up the economy. Okay, that’s life, but …
Getting back to, so we know a lot of that …
Michael Roesslein: We’ll cover politics on the next podcast.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Another one of yeah, we’ll go to the basics, which is, “We’re human, and that’s going to be messy.”
But anyway, so mycotoxins are in our foods. They’re just always been there a little bit. The more they’re in storage, the more they are. Sometimes even organic foods, because they’re not sprayed, can even have more mycotoxins. Oops. I still think they’re much better.
Michael Roesslein: Things like coffee, and beans and stuff, that sits for a really long time in a storage facility?
Dr. Eric Gordon: Time, yeah. Very, very high, they can’t have a … But most of us, you’re okay with these background levels.
Anyway, so when you see, but when you see more than 10 times the upper limit of normal, okay. Something’s really going on there. And if you’ve got symptoms, even if it’s lower, it very well might be related.
I mean, even if it’s two times normal, it could be for you too much, just like with the mercury test, some of the sickest people with mercury I’ve seen, have had very low excretion levels, because their body, like you said, is not able to mobilize it.
Okay. Now, the other argument, though, is that these mycotoxins that we see with the Great Plains test are not metabolized.
RealTime is looking at, as an antibody test, which will get the partially metabolized and unmetabolized mycotoxins. But is that better or worse? No, it’s different.
Because if you metabolize them, they may or may not still be active. Because some of the metabolites are more toxic, and many of the metabolites are what our body did to make them nontoxic. So we’re left with not great tests.
There’s another test called, I didn’t mean to, oh, we might as well give people some information about, called My Myco, in America, that looks at antibodies to the mycotoxins, which is very interesting. Because most of the tests we can get in America are antibodies to the molds themselves, the fusarium, the [inaudible 00:43:02], penicillium, all these molds.
We can get antibodies to them, because they’re good, because a lot of people who are sensitive to mycotoxins also have allergies to mold, which compound, because that will get your mast cells going. Just understand that this is why …
Michael Roesslein: They don’t make you more reactive to anything else that you come in contact with.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right. My thing is why I’ve been trying, myself and Dr. Parpia, have been lecturing to some of the societies, to try to get people to, and people don’t like these lectures because they’re confusing.
But to remember, that all this is happening simultaneously, and people have Lyme, have mold, have mast cell, have the BCF, have EBV, the question is, which one is driving the show, in that person at that time?
Some people only have one, but lots of people got a lot of them, and it doesn’t mean you have to … So it’s a teaching people how to dance.
And unfortunately, we have a bunch of doctors, who are just doing CIRS, or just treating Lyme, or just treating mast cell. And it’s not bad, I mean, and that works for a bunch of people.
So God bless when it works, but when it’s not working? Step back and realize you got that. It’s not you don’t have mast cell stuff, but you also have other things.
It’s like having people with chronic fatigue, you can have chronic fatigue, and you can also have this other junk. Chronic fatigue often is the end result of not treating the other stuff, but it can be mixed in.
Anyway, so getting back to, the testing for mold and mycotoxins is not great. All we can tell you is that you’ve been exposed to lots of mold. So that makes it high likelihood, check out your house, check out your food sources.
Food, not necessarily a huge thing, unless you’re really sensitive. The house and the home environment, and your car, those are big deals. Check them out.
And there, I forget the name of the group, oh, I shouldn’t mean that, but there is a group of, oh, what are they called, ISE? But there is a, really, I apologize.
Editor’s Note: International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI). Dr. Gordon is a member, and Dr. Parpia is a board member.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, yeah, yeah. An episode earlier, I don’t even know what order everything’s going in, but in this season, for those listening, there’s an episode with someone named Cathy Cooke. And she is a building biologist.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Wonderful.
Michael Roesslein: She does EMFs and mold. It’s a full-on building inspector type person.
It’s really cool, I learned a ton of stuff. And she can work a lot of things remotely now, they’ve learned how to do a lot of it, like send you a monitor and they walk you through. It’s like having a Ghostbuster telling you what to do. That’s what I felt like, with the gizmo. But yeah, Cathy Cooke, check out that episode.
I don’t know what the organization is, but she’s one of those people.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, yeah, that’s one of them, and this guy, Michael [Schranz 00:46:07], who I think is president of the group. Just because you’ve got to be careful when you … I don’t want you looking in houses.
I hate it, because it’s expensive. and it’s life altering, and it really can increase the family’s stress, which is the thing we hate to see, when people already are having problems. You’re sick, your spouse isn’t.
Michael Roesslein: Now you got to remediate your bathroom for $16,000.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right, and now you’re spending a lot of, and not just on your doctor, but you’re now going to spend a lot of money on changing the house. Not the greatest thing for familial happiness and tranquility.
Michael Roesslein: No, I’ve been through that. We’ve had to move three times because of it.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, so it’s a hard sell.
Michael Roesslein: And while Mira was sick, we had to move.
That’s even more …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:46:55] But hold on.
I want to give a minor course correction.
Because we need to explain a little bit before we go, because I wanted to cover … Part of the reason why mold is such a problem is because there’s, you’ve talked about this a little bit.
There’s all these overlapping mold and Lyme, and neurological issues and autoimmune conditions, and rheumatoid arthritis, which, I mean, we’ve been diagnosed, undiagnosed, misdiagnosed with that, in our house. Is the mold, the mycotoxin, what the hell do these things do when they get in the body, that they’re linked to so many different overlapping, correlated … Is it causation? Is it correlation?
Are people more susceptible to autoimmune disease is also more likely to be reactive to mold? Or is the mold making the autoimmune conditions happen, or making the neurological diseases happen, or …
Well, I understand. That’s always the approach.
Michael Roesslein: Or do they rewire the immune system? What the hell is going? It’s such a sloppy mess, and so …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, it’s sloppy, yes. Imagine, think of the molds as the cytokines of the microbacteria wall of the mold world. These are chemicals that these bugs are producing, to go in and influence other cells, okay, and …
Michael Roesslein: That aren’t theirs.
Dr. Eric Gordon: That aren’t theirs, okay?
So they go in, and they make holes in the cell membrane, some of them. Some of them just will, well, that’s probably more of an accidental thing. There’s a few that actually work as estrogen binders, and things like that. But that’s, I don’t know if the mold planned that one. I think that’s
Michael Roesslein: That’s probably just to the proliferation of estrogen in the natural world, the receptors, and mold and things, probably do that, but …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Right, there are so many things, in essence, that’s a ubiquitous molecule. That’s what we always forget, that these all have room to grow.
Michael Roesslein: They might be accidentals, but …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, it may. Who knows?
Michael Roesslein: But it can fit in other receptors, then, I’m sure.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Exactly, exactly. But anyways, but a lot of these molds, like I said, they disrupt protein translation. So they disrupt how you make proteins. They disrupt the cell wall. In the mitochondria, they can disrupt the electron transport chain. They can disrupt mitochondrial DNA, because mitochondria have their own DNA in them, and also, some of the nuclear DNA that makes parts of the mitochondria. They can hurt that directly.
There are so many of these mycotoxins, that is the thing. They’re not like five myoctoxins, there’s hundreds that we discover.
So you, when you asked the question, which is the basic question, are these causing, are these just interrupting, interfering with our immune system?
Or do these cause disease directly? I got to say, it’s probably both, because they do cause an amazing oxidant reserve stress. They suck up, not just glutathione, but many other antioxidants, they suck up lots of free electrons. Or they produce lots of free electrons in the wrong places.
In that way, they can cause, probably neurologic, and again, in the right genetics, that amount of oxidative stress can cause disease, neurodegenerative disease, and probably trigger autoimmune disease, by causing inflammation in the organ, whether it’s the thyroid, or the joint capsule, where your immune system is already primed to be a little, not so good at suppressing an antigen.
Because that’s what happens. Your immune system sees a chemical, a protein that it normally doesn’t see. But if it’s one of your own, when it goes back into the lymph node, it should be destroyed. It should be recognized.
Now we don’t want to amplify this signal. This is a self signal, and so, some of us just don’t do that well. So yeah, there’s not a linearity here.
I hear your question, and I think the answer is, is probably, mostly, that the mycotoxins disrupt our antioxidant defenses, and our ability to our T- and B-cells are, just all of our immune, even our monocytes, that they interfere with the function of these cells, because that’s what they’re designed to do.
And then, however your body reformulates that, I mean, that’s not a satisfying thing. But it’s like, you’re dropping the wrench into the machinery. And it depends where it clangs, what sprocket it gets stuck in.
Michael Roesslein: That’s good, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: I mean, really, it’s a bad thing. Now, sometimes it’s designed to go into one particular receptor, and cause havoc, but lots of times, it’s that it causes havoc there. But the havoc only depends on whether you have a T-cell that is already not very good at responding to the signal to stand down, to not keep reproducing.
Because if that T-cell listened to the stop signal really well, even though it got the abnormal information, it would have gotten this normal stop signal. But if it’s not good at listening to the normal stop signal, well, that little bit of misinformation now gets multiplied.
Suddenly, you’ve got T-cells that are aimed at your joint. Okay? But that never should happened. I mean …
Michael Roesslein: It reminds me of this marketing campaign from, is it All State Insurance, or State Farm Insurance, or one of those insurance companies? Probably, I don’t know. Years after the ’90s, to me, they’re all the same, so I don’t know. There’s been two decades since then, but there was, the ’50s were distinct, the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, To me, when we hit 2000, everything’s the same since then. But sometimes, since then, there was a marketing campaign, where there’d be this guy for a car insurance company, and they called him Mayhem.
He would just kind of walk around, and then he’d throw a banana up in the air, just backwards. And a car would drive by, and it would hit the windshield, and cause the car to spin out and hit a pole.
Then he would dump a bucket of paint on the ground while he was walking. And then, somebody would come, and they’d track the paint into the thing, and it would light on fire. And this guy didn’t care. He wasn’t intentional, he wasn’t trying to harm anybody. He just threw things, and knocked things over, and did whatever. And it broke everything around him.
Obviously, this is why you need to buy their insurance, but …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, and so, on mycotoxin …
Michael Roesslein: It sounds kind of like that.
Dr. Eric Gordon: But remember, mycotoxin has an intent. It wants to inhibit some function of your cell.
Michael Roesslein: Okay.
Dr. Eric Gordon: The question is, if it just did that, and the cell either died, or bound that mycotoxin, and removed it? It would be a problem. The thing is, is that, right, when it continues to spiral out of control, that’s when we get these other secondary diseases. I think the mycotoxin itself will cause dysfunction in the organ, okay? That then …
Michael Roesslein: And the things that maintain the balance get screwy.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Like, rheumatoid arthritis is a secondary event. Yeah, I think I can be clear there. Yeah. Now, I had to unpack your question a little bit more.
So yes, mycotoxins go in there. They do not cause rheumatoid arthritis. Mycotoxins go in, and will poison or interfere with the function of some of your T- and B-cells and some of your, what we call monocytes, and dendritic cells, that then process immune information.
So therefore, you can then gobbledygook up your immune information, and wind up with an autoimmune disease. But the mycotoxin didn’t cause the autoimmune disease, it just screwed up the information. Either it damaged some of the cells that should have been processing the information, okay?
That’s what it’s about. They go in there, and they damage how your body talks to itself. And then, depending on how you’re lined up, you can have rheumatoid arthritis, you can get manic, you can get anxious, you can develop severe OCD.
I mean, look, what happens with PANS and PANDAS. People can get all kinds of bizarre, emotional, mental, psychological states that are generated by inflammation in certain cells. It’s not that the bacteria caused that. It’s how your body responds to it, being unable to modulate its own response. So it’s all about modulation.
Your whole system takes information in, and then, depending on the health, and I always think … Think of it as balance.
When you are fairly athletic, and you trip, you don’t fall.
You do a skip, skip, skip, and you’re fine. But when you’ve lost your balance, you hit your leg on it. Your toe catches the edge of the carpet, and you’re down for the count.
Michael Roesslein: I’m learning about those things now, I’m starting to … Yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Well, no, no, this is the whole point of health. Health is not, not falling, or not tripping, but health is not getting hurt when you do. Okay? It’s not about never being exposed to this stuff. It’s about when you’re exposed, being able to dance with it.
I mean, we should limit our exposure, but I’m just saying, but when the body is healthy, you can deal with most of these, most of this crap. Though, I said, we are putting more and more, it’s like the …
Michael Roesslein: Got you.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Now you’re taking the trained athlete and blindfolding them, and putting them in a kid’s room, with all kinds of crap on the floor.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, yeah. You’re tying their arms together, yeah.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, yeah. Well, one of these days, you’re going to fall.
Michael Roesslein: So we only have a few minutes left.
You’re hosting right now, when this is going live, “There’s a Mold and Mycotoxin Summit that’s going on,” that we’ll have a link below, probably a little banner, be very easy to find.
Tons more information on mold. I’m sure that, I mean …
Dr. Eric Gordon: Let me just tell you a little bit about that, because it’s on mold and chronic illness. Because to me, the mold is the problem, when the cause is a chronic illness, or when it is on top of a chronic illness.
So it’s unpacking that, again, in the early years, when Dr. Shoemaker was first working in this, he actually believed that most of the people with mold in the early days had had Lyme first, which interfered with IL-10 and a few other cytokines, that allowed the people to lose the ability to respond well.
So it’s unpacking that, again, in the early years, when Dr. Shoemaker was first working in this, he actually believed that most of the people with mold in the early days had had Lyme first, which interfered with IL-10 and a few other cytokines, that allowed the people to lose the ability to respond well.
I mean, this is when he’s, remember, he was looking at the genes of his HLA genes. And he came up with a subset, which increased the likelihood that people would be susceptible to mycotoxins.
So it’s not just Lyme. But I think any chronic infection or chronic toxin exposure increases the likelihood that your body’s not going to dance as well when it’s exposed to mold.
There’s the genetics, and the amount of other stuff that are weighing on your immune system. So that’s what we talk about, as well. And we also talk about lots of different ways of dealing, of healing, because after you’ve had an exposure, and your brain or your body, and your nervous system, has developed patterns of response.
That’s one of the downsides of chronic illness, is that once you’ve blown up the balloon, once you’ve learned that pattern, you go back to that pattern easier. It’s just like addiction. If you get addicted to something, and you get it again, the desire is bigger than for people who are first exposed.
Well, unfortunately, the same thing happens when re-exposure can produce the symptoms faster and easier. That’s what makes life a little more, you have to be a little more careful as you go through, as you get more re exposures.
That’s another reason that some people are more sensitive. Because they’ve had a lot more exposures. And those are things that we learn about.
Michael Roesslein: So lots to learn there. Lots of tips, lots of suggestions, stuff on testing, some on recovery healing.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, yeah, lots of smart people. Yeah, I think that’s the most important thing is right now, I’ve been talking a lot, but I let the people talk, because these are some real experts.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, I looked at the list. It’s pretty impressive, the group.
It’s a lot of people that know a lot about these things, so …
Dr. Eric Gordon: That’s what we’re offering, just because we want people to think. I don’t know if you want me to throw it in, but you told me about a program that you were working on, that allows people to find the right therapies for them.
That’s what it’s all about, because I don’t help everybody. Far from it. I need lots of people who have different skill sets, and can hear things that I might miss. That’s what we want to give out to people, to realize that if you’re hitting the wall, and you’re not getting better with what you’re doing?
Michael Roesslein: Here’s some other tools.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Listen, ask for some other advice, see another, and get another perspective. I mean, and if your doctor gets real offended? Eh, put it like this. We all want to be your one, but the reality is, we’re not going to. We’re not going to have the answer for everybody. So hopefully, your doctor, even though I heard a little bit, they’ll stiffen up and go, “Okay, let me help you find some other advice, or another opinion,” because …
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, great.
Dr. Eric Gordon: We all don’t know everything. We’re all learning, all the time.
Michael Roesslein: That’s a really important attitude to have about it too. I’ve run into many in this field who think otherwise, so … [crosstalk 01:02:25] Now I’ve learned, that’s a red flag, because it’s literally impossible.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, and to be fair, some of the best minds that I know have that attitude, they they know it all. And they’re often my teachers. I honor them, because it’s that single minded focus that allows to, that can sometimes illuminate that path. But if you’re the patient, you have to remember, if that illumination doesn’t shine on you?
Find somebody else.
Michael Roesslein: Yeah, all right. Great, we’ll put the link down below. We’ll have a little banner, we’ll make it easy to find. Your website we’ll stick down there, too. If people want to go to your site, you guys have a great clinic there.
Several practitioners, really cool therapies and things down there, too, so …
Dr. Eric Gordon: We try, but again, there’s lots out there, and if we don’t have it …
We’ll do our best to help you find people in places that do. Because, like I say, everything works sometimes, which sounds kind of funny, but I really have seen that. I’ve seen people heal themselves in ways that I never imagined possible, so …
Michael Roesslein: I have now too, in the last few years.
Stuff, I would have totally foo-foo’d out the window before, I’ve like, “Huh, okay, then. That’s a thing.”
Dr. Eric Gordon: Yeah, exactly. We all have to be respected.
Michael Roesslein: And open-minded.
All right. Well, check out the summit, go learn a whole bunch more things, go check out their site.
Thank you so much, Dr. Gordon, this is always fun. Now I have, I took some notes. I have about four other subjects we’ll need to talk about it some day.
Dr. Eric Gordon: It’s a pleasure to talk to you.
Michael Roesslein: Because there was a lot of spirals we could have gone in there, that we reigned back in. So thank you for doing the summit, too. Thank you for putting that together. And we’ll talk again soon.
Dr. Eric Gordon: Thank you, Michael, so much. Thanks for this. It’s fun to make you think out loud.
Michael Roesslein: Yup, it is.