Fat chance of Losing Weight in a Moldy Home?

Fat chance of Losing Weight in a Moldy Home?

Posted on September 18, 2017
By: Dr. Bruce Thomas, MD

     About 2/3 of US adults are overweight (BMI > 25) and 1/3 are obese (BMI > 30). Of course our diets play a role as do exercise, our own psychology, hormones and a host of other factors. One of those factors is toxins and some of those toxins are those that come from water damaged buildings a.k.a. mold.

     What can happen is that the toxins associated with a water damaged building get inhaled into our bodies. If we get exposed normally, about 75% of the time, our immune system gets rid of those toxins. But about 25% of the time we’re not genetically well positioned to do that. One of the effects of these toxins is that they can attack the leptin receptor. Leptin interacting with its receptor controls how tightly fat cells store fatty acids. High levels of leptin are a sign of disrupted leptin receptors in the brain, specifically an organ called the hypothalamus. Outside of the brain, leptin binds to immune cells and increases inflammatory cytokines. When levels are high, fatty acids are stored in fat tissue, causing weight gain.

     The tough thing about all this is that if this is cause of weight gain, you won’t respond very well to diet and exercise until the root of the problem is corrected. From a young age I had a fairly simply approach to weight: If you were overweight, you needed to eat less and exercise more. If that didn’t work, you were either not working hard enough or it was your thyroid. The fact is though, there are other things that contribute to weight gain. Of course you can’t say “It’s gotta but mold.”

     But it would make sense to check our mold and other possibilities.