MadSci Network: Other

Re: Is bread mold(white bread)bad for you, and can it be poisonous?

Date: Mon May 18 22:49:26 1998
Posted By: David Winsemius, MadSci Admin
Area of science: Other
ID: 895329763.Ot

First you have to tell me which side you are on and how much of the bet I get.

Seriously, but not very, molds can be poisonous, but not usually. It may depend 
on your definition of poisonous. If some Penicillium mold makes some penicillin 
and a person who is allergic to penicillin eats a substantial quantity and has a 
fatal anaphylactic reaction, is that poisonous? I would say not, but some might 
say so. The disease of ergotism occurs when certain molds on rye produce ergot 
alkaloids (a lot like LSD). I would consider this a grain-mold poisoning, but I 
have never heard of it occuring on white bread. Heck, most self respecting molds 
wouldn't even touch that stuff. It's really only useful for feeding pre-
adolescent boys.

Most of the time, however, mold is not particularly dangerous, just offensive.
Hope this helps, but I really don't think it will,
David Winsemius, MD

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