E. C. Anyanwu
J. E. Ehiri
Department of Child and Maternal Health
School of Public Health
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Department of Microbiology
Abia State University
Abia State Nigeria
Epidemiological evidence suggests a possible association between chronic exposures to toxigenic molds in damp water-damaged buildings and high levels of cholesterol abnormalities that may represent a high risk for cardiovascular diseases. Although, cholesterol has many useful functions in the body, including its role in membrane structure, brain tissue, fetal development and the biosynthesis of other steroidal hormones, its harmful effects in the body have been widely publicized. Although, the physiological status of cholesterol in animals exposed to toxigenic molds have been reported, there is not enough experimental evidence to support similar occurrence in humans. The purpose of this review is to provide a basis for discussion in the light of on-going research on the topic.The effects of chronic toxigenic mold exposures on individuals in damp buildings are reviewed to provide the background for better understanding of their associations with the observed cholesterol abnormalities. The structure, and the regulatory mechanisms of cholesterol biosynthesis are assessed to identify the important enzymes interact with the toxigenic molds and mycotoxins to which abnormalities are enhanced. It was for this purpose that the effects of mycotoxins on metabolism, cellular supply and utilization of cholesterol and bile acid synthesis and related cardiovascular disease symptomology are evaluated. The outcomes of the reviews showed that, persons exposed to chronic toxigenic molds in damp buildings might be at risk of cardiovascular diseases and other related disorders. This assumption was based on the structural and functional activities highlighted by the evidence from animal models of cholesterolemia: cholesterol LDL-cholesterol/depression, atherosclerosis, premature coronary artery disease (CAD) and neurogenetic aspects of hypercholesterolemia. Given the fact that toxigenic molds release mycotoxins that affect human health, and given the possibility that structurally, and mechanistically, mycotoxins could adversely affect cholesterol metabolism through interactions with the related enzymes and disruption of cellular supply and utilization of cholesterol, and bile acid synthesis, it is most likely that individuals exposed to chronic toxigenic molds might be at risk of neurological disorders including cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
◊ An open access article from The Internet Journal of Toxicology (
2007) Volume 3 Number 2, viewed from Biology-Online.org.