Are Mold Toxins in Coffee Making You Sick?

Being Bulletproof is, and always will be, based on evidence – from scientific studies, from observations out in the world, and from testing yourself and seeing what works. After years of reviewing the research, interviewing experts, and hearing personal accounts for my documentary, Moldy, I can say without a doubt that molds and mycotoxins (harmful mold byproducts) can devastate your biology.

In my conversation with Brian Rose over at the London Real, I had the chance to share some thoughts about the evidence behind mold and Bulletproof Coffee. One great thing about Brian is that he’s never afraid to ask the tough questions, and I’m grateful we got to dive into this topic.

What mold in coffee does to your brain

Science and my own experience convinced me that mold drastically impacts your cognitive function, but I wanted to see it for myself. I ran my own independent research trials and published the results in The Bulletproof Diet. Here’s an overview of the study.

Participants consumed coffee prepared one of four ways:

  • Conventionally processed coffee with no butter
  • Conventionally processed coffee with butter
  • Bulletproof processed coffee with no butter
  • Bulletproof processed coffee with butter

We then tested seven cognitive functions using standardized psychological tests and found that lab-tested, upgraded coffee beans statistically improved overall cognitive performance in participants. I’ve included a plot comparing the difference below.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies looking at the effects of these toxins on your body support these results. That’s what lead me to develop clean coffee.


You can learn more about the dangers of mycotoxins by checking out this article. If research really turns you on, or if you’re still second-guessing your coffee, you can access my full list of the medical literature on mold toxins.

How epigenetics dictate your reaction to mold

The world of diets and health can be confusing to navigate because of conflicting advice and ideas. Part of the reason is that everyone has a different set of genes and weaknesses. That’s why one person feels like crap after a mold toxin exposure while another person feels fine.

Your individual epigenetics – how your cells read your genes and react to the environment – are as unique as your fingerprints. Mold toxins are harmful to everyone, but your reaction to small amounts may be more noticeable than your co-worker’s or your mom’s.

Personally, I can detect a mold problem within minutes of walking into a room, because I know how my body reacts to it.

Low-level exposure causes hidden damage that you may pass of as something normal, like being tired or unable to focus. Continuous exposure over time can make you start to notice more serious problems. A sudden onslaught of mycotoxin (like spending some time in a moldy basement) can magnify your reaction, making it easier to pinpoint mold as the cause.

Take simple steps to avoid mold whenever possible and reduce your exposure where you can. Things like adopting a Bulletproof Diet will not only lessen your exposure to mold, but will strengthen your immune system so your body is more capable of fighting off harmful toxins – including mold.

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