Dr. Sponaugle is an integrative doctor who practices environmental medicine. He is located in Florida at the Sponaugle Wellness Institute. He has dedicated his life to understanding brain chemistry and the effects of toxicity on the brain. One of the biggest culprits bringing us down today is mold toxicity. Those of you who have suffered the ill effects of mold exposure know that it can be devastating to your life. It is reassuring for many after going from doctor to doctor to know that there is a physician with a clinic who understands the effects of all toxins and how to rid the body of these damaging substances. There is not a single living person or thing on the planet not affected by toxicity. That is the sad truth, but the chemicals are here to stay so we must learn to live and thrive in spite of them or we will not survive. I believe you will find his interview enlightening and hopeful.

Suzanne Somers (SS): Thank you for your time, Dr. Sponaugle….Environmental medicine has emerged, why is there a need for it?

Rick Sponaugle (RS): So nice to speak with you, Suzanne. Environmental medicine has emerged as a new medical specialty because there is a drastic need for it in America. At last count, American industry has manufactured over 81,000 synthetic chemicals since 1930. We are exposed to these toxic chemicals on a daily basis. In your book, “Sexy Forever” – Shed the Toxins, Shed the Weight – you did a splendid job of exposing the myriad of toxins that American industry has placed in our food and water supply.

SS: Let me play Devil’s advocate; why do we care?

RS: The majority of these industrial chemicals are fatty in nature, called “lipophilic.” Every cell in our body has a fatty membrane, kind of like the outer shell of each cell. These membranes are made up primarily of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, the good fatty acids; these good fatty acids make up the cell membrane of brain cells, heart cells, liver cells, muscle cells, skin cells etc.

Problematic is that these industrial toxins – Benzene, Toluene, pesticides, food additives and xeno­ estrogens like BPA, PCB and Phthalates, to name a just a few, being lipophilic or fatty in nature, freely move through the fatty membranes of the body’s cells, migrating to and depositing in, the fattiest body tissue. Because our brain is the fattiest organ in the body, consisting of 60% fat, every decade an ever increasing number of Americans suffer from neurotoxicity- the excessive accumulation of environmental toxins in the brain.

These fatty toxins actually move into the linkage between omega 3 and 6 fatty acids causing our brain cell membranes to become stiff and less compliant, this disallows fluid movement of our brain’s messengers, brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, to effectively travel between brain cells. Furthermore, the brain chemical transporters residing within the cell membranes, become “too toxic” to properly transport brain chemicals from one brain cell to the next. This is causative in many depressive and anxiety disorders- these patient’s don’t have a Paxil or Zoloft deficiency.

SS: So the harmful fatty acids make a membrane that is not fluid, more like an eggshell and too sick to move brain chemicals between brain cells? And what is all this ‘n-toxication’ doing to us? It certainly can’t be good.

RS: Oh Suzanne, it’s extremely problematic. In my opinion, neurotoxicity is the primary cause of the three-fold increase in depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia we have seen since 1980- and the 10 fold increase in Autism, you know the gene pool hasn’t changed that much in just 30 years.

Let’s give your readers a great visual that explains in just one brain region, our pleasure center called the nucleus accumbens, how neurotoxicity causes both depression and obesity. The first slide depicts the nucleus accumbens, our hunger and reward center. The second slide depicts two brain cells inside of the nucleus accumbens.

It is the activation of the D2 receptor in our nucleus accumbens that gives us pleasure and satiety – this negates our need to over eat. PET brain studies have proven that eating triples D2 activity in our hunger center for 90 minutes. Think about this Suzanne, every extra bite of food gives our reward center another “dopamine hit.”

Neurotoxic patients suffer diminished release of dopamine and thus decreased D2 activity. This not only causes symptoms of depression, it causes a lack of “satiety” so they eat something every 90 minutes as an attempt to self-medicate. They often say, “I’m eating out of boredom” -boredom and lack of motivation are symptoms derived from an underactive reward-hunger center.

SS: I wrote about our individual ‘toxic burdens’ in my book “Sexy Forever” last year; that the more toxins you take in, the more fat is needed for storage. People are perplexed when they can’t lose weight by dieting alone. Easting foods laden with chemicals and preservatives is going to stall your ability to lose weight, is it not?

RS: Absolutely, two great questions in one. First, obese people carry more fatty toxins than non-obese people because fatty toxins deposit in fat. The heavier toxic load diminishes brain function in obese people. A recent brain imaging study revealed that the brains of obese patients are smaller than the brain’s of normal weight.

Let me further explain the domino effect regarding the role of toxicity as a primary causation of America’s battle with obesity. Dopamine receptivity, the ability of the dopamine molecule to fit and activate the D2 receptor, as seen in the above picture, is controlled by two hormones, thyroid and testosterone.

Neurotoxic patients always suffer deficiencies of both, testosterone and thyroid hormone. The brain’s hypothalamus becomes “too sick” to properly stimulate the pituitary gland which is responsible for activating the thyroid gland and our sex organs. Thus, neurotoxin- induced deficiencies of thyroid and testosterone cause further depression and more over-eating.

Neurotoxin- induced suppression of TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and the subsequent hypothyroidism, causes obesity through yet another mechanism Suzanne, as you are well aware, our thyroid hormone controls the metabolism of every cell in our body. When the body’s metabolism is shut down by 50% there is no way to avoid excessive weight gain.

I have successfully treated thousands of obese patients who suffered undiagnosed neurotoxicity.* Most had previously spent thousands of dollars at weight loss clinics and wellness centers where the neurotoxicity factor was ignored. Some of these women suffered such severe hypothyroidism that their basal temperature was down to 96 degrees, normal is 98 degrees. I frequently diagnose these women sitting in restaurants because they wear jackets and sweatshirts in 72 degree rooms. These patients can eat two lima beans a day and still not lose weight, until we remove the toxic load from their brain and body.

Below are just a few thankful patients who were suffering from undiagnosed mold toxicity. They all suffered with symptoms of depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and excessive weight gain prior to coming to Sponaugle Wellness Institute. These patients effortlessly and quickly lost their excessive fat within 8 weeks of undergoing my wellness program which includes the analysis and optimization of over 300 brain chemicals, hormones, nutritional and toxin biomarkers-and our proprietary intravenous toxin removal protocol.* Some had previously spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at other wellness centers without achieving healthy weight loss.

The above picture demonstrates a massive infestation of black mold that was hidden behind the shower tile in the six month old home of one of my female patients. She developed a severe OxyContin addiction while attempting to self-medicate the panic disorder and bipolar symptoms she developed from mold toxin-induced excite-neurotoxicity- an over-electrified brain.

SS: How are we taking in these toxins?

RS: Well, as you pointed out in “Sexy Forever,” we absorb them through our skin taking showers and through our intestinal lining because our food is contaminated with ridiculous toxins to make it look “more fresh” in the supermarket, this non-sense in addition to poisonous pesticides.

Furthermore, “progress” has moved us into an era of airtight energy-efficient homes that are slowly killing us because they don’t breathe. In modern homes, we are actually breathing in, many aromatic solvent toxins like Benzene and Toluene on a daily basis. These toxins are ubiquitous and they out gas from carpet glue, indoor paints, furniture fabric including “flame retardant” mattresses that we sleep on eight hours every day. Wool is a natural flame retardant, but, “progress” has taken us away from the common sense of our ancestors who used wool instead of chemical laden bedding.

Toxicity is really about the cumulative effect, I’ve heard your friend and one of my heroes, Dr Blaylock, say the same thing. My experience has been that our liver does an amazing job of handling the myriad industrial and environmental toxins in most people until they develop mold toxicity from water damaged buildings. The mold toxins Ochratoxin and Trichothecene are severely liver toxic, in fact, German studies have proven that Trichothecene can cause liver cancer. Mold toxicity if slowly killing millions of Americans.

SS: So tell me about the HLA gene you diagnosed me with and what the deal is on Mold Toxicity? Who carries the HLA gene? How do you test for it?

RS: Well Suzanne, you and I both have the HLA DRBQ genetics. The test for HLA-DRBQ genetics is a DNA blood test. People like us, with HLA DRBQ genetics, cannot make antibodies to mold toxins. Hence, we cannot effectively remove these toxins from our body like other people. It’s not a problem unless we’re living or working in a water damaged building.

The highest prevalence of this genetic anomaly is in fair-skinned people of Northern European descent, particularly English, Irish and Welsh. Supposedly, only one out of four Americans have the HLA-DRBQ genetics, but ironically, 85% of my patients have these genetics and are predisposed to mold toxicity.

Most American physicians are naive regarding mold toxicity because mold toxicity is an emerging illness­ it was much less common just 50 years ago. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that we began producing more air­ tight energy-efficient homes and office buildings. God gave us log and stone; mold grows slowly on log and stone, but it flourishes on wet drywall which is essentially pressed paper. Prior to 1970, the majority of our walls were made from plaster and plywood.

When buildings suffer water damage, molds grow quickly on cellulose material like drywall, billions of toxin producing mold colonies become trillions of colonies in just days. Two phenomena, the advent of drywall and the production of energy-efficient homes have caused a rapid rise in the number of Americans suffering from mold toxicity. Americans with HLA DRBQ genetics who live or work in water damaged buildings are essentially living in toxic gas chambers.

Apparently, I have performed the only research in America comparing the brain scans of mold toxic patients to toxin-induced changes in brain chemistry. My research has proven that mold toxic brains produce excessive levels of two electrifying brain chemicals, glutamate and phenyl ethylamine. Mold toxicity patients frequently suffer symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

A multitude of mold toxic patients become addicted to drugs like OxyContin and Xanax in their attempt to calm their over electrified brain and body. America’s rehab centers are full of addicted patients where ill-knowledgeable rehab doctors and counselors misdiagnose these patients as drug addicts and tell them to get a grip on their anxiety and deal with their fibromyalgia.

Mold toxicity has causation in a multitude of medical disorders.

SS: How does excessive toxicity set you up for disease and from the perspective of the average person in America?

RS: Wow, it’s multi-faceted but I will attempt to cover some pertinent concepts that every American should be aware of.

Toxic patients suffer global hormonal deficiencies derived from neurotoxin- induced shut down of the pituitary gland called pituitary insufficiency. Suzanne, as you know, the pituitary gland produces a multitude of hormones, some that directly target end organs like growth hormone and others that stimulate production of hormones in downstream glands – the thyroid, adrenal glands, and the gonads, testicles and ovaries.

These multiple hormonal deficiencies cause diminished function of every cell in the body leaving patients with symptoms of depression, chronic fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, MCI [mild cognitive impairment], early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and the list goes on beyond what we can discuss in this chapter.

Children up to 13 years of age have immature livers as compared to adults, therefore the younger the child, the more difficulty they have removing environmental toxins. Those who are neurotoxic from age 2 months until around age 10, the years in which most of the brain myelin is laid down, can actually develop smaller brains. Children who are neurotoxic in middle school often suffer delayed puberty and stunted growth from growth hormone deficiency. Adults who suffer growth hormone deficiency. Adults who suffer growth hormone deficiency lack the ability to repair every cell in their body, therefore, they obviously undergo an accelerated aging process.

Neurotoxic patients suffer from a deficiency of ADH, anti-diuretic hormone. Children who suffer undiagnosed neurotoxicity often exhibit problems with enuresis, or bed wetting. For some reason no one has picked up on the fact that their pituitary is shut down from toxic load. These are the things you surmise only when you are paying attention to trends in your patients.

When adults suffer from toxin- induced ADH deficiency, they exhibit symptoms of frequent urination, but, unlike small children, they normally get up in the middle of the night versus wetting the bed. In middle- aged males, the knee jerk assumption made by most physicians, is that the patient suffers from an enlarged prostate, this may or may not be the case. Physicians cannot flippantly make this diagnosis in female patients. Many females I have diagnosed with neurotoxicity, later informed me that their physicians told them to simply stop drinking so much water and they wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom so often.

As we discussed earlier, neurotoxic patients cannot produce adequate thyroid stimulating hormone and thus, typically suffer symptoms of hypothyroidism. Because the thyroid hormone activates every cell in the body, including brain cells, cellular metabolism and function is suboptimal throughout the body.

SS: What are the symptoms or indicators of low thyroid?

RS: Well, it seems there are about 100,000. Depression, lethargy, fatigue, brain fog, early dementia, cold hands, cold feet, general cold intolerance, heat intolerance, high blood pressure, bradycardia which is a slow heart rate, syncope, constipation, myalgias, muscle cramping, stiff joints, course brittle hair, hair loss, slow growth of fingernails, slow wound healing, more frequent infections and decreased perspiration.

SS: Why would decreased perspiration be a problem?

RS: The more severe the hypothyroidism, the less the patients sweat and poop. We eliminate fatty toxins through sweating and pooping. I always ask my patients about their bowel movements because the frequency of their bowel movements tells me a lot about their health, specifically if they are neurotoxic. Sweating is essential for toxin removal, this is the reason infrared saunas or utilized in so many health spas. In modern America nobody sweats. Our great grandparents would sweat all day because they physically worked 12 hours a day for survival on farms. Today Americans run from their air-conditioned homes to their air-conditioned cars to their air-conditioned offices. If they do work out, it’s in an air conditioned gym that is so cold, they can’t sweat. How ridiculous has progress made us look.

In the hypothyroid state, our mitochondria are so underactive and sluggish that they cannot effectively burn oxygen and glucose to make energy and heat.

SS: Is that why people with low thyroid are “out of gas”?
RS: Absolutely. Furthermore, in hypothyroidism, the waste products produced from what little oxygen and glucose is utilized, cannot be effectively removed from the body cells. For lack of a better description, every cell in the body blows up with a mucopolysacharide waste product called mucin.
Mucin accumulation in skin cells causes a thickness above the eyes and between the eyebrows in people who really aren’t even fat. Mucin accumulation from hypothyroidism can cause the lips and tongue to enlarge and produces a thickening of the skin. Hypothyroidism is so common in American women that many middle -aged women cannot lift the skin off the outside of the bicep.

SS: Yes but couldn’t all of this be attributed to normal aging? You know, that gravity is pulling the face down. That in itself creates more hooding around the eyes. How do you differentiate?

RS: You differentiate thin sagging skin from thick and puffy eyelids. Many middle aged American women waste $5000 on blepharoplasty procedures when all they need is to have their thyroid status optimized.

SS: Does the thyroid affect the immune system?

RS: Absolutely, every cell in the body depends on T 3, the active thyroid hormone, for mitochondrial activation, especially our natural killer cells and our antibodies. In fact, it’s interesting that Graz, Austria is in the goiter belt, a region where there is the least iodine in the soil, and therefore, before iodine supplementation in table salt, Graz had the highest incidence of hypothyroidism in the world. Around the turn of the 19th century, before the advent of antibiotics, Graz, Austria had the highest death rate of newborn infants in the world, they all died of infections. Our immune system simply doesn’t work without thyroid hormone. Of note, testosterone is required for activation of interleukin-6, the cytokine that activates our natural killer cells, Suzanne it’s all amazingly interconnected.

Neurotoxic patients can suffer severe deficiencies of the pituitary hormones, leutenizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This causes early andropause in men and early menopause in women. It is not unusual in my practice to see 20 and 30 year old females who have already entered menopause, what a frightening thought that this is becoming the state of the Union, in America.

Suzanne, when I read your book, “Sexy Forever”, I was reminded of this patient, I know you’re going to appreciate this story. I recently treated the 27 year-old daughter of an academic physician from New York City. She had suffered with severe chronic fatigue and depression since age 17, the age at which she suddenly lost her menstrual periods.

None of her father’s colleagues at NYU Medical Center could determine the causation of her physical and mental demise, they of course, never considered neurotoxicity. Halfway through my family workshop, I was discussing neurotoxin induced hormonal suppression, when this young lady stood up and informed me, and the entire audience of 40 strangers, that many of her 30-year-old girl friends in New York City had already developed menopausal hormone levels and had become amenstrual. These young women were all prescribed toxic birth control pills by their New York gynecologists.

Sadly, American gynecologists readily examine the uterus and perform laparoscopies to evaluate the ovaries, but, they remain naive regarding neurotoxicity, we’ve got to get the word out. Doctors simply fail to realize the problem is the toxin saturated sick brain, the broken switch, not the end organ, the ovaries.

Neurotoxicity in young females often results in infertility issues. I have treated many middle-aged females who unfortunately spent $50,000 on unsuccessful infertility treatment before they found Sponaugle Wellness Institute. After these young women were properly diagnosed and underwent my intravenous detoxification program, they had no problem getting pregnant and no longer suffered miscarriages.

Toxin- induced testosterone deficiency causes insulin resistance and diabetes in both sexes; insulin requires optimal testosterone levels for receptivity. I find it interesting that in 1982, when I graduated from medical school, the average age patients developed adult onset diabetes was around 50. Thirty years later, we are seeing much younger patients, patients in their 30s and 40s, develop type 2 diabetes, this is because a higher level of toxic exposure comes with each new decade.

Neurotoxicity is the common denominator in the majority of Americans suffering with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. When the neurotoxic brain is too sick, to respond to falling hormone production from down-stream organs, patients suffer hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency [Cortisol and DHEA deficiency] and Testosterone deficiency.

Adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and dopamine are the three first cousins in the catecholamine family. All three of these neurotransmitters require Thyroid hormone, Cortisol and Testosterone to activate their respective receptors throughout the brain and the body.

Inadequate activation of these three adrenaline “cousins” causes severe chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue is diagnosed by traditional medical doctors, and most physicians at anti-aging wellness centers, as a primary adrenal problem, when in fact, this is rarely the case .The adrenal glands are usually working well, the more common problem in most Americans is that neurotoxic load is preventing adequate pituitary production of ACTH, the brain hormone that activates the adrenal glands.

Suzanne, I see chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia as co-disorders in all of my neurotoxic patients. This is because an excessive accumulation of brain toxins also causes excessive production of the brain chemical, glutamate. Glutamate is the most powerful excitatory or electrifying brain neurotransmitter. For this reason, neurotoxic patients experience excessive “electrical voltage” throughout their brain and their body, this is the primary cause of their fibromyalgia symptoms.

DHEA deficiency in neurotoxic patients is another cause of fibromyalgia. The toxic brain is again too sick to stimulated adrenal production of DHEA. Both DHEA and MSH, a pituitary hormone, are required for the production of our natural opiates, endorphins, obviously endorphin deficiency will precipitate increased total body pain.

When fibromyalgia patients undergo my intravenous detoxification program in addition to proper optimization of their calming brain chemicals and the hormones that control the receptivity of those brain chemicals, they no longer suffer fibromyalgia symptoms .We have phenomenal success treating fibromyalgia patients.

SS: How does cellular damage from toxins affect our bodies?

RS: Since the structural integrity of every cell membrane in our body is made up of the good fatty acids, Omega 3s and Omega 6s, the infiltration of fatty toxins into the cell membranes can destroy every organ in the body.

The intestinal lining is extremely sensitive to toxicity and excessive toxicity causes malabsorption issues with subsequent nutritional deficiencies. Every year, I see more and more, younger Americans, suffering from toxicity and malnutrition. All the fatty toxins, including pesticides, destroy the intestinal lining. The most damaging toxin to the intestinal mucosa, based on what I have seen in my patients, is the Trichothecene T2 toxin produced by the black mold, Stachybotrus. The best research on this is coming out of France and Germany, for some reason American medical centers, with the exception of Michigan State and Texas Tech, remain fairly naïve regarding mold toxicity.

The slide below demonstrates an amino acid analysis I performed on a sweet lady from San Francisco. She was well educated and had read many of your books, she had been eating organic food for at least 10 years, yet, her amino acid analysis revealed that she suffered severe malnutrition. She also suffered severe depression, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

In a 10 year period prior to her presentation at Sponaugle Wellness Institute, she spent over $800,000 on wellness centers throughout America, unsuccessfully attempting to “get well.” They all did a good job of optimizing her hormones, but, they failed to diagnose the underlying causation of her physical and mental demise, severe Trichothecene toxicity. Her mold toxicity was derived from the black mold hidden behind her bedroom wall. Apparently the flashing around her chimney was damaged allowing rain water to leak inside the wall.

Note that in spite of eating healthy foods, her essential amino acid levels were in the bottom 1% of all Americans. The toxin induced damage to her intestinal mucosa disallowed effective transport of the amino acids from her gut into her blood stream. This is something I commonly see in mold toxic patients.

Neurotoxicity is the excessive accumulation of toxins in the brain. The brain and peripheral nervous system are the most sensitive organs to the toxic load of fatty toxins. Earlier we discussed the concept that the brain is the fattiest organ consisting of 60% fat. The myelin sheath, the insulation on brain and body nerves, is actually 80% fatty in structure and, is extremely sensitive to fatty toxin infiltration.

For this reason, fatty toxins are particularly damaging to myelin. When they deposit in the myelin sheath they cause excessive inflammation and ultimately, they can cause total destruction of the myelin sheath as seen in the Multiple Sclerosis slide below. Suzanne, the scary thing is, I see approximately 40 new patients every month, of lately, I am diagnosing two middle-aged females, via MRI of the brain, with Multiple Sclerosis each month.

These women always have HLA DRBQ genetics in which they cannot effectively remove mold toxins from their brain and, they always suffer from undiagnosed mold toxicity. We can typically reverse earlier stages of multiple sclerosis with 12 weeks of our Brain Wellness Program which includes our aggressive intravenous program for removal of toxins.* We have not found oral medicinal or herbal detoxifying agents to be effective in treating these MS patients.

SS: And so if people don’t clear out the toxicity in their bodies what can they expect?

RS: Essentially, some level of demise in every organ and every system of the body. Patients suffering excessive toxicity will also undergo an accelerated aging process. Every patient suffering neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s, and Autism, that we have treated at Sponaugle Wellness Institute, has proven to have HLA DRBQ genetics and undiagnosed mold toxicity. Again, the mold toxicity tends to overwhelm the liver thereby exacerbating the patient’s generalized toxicity from pesticides and industrial toxins. While we can’t measure all 81,000 synthetic toxic chemicals manufactured by American industry since 1930, we do measure an average of 10 aromatic solvent toxins in all of our patients, this gives us a general assessment regarding the level of our patient’s overall toxic state. The pattern we see is, the bigger the city, the more toxic the patient.

SS: So if we are living in big cities what can we do? How can we fix it? Is the only thing a person can do is go to your clinic and detox? And then when they get back from your clinic, they will be exposed to the environmental toxins and then are they going to get re-intoxicated?

RS: Once we have brought their toxin level down to Ground Zero, they need to do many of the things you have already recommended in your previous books. Everyone should install reverse osmosis to remove antibiotics and heavy metals from their drinking water. However, reverse osmosis does not filter the fatty toxins in city water, eliminating intake of fatty toxins like pesticides etc. one must install a charcoal filtration system on the home water system. We can actually absorb more fatty toxins through the skin while taking a bath or a shower then we can imbibe drinking city water.

SS: Well how can we survive? You are talking about pretty much everyone. We are all exposed to some form of toxic chemicals?

RS: I advise all my patients, particularly those with HLA genetics, to invest in a charcoal filtration system for their home. It is also very important to exercise and sweat on a daily basis. Patients who have physical disabilities and cannot exercise should definitely use infrared sauna several times a week.

It’s also important, as you have emphasized in your book, to invest in organic foods. You made the point in “Sexy Forever” that organic food can be expensive, but it is more expensive to suffer cancer and other medical disorders from pesticide toxicity.

I personally think every American should be tested for HLA DRBQ genetics. Knowledge is truly empowering, patient’s need to know if they need to practice hyper vigilance regarding their living or working in mold toxic buildings.

Americans are living in cities where the water supply is tainted with antibiotics that destroy the normal and beneficial bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, subsequently, most Americans have developed intestinal overgrowth of toxic yeast and pathogenic bacteria. A recent study from California Tech emphasized the concept that deleterious yeast mycotoxins and bacterial endotoxins derived from gut toxicity, are causation in multiple sclerosis. This concept is something your friend Brenda Watson and I have discussed for years, we have been waiting for validation from a University Medical Center.

This study validates the fact that Americans should take gastrointestinal dysbiosis and gut toxicity seriously and, use all natural herbal products such as Renew Life Candigone to rid their intestine of parasitic microorganisms.

Some cities are more toxic than others based on their industrial history. We tend to diagnose more aromatic solvent toxicity in patients from Newark, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

SS: So the babies born in these cities are born toxic because the mothers are contaminated with mold and toxins and then the city itself further contaminates the child?

RS: There are some places in America that are extremely toxic. Some regions in West Virginia and Ohio have been nicknamed “cancer valley” because of the increased prevalence of cancer derived from the chemical toxins produced by major chemical companies.

SS: The problem with mold toxicity is that most of the time we can’t see that we have a leak in our houses.

RS: Suzanne, you’re absolutely right.

Lauren, a 40 year old woman came to me recently for help with what she thought was mold toxicity after finding my website. Her water bill had increased four-fold over the last 6 months and she had gained 40 pounds in the 6 month period. She also developed a new onset insomnia disorder. She knew she had a water leak behind a wall or under a floor, but she couldn’t find it. Her three children who always made straight A’s suddenly started making C’s. I diagnosed Lauren and her children with HLA genetics and severe mold toxicity. Lauren and her children responded extremely well to just two weeks of our intravenous mold toxicity program.* Had they not found us, the next thing the kids would have developed would be food allergies …

SS: Why food allergies?

RS: Food allergies and leaky gut syndrome are an integral part of the toxicity syndrome; Fatty toxins like pesticides and mold toxins destroy the gut lining. One of my 26-year-old patients from Chicago, Sarah, she and her father have a video testimony on my website, developed coordination and balance problems, in addition to fine motor issues that made hand writing difficult. She was losing her fine motor function at the young age of 26.

SS: Why?

RS: Because she acquired severe Trichothecene toxicity from working in a moldy green house. She developed such severe leaky gut syndrome that the constant leaking of the Gluten/Gliadin protein caused her immune system to produce anti-gliadin antibodies. The problem is that gliadin “mimics” or looks like the purkinje cells in the cerebellum. In these patients, the immune system, specifically the anti-gliadin antibodies, attack and destroy the cerebellum causing dys-coordination issues and ataxia. This mechanism is prevalent in many Autistic spectrum disorders, but no one appears to be looking for mold toxicity in these children.

SS: It’s amazing that mold toxins are so destructive.

RS: I know Suzanne, I am still amazed and it seems each month, we add to the list of medical disorders that are caused by mold toxicity.

SS: Who do you call to get mold out of your house?

RS: We now use a company called Bio Science. They have a national presence and have treated the homes of our patients from California to Boston. Their natural enzymes not only kill the mold spores, but more importantly, they breakdown the toxic gases produced by indoor molds.

SS: So now we know that mold is pervasive and that it is making us sick. Where is your clinic?

RS: Sponaugle Wellness Institute is located in Palm Harbor, Florida, a suburb of Tampa. We are only 10 miles from the white sugar sands of Clearwater Beach. That makes it nice for our patients because they only spend @ 2 hours a day in the clinic and so they can spend the rest of their day on the beach with their families.

SS: What is your protocol?

RS: My toxicity protocol is very comprehensive. It includes an extensive evaluation of more than 300 biochemicals including biomarkers for various toxins and the immune system. We optimize hundreds of brain chemicals, hormones and nutritional factors using both, oral and intravenous, moadalities. All the while, we are simultaneously performing aggressive removal of toxins with our intravenous protocol.

Mold toxins, particularly the Trichothecene mold toxin, suppress multiple components of the immune system. Therefore, mold toxic patients often have additional toxicity from intracellular brain infections. Typically, my mold toxic patients also suffer from both, Lyme disease and Mycoplasma infections. We use an all-natural protocol of mega-dose intravenous Vitamin C and other herbal medications to boost the kill power of the immune system. We avoid antibiotics at all costs in these mold toxic patients because antibiotics rarely have effective kill power in patients with toxin-induced immune suppression.

SS: Do you ever use pharmaceuticals?

RS: When we have to, but rarely, however our practice of integrative medicine is just that, the integration of Western medicine and Natural medicine. Mold toxic patients and patients who suffer neurotoxicity from other environmental toxins like Benzene, often suffer with severe panic disorder. In these patients, we will temporarily use pharmaceutical medications to control their anxiety and panic, until we can remove enough toxicity to quiet their over-electrified brain. If they come to us on anti-psychotic medications, our goal is to have them off these medications within a 2-3 week period.

We have successfully treated over 400 patients who were previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed various anti-psychotic medications before they came to Sponaugle Wellness Institute.* Every one of these patients suffered undiagnosed mold toxicity and when we effectively treated their mold toxicity, these patients no longer needed their anti-psychotic medications.

SS: Clearly we are under the greatest environmental assault in the history of mankind. Is there hope? Can we get on top of it?

RS: Well yes we can to some extent. I would suggest that you are one of the best living examples of “getting on top of it” in America. I am living proof as are many of my patients, examples of which you have seen in the before and after photos. What we can’t afford to do is take the ostrich approach and bury our heads in the sand. Our goal is to perform aggressive detoxification bringing our patient’s toxicity level down to Ground Zero, after which, we empower them with knowledge regarding toxicity, just as you have done for years, in your previous books.

My wife, Kimberly, is taking it to the next level. She is currently working on the opening of a plantation in southern Georgia called South Eden. There, our patients and others with interest, will learn how to perform sustainable living and eco-sensitive green gardening. They will learn how to grow their own organic gardens in a multi-tiered fashion that will produce enough organic fruits and vegetables to feed a family of five in a relatively small space, even on a balcony patio in down town Chicago.

My program will effectively detox and her program, which I believe you will find much more exciting than mine, will teach patients how to prevent the “re-tox.”

Sponaugle Wellness Institute cannot guarantee individual patient
outcomes. Treatment results will vary from patient to patient.