Black Bread Disease #general


Jay Paul <jpaul54@...>
 

In response to Howie Axelrod's question about his grandfather >from
Russia dying of "Black Bread Disease," my guess is that this is due to
ergot poisoning, a mold that infested rye grain and was a serious
problem in Europe for hundreds of years. There is some historical
information available at:

http://www.moldreporter.org/vol1no6/moldHist.

This mold infected rye grain, as I've mentioned, and produced a toxin
that remained in the kernel when it was then ground and made into
bread. Those who were poor and lived primarily on rye bread were most
susceptible. Children were most likely to die, and survivors frequently
suffered both longstanding physical and mental illness as a result of
this unsuspected poison.

Jay Paul
San Francisco CA 94117
jpaul@psg.ucsf.edu
jpaul54@dslextreme.com

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