Toxic mushrooms and fungi, their toxins and effects of poisoning

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In summary, the article provides information on poisonous mushrooms and what happens if you eat them. There are several examples of poisonous mushrooms and their effects. There is also a history of mushrooms in the article, as well as a recent case in Quebec.
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A daily recommended article popped up on web-browser page. It was a previously published article from Field & Stream magazine (I also get notifications on Outside Magazine Online). It is useful information for those who like to hike in the woods and gather mushrooms or fungi.

7 Poisonous Mushrooms (or Fungi) and What Happens if You Eat Them
https://www.fieldandstream.com/story/survival/deadly-mushrooms-and-what-happens-if-you-eat-them/
Death Cap, Amanita phalloides, toxin amanitin, which cause kidney and liver failure.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Α-Amanitin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amatoxin

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, toxins ibotenic acid and muscimol, which act on the central nervous system. Poisoning temporary.

False Morel, Gyromitra esculenta, toxins gyromitrin and MMH, liver damage and failure for severe poisoning

Autumn Skullcap, Galerina marginata, toxin amanitin

Alcohol Inky, Coprinus atramentarius, toxin coprine, an amino acid that interacts with alcohol. Coprine, while not toxic itself acts on alcohol, which could induce alcohol poisoning, even if alcohol is consumed hours later.

Deadly Webcap, Cortinarius rubellus, toxin orellanine, a powerful mycotoxin, that causes
Kidney failure https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orellanine

Related fungi, Cortinarius orellanus, Cortinarius speciosissimus
https://www.mykoweb.com/TFWNA/P-32.html

Ergot, or Spurred Rye, Claviceps purpurea, toxin ergometrine and ergotoxine, and other alkaloids
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19847980/
History of ergot alkaloids from ergotism to ergometrine
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/claviceps-purpurea
Some interesting history on rye - https://www.rcpe.ac.uk/journal/issue/journal_39_2/lee.pdf
Another chemical is lysergic acid and derivatives

A very recent case in Quebec.
August 2020 - https://namyco.org/docs/A_Cortinarius_rubellus_Poisoning_in_Canada-2-1.pdf
https://blog.mycoquebec.org/blog/intoxication-grave-par-un-cortinaire-une-premiere-au-quebec/ (en français, good time to learn some French)https://www.mykoweb.com/TFWNA/index.html
 
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Growing up in a periodically damp climate in the San Francisco Bay Area, mushrooms and other fungi sprouted that closely resembled similar produce in grocery stores. Despite the natural abundance, most locals shunned consuming this seemingly inviting harvest. I would examine natural mushrooms taken from lawns and trees under a low power microscope which appeared identical to store bought but that I was warned contained highly toxic substances.

A large family of immigrants from Afghanistan IMS moved to the East Bay and reportedly scoffed at neighbors reluctance to consume these free foods. They harvested, cooked and ate wild greens such as mustard plant, dandelion and bay laurel without negative effect. The pater familias, an engineer, felt confident in his ability to identify edible fungi and add to the family larder. After gathering and serving a stew of 'morel' and tree mushrooms, the extended family with the exception of a young daughter who did not like fungi became deathly ill, many with liver failure. Local newspapers covered this tragedy including repeated warnings to avoid consuming wild fungi unless expertly identified as safe.

I knew a Central European couple who regularly harvested fungi growing under oak trees in the Santa Cruz mountains. Both had university level biology and mycology training. They spread spores from known sources on one hike then harvested the crop on later walks as they once did in Europe. Either their crop was infiltrated with lookalike toxic mushrooms or their introduced species developed toxins over time. IMS both neighbors became partially paralyzed with one succumbing to liver failure.

Local colleges and park rangers offered courses in identifying dangerous fungi in the wild, but the consensus was to avoid consuming found items when farmed safe produce was always available.
 
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Related to Toxic mushrooms and fungi, their toxins and effects of poisoning

1. What are the most common types of toxic mushrooms and fungi?

The most common types of toxic mushrooms and fungi include the Amanita species, particularly the death cap and destroying angel, as well as the Gyromitra species, also known as false morels. Other toxic fungi include the Clitocybe species, the Galerina species, and the Cortinarius species.

2. How do these toxic mushrooms and fungi affect the body?

The toxins found in these mushrooms and fungi can cause a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and in severe cases, liver and kidney damage. Some toxins can also affect the central nervous system, leading to hallucinations, delirium, and even coma.

3. How do you know if a mushroom or fungi is toxic?

It can be difficult to determine if a mushroom or fungi is toxic, as many toxic species closely resemble edible ones. The best way to avoid poisoning is to only consume mushrooms and fungi that have been properly identified by an expert. It is also important to never consume wild mushrooms or fungi unless you are absolutely certain of their safety.

4. What should I do if I suspect mushroom or fungi poisoning?

If you or someone you know has ingested a toxic mushroom or fungi, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to appear, as some toxins can cause serious damage quickly. If possible, bring a sample of the mushroom or fungi with you to the hospital for identification.

5. Can you die from eating a toxic mushroom or fungi?

Yes, it is possible to die from eating a toxic mushroom or fungi. Some toxins can cause severe and irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys, leading to organ failure and death. It is important to always exercise caution when consuming wild mushrooms and fungi and to seek medical attention immediately if poisoning is suspected.

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