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Here's a list of the most toxic compounds found in fungi. (NB this does not include plant, animal or synthetic poisons or toxins).
See my "Most toxic plant poison" node for more....

  1. L-(+)-Muscarine this alkaloid comes from the toadstool Amanita Muscaria, has a LD50 of 2301, intravenous.
  2. alpha-amanitine this bycyclic octapeptide is found in the Death Cup mushroom, Amanita phalloides has a LD50 of 300. This mushroom only has a faint colouring, giving little warning of it's toxicity. People who make the mistake of eating these can find themselves ingesting up to 8 mg of amanitine, per 100 grams of mushrooms. 90% of fatal mushroom poisoning are caused by the death-cup.
  3. Penitrem A found in the mold Penicillium crustosum, a polycyclic indole derivitive; LD50 of 1,050, intra-peritoneal. Supposedly the deaths caused after the opening of the pyramid of Tutankhamen (the "curse of the pharohs"), have been linked to this compound.
  4. Aflatoxin B1 . Also found in a mold; Aspergillus flavus, a difuran coumarin derivative LD50 of 1,700, oral. Also this compound shows the highest liver carcinogenicity (orally), at a threshold of only 10 micrograms per kilo. It tastes so foul instinct makes you throw up before you can eat a large amount.....


Notes:
1. The lethal dose figures given are all in units of micrograms per kilogram of body weight of the victim. The victim in all cases is the poor old mouse, except where noted. Where known, dosing method is given.



These notes and figures are taken from the book "World Records in Chemistry" by Faust, Knaus, and Siemeling ISBN 3-527-29574-7 published in 1999 by Wiley-VCH.

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