Candida albicans are a fungus that lives inside every human body. Translated, the name means ‘sweet and white’ and their function is to recycle organic material. If a digestive system is lacking in healthy intestinal flora or has low immunity, the yeast can cause a vast range of medical problems from joint pain to emotional disorders and thrush. Sufferers often spend many years fighting attacks of Candida, often misdiagnosed by their doctors as symptoms present themselves in a variety of ways.
Man-made preservatives are often to blame for this growing problem. The sugar added to most commercial foods, guarantees a longer shelf life and increases consumer appeal but the Candida albicans flourish in a sweet environment. Antibiotics added to chicken also depress the immune system when consumed by humans and so we cannot effectively balance the ecology of our bowels.
How can we beat Candida?
(1). STARVE THE FUNGUS
A strict diet with no sugar is the first step to defeating Candida. Since sugar encourages fungal growth, all forms must be prohibited which includes alcohol and fruit. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and rice also add to the glucose load so it is essential to use only whole grain flour, rice, etc. Anything else including yeast, such as gravy, vinegar and cheese (due to the mold) must also be removed from the diet.
(2). ANTI-FUNGAL SUPPLEMENTS
One of the most useful anti-fungal agents is Caprylic acid, a fatty acid, which occurs naturally in coconuts. It is less toxic than most other anti-fungal agents, and its great advantage is that it does not adversely affect beneficial organisms. It is fat-soluble, so will penetrate cell membranes. As calcium magnesium caprylate, it survives digestive processes and is able to reach the colon.
Oregano is one of the most powerful natural anti-fungal, so oregano oil capsules are also recommended to beat Candida. Oregano oil is not only an anti-fungal, but also has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. One study has even shown it to have cancer-preventative properties too.
Supplements are needed to carry beneficial bacteria into the intestines and re-establish a healthy gut flora. The aim is to increase acidity by producing lactic acid and acetic acid, and to inhibit undesirable micro-organisms, competing with them for attachment sites. Tissues densely covered with beneficial organisms provide an effective blocking mechanism against invading Candida albicans.
A friendly bacterium such as lactobacillus acidophilus is the major colonizer of the small intestine and Bifidobacterium bifiduni inhabits the large intestine and vagina. Other helpful bacteria are the transient Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus, which also produce lactic acid on their passage through the bowel. Yogurt is an excellent source as the lactose content of milk has largely been converted into lactic acid by enzyme-producing bifidobacteria so to ensure safe passage of these bacteria through gastric juices. It is advised that they are taken in a capsule, freeze-dried form.
Beating Candida can be a mine-field and emotional problems go hand in hand with the lifestyle changes needed to rid your body of these toxins. As around 90% of our mood enhancing hormone (serotonin) comes from our gut, our brains are inextricably tied to our gastrointestinal tract. A deficiency in serotonin causes depression and in some anxiety as when the candida population grows too numerous, it creates a layer over the intestines, suppressing the production of neurotransmitters. However, it is important to remember that with the right diet and supplements, you will soon be on the right track to improving your health and happiness.