2019 Feb 05 —The Toxic Effects of Candida
Recently, I wrote about deadliest toxin found in nearly every kitchen in America: sugar. Well, In addition to all the sugar-related perils mentioned in that blog, today we’re discussing one more: Candida.
There are no known benefits to the human body of Candida. The job of Candida is to ferment your body after you die so it decays properly. As your body decays, proteins and fats begin to break down and become food for Candida. You do not want this to happen a day too early!
Athlete’s foot can be caused by Candida overgrowth, and women are familiar with vaginal infections caused by this yeast. Most doctors continue to treat it as a localized problem. When Candida makes its way into the vagina, or infects the toenails, it is an indication that it is also abundant in the gut in its pathogenic fungal form. (Candida has a harmless “commensal” state and a harmful fungal state. The same microbes that can cause life-threatening diseases are often harmless inhabitants on our mucosa until they begin to grow out of control and upset the balance of the colony.)
The Candida in your gut thrive on sugar, and to get their fix they release chemicals that bring on carb or sugar cravings. You may think that you’re gorging on chocolate cake or tortilla chips because you love the taste, but the real reason you can’t eat just one is Candida’s insatiable need for sugar. Sweets excite the same centers in the brain that are stimulated by drugs like heroin and cocaine. So, whenever you give in to your cravings and reach for a cookie, a breakfast muffin, or a plate of pasta, remember the Candida albicans are winning the battle for your gut.
Candida, with its 6,000 or so genes, is huge in comparison to the good bacteria in your gut, with their 28 or so genes. Antibiotics will decimate the bacteria in your gut but do not affect the yeasts. After a course of antibiotics, the Candida proliferate, often creating biofilms they can hide under.
They move into the best real estate in your gut—they occupy all the good apartment units and take over all the parking spots. And later, when you swallow a little probiotic, hoping it’ll replenish your gut flora, and it comes along asking the Candida to move out, the Candida is going to laugh at it. Imagine walking into a biker bar and asking one of the leather-clad Hell’s Angels to move off his barstool so you can have a seat!
To reclaim your gut for the good bacteria, you have to eliminate the bad guys, the Candida. Otherwise all the probiotics you consume will end up going straight into the toilet, because there is no place for them to move into. Doctors will sometimes prescribe an antifungal medication, as this class of medicine will kill the yeasts but not the good bacteria. This creates another problem, however. The dying Candida begin to secrete toxins that result in brain fog, flu-like symptoms, and even fever and body aches. Then, you have to deal with the corpses of trillions of dead yeast inside you. This is called a Herxheimer reaction, or die-off reaction.
The secret Candida buster is a friendly yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii, or S. boulardii. This is a noncolonizing, nonpathogenic yeast strain that competes with Candida and displaces it, moving the Candida through your GI tract and out in your stool without killing it. S. boulardii is sensational because it remains inside you only for five or six days before being eliminated naturally. There is no die-off effect. Within two weeks you will have cleared a major portion of the Candida in your GI tract. During this time, you must be taking a quality multi-strain probiotic so that the good bacteria can move in and colonize the newly available real estate in your gut. (I offer specific recommendations for superprobiotics in my newest book, Grow A New Body, releasing March 12, 2019. Next week I’ll tell you more about S. boulardii.