The Candida Expert

iStock 000002602047Medium 300x199 Depression and CandidaIn 1990, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study listed depression as the 4th leading cause of disease burden worldwide. In 2000, the GBD listed it as the #3 cause. In the latest GBD study from 2010, it is now listed as the 2nd leading cause of disease burden and disability in the world. Over the same period of time, our understanding of the link between the gut and brain has undergone tremendous leaps forward whereby we now know that health and function of the brain is intimately linked to the health and function of the digestive tract. A loss of the gut’s ability to prevent passage of microbes from the intestines into the bloodstream has been identified as a cause of Major Depressive Disorder by researchers from Belgium. Fungal candida possesses an ability to escape the confines of the intestinal tract and travel throughout the body, even when the intestinal barrier is intact. It’s ability to drive inflammation of the nervous system positions it as one of the most likely causes or co-factors of depression in anyone who has ever received antibiotics.

The Belgium researchers also identified Lipopolysacharides (LPS) as another factor in depression, as it drives inflammation in the brain. In my post on antibiotics and LPS causing a “Leaky” Blood-Brain Barrier, I discussed how antibiotics induce a state of chronic inflammation in the brain by flooding the body with LPS and altering BBB permeability. These changes can then lead to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), dementia, and other neurological diseases. Another recent study by Japanese researchers also identified Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) as a result of chronic brain inflammation. Fungal candida is implicated in conditions such as MS, CFS, ME, arthritis, psoriasis, and other autoimmune diseases by researchers in Germany and Switzerland. The primary factor in the relationship between candida and depression, as well as a long list of other conditions, is inflammation.

Researcher Cristina Zielinski, showed that one common mechanism between candida and many diseases is the Th-17 immune response, a highly pro-inflammatory response. Another immune response, IL-1b also drives inflammation of the brain tissues and is commonly produced in response to fungal candida in the body.

An additional effect of fungal candida in creating depression is its ability to play a role in creating blood sugar imbalances such as hypoglycemia and diabetes. Fungal candida produces a class of protease enzymes called Secreted Aspartyl Proteinases (SAPs). Proteases were found to reduce the effectiveness of the hormone, insulin, by chopping off the receptors found on cells, by researchers out of the University of San Diego.

Fungal candida can also play a role in creating diabetes through its pro-inflammatory effects and the induction of the body’s TH-17 immune response. The creation of blood sugar imbalances is associated with depression and depressive behaviors. These effects can once again be linked to an increase in brain inflammation associated with hypoglycemia and diabetes. Researchers at the University of Washington found that depression was “significantly associated with…hypoglycemia.

Many people who are depressed have a tendency to eat more sweets, which then feeds candida and then re-activates the cycle of candida, blood sugar imbalances, inflammation, depression, and more sugar cravings.

It’s difficult to separate the mind from the body, as the health of each impacts the health of the other. We have seen people who have had depression for over 30 years, and have treated it with psychotherapy and medications with no end to the depression. It was only once they broke the cycle of imbalances created by fungal candida that they were able to leave the depression and medicines behind them. Psychotherapy has its place, but physical imbalances should also be considered. Addressing the physical component can lead to a faster resolution of many imbalances that are just as important, and in some cases perhaps, the most important component to address. Addressing the psychological and physical components together is treating the whole body.

Get started on a healthier life with Dr. McCombs Candida Plan.

 

Candida and Sugars – http://candidaplan.com/blog/637/candida-diets-part-iv-sugars/

Candida and Diabetes – http://candidaplan.com/blog/725/candida-and-diabetes-2/

Candida Linked to Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, and Autoimmune Conditions – http://candidaplan.com/blog/620/candida-linked-to-arthritis-multiple-sclerosis-psoriasis-and-other-autoimmune-conditions/

The Leaky Brain – http://candidaplan.com/blog/1036/leaky-brain-or-blood-brain-barrier-hyperpermeability-syndrome/

 

iStock 000018615278Medium 300x243 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and CandidaIn an earlier post that looked at the long-term consequences of antibiotic use in creating chronic, ongoing levels of inflammation in the brain, I discussed the science of how such changes can eventually lead to conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, and other conditions. Now, a new study from several centers in Japan illustrates how this chronic brain inflammation can also play a role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Given the good results that we’ve seen in these areas, it makes complete sense that reversing the effects of antibiotic use is a necessity of modern life. It appears that there is no safe level of antibiotic use, as antibiotics are always creating long-term imbalances in the body that may not produce symptoms until decades later.

Earlier last year, I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Raymond Perrin of Manchester, England, who has developed a technique to address CFS and ME quite successfully over the past two decades. His approach has helped people who have been bed-ridden for many years, regain their lives back. A hallmark of his approach is to re-establish lymphatic drainage of the head and neck. Without this drainage, the flow of toxins and cellular waste out of the brain is greatly reduced, leading to a state of chronic swelling and inflammation. This inflammation is what the Japanese researchers have linked to CFS and ME. Dr. Perrin cites toxin exposure, medications (antibiotics), candida, viruses, and other possible factors as being the initial cause of the swelling that subsequently leads to CFS and ME.

For those not familiar with CFS and ME, these are conditions that are marked by extreme fatigue that is often profoundly debilitating and accompanied by aches, pains, digestive disturbances, poor memory, cognitive dysfunction, and other symptoms. The terms CFS and ME are often used interchangeably, but they can present with different symptoms. ME tends to involve aches, pain, fevers, and many systems, while CFS is more generally the persistent fatigue that is not related to exerting oneself and not improved by rest. Both conditions tend to have a lot of cross-over symptoms, and since the approach to correcting them is similar, they tend to get lumped together. Of course, both of these conditions start with much lesser symptoms of fatigue, aches and pains that eventually get worse and never get better.

Both conditions are caused by a chronic state of inflammation, which is often caused by past antibiotic use and the subsequent development of fungal candida. Add to that the body burden of toxins that accumulates within each of us daily and you’ll have the makings for the next “medical mystery.” Given that the effect of candida can lead to over 100+ symptoms and conditions in the body, it’s easy to see how most medical doctors who are not aware of these complexities can easily be at a loss for coming up with answers. When such complexities arise, throwing medications at the problem seems to be the knee-jerk response of most medical doctors, and antibiotics are their default choice, regardless of the cause.

So far, the medical field treats these conditions like most other conditions that it doesn’t understand and relegates it to the field of psychotherapy. Many CFS and ME patients can tell you that after years and years of tests and drugs, the MDs will finally tell them its all in their head. This is far too often the case in many conditions, as the limits of modern medicine continues to increase, while their ability to help patients decreases. More and more people are falling outside the ability of medicine to help them as the gap between science and medicine widens.

Although these may seem like complex issues, my experiences, and those of Dr. Perrin, seem to better indicate that often simple protocols, consistently applied, produce the best results. While many an exasperated patient may regard these results as miracles, we don’t quite see it that way. Miracles tend to be occurrences that are rare, but what we accomplish with our approaches consistently produces results that are real and reproduceable on a daily basis. We don’t claim to run miracle factories. We use time-proven approaches, based on scientific data, to produce the inevitable effect of health in the mind and body.

It’s understandable that those who seek help from the medical field will feel lost, ignored, and abandoned, as that is that path of modern medicine. It is a profession that has lost its way with little left to offer those who need help the most.

That doesn’t have to be your path though, as other choices are available. Choose wisely.

iStock 000002484557Medium 200x300 ANTIBIOTICS: More Harm Than GoodThe concept of antibiotics doing more harm than good is not something that most people would ever think of. After all, they are handed out daily by doctors to millions of Americans. Many children receive antibiotics at least once a year and most animals are given massive doses as an accepted ritual in commercial livestock practices. Medical doctors would be lost without them and consequently never have anything bad to say about them, so who are we to say differently.

The inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, however, has developed into a global health problem. Hundreds of millions of antibiotics prescriptions are handed out each year to Americans. In adults, over half of these are thought to be unnecessary. In children, the problem gets worse where as many as 80% of the antibiotics given to children are often considered to be unnecessary by health experts. Traditionally, there has been no follow-up in these populations to assess the harm or damage that can be done, or even to see if the antibiotics themselves were effective. Over the past few decades, carefully assessment and tracking by researchers has revealed major problems with our antibiotic love affair. Whether appropriately or inappropriately prescribed, there is a dark side to their use.

A recent report by the CDC showed that antibiotic prescriptions were often written incorrectly in hospitals.  A comparison between several hospitals showed that some doctors were prescribing three times more antibiotics than other doctors even though the patients were receiving similar care.  Many of the prescriptions written for antibiotics for urinary tract infections contained an error.  If was found that approximately one-third of these prescriptions were written for too long of a time period, without a proper evaluation, or were just plain unnecessary for the situation.

Dr. Michael L. Barnett, from Harvard Medical School, states  that “In addition to contributing to the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, unnecessary use of antibiotics also adds financial cost to the health care system and causes adverse effects for those taking the medication.”

Researcher, Dr. Jeffrey A. Linder, states, “We know that antibiotic prescribing, particularly to patients who are not likely to benefit from it, increases the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a growing concern both here in the United States and around the world.” In a study that looked at prescribing rates by physicians, Dr. Linder found that for acute bronchitis, “the prescribing rate for the correct antibiotic should be near 0%, yet they found the national antibiotic prescribing rate was 73%.” In cases of throat infections, only 10% were due to bacteria, yet antibiotic prescribing rates were 60%.

The word antibiotic means “against life”, which now seems to have been a very appropriate choice of words. The widespread use of antibiotics began after World War II. It was quickly heralded as a cure-all for everything, even though from the very beginning antibiotics were associated with causing diseases and conditions. Despite the fact that antibiotics have only demonstrated effectiveness against bacteria, MDs continue to use it for viruses, yeasts, fungi, parasites, inflammation, vertigo, tinnitus, and a wide variety of conditions in which its use has never been approved. Governmental and world organizations have attempted to get MDs to reign in their inappropriate prescribing habits, but antibiotic prescriptions continue to increase yearly.

Scientists tell us that the bacterial flora of the body “is similar to an organ in that it performs functions essential for our survival. Some microbes produce vitamins and other essential nutrients. Many metabolize food that we can’t digest on our own. They also break down drugs and toxins, and regulate many aspects of innate and acquired immunity, protecting the host from infections and chronic inflammation, as well as possibly many immune-based disorders. And just as with the heart or the lungs, when an environmental agent alters the function of the microbiota, the result can be disease.”

Studies have shown that 5- and 7-day courses of antibiotics can destroy all 100 trillion of the bacteria in the gut and permanently alter the make-up of bacterial flora. Some bacteria never return leading to a permanent alteration in the composition of the body’s bacterial flora and along with it, the basis for a wide variety of diseases and conditions. The use of antibiotics reduces the diversity of microbes in the body. High levels of diversity are associated with health, and lower levels with disease.

Research is identifying a host of problems from antibiotic use alone. The epidemics in obesity and diabetes that humans are facing worldwide have been tied to disruption of the bacterial flora by antibiotics. The Gut-Brain Axis is an area of intense ongoing research. The gut flora has been shown to shape brain development and function. Altering that flora can alter brain function. Researchers from Stanford, University of California, San Diego and Davis, and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have all shown that an antibiotic-decimated gut flora opens the door to pathogenic infections like C. diff and E. coli that kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

The common thought with antibiotics is that if no immediate effects are seen, then no long-term damage has been done, but this simply is not the case. Cause-and-Effect is a poor model in healthcare as many diseases and conditions may not arise for years or decades later. University of Washington researchers found that even one dose of antibiotics increases a women’s risk of breast cancer. The study reported that “Increased risk was observed in all antibiotic classes studied and in a subanalysis having breast cancer fatality as the outcome.”

In another study by Stanford researchers, it was found that “The acute effects of antibiotic treatment on the native gut microbiota range from self-limiting “functional” diarrhea to life-threatening pseudomembranous colitis. The long-term consequences of such perturbations for the human–microbial symbiosis are more difficult to discern, but chronic conditions such as asthma and atopic disease have been associated with childhood antibiotic use and an altered intestinal microbiota. Because many chemical transformations in the gut are mediated by specific microbial populations, with implications for cancer and obesity among other conditions, changes in the composition of the gut microbiota could have important but undiscovered health effects. An approximate return to pretreatment conditions often (but not always) occurs within days or weeks after cessation of antibiotic treatment, as assessed by subjective judgments of bowel function and characterizations of overall community composition using techniques with low phylogenetic resolution. However, the effects of a single course of antibiotics on specific microbial populations in vivo can persist for years.”

Consider all of these antibiotic-induced diseases:

Increased cardiovascular disease, strokes, and death (1), Immune system suppression (2), Altered behavior, anxiety, and nervous system imbalances (3), Increased pathogenicity of Staph Aureus (4),  Development of systemic allergic diseases (5), Increased risk of pancreatitis (6), Increases in Strep throat (7), Increased risk of sudden death (8), Increase risk of infections (9), Increased risk of breast cancer (10), Life-threatening colitis (11), Obesity (12-15), Kidney stones (16), Kidney damage (17), Asthma (18), Systemic lupus (19), Eye disorders (20), Cancer (21), Sepsis and Systemic inflammation (22), Colon Cancer (23), Increased susceptibility to disease (24), Arthritis (25), Nerve Damage (26), Lung damage (27), Nutrient deficiencies (28), Liver failure (29), and many more as yet to be determined effects.

Additionally, consider the effect that antibiotic-induced fungal candida growth causes in the body. There are over 100 conditions linked to this post-antibiotic infectious agent that can create a lifetime of disability and disease.

Alexander Fleming, who is credited with the discovery of antibiotics, noted early on that development of antibiotic resistance from the mere use of antibiotics was inevitable. His early warnings, along with those of authorities and experts worldwide in more recent years, have not been heeded and now the World Health Organization states that antibiotic resistance is one of the top “three greatest threats to human health” on the planet. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, has asked the UK government to declare antibiotic resistance a national risk, giving it equal weight as a large scale terrorist attack and a flu pandemic. She goes on to say that, “‘We’ve clearly got it wrong, and I would argue that GPs (medical doctors) do need more training. If we don’t take action, deaths will go up and up and modern medicine as we know it will be lost.’

The medical profession is quick to blame patients for the rise in antibiotic resistance, yet the patients aren’t the ones who have the power to disperse these medications. References by MDs to patients not taking their antibiotics fully or appropriately, reveals both their willingness to pass the blame and responsibility onto the patient, as well as a serious lack of knowledge on how antibiotics function in the body to begin with. If a patient is given a 10-day prescription of antibiotics, but only takes 5 or 7 days worth, that has nothing to do with antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance develops from day 1, pill 1. You can’t use antibiotics without creating resistance. Bacteria have over 300 times as many genes as human cells do and with that goes an amazing ability to start adapting to antibiotics almost instantly. I agree with Dame Sally. MDs need more training, a lot more.

It is unlikely that medical prescribing practices will change any time soon. It will take a complete overhaul of the medical field and prescribing practices to create any significant change. It will be easier to change the thinking of the population as a whole than it will be to change a profession who has no other alternatives to offer. Preventative care will need to become more commonplace. The power of herbs and natural health products as alternatives to drugs can easily fill any void created by not choosing to use antibiotics. If used, antibiotics should be the last option, not the first, second, or even third. If they are used, restoring the body flora to it’s pre-antibiotic state is a necessity and imperative.

Science has revealed the dark side of antibiotic use and its global cost in humans lives and suffering. Given that more antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately than appropriately, it’s easy to see how they do more harm than good.

 

 

(1) Azithromycin and The Risk of Cardiovascular Death. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:1881-1890May 17, 2012.  http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1003833

(2) Experimental Study of Antibiotic-Induced Immunosuppression in Mice. II. Th, Ts and NC Cell Involvement. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 1983;6(4):301-12.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6231158

(3) The Intestinal Microbiota Determines Mouse Behavior and Brain BDNF Levels. Gastroenterology, Vol. 140, Issue 5, Supplement 1, Page S-57. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517110315.htm

(4) Impact of Sub-Inhibitory Antibiotics on Fibronectin-Mediated Host Cell Adhesion and Invasion by Staphylococcus Aureus. BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:263.   http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2180/11/263/abstract

(5) Commensal Bacteria-derived Signals Regulate Basophil Hematopoiesis and Allergic Inflammation. Nature Medicine 18, 538–546 (2012).  http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v18/n4/full/nm.2657.html

(6) Pancreas: Acute Pancreatitis Risk Higher in Current Tetracycline Users. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology 8, 658 (December 2011).  http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v8/n12/full/nrgastro.2011.192.html?WT.ec_id=NRGASTRO-201112

(7) Association of Pharyngitis With Oral Antibiotic Use for the Treatment of Acne. Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(3):326-332.  http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1105235

(8) Antibiotic Interaction Boosts Sudden Death Risk. Health News. 2005 Jan;11(1):2.  http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/reporter/index.html?ID=3511

(9) Antibiotic exposure as a risk factor for fluconazole-resistant Candida bloodstream infection. Antim. Agents Chemother. 56:2518-2523.  http://www.asm.org/images/Communications/tips/2012/0512candida.pdf

(10) Antibiotic Use in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer. JAMA. 2004;291:827-835.  http://www.ama-assn.org/special/827.pdf

(11) Gastrointestinal Disorders and the Critically Ill. Clostridium Difficile Infection and Pseudomembranous Colitis. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2003 Jun;17(3):475-93.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&doptcmdl=Citation&defaultField=Title%20Word&term=Wilcox

(12)  The Gut Microbiota as an Environmental factor That Regulates Fat Storage. PNAS November 2, 2004 vol. 101 no. 44 15718-15723.  http://www.pnas.org/content/101/44/15718.full

(13) An Obesity-Associated Gut Microbiome with Increased Capacity for Energy Harvest. Nature. 2006 Dec 21;444(7122):1027-31.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17183312

(14) Gut Microbiota and Its Possible Relationship with Obesity. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Apr;83(4):460-9.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18380992

(15) Role of Gut Microflora in the Development of Obesity and Insulin Resistance Following High-Fat Diet Feeding. Pathol Biol (Paris). 2008 Jul;56(5):305-9. Epub 2008 Jan 30.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18178333

(16) Oxalobacter formigenes and its role in oxalate metabolism in the human gut. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 230: 1–7.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1016/S0378-1097%2803%2900864-4/abstract;jsessionid=3F1DA9AFF4253C3DE513B8A5567A91B2.d03t02

(17) Anthracycline Antibiotics Induce Acute Renal Tubular Toxicity in Children with Cancer. Pathol Oncol Res. 2007;13(3):249-53. Epub 2007 Oct 7.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17922055

(18) Antibiotic use in early childhood and the development of asthma. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 29: 766–771.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2222.1999.00536.x/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

(19) Minocycline-Induced Lupus. Dermatology 2000;200:223–231.  http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowAbstractBuch&ArtikelNr=18387&ProduktNr=225592

(20) Drug-Induced Optic neuropathy. US Pharm. 2011;36(4):HS2-HS6.  http://www.uspharmacist.com/content/d/feature/i/1473/c/27859/

(21) Variation in Antibiotic-Induced Microbial Recolonization Impacts on the Host Metabolic Phenotype. J. Proteome Res., 2011, 10 (8), pp 3590–3603.  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/pr200243t

(22) Antibiotic-Induced Endotoxin Release and Clinical Sepsis: A Review. J Chemother. 2001 Nov;13 Spec No 1(1):159-72.  http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/11936361

(23) Altered Gut Flora Are Associated with Septic Complications and Death in Critically Ill Patients with Ssytemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 2011, Volume 56, Number 4, Pages 1171-1177   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059822/

(24) Shifting the Balance: Antibiotic Effects on Host-Microbiota Mutualism. Nature Reviews Microbiology 9, 233-243 (April 2011).  http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v9/n4/full/nrmicro2536.html?WT.ec_id=NRMICRO-201104

(25) Drug-Induced Arthritic and Connective Tissue Disorders. Semin Arthritis Rheum 38:249-264.  http://www.laboratoriosilesia.com/upfiles/sibi/r_002_drug.pdf

(26) Peripheral Neuropathy with Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics.  Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Dec. 2001;35(12):1540-47.  http://medicationsense.com/articles/may_aug_05/warning_antibiotics_052205.html

(27) Azithromycin Reduces the Viability of Human Bronchial Smooth Muscle Cells: Azithromycin Effect on Human Bronchial SMCs. The Journal of Antibiotics 63, 71-75 (February 2010)  http://www.nature.com/ja/journal/v63/n2/full/ja2009125a.html

(28) Reduction of Vitamin K2 Concentrations in Human Liver Associated with the Use of Broad Spectrum Antimicrobials. Clin Invest Med. 1994 Dec;17(6):531-9.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7895417

(29)  Drug-related Hepatotoxicity and Acute Liver Failure. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition. October 2008 – Volume 47 – Issue 4 – p 395-405.  http://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Fulltext/2008/10000/Drug_related_Hepatotoxicity_and_Acute_Liver.1.aspx

(30) ProphylacticNon-Absorbable Antibiotics in Leukaemic patients. J Hyg (Lond) 1980 August; 85(1): 141–151.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2134008/?tool=pmcentrez

(31) Phillips ML 2009. Gut Reaction: Environmental Effects on the Human Microbiota. Environ Health Perspect 117:A198-A205.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685866/

(32)  Correlation between Protection against Sepsis by probiotic Therapy and Stimulation of a Novel Bacterial PhylotypeAppl. Environ. Microbiol. November 2011 vol. 77 no. 21 7749-7756.  http://aem.asm.org/content/77/21/7749

(33) Potential of Probiotics in Controlling cardiovascular Diseases. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010 Oct-Dec; 1(4): 213–214. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3023901/

(34) Host remodeling of the Gut Microbiome and Metabolic Changes During Pregnancy. Cell, Volume 130, Issue 3, 3 August 2012, Pages 470480. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S009286741200829X

 

iStock 000015269868Medium 300x198 Heart Disease and Candida Candida’s involvement in heart conditions typically includes endocarditis, peritonitis, pericarditis, and myocarditis, but can also include lesser heart problems and manifestations. The primary effect produced by candida on heart tissue is through increased levels of inflammation, as seen in the “-itis” designation of the various conditions mentioned, but may also involve degeneration of tissues due to any of the enzymes produced by fungal candida (SAPs, lipases, phospholipases, etc). While suppression of immune function has traditionally been thought to be a prerequisite, newer research continually shows that not to be the case.

In a 2013 study by researchers in Austria, “Fungal infections including Candida peritonitis (CP) are being observed with increasing frequency in the ICU. We summarize current knowledge on epidemiology, risk factors, diagnostic tests and treatment options in the previously immunocompetent patient suffering from CP. Risk factors for developing CP include upper gastrointestinal tract perforation, Candida colonization, tertiary peritonitis, the severity of disease, premorbid conditions, cardiovascular failure, total parenteral nutrition, any drain/line breaching normally sterile barriers, development of peritonitis in the hospital, abdominal surgery and previous antibiotic therapy.” As stated above, the patient had a competent (intact and fully functioning) immune system. The primary risk factor was previous antibiotic therapy. Another study in 2013 by researchers at Harvard University found “Endocarditis is more common in the U.S. than previously believed, and is steadily increasing.” Both studies emphasize the growing threat of candida-related heart diseases.

Another study in 2013 by researchers in China looked at 22 patients with fungal candida endocarditis. The majority of patients observed in this study acquired candida as a result of healthcare-associated treatments that included antibiotic therapy. Death rates in this group were reported at 40.9% of all those infected. While most people are unlikely to end up with severe immunosuppression that would lead to a risk of death, the long-term imbalance and lost productivity from Candida’s inflammatory influence is not always apparent or even considered.

As unchecked antibiotic prescribing by MDs continues to increase, in spite of governmental please and mandates, the number of candida-related heart problems will also increase. Inflammation of the arteries via candida is another area of research that demonstrates Candida’s role in arteriosclerosis, athersclerosis,and other inflammatory processes that can play a role in heart attacks, stroke, and even high blood pressure. Chronic candida problems will cause an increase in age-related imbalances as Candida speeds up the aging process of muscles and tissues.

It’s important to consider the effect of fungal candida with any heart-related issue. An informed patient can help to reduce the number of unnecessary tests and prescriptions that frequently occur when Candida is not considered as a cause. As cited above, the research clearly shows that Candida can play a role in many heart conditions. Correcting fungal Candida imbalances and restoring healthy tissue flora can reverse the growing list of antibiotic-related diseases.

Get started on a healthier life today with Dr. McCombs Candida Plan.

 

 

iStock 000026529588Medium 300x231 Good Fungi Keep Candida Albicans in Check in Healthy MouthsHuman mouths contain a balanced mix of microbes which, when disrupted, can lead to oral diseases. (This implicates antibiotics as a cause of disease). A study published on March 13th in PLOS Pathogens compares the bacteria and fungi present in the mouths of healthy individuals with those from patients infected with HIV, and illustrates why oral candidiasis (aka “thrush”) is a common complication of HIV infection.

Using high-throughput gene sequencing, Mahmoud Ghannoum, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, USA, and colleagues catalogued the core oral bacteriome (the bacteria commonly present) and the core oral mycobiome (the fungi commonly present). They found little difference in the bacteria between healthy individuals and those infected with HIV (whose immune systems are compromised). In contrast, they saw clear and consistent differences in the oral fungi between both groups.

A family of fungi called Candida was predominant in both groups (This underscores why it is important to not kill candida, but only to revert it back to its normal yeast form. It’s supposed to be there.JM), but present at higher levels in HIV-infected individuals. A second one, called Pichia, was present at fairly high levels in the mouths of healthy individuals but only at lower levels in people who were infected with HIV. This led the researchers to speculate that there was an antagonism between the two. And indeed, when they grew Pichia alone in a liquid medium and then filtered the fungus out, the “Pichia spent medium” (or PSM) was able to suppress the growth of Candida as well as several other disease-causing fungi.

Oral candidiasis is a common opportunistic infection in patients with HIV/AIDS, and even in the era of effective antiretroviral therapy, it compromises the quality of life of many patients. Making use of a mouse model of oral candidiasis, the researchers were able to show that mice treated with PSM had much less severe symptoms compared with untreated ones. Therefore, at least in this animal model, Pichia’s antagonism of Candida can suppress oral candidiasis.

The authors say, “Our findings have wide implications regarding the discovery of novel antifungal agents and will open the way to new therapeutic approaches for the management of fungal infections.” They continue , “Detailed investigations are warranted to purify and characterize the specific Pichia factor(s) that can inhibit Candida and other disease-causing fungi.”

This article highlights the importance of creating balance in the body, as opposed to the approach that most people push in treating candida whereby they seek to destroy all fungus. As researchers at Albert Einstein School of Medicine have pointed out, it depends on the interaction between the host cells, immune system, and the microbes. It’s not that candida itself is bad, it’s only when the host cells and immune system have been altered and candida converts into its fungal form that the potential for harm now exists. Ingesting antifungals will destroy good and bad fungi, leaving imbalances that further promote the growth of the bad, pathogenic fungi. Destroying fungi will release intracellular components that the human body is highly allergic to, leading to increased levels of inflammation, disease, and symptoms. The Candida Plan is designed to create the balance that corrects fungal candida back to its normal yeast form, restoring balance and improving health.

“Fighting for oral dominance: Good fungi keep bad ones in check in health mouths” – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313173505.htm

iStock 000008160796Medium 300x199 Grapefruit Seed ExtractRecently, a patient asked about the effectiveness and safety of grapefruit seed extract in dealing with fungal candida. In my practice over the past 30 years, I have found undecenoic acid to be far more effective than grapefruit seed extract in treating fungal candida. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) was a better antiparasitic choice than undecenoic acid, but lacked the better absorption found with another product, Agrisept-L, which contains grapefruit seed extract, along with lemon, lime, and tangerine seed extracts. Absorption and distribution of undecenoic acid throughout the body appears to be equal to that of Agrisept-L, but undecenoic acid was still by far a much better choice against fungus, and Agrisept-L a much better choice than GSE for parasites. Agrisept-L and GSE have strong antibacterial properties, in addition to their antiparasitic effectiveness, and research hasn’t determined whether or not there is an effect against beneficial strains of bacteria, as well as against the pathogenic strains.

One study showed that GSE had a strong antibacterial effect against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single and multicelled parasites. Along with the antimicrobial effects of GSE, there was also found to be a toxic effect against certain tissues at concentrations as little as 1:128. Further dilution down to a level of 1:512 showed no more toxicity to the tissues, with strong antibacterial functions still remaining. The GSE was found to disrupt bacterial membranes within 15 minutes after contact, even at the lowest dilutions. This ability to disrupt bacterial cell walls makes it a much better choice than antibiotics, but still presents the problems encountered when destroying bacteria can lead to imbalances within the bacterial flora composition, increased levels of inflammation, immune system dysregulation, and direct stimulation of the conversion of candida from its normal yeast to problematic fungal form. This last aspect may account its lesser effect as an antifungal internally, as the release of petidoglycans from gram-positive bacterial cell walls is known to directly stimulate the conversion of candida from its yeast to fungal forms.

Other issues with grapefruit seed extract include its effect on enzymes involved in drug metabolism, specifically the CYP3A4 (cytochrome P450 isoenzyme). Like grapefruit, the GSE could block the enzymes responsible for breaking down certain drugs, leading to higher levels of these drugs in the body and increasing the risk for adverse events, side effects, and overdose.

Another concern with GSE lies in several studies that show that the natural grapefruit seed extract has no antimicrobial effect. The effect attributed to GSE is due to synthetic antimicrobial agents used in processing and creating GSE. The process of extracting GSE uses compounds commonly known as benzalkonium chloride, “a widely used synthetic antimicrobial ingredient used in cleaning and disinfection agents”. Benzethonium chloride, “a synthetic antimicrobial agent commonly used in cosmetics and other topical applications” is not the only added synthetic substance that has been repeatedly found in GSE products. Another study found that  “samples either contained benzethonium chloride (2.5-176.9 mg/mL) or benzalkonium chloride (138.2-236.3 mg/mL), together with smaller amounts of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid esters, benzoic acid, and salicylic acid.” Yet another study found that in “all of the antimicrobial active grapefruit seed extracts, the preservative benzethonium chloride was detected by thin layer chromatography. Additionally, three extracts contained the preserving substances triclosan and methyl parabene. In only one of the grapefruit seed extracts tested no preservative agent was found. However, with this extract as well as with several self-made extracts from seed and juiceless pulp of grapefruits (Citrus paradisi) no antimicrobial activity could be detected (standard serial broth dilution assay, agar diffusion test). Thus, it is concluded that the potent as well as nearly universal antimicrobial activity being attributed to grapefruit seed extract is merely due to the synthetic preservative agents contained within. Natural products with antimicrobial activity do not appear to be present.” These same findings were repeatedly demonstrated in other studies. One study even suggested that the effect against CYP3A4 and other enzymes was due to the “benzethonium chloride (BTC) in addition to glycerol and water.” In that particular study, “No authentic GSE extract was found in any of the three GSE products analysed. Furthermore, BTC was found to be a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 activity in vitro.”

Given the findings of all of the studies above, it can be stated that there is truthfully no comparison between undecenoic acid and grapefruit seed extract. The comparison as it stands is really being made between undecenoic acid and benzethonium chloride. We can then extrapolate from these studies and results and focus on the antifungal effects of benzethonium chloride (BC). Some sites warn about its use in humans. Other sites only list a need for minor caution and state that it is relatively safe for short-term use. As with many chemicals, some people will be much more reactive to it than others. I was able to find 3 studies that demonstrated an antifungal effect of GSE/BC. The first study comes from Poland, the second from the Czech Republic, and the third study from Germany. The first two studies identified Candida albicans, while the third study noted an effect against Candida maltosa. An important consideration with these studies is that there wasn’t a clear distinction between BC’s effect against the yeast form or fungal form of candida. If it harms the yeast form, then other imbalances will be created. If it destroys the candida cell wall membrane, then an increase in inflammation will result and people with high levels of inflammation will need to be aware of a possible exacerbation of symptoms.

One study showed that the amount of benzethonium chloride present in GSE was just over 8%,with powdered forms containing more. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, the dosage will determine if there is a toxic effect against human tissues as well as against bacteria and other microbes.

I have recommended GSE when Agrisept-L isn’t available, and both make an excellent choice as a natural antibiotic. I have had many people use Agrisept-L instead of antibiotics for dental work and surgeries. These short-term applications can present with less risk than the many offerings of drugs, which in comparison carry with them an average of 392 side effects per drug. I have never had anyone fall sick to Montezuma’s Revenge when traveling to Mexico and taking Agrisept-L or GSE daily. Others who have traveled there have always come down with this travel malady when not taking Agrisept-L or GSE. While it seems like toxicity issues are minimal or non-existent, knowing exactly what is in each bottle of GSE is a good place to start. Those that have been found to contain triclosan and other contaminants are more likely to do more damage and harm.

The best ear drop product that I have seen on the market contains GSE and I find it to be more effective than antibiotics and much safer to use. If you have children, it’s a must to own. Since it’s not taken internally, that makes it a more attractive choice. I wouldn’t want to be without Agrisept-L, as it is the most effective anti-parasitic that I have ever seen, with an ability to eradicate parasites in the blood when medications couldn’t touch them. GSE/BC absorption issues limit it’s effectiveness in such cases. As far as fungal candida goes, I have never seen GSE/BC come close to being as effective as undecenoic acid, and obviously it’s not as safe.

I’m not a big fan of anything that purports to kill microbes in the body. Many practitioner’s like to imbue substances like these with magical properties as though they only kill the bad bugs and leave the good ones alone. GSE/BC’s ability to wipe out over 800 species of bacteria means that there will innocent casualties long the way. Such widespread destruction of bacteria will almost always lead to other imbalances of the bacterial flora. This will reduce the diversity of the bacterial flora and thus the overall levels of health. This may be managed somewhat by modifying and monitoring the effects of dosages. Anyone taking medication will want to know if GSE/BC will increase their risk of side effects and adverse events. Smaller dosages may be able to mitigate this effectively.

Anything that has the ability to affect a wide number of bacteria in the body can create shifts that initially appear to be beneficial as they eliminate some of the bad bugs that created the symptoms in the first place. The long-term effects however will be harder to define. If given the choice between antibiotics and GSE/BC, the latter is almost always going to be a better choice. When it comes to fungal candida however, I’ll always choose the safety and effectiveness of undecenoic acid.

 

 

 

 

The Candida Cure

iStock 000026390346Medium 300x199 The Candida CureTake this drug. Swallow this pill. Drink this liquid. Read this book. Eat kale for 28 days. Stop eating sugar. Use turpentine, flea medication, hydrogen peroxide, enzymes, colloidal silver, swallow poo and you’ll be fine. It’s easy! Whatever you do, don’t trust doctors. You don’t need to know the science. I’ve done all the research for you. I was like you once and now I’m here to help you out! Unfortunately, this is all too familiar sounding and present on so many websites that promote “cures” for candida.

If you don’t find these approaches offensive, then you can easily join in on making money off of people with candida. Creating a website is fairly inexpensive to do. You’ll need a story and the one that seems to work best is to create a fictional doctor, preferably female, who battled against the rages of candida for years until she finally figured it all out and is now going to share everything they learned with you. Just buy this book or this cheap chitin-synthesis inhibiting flea medication, that’s not approved for use in humans. You can also create a couple of other sites that purportedly post reviews about the original site and “surprisingly” think it’s the best product around. Yea! If you’re really getting into it, you can even put up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. The more pages, the greater the illusion.

Names like Linda Allen, Claire Davidson, and Lisa Richards are already taken, so you’ll have to create your own. It shouldn’t be too difficult, though. Just make sure that you don’t choose the name of a real doctor or person somewhere, as they won’t appreciate getting calls from irate customers. You don’t have to worry about anyone contacting you, as you don’t have to put a phone number on your site. Just create a Contact Us page in case someone gets ill from following your advice. Make sure that you hide your registration details as much as possible when selecting your domain name, as people can find you that way, too.

It’ll be important to get people to focus on your story and not the facts about candida. If you’re feeling creative, you can even make up facts, or how about scaring people into buying your product by telling them that candida’s eating their brains. Add a scary picture or two to get that point across! That one from the movie Alien where the creature is bursting out of someone’s stomach could be a good one for scaring people. What do you think? Most people are impulsive buyers, so you just need to make them jump and buy your product. Stay away from the real facts, as there are approximately 53,000 studies that have been done on candida since the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s and that can take a lot more knowledge than you need to concern yourself with.  Keep emphasizing that you’re the only reliable and trustworthy source and everyone else is out to scam you. Paranoia is a good sales tool with these approaches.

Using products from some of these websites is not without risk. Last week, someone emailed me about a side effect from using a chitin synthesis inhibitor medication designed for treating fleas in animals. They were contacted by the site selling the product about getting a testimonial (something they automatically do with everyone who buys from them early on in the process), but when they sent an email back stating that they had this side effect and wanting to know what to do about it, there was no reply. A follow-up email to the site also received no reply.

If you’re serious about candida however, you’ll want to do some research. Learning even a little bit about it and how it comes into being can save you time, suffering, and a whole lot of money. Arming yourself with a little bit of knowledge will not only help you better understand how to correct the imbalances that created the problem in the first place, but empower you to prevent its re-occurrence. Along the way, you’re likely to learn a lot about health in general and become a valuable resource for your friends and family.

Fungal candida doesn’t come into existence out of thin air. It’s a series of imbalances in the body that then creates other imbalances. You can’t treat it as though it exists all by itself, separate from the body. This is a living organism that’s been around millions of years and has a great ability to adapt to most any environment on this planet and in your body. If you have fungal candida, you also have imbalances that allowed the fungal form to exist. Those imbalances need to be corrected, as well.

I don’t recommend using substances that further harm the body, such as drugs and certain chemicals. You’ll need to boost the immune system, detoxify the body, and follow a dietary protocol that assists with correcting imbalances, without creating others. Working with a doctor can be a good thing. Look for a knowledgeable holistic practitioner that understands candida and knows the science. The human body is a complex organism. Good customer service can be a valuable addition. Find someone that you can actually talk to and email, as well. Healing is not always an easy process to undergo.

Experience is a plus. The Candida Plan has been around for over 20+ years. Having worked with tens of thousands of people in correcting candida imbalances in the body provides a good foundation for assisting others. A broader knowledge about human health overall is priceless. This blog contains about 100 posts relating to candida and health. Reading through even some of them can provide anyone with much more information than the typical medical doctor possesses. You can also visit our CandidaLibray.org for information, where over 500 studies are available on the site. It needs some updating, so I apologize for any links that aren’t working. I just finished writing my 2nd book on candida, called the Everything Candida Diet Book. That will be released in June or July of this year, but it’s available for pre-order. We are working on re-releasing the 1st book (LifeForce) again within the next few weeks. Used copies are available online.

If you have questions, let us know.

Dr. McCombs

 

 

iStock 000015502953Medium 256x300 The Leaky Brain aka Blood Brain Barrier Hyperpermeability Syndrome
Leaky Brain

Do you suffer from depression, anxiety, brain fog, headaches, or insomnia? How about Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, Multiple sclerosis, ALS, seizures, or Autism? All of these neurological conditions have a common cause – chronic inflammation of the brain. Now answer this question – Have you ever taken antibiotics? If so, then the likelihood that you’ll experience one of these conditions, or others like them, is much greater. A round of antibiotics will destroy all the bacteria in your body within 5 to 7 days, causing a massive release of bacterial toxins into the circulatory system that prime your brain for a lifetime of chronic neuro-inflammation. This condition, Blood-Brain Barrier Hyperpermeability Syndrome, or “Leaky Brain”, can cause varying degrees of inflammation that can lead to the “diseases” and conditions listed above, as well as many others.

Outnumbering human cells by a factor of 10 to 1, there are over 100 trillion bacterial cells in the body. Although these bacteria are a normal part of the human body and considered to be indispensable to health, they contain within themselves substances that the human body is highly allergic to. As long as a balanced intestinal ecosystem and flora is in place, they help us to grow, repair, and survive in many ways. Upsetting that balance can turn these benefactors of health into promoters of disease and death.

One of the most pro-allergenic and pro-inflammatory substances found in bacteria are Lipopolysaccharides (LPS). LPS are a combination of fat (lipo-) and sugars (-saccharides) found in the cell wall of certain bacteria, known as Gram-negative bacteria. Some of the more well-known examples of Gram-negative bacteria are E. coli, K. pneumonia, N. gonorrhorea, and others that cause cholera, syphyllis, Lyme, typhoid fever, and the plague. While the normal varieties found in the human body don’t have the same notorious pedigree as those I’ve just mentioned, they do contain the same cell wall membrane structure and lipopolysaccharides. LPS are highly researched and studied for their ability to rapidly create inflammation in the body. This comes in very handy when researchers whish to study the mechanisms and impact of inflammation on human tissues and function. When LPS reach the blood stream in high numbers, they have the ability to cause sepsis and often death. At sub-lethal levels, they have the ability to create lifelong patterns of inflammation, such as those seen with neuro-inflammation and neurological diseases.

The body’s response to the presence of LPS leads to the creation of strong inflammatory cascades by stimulating pro-inflammatory proteins in the body called cytokines and chemokines. Some of the well-studied increases due to LPS are IL-6COX2, NO, IL-12, IL-13, IL-10, IL-9, G-CSF, GM-CSF, CCL-3, CCL-4NOX and NF-κB, IL-1, TNF-α, PGE-2, C-Reactive protein, and others. With regard to the brain, results from studies vary at to whether or not LPS crosses the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), or acts on cells outside the BBB, leading to increased levels of swelling and inflammation in the brain. The BBB helps to shield the brain from toxins that may be present in the body, but it has a potential Achilles Heel at the circumventricular organs, where the barrier does not exist. Based on the research, it is most likely that there are several pathways by which LPS affects brain tissues. Regardless of the pathway involved, once the inflammatory cascade has begun, the brain becomes “primed” for a life of chronic inflammation. Subsequent exposure to LPS, even at minimal levels can set off inflammatory cascades within the brain. This priming is not however limited to LPS alone. Exposure to environmental toxins, diabetes, obesity, depression, and many other factors can increase inflammation in the body and cause increased levels of inflammation in the brain, once it has been primed.

The body is well-equipped to handle the normal daily death of a few hundred thousand Gram-negative bacteria and the subsequent release of their LPS into the tissues and bloodstream. The liver and white blood cells, such as macrophages and monocytes, are able to round up and reduce the ongoing presence of LPS as a normal part of bacterial life and death in the body. Excessive loads of LPS are another story, as flooding the body with LPS exceeds the body’s capabilities. Many factors can contribute to increased levels of LPS being present in the body. Two of the most well-known ways to cause a massive release of LPS into the body are antibiotics and chemotherapy. While most people have been exposed to antibiotics, very few have had to endure chemotherapy. That will change in the future as antibiotic resistance continues to escalate, and chemotherapeutic agents will become more widely used as a replacement.

Different antibiotics affect the release of different quantities of LPS from Gram-negative bacteria, and some bacteria have higher levels of LPS than others. This then leads us to how much LPS would be required to cause a priming of the brain for a life of inflammation and accelerated degeneration. LPS are also referred to as endotoxins and they are measured in Endotoxin Units. One EU would be representative of the amount of LPS present in 100,000 cells of the Gram-negative bacteria, E. coli. As little as 5 EU/kg of body weight has been linked to causing symptoms of inflammation, such as fever, low blood pressure, increased heart rate, etc. A person weighing 170lb/77kg would require about 38.5 million bacterial cells to die to produce symptoms. With 100 trillion bacterial cells present in the human body, that’s 2.6 million times more than what is necessary to produce symptoms. Of course some of these 100 trillion cells are Gram-positive bacteria that don’t contain LPS in their cell wall membrane, but they do contain other substances like Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and Peptidoglycans (PGN) that initiate their own set of inflammatory patterns and neurodegeneration within the brain.

Antibiotics are also known to suppress the immune system’s white blood cells, which decreases the body’s ability to handle even normal loads of bacterial toxins. Liver injury is another possible side-effect of antibiotics and this would greatly reduce the liver’s ability to clear LPS and other toxins from the blood. The use of antibiotics creates a mathematical impossibility for the body to handle. They establish a chronic degenerative process within the brain that can lead to serious diseases and conditions, months or years later, seemingly unrelated to the original insult and cause. Medicine continues to focus on their idea of perceived benefits of antibiotics, while ignoring the science of “side effects” associated with their use.

The one-to-one association of antibiotic  use and subsequent fungal candida overgrowth is another area of concern. Fungal candida drives inflammation in the body and can contribute to a pattern of ongoing inflammation that accelerates brain degeneration and imbalance. Fungal candida activates some of the same pro-inflammatory cytokines as LPS.

Antibiotics create immune system dysregulation by altering the composition of bacterial flora and therefore their ability to regulate and balance immune function. Immune system dysregulation is another source of ongoing inflammation that can contribute to neuro-inflammation and neurodegeneration.

The medical profession is ill-prepared to address the complexities of antibiotic use and by default does nothing. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic-resistance has become the 3rd leading threat to human health on the planet. Government agencies call for the reduction of antibiotic use and implementation of  new prescribing practices. In 2003, the FDA mandated that all infections be cultured and submitted to susceptibility testing prior to the prescribing any antibiotic to any patient. The medical field has responded with nodding approval and non-action, choosing instead to continue on as they have been doing. Deaths due to antibiotic-resistant bugs continues to climb. The experts state that over 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary and in children that rate can climb as high as 90%. The public continues to be placed at risk by a profession unwilling to adopt evidence-based practices and stay abreast of the latest that science has to offer.

Each new study on the detrimental effects of endotoxin-induced neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration further deepens the gap between and science and medicine. More and more, people are moving away from the old paradigm of trusting their doctor to know what’s best for them. Many patients have a deeper understanding of their conditions and diseases than the doctors they visit. Instead of blindly trusting a blind profession, they have chosen to educate themselves and play a greater role in the their own healthcare and that of their families. While the medical field mocks such self-education, the holistic fields embrace an educated partner and seek to assist them in furthering their knowledge and understanding. In the end, it will always be upon each of us as to whether or not we take control of our own lives, or by default, hand that care over to someone who feels as though they don’t have to answer to anyone.

Leaky Brain, or Blood-Brain Barrier Hyperpermeability is a reality of antibiotic use. As with fungal candida, restoration of healthy bacterial flora, immune system balance, ongoing detoxification of the body, and healthy eating practices are necessities that everyone who has had antibiotic exposure will need to adopt in order to reverse the detrimental effects of antibiotics. Those who wait too long may find it difficult to build bridges where a foundation no longer exists. Nothing is impossible, however, and the body has amazing abilities of recovery, but how long will you wait?

We live in a world where the very air we breathe and the foods that we eat can often be sources of toxic exposure. There are well over 140,000 chemicals and heavy metals that are added to the environment each year. Medications are a part of over 70% of the world’s waterways and their presence cannot be filtered out by current technologies. Industrial practices endanger the planet. Each nuclear accident increases the levels of background radiation up another notch and threatens food supply chains. It’s all a part of the planet today and most of it seems too far off to impact us in any way, a comforting thought without much substance.

We can take control of our health and take an active role in regaining, restoring, and maintaining our health. It’s up to each of us to decide.

Live a healthy life!

Dr. Jeff McCombs, DC

The intestinal tract is an ecosystem ruled by checks and balances. In a balanced system, pathogenic organisms are kept in check. Upset that balance and the pathogenic organisms can take over and play a role in determining the composition and function of this system. This relationship is exemplified between the Lactobacillus bacterial species and Candida albicans. Lactobacillus strains are known to inhibit candida through their overwhelming numbers and their production of acids, peroxidases, and hypothiocyanate. Taking antibiotics destroys the balance in this ecosystem allowing for pathogenic organisms like fungal Candida albicans to take root and grow unchecked. Once candida begins to increase in numbers, it plays a regulatory role and shapes the composition of the intestinal flora by increasing certain bacterial species, such as Enterrococcus strains, and inhibiting others, such as Lactobacillus species.

While most studies look at the effect of Lactobacillus against Candida albicans, very few look at the opposite effect. Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan found that after antibiotic use, “the presence of C. albicans resulted in a long-term reduction in Lactobacillus spp. and promoted Enterococcus faecalis populations.” An earlier study by the same group of researchers found that following antibiotic use,  “C. albicans can prevent the regrowth of Lactobacillus spp. “. Note, that it first took the use of antibiotics to wipe out the Lactobacillus populations before candida could grow and spread in its fungal form. An established Lactobacillus population can make this conversion more difficult.

The majority of probiotic formulations contain of high numbers of Lactobacillus bacteria. In spite of companies marketing their probiotic formulas and fermented foods to the contrary, probiotics have not been found to be a successful way to treat systemic fungal infections. Once candida has established a strong fungal presence, probiotics alone are of little use. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, Wisconsin, found no clear benefit in treating candida with probiotics alone. The overgrowth of the Enterrococcal strains can be another factor that prevents the re-establishment of pre-antibiotic flora.

Fermented foods and drinks are another way that some people have used to attempt to correct fungal candida imbalances. These foods are high in Lactobacillus species, as well, and are unlikely to create any significant changes in fungal candida populations, post-antibiotic. Fermented foods are also high in histamine and can add to the overall allergic and inflammatory state that candida perpetuates. Fungal candida causes a shift in the body’s immune response towards one that is strongly associated with allergies and asthma, among other things.

Probiotics have a place in correcting fungal imbalances once the fungal form of candida has been converted back to its normal yeast form and the correct immune responses are in place. Fermented foods have a very long history of effectiveness in creating and maintaining greater levels of health and should be a part of everyone’s diet. When correcting the fungal form of candida back to its normal yeast form on the Candida Plan, I have found that avoiding them until Week 9 of the Plan provides the greatest chance of benefit.

Probiotics have great potential. How and when they are used will determine the degree of their effectiveness.

Get started on a healthier life today with Dr. McCombs Candida Plan.

 

Who are Lisa Richards, Linda Allen, and Clare Davidson? Are they fictitious (fake) names created by others in order to sell you books and supplements on candida? It has become a common marketing practice to use fake names and images of women to gain your trust and separate you from your money. You’ll find this tactic being used by sites like www.YeastInfectionNoMore.com, www.TheCandidaDiet.com, and www.CandidaCleanser.com. If that wasn’t bad enough, the people behind these sites have taken it a step further and created other sites that review the books, and products, and even the fictitious people on the original sites, in an attempt to add more legitimacy to all the fakery. They also add Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts to create more layers. You’ll never be able to talk to any of these people. They’ll never make public appearances. There probably won’t ever be a YouTube video by any of them, unless of course they can find the real people whose pictures they’ve used on their sites. The closest that you can get to communicating with anyone on these sites is to fill out a contact form on their site and someone may get back in touch with you. Where’s that someone live? Hong Kong? Vancouver, Canada? Western Europe?

Take Perfect Health, Ltd. for instance. They are listed as the owners of TheCandidaDiet.com. They are also the owners of CandidaBooks.com which gives a good review to books by Lisa Richards and Linda Allen. You’ll be able to find other sites that give good reviews to both authors, as they are all owned by the same company. Fortunately, it’s not that bad, as you won’t lose that much money. They do offer a few free books, which coincidentally happen to be available for free elsewhere on the Internet, as well. If you want to get in on the action, you can even sign up as an affiliate on yeastinfectionnomore.com and get people suffering from candida to buy the books.You’ll be the next candida expert on your block.

What happens though if someone has a bad reaction to taking the lufenuron product sold on candidacleanser.com. That’s not as risk free a proposition as buying a book. If you’re concerned about taking chitin cell wall inhibiting medication designed for eliminating fleas in pets, you should be. It wasn’t designed for human consumption. More about that is written here. Pet Consumer Reports issued this warning about it. Like the sites mentioned above, you can fill out a form and see if someone gets back to you. If you’re worried, or you’re human, you’re better off not taking anything that can have long-term implications later on in life.

How does all of this happen? Candida is an orphaned condition by the medical field. They only accept it as a possibility if you have severe immune system suppression, such as with AIDS, cancer, or are taking drugs to suppress your immune system. By ignoring the research and studies that validate its presence in ordinary people who don’t have a suppressed immune system, they create a huge gap in medicine. That leaves most people to fend for themselves, searching the Internet for answers. Some people have used this to cheaply create sites trying to lure people into buying their products. You’ll quickly recognize this approach by the long scrolling page that never seems to end or the inability to speak to a live person. Others have created multilevel companies that allow you to share in the profits, no matter who you are.

Candida is a real issue for millions of people. If you have candida, do your homework and research as much as you can. With over 52,000 studies on candida since the introduction of antibiotics in the late 1940s, there’s plenty of evidence to back up its existence and the problems it creates. Choose an approach that recognizes that they body is a complex organism and needs to be addressed as such. If you have candida, it exists on and inside your body along with 100 trillion bacteria and all of your body’s cells and tissues. It doesn’t exist alone by itself on a petri dish. You can’t just take anything and expect a good result. Some substances, like medications, can create additional imbalances and cause rebound infections. You don’t have to be confused about candida, but if you do have questions, give us a call (888-236-7780), or send us an email (info@mccombsplan.com). A phrase that we commonly hear is, “At last, a live person to talk to.”

I’ve been treating candida for 30 years and the Candida Plan has been around for 20+ years. I continually mention and refer to the science behind candida, and have a broad education about the anatomy, physiology, and function of the body. This blog has dozens of posts that are backed up by science. Some of the sites mentioned above reference my work, in order to sell their books and products. While I don’t necessarily approve of that, I can’t stop it. We have a Facebook group that we encourage people to join and share ideas and recipes with others. I also have a column on curezone.com. For people who appreciate live video, you can find us on our YouTube channel. Our Candida Library has more information available on the science and candida.

My first book, “Lifeforce” will soon be re-issued. I’ve just finished a 2nd book on candida (Everything Candida) for a publishing house that will be out by April. We encourage people who do the Candida Plan to ask questions frequently and as often as they need to. We like to hear from people on how they are doing, so that we can offer a helping hand along the way. We don’t believe that everything is caused by candida, but when it is, we believe that we offer the best choice for a greater foundation of health for the body.

Get started on a healthier life today with Dr. McCombs Candida Plan.

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