Here are three common questions that we get about Candida.
1) How Do I Know I Have Candida?
Dr. McCombs analysis of the research, dating back to 1949, shows that if you’ve ever done antibiotics, you’ll have systemic fungal candida. Most people however, won’t have any symptoms of fungal candida infections. Studies that have been done, show that candida albicans can persist undetected in the majority of individuals. For those of you have symptoms already, there’s really no short list of symptoms that would apply as fungal candida can affect every organ, tissue, and cell in the body, depending on several factors.
“Commensal organisms, such as Candida albicans, are able to persistently colonize the host without causing symptoms.”
Interactions of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans with the host
Future microbiology. 01/05/2007; 2:141-51.
“The frequencies of the carriage of yeast pathogens and of serum precipitins to a variety of candida antigens among 254 patients generally tended to increase with the length of the patient’s stay in hospital. This trend was observed even though none of the patients investigated showed signs or symptoms of superficial or systemic candidosis.”
Distribution of pathogenic yeasts and humoral antibodies to candida among hospital inpatients.
J Clin Pathol 1980;33:750-756 doi:10.1136/jcp.33.8.750
“…based on the 15 to 25% rate of asymptomatic colonization in healthy adults or adolescents and especially the high asymptomatic vaginal fungal burden in adolescents.
An Intravaginal Live Candida Challenge in Humans Leads to New Hypotheses for the Immunopathogenesis of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis
Infection and Immunity, May 2004, p. 2939-2946, Vol. 72, No. 5
2) What Causes Candida?
There’s only one thing that commonly creates fungal candida and that’s antibiotics. Antibiotics eliminate the bacterial flora and suppress immune system function. These two effects alter the pH, eliminate competitive inhibition and nutrient competition, stimulate the conversion of candida through release of signaling molecules from bacteria, and increase inflammation. With the exception of chemotherapy, nothing else creates the perfect situation for fungal candida growth.
“Antibiotic treatment has also been shown to increase the rate of C. albicans isolation in stool (15; M. Barza, M. Giuliano, and S. Gorbach, Program Abstr. 25th Intersci.” Factors identified that facilitate this dissemination include suppression of the intestinal bacterial flora…”
Factors Affecting Colonization and Dissemination of Candida albicans from the Gastrointestinal Tract of Mice
INFECTION AND IMMUNITY, JUlY 1987, p. 1558-1563
“Candida albicans infections often occur during or shortly after antibacterial treatment.”
Influence of fluoroquinolones on phagocytosis and killing of Candida albicans by human polymorphonuclear neutrophils
Thomas Grúger; Caroline Mörler; Norbert Schnitzler; Kerstin Brandenburg; Sabine Nidermajer; Regine Horré; Josef Zúndorf
“Risk factors for candidaemia include breakdown of mucosal barriers due to cytotoxic chemotherapy and surgical procedures, neutropenia, changes in the gut flora due to antibiotics, and invasive interventions that breach the skin, such as intravenous lines and drains (Wey et al, 1989).”
The immune response to fungal infections
Shmuel Shoham1 and Stuart M. Levitz
1Section of Infectious Diseases, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, and 2Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
British Journal of Haematology, 129, 569–582
“The composition of the microbiota is significantly affected by the use of antibiotics, which are often used extensively,…”
Host immune response to antibiotic perturbation of the microbiota
M Wlodarska and B B Finlay
“Mice were pretreated with antibacterial agents to alter their resident microflora, and then orally inoculated with C. glabrata and/or C. albicans. Elimination of detectable cecal bacteria facilitated colonization with both Candida species.”
Comparative abilities of Candida glabrata and Candida albicans to colonize and translocate from the intestinal tract of antibiotic-treated mice
Michelle J. Henry-Stanley; Robb M. Garni; Mary Alice Johnson; Catherine M. Bendel; Carol L. Wells
“…antibiotic therapy has been reported to precede disseminated candidiasis in children.”
Interaction of Candida albicans with Human Leukocytes and Serum
ROBERT I. LEHRER AND MARTIN J. CLINE
“Oral antibiotic therapy in humans often leads to colonization and over-growth of the GI tract by C. albicans”
Inhibition of Candida albicans Translocation from the Gastrointestinal Tract of Mice by Oral Administration of Saccharomyces boulardii
R. Berg, P. Bernasconi, D. Fowler, and M. Gautreaux
Dept of Microbiology and Immunology, Lousiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport and BIOCODEX, Montrouge, France
The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 168, No. 5 (Nov., 1993), pp. 1314-1318
“Antibiotic treatment decreased the total population levels of the indigenous bacterial flora, and predisposed mice to gastrointestinal overgrowth and subsequent dissemination by Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis, C. pseudotropicalis, C. tropicalis, and Torulopsis glabrata.”
Dissemination of yeasts after gastrointestinal inoculation in antibiotic-treated mice
1983, Vol. 21, No. 1 , Pages 27-33
“Antibiotic treatment decreased the total population levels of the indigenous bacterial flora and predisposed hamsters to gastrointestinal overgrowth and subsequent systemic dissemination by C. albicans in 86% of the animals.”
Ecology of Candida albicans Gut Colonization: Inhibition of Candida Adhesion, Colonization, and Dissemination from the Gastrointestinal Tract by Bacterial Antagonism
INFECTION AND IMMUNITY, Sept. 1985, p. 654-663
3) How Long Does It Take For Candida To Spread In The Body?
It happens much faster than most people would imagine. In a matter of hours after taking antibiotics, fungal candida can escape the intestinal tract and make its way through the body.
“Oral-intragastric inoculation of 5-6-day-old mice with yeast of a virulent strain of Candida albicans (CA30) resulted in systemic spread within 30 min after challenge. Histological examinations of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract have shown that the highest frequency of invasion of the mucosa by yeast cells occurred in the region of the jejunum 1-3 h after inoculation. Results of ultrastructural examinations of sites where the fungus invaded the bowel wall suggested that C. albicans yeast cells are capable of progressive extracellular digestion of the intestinal mucus barrier and microvillus layer, followed by intracellular invasion of columnar epithelial cells.”
Morphological aspects of gastrointestinal tract invasion by Candida albicans in the infant mouse.
J Med Vet Mycol. 1988 Jun;26(3):173-85.
“The pseudomycelium was found to invade animal epithelia at an average rate of 2 microns per hour, penetrating the entire epithelial thickness during 24-48 h. These data have been extrapolated to clinical pathology. On the basis of experimental data and by measuring the epithelial thickness in some human mucous membranes, the presumable periods of total epithelial penetration were calculated which may lead to vascular invasion and create the danger of dissemination. For different human mucous membranes these periods ranged from 22 to 59 h.”
Velocity of Candida albicans invasion into host tissues.
Mycoses ; 34:293-6.
“Critical times in the development of infections in optimally challenged BALB/c mice were at 5-10 h (bloodstream fully cleared of fungi), 24 h (start of exponential fungal growth in kidneys) and 48 h (50% of blood cultures become positive.”
Temporal events in the intravenous challenge model for experimental Candida albicans infections in female mice.
Mycoses. 2005 May;48(3):151-61.
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Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is founder of the McCombs Center for Health, the Candida Plan, the Candida Library, and author of Lifeforce and The Everything Candida Diet Book.