The Candida Expert

Are your bacteria smarter than your doctor? Absolutely!

Some bacteria are naturally resistant to antibiotics. This comes from past exposures and the subsequent development of resistance. These bacteria are called persisters. They are unaffected by all antibiotics, and theoretically lie dormant in the body.

Other bacteria produce their own anti-antibiotics – “The bacteria produce compounds, called cephalosporinases, which inactivate and destroy certain antibiotics such as penicillin derivatives and cephalosporins, protecting themselves and other beneficial bacteria that live in close proximity.

Yet, other bacteria develop resistance as soon as they are exposed to antibiotics. This has been known for over 70 years. Experts have warned about the end of the antibiotic era for at least 15 years and are now proclaiming that it is here.

Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, associate director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has stated — “We’re here. We’re in the post-antibiotic era. There are patients for whom we have no therapy.

Now, a predicted average of 10 million people a year will soon die as a result of antibiotic resistance. Thought Ebola was bad? This is much worse.

Overuse of antibiotics is one of the main causes. Doctors routinely overuse and abuse antibiotics. The Chief Medical Officer for the UK, Dame Sally Davies, states that, “There is evidence that some GPs are dishing out more than they need to for medical clinical disease. ‘We’ve clearly got it wrong, and I would argue that GPs 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.”

It would be nice if doctors read the science on antibacterial resistance, or even just the daily headlines would do, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as antibiotic prescriptions are increasing, not decreasing. “The number of antibiotic prescriptions increased by 32% in community settings by non-GPs such as dentists, while prescriptions for inpatients in hospitals rose by 12%.”

Of course, the MDs blame the patients for holding their feet to a blazing fire until they succumb and write prescriptions for antibiotics. A few of the MDs with integrity actually accept the blame and studies show that it isn’t the patients fault, in case anyone had a doubt about this.

Bacteria are smarter than doctors. They have had millions of years more experience in this area than doctors have had with antibiotics. Mother Nature has been challenging bacteria with safer forms of antibiotics for years.

In comparison, man’s antibiotics are a mutant, Frankenstein-like imitation that are pieced together in an attempt to imitate Mother Nature, but instead end up wreaking havoc all across the planet.

Just as Nero played his violin while Rome burned, so to do doctors continue to overprescribe antibiotics while millions die.

So why do doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics in the face of dire warnings and a mounting body count? Simple, they have no other answers. It’s not as if they had a thousand other safe choices, like say a holistic healthcare practitioner does. Sadly, it’s practically the only thing they have to offer. They belittle and ostracize anything and everything that isn’t “medicine”.

So, yes, bacteria are smarter than doctors, but are they smarter than a 4-year old? That’s another blog post.

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.

Use antibiotics, Get Candida! It’s as simple as that. It’s what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades, now. It takes a while for science to catch up to what is already known by many people through observation and personal experience. The University of Chicago  study below is a good example of that. It’s good to finally see science demonstrating what we already know about candida and antibiotics – “Take antibiotics and you’ll get candida!”

Although a well-functioning human intestine teems with a variety of microbial life, serious illness, long-term intravenous feeding, and multiple rounds of antibiotics wipe out much of this diversity. Inspection of 16S rRNA sequences from stool samples showed that the guts of five healthy volunteers harbored at least 40 bacterial genera. In contrast, in five of the 14 ICU patients in the study, 90 percent of the bacterial sequences were from just one taxontypically a known pathogen, such as Enterococcus or Staphylococcus.

(What we see here is antibiotics wiping out 100 trillion bacteria, leaving only the antibiotic resistant strains behind. Although this article implies that only long-term ICU patients have this problem, other research studies have consistently shown that the very same effect happens within 5 to 7 days of antibiotic use. These resistant strains are known pathogens that can cause illness and death, especially without the 100 trillion bacteria there to stop them.)

When a patient spends a long time in ICU, “the gut undergoes near-complete ecologic collapse,” said study coauthor John Alverdy, a gastrointestinal surgeon and researcher at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. In response to the “slash and burn” use of antibiotics, among other factors, “it’s like the Amazon rainforest. It falls apart.

(I think “near complete collapse” says it all. The entire system is affected. It’s not just the bacteria. It’s everything.)

The 16S rRNA sequences were specific to bacteria, but culture analysis also showed the presence of the fungus Candida albicans or C. glabrata in most patients.

(Use antibiotics, get candida! It’s what we’ve been saying for decades. It’s backed by Candida Facts –

“It was so surprising that we found just two-member communities—only Candida and multidrug-resistant bacteria,” said microbiologist and study coauthor Olga Zaborina.

(Use antibiotics, get candida! The odds of developing serious conditions is very high, or at least the 120+ candida-related conditions that we know about –

“They actually considered the fungal component of the microbiome, which has been routinely ignored in hundreds of microbiome studies
,” said Michael Lorenz, a microbiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston who was not in involved in the study. “So the finding that there are these interactions between the bacterial and fungal components is one that people should be very aware of.”

(People are continually puzzled as to why MDs don’t know anything about candida. MDs rely on science to inform them and ignore the real-life experiences and complaints of their patients. MDs treat disease, not patients. This distances them from ever knowing more about what’s really tang place on a daily basis. As we see here, science on the other hand, hasn’t even been looking many times.)

To mimic the conditions in an ICU patient’s gut, the researchers grew the microbes in the presence of an opioid. Opioids often enter the gut in critically ill patients as part of a stress response, and are known to interact with the quorum-sensing signals that regulate bacterial virulence. Indeed, in two Candida-bacteria combinations, opioid treatment shifted bacterial behavior from commensal to pathogenic, killing a substantial proportion of worms.

I think the take-away here is that stress + candida kills. I actually think that’s oversimplified, as many other factors come into play.)

…the study “gives clinicians important information that they’re to get the gut back to health as fast as they can. The quicker they can re-establish normal communities in the gut, the better it will be for the patient prognosis.”

(Sounds like everyone needs a Candida diet –

While Alverdy and Zaborina continue to explore the antivirulence potential of phosphate treatment, they suggested that reconstituting a patient’s original community of gut microbes might be the best medicine. Before entering intensive care for organ transplants or other major procedures, patients may soon set aside their own healthy stool to be used for a future fecal transplant.

(It’s better than medicine, because it’s not medicine!)

Many people like to use testing to prove that they have fungal candida, but as I’ve repeatedly stated, it’s not necessary, as science shows that antibiotic use guarantees that you’ll have a systemic fungal infection within hours of using antibiotics. 

Intensive Loss of Gut Bacteria Diversity –

A. Zaborin et al., “Membership and behavior of ultra-low-diversity pathogen communities present in the gut of humans during prolonged critical illness,” mBio, doi:10.1128/mBio.01361-14, 2014.

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.

Patient Q and A

Here’s today’s Q&A with a patient that helps to address some commonly asked questions:

Do you think its possible to completely get rid of candida and be able to eat normal again?

Yes, that’s possible. We’ve see it all the time. The Plan helps to restore and develop a better sense of health and healthy eating within the body. Energy levels lift, inflammation decreases, and a host of other improvements can take place. People tend to have a re-born, or new-born sense, of what it feels like to be healthy and naturally have an aversion to foods that don’t make them feel that way. Some people however, go back to the eating habits that made them lose energy and don’t feel as well as they did on the Plan. Fortunately, they now have a new reference point and often decide to return eating they way that made them healthy on the Plan. If “eat normal again” means eating foods that helped create the problem, it also depends on how your body now responds to those foods. Such “normal” foods are mostly not a healthy choice.

I have always been able to eat all foods and sugar without problems, but when i got candida it completely destroyed my life and only able to eat a couple of foods.

The real problem starts with antibiotics and how they can permanently alter the composition of the body’s bacterial flora. That can sometimes be the bigger problem. Fungal candida is a just part of the problems that antibiotics create. Restoring healthy intestinal flora, correcting fungal candida, boosting and restoring the correct immune responses and balance, detoxifying the body, etc., are all involved. With a balanced flora and immune system, the body has a greater ability to adapt and compensate for eating unhealthy foods. That doesn’t make those foods okay to eat, or healthy, it just means that you’re less likely to exhibit symptoms when eating those foods. They will still damage and create imbalances in your body that may take years to show up. When the body’s balance is destroyed by antibiotics, you have a lesser ability to compensate and adapt to eating unhealthy foods. The body’s immune system develops allergic responses that can take months, or even years to release in some cases, even if healthy eating habits are restored. Doing as much as possible to balance the whole system will often produce faster results. A lack of symptoms doesn’t mean that certain foods aren’t problematic. It can also mean that your body’s feedback mechanisms aren’t functioning very well. Many people live most of their lives in this state, eating and drinking anything they want, only to end up with cancers or other diseases (McDonald’s serves 60 million people a day). They go to their doctors and tell the docs that they never had any problems or symptoms. The MD doesn’t know anything about physiology or how the body functions, and therefore can’t offer any explanation, only meds. Those diseases developed over years, decades of poor habits.

What are your experiences with patients, are most people able to get rid of candida completely?

I have found that restoring fungal candida to its normal yeast form is not that difficult when approaching the body as a whole. Some of the other issues that are created by antibiotics and fungal candida in combination may take longer. Proper immune system balance can be an area for some people where lingering symptoms often occur. Immune system dysregulation that creates inflammation and all that goes with that is a common area sometimes.

I don’t have more questions but will get back to you after the 16 weeks and give you a update.

I would recommend letting us know how you’re doing so that we may offer some suggestions along the way, if needed. Some issues commonly caused by candida such as blood sugar imbalances, low levels of HCL, constipation, etc., can be addressed along with the Plan and improve your results.


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.

The truth about antibiotics isn’t something that you’re likely to find out about from any doctor or institution. The truth about antibiotics has been so buried beneath decades of arrogance and misinformation, that even they don’t know it.

Ever since the days of Alexander Fleming, who is credited with the discovery of antibiotics, misinformation and misunderstanding have surrounded the use of antibiotics. Doctors continually regurgitate information to their patients that has no basis in science, even as Sir Fleming did when accepting his Nobel Prize, warning against the emergence of untreatable infections as a result of improper antibiotic use in 1945.

Doctors will tell you must take your full prescription of antibiotics in order to avoid creating antibiotic-resistant strains that could eventually become untreatable. This is untrue. This falsehood was more likely created by a pharmaceutical marketing team than it was by a scientists, as it doesn’t have any basis in science. Antibiotic resistance is created by using antibiotics, period. That’s it. Nothing more other than using them. The concept of antibiotic resistance being caused by not enough antibiotics, or not taking them long enough, is pure fiction. This was an inaccurate understanding from the very beginning which still persist today in our “modern” world.

Every living thing on the planet has an imperative survival impulse to keep on living. Microbes have been here much longer than humans and can adapt much quicker, going through an entire generation in as little as 12 minutes, while humans can take 100 years. If you try to kill a microbe, it uses one, or several, mechanisms to adapt and survive. It then passes on this survival information to other microbes, again via several mechanisms. Because of this, antibiotics have a built-in obsolescence, or warranty if you will. You can only use them for so long before they wear out. Sort of like a tire. Eventually, you’re going to be placing yourself at risk by continuing to use them. Science knows this. Medicine doesn’t seem to.

It has been shown that antibiotic-resistance develops while you are taking antibiotics. The old point of view as promoted by Sir Fleming was that not using a high enough dosage to try and kill microbes would lead to them developing resistance. Science tells us that just the opposite is true, where using high doses or combinations of antibiotics, actually increases how quickly antibiotic-resistance develops. From a scientific standpoint, this makes sense. Bigger guns lead to faster responses to survive.

Unfortunately, medicine embarks on a tale of fantasy when talking about antibiotic resistance. The concept of not enough or not long enough is rooted in arrogance. It views microbes as inanimate sitting targets that only need to be knocked off the shelf by a shotgun blast. It views our chemical antibiotic creations as superior to microbes, when in fact, they represent the limitations of man’s mind, not it’s greatest possibilities.

Microbes have at least 360x more genes than humans, giving them the upper hand in the battle for survival. In the human body, they outnumber us by 10 to 1. Science has come to describe man as a “super-organism” whose survival is dependent on these microbes. Medicine however, treats them like a disposable waste. Antibiotics will wipe out almost all the bacteria in the body within 5 to 7 days, and it can take months for these populations to restore themselves, but never to their original make-up as antibiotics permanently alter that. During that time period, we are subjected to the antibiotic-resistant strains we created, immune system dysregulation, and a host of other anomalies including being more susceptible to other infections such as fungal candida.

We now know that if we upset the balance of our microbial flora, we are prone to obesity, diabetes, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. That isn’t stopping our use of antibiotics however, as prescribing rates are increasing and deaths continue to escalate. According to the World Health Organization in 2009, antibiotic resistance is one of the top three threats to human health on the planet. Antibiotic-resistance kills more people than AIDS on a yearly basis. The truth about antibiotics never seems to include these facts.

Some bacteria are never affected by antibiotics. These are called persisters. They exhibit multidrug tolerance.

Antibiotic resistance will always develop as long as antibiotics are in use. Using them wisely, means not using them very often. Most authorities state that 50% of their use is unnecessary. Let’s start by using 50% less and see where that gets us. Any amount is better than where we’re headed.


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.


Healthcare isn’t healing when the interests of the patient are placed second to the interests of the doctor. This often happens in practice-centered models of care, instead of patient-centered models of care. The goal of the practice-centered model is to increase the practice size and make money, while the goal of the patient-centered model is to make the patient healthy. When the doctor is more concerned about protocols, procedures, and billing, the patient often suffers.

Antibiotic prescription practices are one example of this. Doctors have found that the number of patient visits increases with the prescription of antibiotics. Prescribing antibiotics can fill the waiting room and avoid losing the patient to another doctor down the street who’ll willingly fill a prescription for the patient. This enables the doctor to make more money and fulfills the goal of the practice-centered model. Unfortunately, the patients are more likely to receive antibiotics when they don’t need them and end up with rebound infections of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’.

The practice-centered model is directly linked to the increase in antibiotic resistance worldwide, as some doctor’s are prescribing antibiotics to 98% of their patients. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic-resistant infections are now one of the top three threats to human health on the planet. In spite of warnings on the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, doctors continue to increase the number of prescriptions that they write.

Respiratory infections such as bronchitis and the common cold should have a prescribing rate that is close to 0%, yet patients receive antibiotics 70% of the time and even higher in children. One study found a prescribing rate as high as 98% for respiratory infections.

The majority of doctors blame patient pressure as the reason they over-prescribe antibiotics and other medications, but when patients are asked about pressuring doctors, as was done in a recent survey by Populus, only 6% said that they would pressure doctors into giving them antibiotics. While patients may be to blame partly (6%) for the problem, it appears in surveys that 94% of the time, the blame rests with the doctor.

How can there be such a difference between the doctor’s and the patient’s  perception of the same event? An overwhelming number of patients are stating that they don’t ask for antibiotic prescriptions, while an overwhelming number of doctors state that they do.

In my experience, doctors rush to give antibiotics as a cure-all. It’s a knee-jerk response that enables the doctor to keep moving throughout his day without actually taking the time to educate the patient or discover the underlying cause of the patient’s complaint. By doing so, they fail to follow federal guidelines as laid out in a 2003 FDA Mandate to perform culturing and susceptibility testing. Many give antibiotics as a way to suppress symptoms alone, by suppressing the immune system responses that produce those achy, flu-ish, feverish symptoms we have been entrained by commercials to recognize as sickness, which are actually a sign of a healthy immune system response.

It makes sense that the practice-centered model is one reason for the discrepancy between the doctor’s and the patient’s perceptions. The lens that doctor’s are looking through observes patient behavior in terms that facilitate increasing their practice and income stream. When doctors are questioned more thoroughly on this topic, they often state that if they don’t write the prescription, the patient will just go down the street to the next doctor and he will lose the business, so why shouldn’t he just write the prescription. Doctors justify their prescriptions by describing “subtle hints” and “certain looks” they receive from their patients as reason enough. Hardly sufficient justification for placing anyone at risk.

Measures to halt the over-prescription of antibiotics have included asking doctors to tell their patients to wait 7 days first before using antibiotics, as most infections resolve themselves within that time period. Doctors state that patients don’t like to hear this and the doctor doesn’t want to appear unsympathetic to their needs, so the prescription pad comes out. This highlights a second factor in over-prescribing practices, a doctor’s perception. If the doctor thinks the patient wants a prescription, then he writes the prescription.

Another study in 2003 the Journal Of Family Practice found that parents rarely insisted on antibiotics. This study pointed out that how parents communicate their concerns was many times the determining factor of whether or not antibiotics were prescribed. It was also noted that parents who came in and told the doctor that their child had a bacterial infection, were more likely to receive antibiotics. It leads one to wonder exactly what were all those of years of medical school for?

The patient-centered model needs to replace the practice-centered model. The patient’s health should be a higher priority than the doctor’s rush to keep moving and fit as many people as possible into his schedule, and his practice goals. Doctor’s need to be educated about patient care and management. The doctor needs to see himself as a guide and facilitator of the patients health and not just as a dispensing machine. He needs to have a solid belief in his role as a doctor, and perhaps more guidance and education on how to fulfill that role.

Antibiotics are only one dilemma facing today’s doctors, and the entire world for that matter. There are other areas where healthcare isn’t healing, as well. It’s unclear as to where the solution will come from, as government regulation has failed to curb bad practices and doctor’s haven’t responded to decades of warnings. My guess is that the patient will have to make the right choice for themselves. My prayer is that they do.

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.

Antibiotic risks are greater than the benefits? In this 2008 study from Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and Harvard, the researchers clearly state that “For an individual patient, the risks are greater than the benefits and the discussion should stop there.”

Despite little microbiological reason to think they would be helpful, antibiotic prescribing for predominantly viral acute respiratory infections remains nearly as popular as ever. Acute bronchitis in adults is an instructive example. According to guidelines and performance measures, the right antibiotic prescribing rate is close to zero percent.1, 2 However, in the United States, physicians prescribed antibiotics to 77% of adults with acute bronchitis in 1995, 59% of adults in 2000, and 67% of adults in 2005 (unpublished data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Medical Care Survey [NAMCS/NHAMCS]). Together, acute respiratory infections other than pneumonia account for 50% of antibiotic prescribing to adults and 75% of antibiotic prescribing to children.3

Microbiology aside, clinicians may prescribe and patients may use antibiotics with the thought of reducing symptoms or preventing complications. Research does not bear out these rationales. Systematic reviews from the Cochrane collaboration have found marginal to no benefit of antibiotics for the common cold, acute otitis media in children, maxillary sinusitis, sore throat, and acute bronchitis.4–8 Recent randomized controlled trials that carefully measured patient symptoms found no symptomatic benefit of antibiotics for acute bronchitis or sinusitis.9, 10

So, for most acute respiratory infections, there appears to be little benefit to antibiotics. However, if the risks to individual patients are minimal, then it might make sense to use antibiotics for acute respiratory infections. However, evidence of the risks of antibiotics continues to increase. Depending on the antibiotic, 5% to 25% of patients will develop antibiotic-associated diarrhea.14 Clostridium difficile is an increasingly recognized adverse event following antibiotic treatment. Quantifying the risk per antibiotic exposure is challenging, but the antibiotics most commonly associated with C. difficile are clindamycin, cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones.15 About 2% of patients who take an antibiotic will develop a skin

reaction.16 About 1 in 5000 patients who receive an antibiotic will have an anaphylactic reaction.17

In addition, in studies examining adverse drug events, antibiotics keep emerging as a common culprit. Penicillins are one of the most common causes of adverse drug events in ambulatory practice.18 Antibiotics are the second most common cause of adverse drug events in the elderly.19 Antibiotics are one of the most common causes of adverse drug events following hospital discharge20 and adverse events from antibiotics often cause hospital admissions.21 Antibiotics are one of the most common classes of medication associated with malpractice claims.22

In this issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, using the NAMCS/NHAMCS and National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance (NEISS-CADES), Shebab and colleagues add the risks of an emergency department visit for an adverse drug event from antibiotics. They found that antibiotics are responsible for nearly 20% of emergency department visits for adverse drug events and caused 10.5 emergency department visits for adverse drug events for every 10,000 outpatient visits at which an antibiotic was prescribed. Because the NAMCS/NHAMCS only captures antibiotic prescribing that occurs in the context of a visit, Shebab are likely undercounting antibiotic prescribing. However, the authors are also undercounting adverse drug event emergency department visits as well: the sensitivity of the NEISS-CADES for detecting adverse events is around 45%.23 What is most striking is that the risk of antibiotics – especially sulfonamides and clindamycin – is comparable to insulin, warfarin, and digoxin, medications that are perceived as relatively dangerous.

Of course, in looking at only emergency department visits, Shebab and colleagues are detecting the tip of the iceberg. Many more patients are having mild adverse drug events that led them to seek non-emergency ambulatory care or to simply stop the antibiotic. Strom has noted that the present US drug safety system focuses on rare effects of new drugs instead of common adverse effects of older drugs.24 Indeed, according to the US Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) – a collection of voluntary reports – antibiotics do not emerge as a top cause of serious adverse drug events.25 However, depending on several factors, estimates of the sensitivity of the AERS system are as low as 0.3% and there has been widespread agreement that it takes too long to identify problem drugs and quantify risks of older drugs.

Shebab and colleagues rightly point out that antibiotic-associated adverse events are happening when antibiotics are taken as prescribed and as intended; the only error for many antibiotic prescriptions is that they are prescribed at all. If as many as half of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary, what interventions work to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing? Clearly finger wagging in the medical literature is not working. Potential interventions to decrease inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing for acute respiratory infections include physician education, physician audit and feedback, patient education, multidimensional interventions, delayed antimicrobial prescriptions, health information technology solutions, and financial or regulatory incentives. Unfortunately, most interventions result in only modest absolute reductions in inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing, on the order of 10%. A recent systematic review found that multidimensional interventions involving physicians and patients appear more effective than clinician educational interventions, which, in turn, were more effective than interventions that used audit and feedback.27 However, for acute bronchitis, even successful interventions in the US have only reduced the antimicrobial prescribing rate to about 40% to 50%.13, 28, 29

When considering an antibiotic prescription, physicians may feel a need to balance individual benefit with the societal risks of increasing antimicrobial resistance.30 This is not necessary. First, “treating” a viral illness with antibiotics does not make microbiological sense. Second, the benefits of antibiotics for most acute respiratory infections appear to be shrinking in the literature. Third, the real risks of antibiotic prescribing are becoming clearer. The article by Shebab and colleagues is part of growing evidence that antibiotics have greater risks than previously appreciated. For everything we do, we have an obligation to weigh and clearly spell out benefits and risks for our patients. The decision and discussion about antibiotic prescribing should focus on benefits and risks for the individual patient. Physicians should be comfortable telling the following to their patients with most acute respiratory infections: “For your infection, there is about a 1 in 4000 chance an antibiotic will prevent a serious complication, a 5% to 25% chance it will cause diarrhea, and about a 1 in 1000 chance you will wind up in an emergency room from a bad reaction to the antibiotic.”

For most acute respiratory infections antimicrobial resistance is irrelevant. For an individual patient, the risks are greater than the benefits and the discussion should stop there.

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.

Can you cure candida without causing disease? There is a lot of confusion about what is and isn’t effective against candida. Many websites promote this treatment and that treatment, with the people behind the websites having very little knowledge about candida or how their product works in the body. In order to better understand what treatment works best, I think that it would be best to understand the body’s ecosystem first.

The microbial flora of the body, that we call the ecosystem, is composed of over 100 trillion bacteria that outnumber our own cells by at least a factor of ten to one. We are still discovering a lot about this microbial ecosystem and how it affects the human body, but more and more research points to an ongoing re-arrangement and modification of the exact ratios present. This system has multiple layers with viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungus, yeast, and other microbes all existing in a balanced state when we are healthy. Each microbe plays a vital role. Much is yet to be discovered, but we know from ecosystems in nature that sometimes the smallest microbe can have a major impact, like that one capstone that holds everything else together on a bridge or in a doorway.

While the majority of the species present are pretty fixed, minor fluctuations in the composition can have a major impact on health. Lose the capstone and everything can fall apart. Diet can play a big role and any dietary change that we make creates an almost immediate shift in the numbers and kinds of species present. This in turn can turn on and turn off the symptoms that we may experience at any moment. Some people report feeling better just by changing their diet.

Diet also affects our human cells and systems, as well. Too much sugar and too little sugar can weaken the immune system. In the ecosystem of the body, it’s always about balance. Drastic dietary changes can work against correcting systemic fungal candida imbalances by weakening and disrupting the normal function of the immune system, and other systems, as well.

Antibiotics will wipe out all of the bacteria in the body within a period of 5 to 7 days. Some of the species will never return leading to permanent population shifts that can remain for a lifetime unless corrected. These population shifts can form the foundation for diseases and conditions that follow. Systemic fungal candida is created by the imbalances caused by antibiotics. Without the bacteria present, and the massive shifts within this ecosystem, fungal candida will flourish and subsequently play a role in determining which bacteria re-establish themselves and to what degree that is possible.

What is lacking in the majority of approaches available for treating candida is a  profound appreciation and understanding of what a balanced ecosystem is, and how anything that upsets that balance becomes a doorway for greater imbalances that can eventually lead to a host of diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancers. The goal of every treatment should be to restore balance without creating any additional imbalance. This is where many approaches fail. Let’s look at the common prototype of many treatments using turpentine as an example.

Turpentine is one choice out there that some people have used, although most people stay away from it due to the obvious toxicity concerns. While some people state that it’s not toxic, you have to take very small amounts into the body, or risk an emergency room visit. Turpentine is one of those old-time remedies that have been used for various infections and illnesses for probably well over two hundred years, with some sources dating it as far back as biblical times. Turpentine has been shown to kill fungus, as well as bacteria, parasites, and just about everything else., and that’s where the problem lies. Destroying all of these microbes can create other imbalances. The killing of the bacteria is indiscriminate. Turpentine will eliminate good and bad bacteria, good and bad parasites, good and bad everything. There is no differentiation between bad and good microbes with turpentine and that’s a problem. Destroying the ecosystem balance leads to diseases.

The common argument that many people use is to compare turpentine to water stating that even water at large enough doses can harm you. I fail to see the logic in this comparison. If the comparison had merit, you could drink an 8-ounce glass of water and an 8-ounce glass of turpentine equally as well without any concern, but that’s definitely not the case. Eight ounces of turpentine will get you a visit to the morgue.

Turpentine has been used successfully to treat many conditions, but just because it was used two hundred years ago when other safer alternatives weren’t available, or no choice at all, doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice to make today. They used to saw off infected limbs without anesthesia two hundred years ago, as well, but if needed, I don’t recommend following that approach either.

What about every organisms prime motive for survival? It is the reason behind antibiotic and anti fungal resistance. Microbes adapt very quickly when faced with extinction. They can go through several generations in 24 hours, whereas man takes 100 years to go through one generation. Trying to kill off microbes leads to adaptation. Creating more antimicrobial resistance that then becomes untreatable is not a good idea. Given what we know of the microbiome, anything that harms the microbes creates imbalances that can then can create disease and harm us.

In place of turpentine, you can substitute other known products that have an anti-fungal effect, but also have even stronger antibacterial effects – MMS, Bacillus subtilis, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, etc. Each of these will impact the entire ecosystem and create imbalances that may be lifelong. Many of these have wider antimicrobial effects than antibiotics. You can take an antibiotic and eliminate your symptoms, but then end up with cancer decades later. Cause-and-Effect is a very poor model in healthcare, as the effects may not occur until decades later.

Choose an approach that doesn’t “kill” candida. Anything that does will also kill the yeast form and create additional imbalances. Some researchers are now looking at candida’s ability to alkalize the body. Killing candida could lead to increased acidity in the tissues.

If it’s a part of the ecosystem, it’s probably a very necessary part. Some points of view state that candida exists in the body because of it’s ability to change from its yeast form to its fungal form. They believe that the fungal form plays a role in breaking down dead tissues and cells, and even cancer. A well-regulated ecosystem could create a shift that allows that change to take place as long as it is beneficial for the body. In essence, the ecosystem would take care of itself.

Let’s say that you have cancer and the ecosystem shifts to allow the yeast to fungus transition. The fungal cells could attack the cancerous cells to start breaking them down with its wide variety of enzymes. If you were to open this person up at this point, you might think that the fungus was causing the cancer. Such misunderstandings could lead to people developing the wrong impression of what’s taking place and then marketing that to others.

On the other hand, an ecosystem that has been destroyed by antibiotics, or other antimicrobials, may create opportunities for runaway fungal infections to create conditions that would eventually lead to cancers. The problem with all of these antimicrobial approaches is that they all see it from only this point of view.

In the end, it’s never just about candida. That’s a medical model that has never worked and it is primarily the reason why antibiotic resistance is now one of the top three threats to human health on the planet. Targeting one microbe and trying to eliminate it without consideration for the overall environment of the body continuously leads to the imbalance and disease.

You have to consider the immune system and how you’re going to treat imbalances there. You have to consider not only restoring the normal tissue flora, but also when that is appropriate. You have to address the fungal form of candida in ways that doesn’t initiate adaptation responses that lead to anti-fungal resistance and rebound infections. Converting it back to the yeast form and boosting the appropriate immune response is the only safe way. Additional considerations may also include addressing bowel flow, blood sugar imbalances, hydrochloric acid levels, etc. You have to consider the whole.

This is a much longer post than I had intended to write, but it’s a complex subject. Go with the science, not someone’s personal interpretation of what’s taking place. It’s easy to interpret a change of symptoms as indicating something else other than what’s actually taking place. All of the approaches mentioned above will create a change in symptoms, but what’s the long-term effect? The body is so good at adapting that you may not know for years or decades. Go with the science. With over 54,000 studies on PubMed alone, there’s plenty to go by.

For those who would appreciate the shortened version of all of the above, here it is:

Buying a product to “kill” candida is like buying a tire. It’s not going to get you far. Buy the whole car, and while you’re at it, buy the best car you can. Go for a Mercedes, Rolls Royce, or Ferrari. Buy something that will get you a lot farther than trying to just push a tire around. Buy the Candida Plan. It’s your body. Your life.

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.

The journey to excellence in producing the best childrens vitamins has many hurdles. The supplement industry itself has many players who are more intent on serving their own purposes and agendas, as opposed to those of their clients and eventually the child consumer.

My journey started in 2009 with the premature birth of our twins, at 25 weeks of age. Being born 15 weeks ahead of schedule earned them a trip to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, where they were born.

During their 5 month stay in the NICU, there were many challenges and among these was getting their bodies to accept the bright orange A, D, E, & K vitamin mix that the nurses tried unsuccessfully to give them. Each time they were given the mix, they would throw up the formula, a response that would lead the nurses to suggest trying it again, which we strongly opposed. After 2 failures, we told them to stop trying to force our children to accept something that their bodies obviously refused.

Only one of the doctors in the entire NICU had ever tried the formula and stated that he immediately threw it up afterward, describing its taste as gut wrenching, horrific. It was an abominable taste that stayed with him for days. Unfortunately, there were no other alternatives, and the doctors tried comforting us by telling us that the previous formula was even worse. No go, not my children, no thank you! They then tried to convince us that something was better than nothing, but it was obvious that this toxic mixture wasn’t working for them, so the difference between no vitamin and vitamins that they immediately threw up, was equal.

The doctor who had tried the toxic potion, was aware of my background as a Chiropractor and my training in nutrition, and he suggested that if I created a children’s supplement, he would do his best to get it accepted into the hospital. The seed was planted, but it would still take another 6 months before I was able to consider even doing this. Five months in the NICU is a traumatic experience for parents and children alike and requires some time to recover.

As I started to consider where to begin, I thought about my previous experience with formulating products. Knowing nutrition is one thing and creating a formulation is something else. In the past, I’ve relied on the experience of others and in this instance thought private labeling a product would be a good place to start. Private labeling is when a company takes an existing product and places their label on the product, as opposed to the original manufacturing company’s label. The initial investment with private labeling would be smaller and I could ride on the coattails of someone else’s success.

Another Chiropractor had suggested that I start with a fish oil supplement that we could do a study on and then promote it based on the results. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good fish oil supplement that any company was willing to allow me to private label. After 3 months of trying to find a product, it was obvious that I was going to have to start from scratch and develop my own products.

A little research helped me to define where I needed to start. Multivitamins make up the lion’s share of supplement sales. A good multivitamin is the cornerstone of any supplement line. Multivitamins are also more complex, as they can contain 26 ingredients or more.

I started buying up bottles and boxes of all the products currently available. Sugar was a staple in most of the ones available. It was an odd discovery as sugar is a big problem these days and children are already consuming far too much sugar. Vitamins should help solve the problem, not contribute to it.

It was odd also for the fact that sugar can block absorption of the some of the nutrients in the formula and also deplete the body of many of the others. The net gain from consuming a sugar-fortified supplement could potentially be zero.

Even the so-called industry experts echoed the necessity of sugar in kid’s products. To them it was a necessary evil, as they believe that there would be no other way to get children to consume vitamins.

I didn’t want to get into the candy business, however. I was more interested in children’s health. At one point during the past 4 years of this journey, we even found that the Halloween candy being sold near the registers at Whole Foods contained less sugar than the children’s supplements being sold on the shelves.

What no one was talking about were the sugar-free options that are available with stevia, erythritol, xylitol, and others. Sweetness may help, but sugar isn’t necessary. It’s a cheaper option that most manufacturers will try to steer you towards. It’s more profitable and easier for them to work with, which is about the extent of their concern.

It was at this point that I discovered that what was good for the bottom line of the company selling the products, was not always good for the child consuming the product. Money was king and the child’s interests came second, or somewhere in that downward direction.

I decided early on that our products needed to be sugar-free. A sugar-free children’s multivitamin was better for the children. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Next up, I needed to figure out the formulation.

Each year, antibiotics resistance kills over 2 million people worldwide. Despite years of warnings from government and world officials, antibiotic prescription rates have continued to increase over 40%. The solution to antibiotic resistance is to take antibiotics out of the hands of the physicians who prescribe them.

In spite of global warnings about the coming end of the “Antibiotic Era”, and antibiotic-resistance soaring to become one of the TOP three threats to human health on the planet, some MDs have continued to prescribe antibiotics to as many as 97% of the patients they see! Justified? Hardly. Insane? Yes.

Over 2 million people die each year as a result of antibiotic resistant infections. That’s more deaths than AIDS globally. Physicians blame patients for this, but it is only physicians that can write a prescription. Regardless of how much a patient may ask and plead for antibiotics, it is the physicians duty to accurately prescribe antibiotics as needed.

The majority of physicians pass the buck and blame the patients. What they’re really stating by blaming the patient is that they, the physician is either so inept and incapable of being able to accurately determine when antibiotic use is justified, or they’re just in it for the money and too busy to perform their professional duties.  Anyway that you look at this situation, the MDs don’t come out looking good.

In 2003, the FDA took a stab at the problem by mandating that physicians first culture an infection to determine if it was truly a bacterial infection, and then perform susceptibility testing to determine the best antibiotic to use. Physicians balked at this federal mandate and kept prescribing them at will, no culturing and no susceptibility testing.

The solution for antibiotic-resistance is to take antibiotics away from MDs, DOs, NDs, and DDS. Until then, more and more people will continue to die. It is the only way to curb runaway prescribing practices that government and federal authorities have not been able to correct. Unfortunately, this is probably not going to happen, which means that the public is going to have to save the day.

The physicians are just one part of the equation. They write the prescriptions. Without the prescriptions, nobody gets the drugs. It’s obvious that they are the problem. That being said, if the patient doesn’t take the prescription, or fill the prescription, then there’s no issue. Antibiotic resistance will decline.

What happens if they can’t rely on MDs and other prescribaholics? They turn to holistic medicine, a much safer and better choice. They take better care of themselves. They’re more proactive about their health. They eat better. In the end, they’ll be healthier, and medicines unjust monopoly will be broken.

At that point, medicine will come running and apologizing, and say that they’ve improved their ways. By then however, everyone will have learned that they are ultimately responsible and capable of handling their own health.

Who knows if this will really happen, so let’s look at some current consequences and choices.

If you take an antibiotic without insisting that the doctor culture the infection to determine if it is indeed a bacterial infection, and then submit it to susceptibility testing to determine which antibiotic is most effective, you will have played a role in the death of someone down the road. Perhaps, a child. Perhaps a loved one. Someone will pay for allowing an MD to prescribe an antibiotic without following the guidelines established by the federal government. MDs obviously don’t care enough to stop this practice. It’s up to everyone else.

Will you care enough to save another life?

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.

Candida Dr Oz

Candida Dr Oz is something that the world needs. The Dr Oz Effect would help to draw attention to candida in ways that over 54,000 studies on found in PubMed hasn’t been able to yet. The medical profession isn’t taught very much about candida which leaves a huge gap in our common understanding about candida and how it affects the body.

Candida is considered to be a dimorphic organism, capable of changing from one form to another, based on several factors that include pH, temperature, bacterial inhibition, immune system status, cell signaling, etc. The yeast form is generally considered to be the beneficial form, assisting in balancing the body via its effect on digestion and possibly by helping to maintain a dominant alkaline pH. The fungal form is considered to be the problematic, pathogenic form that can spread throughout the body causing damage via its enzymes and inflammation-promoting abilities. There are over 200 species of candida, but only about 20 of them are known to cause problems in humans.

The number one cause of fungal candida infections is antibiotic exposure and who hasn’t had antibiotics? Fungal candida infections develop while someone is taking antibiotics and can spread throughout the body in as little as 24 hours after antibiotic exposure. Additional factors can include stress, steroids, medications, and hormones, but antibiotics are the main cause.

Candida albicans is the primary type of candida implicated in the majority of human fungal infections. It is the fourth most common hospital-acquired infections and the #1 fungal infection. In an immune deficient individual, it can be deadly and often leads to death. In the rest of the population, it is implicated in playing a role in over 120 various conditions and diseases. The majority of those infected many not have any symptoms, or at least symptoms that anyone would typically be connected to candida. Traditionally, it has always been associated with vaginal infections in women, but in reality it affects everyone equally.

How can something that so many people, be so unknown? Eventually, it’ll be an overnight success, but like most overnight successes, it takes many years, if not decades. It needs a good agent and publicist. It needs to go Hollywood.

We could start by changing the name of Candida albicans to Candida Dr Oz. More people would instantly become aware of the impact that this organism has on our health. Some forms of candida are named after states, so why not name them in ways that draw more attention to candida. Some of the lesser known, but increasingly common forms of candida such as C. glabrata, C. kruseii, and C. tropicalis could just as easily become C. obama, C. stallone, and C. schwarzenegger. Shakira just reached 100 million fans on Facebook. She deserves a Candida shakira strain named after her, and the world of candida needs her. It’s even possible that the medical profession would finally realize what everyone else sees and knows.

It’s time that we rescue candida from the ignorance of modern medicine, so that everyone can benefit from all that is known about it. We need to make it sexy and attractive. We need to give it just a little more appeal for it to make that big leap from obscurity to international stardom. It’s time has come. It needs the Oz Effect.


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.


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