Part 2: Freeing the Body From Candida and Preventing Recurrence
By Jim English
Part I of the Candida Yeast Protection Program covered the symptoms of yeast overgrowth that afflict close to 80 million Americans each year. In Part 2 we examine a five-phase treatment program designed to free the body of candida and prevent future recurrences. Phase I deals with starving candida through dietary modification. Foods to avoid and foods to eat freely will be discussed in detail. Phase II deals with killing candida with fatty acids, herbal concentrates and antifungal drugs. Phase III involves counteracting the toxic reactions to dying yeast cells with fluids, fiber, activated charcoal, digestive aids and nutritional supplements. Phase IV involves reinoculating the bioculture of the bowel, and Phase V is a list of recommendations for lifestyle changes to prevent future recurrences.
PHASE I: Starve the Organism
The principle behind this phase is to avoid consuming foods that nourish and support the growth of candida. The candida either starve to death or are weakened so they are easier to kill in Phase II. The faithful use of an anti-yeast diet counteracts candidiasis, and is an important adjunct to anticandida drugs and supplements.
There are several dietary culprits that must be avoided during the program:
- Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates that break down rapidly (yeasts ferment sugar and thrive on simple carbohydrates).
- Avoid fermented, yeast-containing and moldy foods – they support the growth of yeast in individuals sensitive to those foods. Molds can grow on any food. A controversy exists over whether eating yeast or fermented foods causes yeast overgrowth. Individuals who are not allergic to these foods may be able to consume them. To determine whether yeast-containing foods are a problem, avoid all yeast and fermented foods for the first two to three weeks. If improvement occurs, reintroduce these foods, one at a time, every two or three days. If a food does not cause a recurrence of symptoms, it may probably be consumed without problems.
- Any food causing an allergic reaction must be avoided (foods causing allergic reactions disrupt the immune system and help yeast grow). The most common food allergens are yeast, milk, corn, eggs, wheat, and citrus. But an individual may be allergic to any food or beverage. Therefore, test for food allergies. Rotate foods daily to avoid developing food sensitivities.
Follow a very strict diet the first three weeks, then try making the following dietary changes.
- Try eating different foods from the Foods To Eat With Caution category (see below). If a particular food does not cause a negative reaction then it may be added to the basic diet.
- Try eating different fruits in moderation. If a flare-up of symptoms does not occur, that fruit may be consumed on a limited basis (small portions). However, continue to avoid fruit with a high glycemic index such as bananas, dates, figs, grapes and undiluted fruit juice.
- During the program, eat different foods daily and rotate food groups.
- Consume high amounts of fiber to absorb dead yeasts and their toxins.
- Eat small meals frequently and do not skip meals. For snacks, munch on vegetables.
- Drink at least seven glasses of pure water daily.
- Eat natural foods; avoid prepackaged, prepared or refined foods.
- Properly store foods in the refrigerator. Avoid leftovers and any foods that spoil or become moldy.
PHASE II: Kill the Organism
Candida can be killed with an antifungal phytoceutical complex with both fungistatic and fungicidal actions against a wide variety of yeasts and yeast-like fungi. The actions of these factors provide rapid and long-lasting relief from a host of problems associated with intestinal and systemic yeast imbalance. They are proven effective against yeasts, molds, fungi and other microbes.
Calcium undecylenate is an extremely effective, well-tolerated, broad-spectrum antifungal. It is a calcium salt of undecylenic acid (UA). derived by the vacuum distillation of castor bean oil. It’s an 11 carbon mono-unsaturated fatty acid (the antifungal properties of a medium chain fatty acid increases as the chain lengthens and peaks at 11 – caprylic acid contains only 8 carbon chains). Several studies have demonstrated that undecylenic acid is 4-5 times as powerful an antifungal agent as caprylic acid in the same dosage.
Berberine is the alkaloid contained in golden seal, barberry and oregon grape which is most responsible for the antibiotic therapeutic actions of these botanicals.
Berberine exhibits a broad spectrum of antibiotic activity. Berberine has shown antimicrobial activity against bacteria, protozoa, and fungi, Berberine’s action against Candida pathogens is actually stronger than that of antibiotics commonly used for these pathogens.
Berberine increases the blood supply to the spleen. This improved blood supply may promote optimal activity of the spleen by increasing the release of compounds such as tuftsin that potentiate immune function. Berberine also activates macrophages by priming and triggering them.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a quaternary compound converted from the bioflavonoids (found in grapefruit seed and pulp). This plant-based germicidal has proven to have a strong growth-inhibiting effect on bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Because of its extremely low toxicity for humans, GSE is becoming a treatment of choice for those seeking a broad spectrum antimicrobial without the side effects associated with many pharmaceuticals.
According to published sources, GSE is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungi, as well as a large number of single cell and multicelled parasites. Grapefruit seed extract has powerful anti-fungal activity at concentrations as low as 200 parts per million. During 1989-90, an international research team reported in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine (Vol. 5, No. 3, 1990) the effect of GSE on 770 strains of bacteria and 93 strains of fungus in comparison with 30 antibiotics and 18 fungicides. They found that GSE performed as well as any of the tested agents.
As a result of these actions, chronic candidiasis (both intestinal and systemic) is being treated with excellent results using grapefruit seed extract, according to numerous clinics and medical practitioners. Its acidic nature augments the activity of calcium undecylenate which is most effective at a pH below 6.0.
The inner bark of this South American tree has a long history of folk usage in the treatment of wide variety of afflictions. Researchers discovered that the active pharmacological agents in Pau’Darco included lapachol and a series of phytochemcials called napthoquinones. These quinones have strong microbiocidal and fungicidal actions and are highly effective against Candida albicans. Lapachol also has demonstrated anti-viral, anti-parasitic and anti-neoplastic effects.
Sorbic Acid is a mold yeast inhibitor obtained from the berries of mountain ash. It also reduces the pH of the formula to insure proper delivery and activity of the calcium undecylenate.
Other Anti-Yeast Supplements
Other supplements that may be useful on an individual basis for Candidiasis:
- Multinutrient supplements may be useful in correcting a broad spectrum of deficiencies which may be encouraging yeast overgrowth.
- Fiber and bulking agents can help absorb and carry off toxins released when the organism dies off (the Herxheimer Reaction – see below).
- Proteolytic and digestive enzyzmes can diminish bowel toxins, reduce tissue inflammation, lessen allergic sensitivities, and decrease,the severity of die-off reactions.
PHASE III: Counteracting Die-Off
When yeast cells are rapidly killed by the immune system, drug treatment, or dietary intervention, a “die-off” or Herxheimer reaction occurs. This reaction is caused by the massive release of toxins from dying candida cells. Toxic proteins from the dead yeasts cross cell membranes, enter the bloodstream, and trigger an intense immune reaction.
Other death-stress chemicals cause direct cellular toxicity throughout the body. Immune/yeast complexes trigger the release of histamine, an irritating tissue hormone which initiates tissue inflammation and causes discomfort. Severe allergic and toxic reactions exacerbate the symptoms of candida. Die-off reactions may last from a few days to a few weeks but usually clear up in less than a week.
Yeast Die-Off Inhibits Treatment
Die-off and the Herxheimer reaction occur when a larger number of yeasts die rapidly, releasing toxins and causing allergic reactions. A die-off reaction is especially pronounced when using powerful antifungal drugs like Nystatin that literally cause yeast cells to burst apart. Even though a strong die-off reaction causes a significant amount of discomfort, it is a sign of a successful treatment.
Perhaps one of the most unfortunate aspects of a severe Herxheimer reaction is that it may cause individuals to abandon a successful treatment prematurely. The Herxheimer reaction keeps many individuals indulging in their pro-yeast lifestyle like the withdrawal reaction keeps drug abusers addicted.
An effective means to reduce the discomfort of die-off is to take the supplement compounds listed under “Other anti-yeast supplements,” (at left), drink plenty of fluids, and consume 30-40 grams a day of dietary fiber. That will deactivate, absorb and rid the body of toxic debris from dead yeasts.
Food Chart For Candida Albicans Recovery Program
1. Allowable Foods
Eat these foods freely unless they cause an allergic reaction.
- Proteins: Eggs, meat, fresh and saltwater fish, yogurt (fruit-free and sugar-free), casein (milk protein), albumen (egg protein) or lactose-free whey protein powder, soy beans.
- Vegetables: Most vegetables – except carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets and other high glycemic foods.
- Fats: Unprocessed vegetable oils, butter, nuts and seeds (peanuts and pistachios are likely to be moldy).
- Beverages: Purified water, vegetable juice (except carrot juice).
2. Foods to Eat with Caution
- Whole grains (corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa).
- High-carb vegetables (beets, peas, squash, yams, corn).
- Unleavened breads.
3. Avoid Sugars and Simple Carbohydrates
- Sugar and rapidly acting carbohydrates (corn syrup, honey, dextrose, glucose, fructose, molasses, maple syrup, malt and sorbitol).
- Fruit juices, dried fruit and candied fruit.
- Breads, pastries and raised bakery goods.
- Refined starches (breakfast cereals, crackers, pasta, cakes).
- High-glycemic-index vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets) and grains (whole wheat bread, white rice and corn). Any food with a high glycemic index (an indication of how rapidly it breaks down) may nourish candida.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Packaged and processed foods (they frequently contain sugar and hidden ingredients).
- Dairy products, except live yogurt (dairy products contain lactose – milk sugar).
- Malt-containing products.
- Sugar containing condiments.
4. Avoid Fermented, Moldy and Yeast-Containing Foods
- Processed and smoked meats (sausages, hot dogs, corned beef).
- Cheeses (especially the riper, aged cheeses).
- Coffee and tea (black and herbal) are a source of molds.
- Leftovers (breeding ground for yeasts and molds).
- Edible fungi (mushrooms, morels, truffles).
- Fermented beverages (cider & root beer). Commercial root beer sodas are not fermented.
- Tofu, tempeh, miso (fermented bean products).
- Condiments (vinegar, horseradish, commercial tomato or barbecue sauce, pickled products, mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut, mince meat, mayonnaise, and salad dressings).
PHASE IV: Reinoculating the Bowel
Probiotics (like Culturelle) will reinoculate the bowel with friendly, prosymbiotic, acid producing bacteria that compete with the yeast in the intestinal tract. These probiotics provide Lactobacilli which produce antimicrobial enzymes and natural antibiotics that retard the growth of candida. FOS (fructooligosaccacharides) can also be used to increase levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
PHASE V: Avoiding a Pro-Yeast Lifestyle
The problem of CRC is inherently linked to our lifestyle, modern culture, and environment. A successful and lasting treatment often requires permanent alterations in behavior, lifestyle and environment. Permanently adapt a healthy and natural foods diet. Try to avoid prepackaged foods, refined carbohydrates, junk foods and simple sugars. Pay attention to foods that cause symptoms of CRC, allergic reactions or just plain make you feel bad – and avoid them.
Avoid or minimize exposure to household chemicals or work related substances, and evironments causing either a toxic or allergic reaction. Filter your drinking water and air, if possible. Avoid contact with mold spores and don’t live in damp surroundings. When you need medical advice and supervision, seek out experts in the fields of environmental medicine and clinical ecology.
Maintain a strong immune system. Develop effective stress control measures to minimize the natural release of adrenal corticosteroid hormones which lower immunity and promote yeast overgrowth.
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