Nutrition. Education. Transformation.

Candida Cleanse and Diet

June 13, 2011

Candida cleanse and dietCandida albicans is a dimorphic fungus, a yeast that lives within our intestines and certain mucous membranes. Everyone has candida within them: we are born with it.

Candida is usually kept in check by the gastrointestinal “good” bacteria and the immune system, but trouble can arise when certain conditions are present. It is in the presence of these conditions that the opportunisitic Candida can begin growing out of control in the intestines, branching out and colonizing the gut. In this process, candida can eat away at the intestinal walls, spread into the bloodstream, and infiltrate other tissues.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Extreme fatigue (especially after eating)
  • Craving for breads and sugars
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Feeling of rage
  • Food allergies & intolerances
  • Foggy brain
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Fungal infections of nails/skin
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Ear infections
  • Itchy ear and/or skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle aches
  • Frequent urination
  • Migraines
  • Thrush
  • Cystitis
  • Bloating & gassiness after eating
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hay fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma
  • Itchy anus
  • Insomnia
  • Sensitivity to perfume, smoke, chemicals
  • White coating on tongue

What are the Causes?

Approximately 70 percent of Candida overgrowth occurs in women. The vagina and intestines are especially susceptible to Candida, and it can easily spread to all of the organs. When it multiplies, it produces toxic waste byproducts, which circulate in the blood stream and weaken the immune system.

When these yeast colonies form in the small intestine, they poke microscopic holes in the intestinal lining and form “leaky gut.” Now, the permeated intestinal wall allows all 180 of yeast’s chemical by-products, toxins and chemicals, and undigested food, to enter the bloodstream and trigger the immune system to react. The most common causes of yeast overgrowth include:

  • Usage of contraceptive pill or HRT
  • Prolong or repeated use of antibiotics (kills the good bacteria)
  • Repressed immune system from medication or disease
  • High sugar diets
  • Diabetes
  • Low stomach acidity
  • Improper bowel movements
  • Stress and it’s influence on hormones
  • Mercury fillings
  • Chlorine from drinking water and pools
  • Alcohol
  • Corticosteroids
  • Pesticides

The Estrogen and Progesterone Connection to Candida

In one study looking at the effect of changes in progesterone and estradiol on titres of antibodies to Candida was studied in normal females, gonadal dysgenetic (reproductive disorder), users of a oral contraceptive and normal males. In females, Candida antibodies was significantly higher in the luteal phase than in the follicular phase of the cycle, with similar increases in progesterone and estradiol. The gonadal dysgenetic and male groups had the same estradiol levels and significantly lower antibodies to Candida, showing a normal population of Candida. The birth control group had significantly higher levels of progestin (synthetic progesterone) and significantly higher Candida antibodies than the control subjects in the follicular phase.

The conclusion was that there was a significant correlation between progesterone levels and Candida for normal females during the follicular and luteal phases, and even higher in the birth control group. In two subjects that had blood samples for the entire cycle found that an increase in estrogen but not progesterone marked a decrease in Candida.

Candida has an estrogen-binding protein that displays high affinity for estradiol and estrone and a corticosteroid-binding protein that exhibits high affinity for corticosterone and progesterone. Estradiol directly stimulates dimorphic transition from the yeast to the hyphal form. Because the hyphal form is associated with tissue invasion, this may increase the virulence of Candida. Therefore, the hormonal environment of the host may affect the growth, infectivity, and pathogenicity of this yeast.

What Does This Mean?

Candida is hijacking estrogen and progesterone, leading to a functional deficiency of each one. This is especially true if genetic testing has revealed very low Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which carries estrogen to its target receptor. Sugar is therefore increasing estrogen levels, but Candida is taking the estrogen to proliferate while depriving your body of receiving estrogen to the target tissues.Therefore, getting rid of Candida is the number #1 way to normalize estrogen and progesterone levels so that they can go to their target tissues.

What About Men and Candida?

What about men? According to a paper titled Pathogenesis of Candida Albicans in Adropausal Hormonal Imbalance:

C albicans is able to penetrate the epithelial wall of the prostate gland and likely other tissues to colonize these areas, it is plausible that, with higher levels of estrogen found in these tissues, this could lead to increased estrogen binding to receptor sites on Candida and to a greater likelihood of prostate-related symptoms seen in andropause.

The rise in estrogen levels and the drop in testosterone levels seen bodywide are more concentrated in the prostate gland, a major site of aromatization and conversion of testosterone into DHT. Symptoms that may result from this conversion process and that are associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy include difficulty in initiating and stopping the urine stream, dribbling, greater frequency of urination, nocturia, and the need to strain during urination.

The Blood Sugar Diet for Candida

Many diets focus on militant sugar and carbohydrate restriction to eliminate Candida. While this is an important part of a healthy diet, it may be misguided when understanding the hormone connection to Candida. The overall glycemic load may be of more importance than the elimination of so many fruits and starchy vegetables. In moderation, it would not seem logical that these would cause Candida to grow out of control. Huge spikes in blood sugar would be of more importance when looking at insulin’s connection to hormone levels. Focusing on well balanced meals with protein, fat and small amounts of carbohydrates every 4 hours will be more important to concentrate on. It is however very important to avoid factory farmed meat or dairy that has been treated with growth hormones and antibiotics.

The Candida Cleanse and Diet

What to eat:
Grass-fed meat, wild game, wild fish, pastured eggs.

What not to eat:
Factory farmed meat, farmed fish, factory raised eggs

What to eat:
All vegetables, fruit (best are apples, pears and berries) nuts and seeds

What not to eat:
Wheat and factory farmed dairy

What to eat:
Fats in the form of coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, avocados and nuts

What not to eat:
Vegetable oils including canola oil, soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, margarine. Etc.

What about mushrooms?

According to the biochemist and TCM practitioner Martin Powell, “the widely held belief that mushrooms exacerbate candidal overgrowth runs contrary to scientific research, clinical experience and theoretical understanding. Not only do mushrooms stimulate the body’s anti-fungal immune response but in nature they need to compete for resources with other fungi, as well as other microorganisms, and so have evolved a range of anti-fungal defenses.” Oyster and shiitake mushrooms have exceptional anti-candida properties. Fight fungus with fungus!

What about Kombucha?

Despite many blogs that claim to avoid Kombucha if you have Candida, this also runs counter-intuitive to understanding Candida’s life cycle. If properly fermented, Kombucha should be very low in sugar, less than 5 grams per bottle. If you are brewing it at home, there is a chance that the sugar content could be much higher. The probiotic content works to outcompete Candida, not help it flourish. The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii found in Kombucha has been shown to diminish levels of intestinal Candida in mice.

CANDIDA MEAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Sample Day 1 Breakfast
Poached eggs, ½ sliced avocado with sea salt, and seasonal berries

Lunch
Chicken salad with walnuts, red onion, olives, tomato, olive oil and lemon juice

3:00 snack
Celery with almond, sunflower seed or cashew butter

Dinner
Wild salmon, steamed asparagus, kale salad with tahini sauce

Sample Day 2 Breakfast
Smoothie with coconut water, ¼ avocado, wild blueberries, whey protein powder, 1 TB nut butter of choice

Lunch
Turkey vegetable chili and salad

3:00 Snack
1 piece of dark chocolate and macadamia nuts or almonds

OR
Celery with almond, sunflower seed or cashew butter

Dinner
Lamb kebabs with onion and bell peppers
Sweet potato fries cooked with coconut oil
Steamed green beans
Salad

Salad Dressing
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, oregano or parsley
1 clove of garlic minced
½ tsp. salt
Fresh pepper to taste

Supplementation

1. Solaray Yeast Cleanse

Contains caprylic acid, pau d-arco, grapefruit seed extract and tea tree oil. When candida is well established, it can be difficult without the assistance of anti-fungals. It can take 3-4 months to get results, so patience is key.

2. Coriolus Versicolor Super Strength

It has been suggested that chitin present in mushroom cell walls may help prevent colonization of the intestinal mucosa by candida species. Coriolus is extremely effective for increasing immunity against fungus, bacteria and viruses. Coriolus is recommended in a Medicinal Mushrooms Clinical Guide for Candida at 2-3 grams per day.

Die off Symptoms:

Most clients experience die-off as an exaggeration of their existing Candida-related symptoms or as a worsening of chronic health conditions. Feeling some of your symptoms worsen a bit after beginning the Candida program might be alarming, but is encouraging in the sense that it confirms both the presence of Candida and its susceptibility to the anti-fungal you are using. The severity of an individual’s symptoms depends upon the weakness of the organs most affected by Candida.

Sources

1. Comparative Effect of a Single or Continuous Administration of «Saccharomyces Boulardii» on the Establishment of Various Strains of «Candida» in the Digestive Tract of Gnotobiotic Mice

2. Madani ND, Malloy PJ, Rodriguez-Pombo P, Krishnan AV, Feldman D. Candida albicans estrogen-binding protein gene encodes an oxidoreductase that is inhibited by estradiol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.1994;91(3):922-926.

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