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The Fuel for Candida Overgrowth

Posted Jul 03 2009 3:25pm

In This Issue:

Get Rid of Candida for Good!

By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Candida Picture if you will, a garden with two things growing in it: flowers and weeds.  If the weeds arekept under control, they really don’t do much damage and the flowers will bloom everywhere. If, however, the garden becomes overgrown with weeds, it’s a whole different story.

Your gut is exactly like that garden, but instead of being populated with flowers and weeds, it’s populated with what’s poetically called “gut flora,” the many organisms which reside in the intestinal tract.

In your gut, the part of the flowers is played by beneficial bacteria called probiotics, while the part of the weeds is played by a nasty little microbe known as Candida albicans — Candida for short.

Candida is actually a fungus, but in “normal” circumstances it lives in peace with the rest of the gut flora and isn’t much cause for concern. Unfortunately, this peaceful coexistence is often disrupted by a number of factors, resulting in an overgrowth of Candida which can wreak havoc everywhere in the body, affecting your immune system, hormone balance and even your thought processes. 1

Most common symptoms of Candida overgrowth include bloating, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, sugar cravings and, most famously, “yeast infections.”

Anything that can affect the natural ecology of the gut can cause an overgrowth of Candida, but the usual suspects are antibiotics, birth control pills, and most especially, over-consumption of sugar, the favorite food for these little buggers. Antibiotics, for example, can easily alter the delicate balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut (and for women, in the vagina) by killing off many of the good bacteria that help keep the yeast fungus (Candida) under control.

Without the good bacteria to keep Candida in check, the little buggers multiply like rabbits, ultimately damaging the intestinal lining and destroying cells.

It’s also important to remember that Candida are living organisms, and they produce their own set of toxins. “Greater numbers of Candida produce greater amounts of toxins, which further irritate and break down the intestinal lining,” explains Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN. “This damage allows macromolecules of partially digested food to pass through (the gut wall).”

The immune system takes one look at those partially digested molecules, realizes they don’t belong, treats them as invaders and sends out a bunch of antibodies. “The net result is increased sensitivity to foods and other food substances, and to the environment,” explains Lipsky.

What to do, what to do?

First and foremost, you need to stop feeding them. Since sugar is their number one source of fuel, the typical effective “anti-yeast” diet looks a lot like Atkins (very low carb). That means you avoid sugar, grains, alcoholic beverages, and yeasted breads. Even fruits (dried or fresh) are eliminated during the Candida “kill-off” phase. (You can eat all the grass-fed beef, free range poultry and eggs, vegetables, yogurt, nuts and seeds you want.)

While starving the yeast cells, you want to make sure to nurture the good bacteria that keep them in check. The best way to do this is with probiotics. Lactobacillus probiotics are particularly good at keeping Candida under control, 2 but a good broad-spectrum probiotic supplement containing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria is always a good idea.

Remember, probiotics are living organisms, and like Candida, they need their own source of fuel. Probiotics love to dine on FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides ). These molecules are also called “prebiotics” and many good probiotic formulas also contain some of these as well.

Many other substances are helpful in killing off Candida. At the top of the list is garlic (“my personal favorite,” says Lipsky), caprylic and lauric acids (both found in coconut oil), oil of oregano, pau d’arco and grapefruit seed extract.

Another terrific weapon in the anti-Candida arsenal is olive leaf extract. Olive leaf contains the active ingredient, oleuropein, which has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex is a particularly recommended brand that comes in a liquid form that’s easy to take and tasty to boot.

Many practitioners recommend a strict “anti-yeast” diet for at least three weeks, and then suggest reintroducing “banned” foods slowly as your gut gets healthier. When Candida are killed, it may produce an antibody response that can result in a temporary worsening of symptoms (the “die-off” effect).

Because of this, “it’s important to begin therapeutics gently with small doses and gradually increase,” says Lipsky. “If your symptoms are still aggravated, cut back (on the yeast killers) and then gradually increase.”

And for women, for whom vaginal yeast infections are a particular concern, consider internal applications of healthy bacteria in addition to oral supplementation. Ann Knight, DC, a holistic chiropractor in Thousand Oaks, California has had much success with this protocol that uses a full-fat plain yogurt. “A broad spectrum probiotics mixed with yogurt and inserted into the vagina can be very effective,” she says.

In some cases more serious weapons like the antifungal med Nyastatin may be called for, but remember, if you’re still feeding the yeast with sugar (and foods that the body treats as sugar) you’re defeating the purpose.

The cornerstone of the best diet for getting rid of yeast is eliminating sugar, which is also, come to think of it, one of the cornerstones of the best diet for overall health.

References

  1. Lipsky, E. Digestive Wellness, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1999.
  2. Tannis, A.   Probiotic Rescue, Wiley, NY, 2008.

[ Ed. note: Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He's a board certified nutrition specialist with a Master's degree in psychology and the author of five books including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. His latest book is The Most Effective Cures on Earth For more information, click here.]

Are Disease-Causing Bacteria Ravaging Your Gut?

Feeling weak, fatigued and sluggish? Harmful organisms in your gut could be the culprit … hampering your digestion and sapping your energy levels. Worse yet, an unfriendly digestive environment is the perfect breeding ground for an inflamed stomach, bloating, irritated bowel, diarrhea and gas.

Ugh! Don’t stand for it! Click here to discover how to replenish your gut with an army of “good bacteria” to fight off the dangerous and unhealthy organisms lurking in your digestive system.


Prostate Gland Healthy Living:

Take Control of Your Health and Your Prostate

By Mark Rosenberg, MD

The first time my patients ask me about their prostate health is when they notice they are gettingup more than once in the night to urinate. If I discover that it’s not their evening liquid intake of large amounts of coffee, alcohol or soft drinks (all very good diuretics) that produce these symptoms, I will proceed with a digital rectal exam (DRE).  Many times this routine examination will indicate some prostate enlargement and a PSA blood test will be necessary.

A high PSA score isn’t always bad news.  It simply means that your prostate is enlarged for some reason.  You could have an infection, inflammation, or a noncancerous enlargement. 
In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, about one-fifth of men in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Yet only 3% will die of the disease.  Most prostate issues are due to natural enlargement of the gland and many men live comfortably with this condition for years under a doctor’s active surveillance.

The key to the PSA number is the yearly rate of change and the velocity of change.  A normal increase as we age is less than 30% per year.

Here is a list of normal age-related PSA levels (in nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood, or ng/mL). 1

Age
40-49
50-59
60-69
70-79

Level
0 to 0.25
0 to 3.5
0 to 4.5
0 to 6.5

If you are headed toward an enlarged prostate, here are some diet and lifestyle tips that may help reduce your risk.

Cut down on red meat.  Diets high in red meat and fat have been linked to the onset of many types of cancer and are detrimental to your overall health.  Instead, eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel. 2

Get the flour out.  Replace white flour foods with whole-grain foods such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread.

Limit your alcohol consumption.  Don’t consume more than two drinks a day.

Include healthy plant oils.  Make sure your diet contains phytosterols from vegetable oils (flax, corn, cottonseed, rice bran, and wheat germ), nuts (almonds, cashews, pecan, pistachio, and walnuts) and legumes (kidney beans, peas).  Phytosterols have been found to aid in blocking 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that turns regular testosterone into a potent form called DHT that causes the prostate to swell. 3

Take adequate amounts of vitamin B6 and zinc.  Vitamin B6 supports the absorption of zinc which is known to promote prostate health.  A study by Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute states, “ Zinc functions as an antioxidant and is involved in many critical biochemical reactions. It also helps to protect DNA from damage and assists in its repair. Zinc is especially important in the prostate and may protect it from early damage.4

Take a saw palmetto supplement daily.  There is scientific evidence that an extract of saw palmetto ( Serenoa repens ) can be beneficial to prostate health. 5

After I’ve examined my patients, I discuss their diet and lifestyle, even if they have no prostate problems.  I recommend a healthy low-fat diet, exercise and a good supplement containing zinc, vitamin B6, saw palmetto and phytosterols.

No matter what age you are, you need to be proactive to ensure a healthy prostate in the years to come.

References

  1. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/PSA.
  2. http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/prostate.htm.
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prostate-cancer-prevention/MC00027.
  4. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/ss05/zinc.html.
  5. http://www.naturescorner.com/news5_14_05.html.

[ Ed. Note: Mark Rosenberg, M.D. is director of the “Institute for Anti-Aging” in South Florida. He is a highly sought-after speaker for lectures on topics such as integrative cancer therapy and anti-aging medicine. Dr. Rosenberg is avidly involved in supplement research and is nutritional consultant for VitalMax Vitamins.]

When It Comes To Your Prostate…
This Breakthrough Can Make A Difference!

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If you’re over 40 it’s essential that you read this special report. Click here for your FREE report and find out more about how you can protect and maintain your prostate health before it’s too late!


Halibut HealthyRecipes:

Halibut Piccata

By Kelley Herring

If you’re concerned about your thyroid, you might want to make this elegant, Sicilian-inspired disha mainstay at your table. That’s because just one serving provides a hefty 90% of the daily requirement for selenium, a mineral that helps to convert the thyroid hormone T4 into T3 for use in the body. Without enough selenium, you’re body produces less T3 which leads to hypothyroidism. 1

Time To Table: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

The Benefits
Excellent source of: Magnesium, Potassium, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Niacin, EPA/DHA Omega-3
Good Source of: Calcium, Riboflavin
Preferences: Low Carbohydrate, Low Sugar, Gluten-Free

Ingredients
24 ounces wild Pacific halibut
1 clove organic garlic, minced
1/2 cup organic dry white wine
3 Tbsp organic lemon juice
1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp organic capers, drained
1/3 cup organic Parmesan cheese
Ground pepper to taste

Preparation
In a small frying pan coated with cooking spray, stir-fry garlic over medium-high heat until limp, about 2 minutes. Add wine, lemon juice and capers. Boil, uncovered, over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, 3 to 4 minutes; keep sauce warm. Rub fish with oil, sprinkle with pepper and arrange in a single layer in a 12 by 17 broiler pan. Broil about 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes. Turn fish over, sprinkle with cheese, and broil until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to serving platter or individual plates and pour sauce over fish.

Nutrition Information
266 Calories, 10 g Total Fat, 2.5 g Saturated fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 5 g Monounsaturated fat, 2 g Polyunsaturated fat, 61 mg Cholesterol, 351 mg Sodium, 1 g Carbohydrate, 0 g Fiber, 0 g Sugars, 38 g Protein

Reference

  1. Köhrle J. Biochimie. 1999 May;81(5):527-33.

[ Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is the founder of Healing Gourmet – the world's leading website on the power of foods to promote health and protect against disease. Her latest work is a revolutionary health transformation program called, Your Plate, Your Fate. In this 7-part program you'll learn how to protect your health and optimize your weight by maximizing the nutrients in your food. Learn more here.]

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