Bacterial, Fungal & Parasitic Overgrowth

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Bacteria and the Immune System
Detrimental Medical and Dietary Factors
Imbalanced Flora
Effects of Pathogenic Organisms in the GI Tract
     Hydrogen Sulphide

Bad Bacteria, Mycoplasma & Lyme Disease
     Lyme Disease
Enterobacter cloacae
     Chlamydia pneumoniae
     Biochemical markers for Clostridia and Pseudomonas
           Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
           Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium
           Mutaflor - Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917
           Propionibacterium freudenreichii
           Soil Based Organisms
                 Bacillus subtilis
                 Bacillus coagulans
                 Bacillus laterosporus
                 Rhodopseudomonas palustris
                 Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides
                 Saccharomyces boulardii
                 EM Technology
                 AGM Grainfields
                 ThreeLac and FiveLac
                 Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Formula
                 Dr Ben Kim's Greens and Natural Soil Organisms; and Dr Ohhira
                 Peter Smith Strains of SBOs
                 Nature's Biotics
                 Body Biotics
                 Primal Defense
                 Use of Humate
                 Source of Probiotic Cultures
                 Jordan Rubin's own use of SBOs and Humate
           Kombucha, Kefir, Sauerkraut Juice - Live, Home-Fermented Drinks
           Commercial Probiotic Drinks
     Antimicrobial Supplements

Yeasts, Fungus and Moulds
     Candida albicans
     Biochemical markers for Candida
     Fungal Infections, Biofilms and Sinusitis
     Yeast - Saccharomyces cerevisiae
     Eliminating Candida
           Fungicidal Herbs
           Cellulases & Proteases
           Antimicrobial Foods and Condiments
           Mushroom Extracts
           Colonic Irrigation
           Prescriptive Agents
           Dosages and Treatment Management
     Oxygen Ion Releasing or 'Oxygenating' Treatments
     Parallels between Candida, Cancer and Acidosis

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) and Food Allergies

           Giardia lamblia
     Roundworms (Nematodes)
           Crytostrongylus pulmoni
           Toxoplasma and Toxocara
     Anti-Parasitic Treatments
           Examples of Combination Herbal Formulations
           External Application of Oils
           Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)
           After Note

The Anti-Candida Diet

Bacteria and the Immune System:

The gastro-intestinal tract's healthy function relies on the presence of beneficial bacteria, in a relationship called symbiosis. Beneficial bacteria aid in digestion, correct pH balance, break down of foods and prevent the build up of harmful bacteria. They are an extension of our immune system; and probably make up the majority of our body's immune system. A different cross section of beneficial bacteria types exists in different parts of the small and large intestine. They act to consume much of the simple carbohydrate food sources available in the intestinal tract so that bad bacteria and organisms are deprived of food and cannot reproduce as fast. Dys-symbiosis, or dysbiosis occurs when the balance of flora and organisms in the GI tract becomes upset.

'The bacteria in your bowels outnumber the cells in your body by a factor of 10 to one. This gut flora has incredible power over your immune system, which, of course, is your body's natural defense system that keeps you healthy. In other words, the health of your body is largely tied into the health of your gut, and it's hard to have one be healthy if the other is not. One of the reasons why your gut has so much power has to do with the 100 trillion bacteria--about three pounds worth--that line your intestinal tract. This is an extremely complex living system that aggressively protects your body from outside offenders.'

Whilst we are emptying our bowels of stool once or more a day (hopefully) and expelling this stool together with the bacteria, good and bad therein, we are continually introducing new food from the mouth and stomach into the digestive tract. The digestive tract is slowly moving the food through it via peristalsis. This means that bacteria is continuously breeding and multiplying and spreading itself to the new food or chyme and moving up the digestive chain, and thus staying in the same place in the body, wherever conditions are most suited to the particular strain in question.

Probiotics are good or supportive bacteria which help to consume available food sources in the intestine and thus deprive bad bacteria (and also yeasts and parasites to an extent) of their normal food sources, and hence help to starve the bad bacteria. Approximately 70% of the body's immune system capability derives from the beneficial bacteria in the GI tract. The average adult body contains approximately 2.5 kg of bacteria (100 trillion bacteria), both good and bad types. It is estimated that the large intestine (colon) alone should contain approximately 1.5kg of probiotic (good) bacteria. There are more bacterium cells in the body than the actual body's own cells. There are approximately 400+ varieties of bacteria in the digestive tract and take many years to build up through a healthy diet. Of these 400+ variants that have been identified to be able to survive in the GI tract, the majority of the GI tract's bacteria is comprised of 30-40 of these species, the other species being present in very small numbers. Dr Elie Metchnikoff Ph.D, Nobel, laureate, postulated that the ideal ratio of good to bad bacteria should be 80:20, which is often the reverse way around in many modern Westerners.

Bidfidobacteria (collectively known as Lactobacillus bifidus) outnumber other Lactobacilli species by approximately 1000 to 1, and is in many sense the dominant healthy bacteria, although Lactobacillus is more hardy and resilient. The five most common strains of Bifidobacter include B. infantis, B. adolescentis, B. bifidum, B. longum, and B. breve. The levels of bifidobacteria levels tend to decline with age and reduced levels have been linked to declining health. Bifidobacteria are predominantly found in the large intestine (i.e. the colon) whereas Lactobacillus acidophilus primarily inhabits the small intestine.

Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria help to inhibit potential pathogenic bacteria, such as E.coli or Clostridium perfringens. They help to prevent diarrhea caused by rota virus or salmonella. They help to reduce the proliferation of candida. They assist in increased defacation and help to reduce constipation. They help in digestion in general, by altering the pH (by producing lactic acid) and improving the uptake of minerals, especially calcium. They also help to digest lactose for the lactose-intolerant persons. They are also involved in the production of vitamins, for example, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12, A, D and K, and also essential fatty acids. They are particularly important in the production of Biotin (B7), which is the body's main source of Biotin (dietary sources containing a minimal amount). Lactobacilli and Bifobacteria also assist in protein digestion. They help to clean the digestive tract. They produce natural antibiotics and antifungals such as hydrogen peroxide (not in the ridiculously high quantities that are available with H2O2 supplementation or other oxygenating products). Lactobacillus acidophilus secretes the antifungal and antimicrobial agents including lactocidin, lactobacillin, acidolin and as mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide. Acidophilus also produces lactic acid, which helps keep down the pH in the intestinal tract. Too alkaline a pH in the colon favours bad bacteria and yeasts, whereas more acidic conditions help to prevent their excessive growth. In 1988, the US surgeon general's report noted that 'Normal microbial flora provide a passive mechanism to prevent infection.' They may increase the number of immune system cells in the body. They may even help to protect the body from environmental toxins and reduce waste at the cellular level. They also help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, and break down and rebuild our body's hormones.

Enterococcus species are prominent facultative anaerobic, beneficial, lactic bacteria. They are fermenting to produce Lactic acid but are not gas producing. They are able to survive in relatively harsh environments. They provide antimicrobial activity against the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) bacteria and also inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms.

When intestinal flora is in a healthy and balanced state, the beneficial bacteria (probiotic) make up a significant proportion of the body's total microflora. The probiotic bacteria have many health-protecting functions in the GI tract including the fermentation of soluble fibre into Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs), vitamin production, protein and disaccharide lactose digestion, and stimulating an increase in the number of immune system cells (with associated anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor action). Acidophilus, Bifidus and Enterococcus produce both lactic acid as well as SCFAs (e.g. acetate, propionate, butyrate and valerate). Bacteriodes also produce large amounts of SCFAs. The production of SCFAs in the colon helps to keep the pH of the colon slightly lower (more acidic), to discourage the proliferation of microbial pathogens such as pathogenic bacteria or yeasts etc. Many GI tract pathogens thrive in low oxygen, alkaline environments such as the colon. Enterococcus also produces antibacterial agents against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and food-borne pathogens. Enterococcus sp. are noticeable aerobic beneficial bacteria in the GI tract. They are fermenting but not gas producing, and can survive in harsh environments. MRSA are resistant to multiple antibiotics, and hospital-based infections have dramatically increased. The Pharma industry is concerned that it may not be able to keep up with new strains of MRSA, and so maintaining a healthy level of Enterococcus sp. in the GI tract is a very important part of our immune system defence against such pathogenic microbes. Probiotics play a useful role in prevention and treating antibiotic associated diarrhea, preventing diarrhea and inhibiting the spreading and overgrowth of Candida albicans.

[Source: Doctor's Data]

Dr Sarah Myhill has a useful page regarding fementation in the GI tract and different bacterial strains.

The bacterial strain E.coli Nissle 1917 is one of the probiotic strains of E.coli found in large amounts in the GI tract. It helps to inhibit pathogenic bacterial infection and is non-lactic acid producing. A deficiency in this form of probiotic bacteria can result in reduced production of folic acid, the amino acids Tyrosine, Phenylalanine and Tryptophan, SCFAs and also Co-Enzyme Q10.

The GI tract of a healthy human foetus is sterile. There are no good or bad bacteria. It is during birth and shortly thereafter that bacteria from the mother and the environment start to colonise the infant's GI tract. It is estimated that an infant takes 1 month for their intestinal microflora to become established. Infants born by caesarean section may take 6 months (on account of additional exposure to harmful bacteria). Bifido-growth factors in mother's breast milk (GOS) - prebiotics - may assist in the domination of bifido bacteria in the infant's gut. The bacterial profile of formula fed infants is more diverse with both good and bad bacteria, but after months of solid food, both types of reared babies tend to have a similar gut profile. A mother may of course pass pathogenic bacteria, parasites or fungi onto her foetus in the womb through the umbilical cord, if they are present in the bloodstream.

According to Ardeypharm, manufacturers of beneficial E.coli (NIssle 1917) bacteria, it is left to chance whether an infant is colonised by commensal or pathogenic micro-organisms, depending on hygienic conditions in the hospital and also the systematic microbial colonisation of the mother (i.e. what is passed on through the umbilical cord and what comes out of the breasts). Ardeypharm and other manufacturers have infant formulas or probiotics to assist in early colonisation with probiotic/commensal species.

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Detrimental medical and dietary factors:

Intestinal bloating, gas, fatigue, lack of appetite and poor mood are some of the many symptoms of dysbiosis. Bloating in particular can be a result of severe dysbiosis, inappropriate food choices (particularly excessive quantities of/simple carbohydrates or starches) which the bad bacteria feed on, producing carbon dioxide, which causes pressure inside the intestinal lining, pushing out on the walls of the abdomen and making the abdomen look distended and bloated; it can also be a result of sheer numbers of bad bacteria in the intestines, out of balance with the good bacterial numbers, even if the diet is very conservative. In addition, it can be a result of inflamed gut lining - in this case the walls of the intestine relax and lose their natural shape and structure and tend to fill up with gas produced by bad bacteria more readily, which causes the bloated abdomen look, either in the centre of the belly (lower part of the small intestine) or the sides (colon). Inflammation of the gut lining may be caused by numerous factors including the presence of sufficient numbers of pathogenic microbes such as bacteria, moulds and parasites - or it could be due to improper immunity and excessive cytokine activity against certain protein types, e.g. milk protein or wheat for instance.

Good or probiotic bacteria act as competition for imbalance or pathogenic flora, and help to starve them of their usual food sources, feeding on and absorbing any remaining viable food sources in the stool that the body is not able to utilise, thus keeping the less desirable competitor's numbers down. When numbers of (certain strains of) good bacteria become too low, there is less competition for food sources, and so imbalanced and/or pathogenic flora are able to feed and multiply more, shifting the balance more and more in their favour. Anything that serves to deplete one's good bacteria (e.g. daily exposure to chemicals that are toxic to good bacteria, use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, other medications, stress, etc.), to excessively feed imbalanced or dysbiotic bacteria with their preferred food sources (e.g. diets high in simple carbohydrates) or introducing new or increased numbers of harmful bacteria into the GI tract (e.g. contaminated food or water, poor domestic/personal hygiene) etc.) can result in harmful micro-organism overgrowth and dysbiosis.

General Practitioners tend to prescribe antibiotics for any suspected bacterial infection, whether local or systematic. This may well kill off a bacterial infection, but will also kill off a large part of the body's immune system (beneficial bacteria), rending the body susceptible to bad bacterial or candida overgrowth. There are alternatives to antibiotics, including Olive Leaf Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Lemon Balm, Garlic and Coconut Oil (or coconut oil extracts, e.g. Caprylic Acid). For local infections, such as an ear infection, depending on the severity, it could for example be treated with the application of garlic oil or olive oil. Garlic oil capsules can be pierced and the contents squeezed into the ear. This is best performed with the head tilted so that gravity can assist.

Our good, supportive bacteria (as well as many bad bacteria) are virtually completely killed off with the use of antibiotics, which many GPs tend to give out like sweets to patients who come with any kind of bacterial or viral illess. Penicillin-based antibiotics are only effective against gram positive bacteria, and so leave many species of gram negative pathogenic bacteria unaffected - but whilst killing off one's probiotic bacteria in the process. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are effective against both types and kill off most good and bad bacterial species (e.g. Amoxycillin). Repeated use of antibiotics can virtually eradicate our good bacteria, which have to build up from scratch again each time a course of antibiotics is taken, allowing bad bacteria and yeast to take a foot hold in our GI tract and multiply at high rates.

This is exaccerbated by poor modern, western diets high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, which help to feed bad bacteria, and consumption of tap water over decades, which contains chlorine, which helps to inhibit good bacteria to some degree. In addition, there is considerable evidence to suggest that eating antibiotics fed animal meat can kill off good bacteria in the GI tract and therefore encourage harmful micro-organism overgrowth. Most non-organic meat derives from antibiotics fed animals. Antibiotics has also other damaging effects on the body, for example, a prolonged influence on folic acid metabolism it the body, making methylation (adding carbon atoms to carbon chains) and DNA synthesis more difficult. Synthetic (sulphur-based) antibiotics may also stick to one's mitochondrial membranes and inhibit proper metabolic functioning (energy production). Antibiotics should only really be taken in very serious conditions, where necessary. Otherwise, a good natural anti-microbial herb can be taken instead, such as Olive Leaf Extract, amongst others. Herbal treatments for infections are discussed elsewhere on this page.

There are three categories of nasty organism that thrive in the low oxygen (anaerobic) environment and neutral pH of the intestines: bad bacteria, candida and parasites. Pictures of these microorganisms can be seen at the link below. They are examined in more detail in subsequent sections on this page.

All three classes of organism thrive and grow in number on account of modern, western eating habits, mainly a high sugar intake, a high pasturised dairy intake (many vegetarians), a high wheat (bread) intake and high alcohol intake. All these are simple carbohydrates and are readily digested food for these bad organisms. Diets high in such foods tend to provide an ideal environment for harmful organisms in the intestinal tract, which multiply in alarming numbers. All of the foreign organism problems have a major impact on your digestive system and overall health. They put a constant strain on your immune system, and excrete a variety of toxins straight into your blood and digestive system (including Hydrogen Sulphide), often spread throughout the entire body, and may well contribute to early aging. Poor digestion also leads to poor nutrient uptake and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that over years can really build up and massively impact the bio-chemical balance of your body and the efficiency of the basic processes therein, such as your neurotransmitters, hormones and energy production. The three above categories of harmful organisms are known to contribute to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Irritable Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease). These conditions are likely to be partly the result of inflammation on account of overgrowth of harmful organisms and presence of large amounts of toxins in the GI tract. There are currently (as of June 2008) 2904 studies on IBS listed on PubMed, and it is indeed curious that so few doctors and GPs have any knowledge in this area.

Low protein diets also tend to set one up for organism infection (e.g. vegetarians not replacing meat/fish with enough pulses) as they encourage the body to produce less stomach acid (Hypochlorhydia), as it is the acidic pH that helps to break down proteins, and the body does not produce what it does not need. However, the stomach acid also acts as a barrier to kill off foreign organisms before they can reach the unprotected environment of the intestine. If this protective barrier is impaired, then harmful organisms can reach the intestines and multiply, particularly affecting the small intestine which immediately follows the stomach.

Sporty types who think they can eat whatever they like, including sugary sweets, high fat snacks and foods, and burn off the calories are unfortunately missing the point. The media focusses very much on the calorific impact of such foods, which is secondary to the impact they have on one's intestinal health. A life time of ill health is more of a debility that the final slap in the face of heart disease! The media tends to just focus on the heart disease component only however.

Excessive sugar, honey or artificial sweetner consumption tends to encourage harmful organism overgrowth. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, you can use a powerful, natural sweetner such as 'stevia'. This can be used liberally if desired without feeding harmful organisms in your GI tract. Please see the links page for information about where to buy this from, or better still, perhaps you can locate a supplier closer to you. Another alternative sweetner is xylitol, a sugar alcohol (not a sugar but tastes sweet), which also has anti-fungal properties - this may however cause Food Intolerance and IBS symptoms if consumed in excess. However, even natural plant (e.g. stevia) or sugar alcohol based sweetners may tend to aggravate dampness, qi deficiency and spleen meridian deficiencies, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Refined sugar has many other detrimental effects on one's health, including endocrine system disruption, tooth decay and may even contribute to the spread of cancer.

Of course, bacteria can enter the body in other ways besides dietary sources, from water or orally from touching objects and then touching the mouth. We can inhale bacteria and also bacteria can enter the hair folicles (e.g. boils). Keeping the skin clean, frequent washing of one's hands and clean toilet and food preparation areas is a useway way to reduce the chance of unnecessary localised bacterial infections, which can spead into the blood stream if the immune system is weak in certain circumstances. Of course, once in the body, numbers of bad bacteria in the body are hopefully kept in check, but if the immune system is weakened and we are feeding the bacteria and other harmful microbes with the wrong types of foods (high in simple carbohydrates) and toxins or other immune impairing practices (e.g. stress), and encouraging their growth with a low oxygen environment (which is often the case in CFS patients), then bacterial, fungal and parasite overgrowth can occur.

Here is a metaphor for the use of anti-biotics and a diet high in simple carbohydrates. Imagine you are a captain, in charge of a unit defending a village. And that village is under attack by an enemy unit. Now imagine there is a stale mate, with neither side capable of totally defeating the other, but with some casualties on each side. Now you want to help your troops to kill off the enemy. If you decide to call in an air strike to bomb the entire village and surrounding area, killing all the enemy soldiers, but also killing your entire unit and yourself, that wouldn't be very sensible would it? If you kill off most of your troops, you leave yourself wide open to another attack by another unit of enemy troops or enemy troops that can regroup quicker than your own slow reinforcements. And imagine actively giving the enemy troops ammunition and supplies! I doubt a captain who killed his own troops and actually gave ammunition to the enemy troops would be receiving any medals! Perhaps a better approach would be to use whatever means are available to eliminate or neutralise the opposition but without killing your own men or any villagers, and without helping the enemy strengthen their positions and numbers!

Clearly viruses may contribute to CFS or related conditions, or at least be a trigger for these conditions to occur. Viruses are not technically living organisms. Certain rare viral strains may wreak havoc with the body, for example the West Nile virus. Their contribution to immune system overload is described in the Immune System Deficiencies page.

The role of probiotic bacteria was not very well understood in the 19th Century. Germ theory and the application of penicillin and antibiotics was based on the concept that killing bacteria would help to stop the spread of disease, and in the short term it was correct, but as a long term strategy, indiscriminate killing of bacteria if non-selective is highly flawed and not without its downsides as we can see above.

Articles examining the foundation of modern medicine and the theory behind treatment of infectious diseases and antibiotics usage (i.e. the principle that all bacteria are bad), and the historical philosophical battle between Beauchamp and Pasteur, with Pasteur's ideas winning in the end (and not being questioned today), perhaps much to our detriment, can be found below.

'Friendly Bacteria Protect Against Type 1 Diabetes' by Dr Joseph Mercola

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Imbalanced Flora:

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When we talk about dysbiosis, we are often referring to two things. One of imbalanced flora and the other is dysbiotic flora. Indeed, this may also be in absolute terms and in relative terms, i.e. high levels of imbalanced flora overall, and high relative to the amount of good bacteria, which is perhaps another way of saying that there is a relative deficiency of good bacteria (which can vary from very mild to very chronic). As stated above, a lack of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract can result in a number of problems, one example of these being a biotin (vitamin B7) deficiency.

Not all bacteria present in the GI tract are either 'good' or 'bad'. Imbalanced flora are those bacteria that are not pathogenic in nature, but rather commensal. Commensalism is the ecological relationship where two organisms share a food source or resources, but where there is no victim, and the second organism does not survive at the other organism's expense (which would be parasitism). Imbalanced flora reside in the host organism's GI tract and neither injure nor benefit the host organism (i.e. the human being). Certain types of dysbiotic (i.e. pathogenic or otherwise harmful) bacteria may appear to be imbalanced flora in certain individuals as they are present in low levels, and are not pathogenic at the levels detected. However, when their numbers increase, they will be noticeably pathogenic.

The appearance of imbalanced flora is often associated with inadequate levels of one or more good bacterial strains and/or too high a fecal pH (more towards the alkaline end of the reference range of 6.0 to 7.2 pH units). An alkaline pH (in relative terms) can be the result of too little dietary soluble fibre too few beneficial bacteria to digest the soluble fibre intake or perhaps a dietary absence of true fermented/lactic acid based foods. Doctor's Data has observed benecial E.coli mutate in alkaline conditions, rendering them less 'beneficial'.

A deficiency in beneficial E.coli or too alkaline a stool pH (affecting the health of beneficial E.coli populations through mutation) is often observed to result in a proliferation of Non-Lactose Fermenting (NLF) E.coli (i.e. imbalanced flora) and Haemolytic E.coli (i.e. pathogenic/dysbiotic flora that break open red blood cells to release hemoglobin into the blood plasma).

In general terms, if certain strains or levels of imbalanced flora appear in one's stool, the main treatment recommendation is to simply supplement with more probiotic bacteria (i.e probiotic supplements) and ensure a more appropriate diet and intake of sufficient dietary fibre. Treatment with antimicrobial herbs (or otherwise) is not necessary.

[Source: Doctor's Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis/Parasitology x1 Report]

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Lactic bacteria, including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Streptococcus and Enterococcus bacteria, ferment carbohydrates in the absence of oxygen to produce lactic acid. The two isomers of Lactic acid produced are L-Lactate and D-Lactate.

Lactic acid is also produced by the body's cells during anaerobic respiration. Accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles causes pain (myalgia). Humans (and mammals in general) only produce L-lactate as part of anaerobic respiration and only possess the enzymes Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) for metabolising L-Lactate in any significant quantity. The LDH breaks down the lactic acid relatively quickly in normal circumstances. Mammals do not possess the D-Lactate Dehyrogenase enzyme in any significant quantity, and this is generally only found in plants and bacteria.

In humans, the two LDH enzymes act on L-Lactate to convert it into Pyruvate (and vice versa). One of these enzymes e.g. in Glycolysis in the NAD(P) dependent L-Lactate Dehydrogenase enzyme (EC. The other LDH enzyme is a Cytochrome c-enzyme found in the liver (EC. Mammals including humans however can metabolise D-Lactate using the D-alpha-hydroxy acid dehydrogenase enzyme found in the mitochondria (at 20% of the rate of a proper D-Lactate Dehydrogenase enzyme as found in plants).

Lactate production in the GI tract helps to suppress the growth of yeasts and harmful bacteria. However, if excessive conmensal Streptococcus and Enterococcus fermentation in the GI tract occurs, then D-Lactate levels tend to rise in th body, and acidosis (a drop in blood pH) occurs - known as D-Lactic Acidosis. D-Lactate can accumulate in the mitochondria and inhibit their proper function.

The body then has two main methods available to eliminate D-Lactate are renal excretion (i.e. whatever is in the fluid filtered off by the kidneys into urine) and via faeces (excreting the D-Lactate remaining in the stool) - which is not particularly efficient in clearing the D-Lactate, especially if it is being produced continually in the GI tract. Recent studies however have claimed to show that humans do actually possess the D-Lactate Dehydrogenase enzyme on the inner mitochondrial membrane. Studies from the 1920s showed that D-Lactate was poorly metabolised compared with L-Lactate, whereas studies from the 1980-90s found that D-Lactate was actually readily metabolised, although most academic and medical sources still quote the 1920s results as fact. The area is still hotly debated.

Individuals with CFS and related conditions may already be producing energy anaerobically in their mitochondria excessively and thus producing more lactic acid than normal, and if there is severe dysbiosis, commensal bacteria may also add to this acidity by producing the type of lactate that is harder for the body to break down.

D-Lactic Acidosis is rare in general terms and usually only occurs in the case of short bowel syndrome in humans (malabsorption disorder caused by surgical removal of the small intestine) and children with gastroenteritis. It can of course occur in patients who have markedly poor digestion with a large proportion of undigested carbohydrate in the GI tract. In animals, it can occur through excessive grain consumption by ruminants (e.g. cattle, goat, sheep etc.) or in cases of diarrhea in calves.

Steptococcus and Enterococcus are types of lactic acid bacteria. There are many different species, some are probiotic, some are commensal and some are pathogenic. Probiotic strains include S.thermophilus, S.salivarius and S.faecium; and E.faecium and E.faecalis. The species most likely to be relevant in this instance are the commensal strains (i.e. imbalanced flora) that mke up the bulk of these species in the GI tract.

Other pathogenic bacteria besides Steptococcus and Enterococcus also produce D-lactate, although these are probably not so likely to be the cause in most cases of D-Lactic Acidemia:

'Various pathogenic bacteria produce D-lactate, including Bacteroides fragilis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus. The use of D-lactate as a marker for infection was proposed in 1986.'

It is possible that a disproportionately large amount of probiotic lactic acid producing species such as Strepococcus and Enterococcus can be responsible for D-Lactic acidemia. It is more likely that the imbalanced S. and E. flora species would be responsible (in instances of elevated undigested carbohydrates in the GI tract) and that repopulation with the relevant required numbers of probiotic species, both lactic and non-lactic acid producing species, would help to correct the problem. Some recommendations do include abstaining from taking additional D-lactic acid producing probiotic bacteria (including those found in many yoghurt types and also kombucha and kefir), and only consuming non-d-lactate producing bacteria and also bacteria that consume D-Lactate.

Below is a list of D-Lactate producing Lactobacillus bacteria (Source: Breakspear Medical Group Newsletter Issue 26).

Lactobacillus species producing only D-Lactate:

The following L.delbruecki subspecies are often found in certain types of live/natural yoghurt. All yoghurt contains Streptococcus thermophilus which creates the creamy taste, and usually Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria. A large percentage of yoghurt products also contain Lactobacillus delbrueckii species (specifically bulgaricus), which produce only D-Lactate, which are listed below. Check the ingredients before you buy or simply avoid yoghurt in general.

Other less common Lactobacillus species that produce only D-Lactate are:

Lactobacillus species that produce Racemate Lactate (50% D-Lactate and 50% L-Lactate):

Other less common Lactobacillus species that produce Racemate Lactate are:

Lactobacillus species producing only L-Lactate:

These are the ideal probiotic Lactobacillus species to supplement for those with Lactobacillus deficiencies and elevated D-Lactate levels.

Other less common Lactobacillus species that produce only L-Lactate are:

Breakspear Medical Group's general suggestion from the newsletter is that CFS patients in general should avoid bacteria that produce solely D-Lactate, and if they have myalgia (e.g. M.E., Fibromyalgia, MPS etc.), to avoid the strains that produce Racemate Lactate (i.e. 50% D-Lactate and 50% L-Lactate).

In any case, killing off the bad and excessive commensal bacterial species, and repopulating the GI tract with a variety of good bacterial strains (i.e. addressing dysbiosis in general) should correct the excessive D-Lactate production problem, but it may of course help to avoid those D-Lactate producers in the interim to alleviate symptoms and not slow down recovery.

Please see the Mitochondrial Function page for more information.

D-Lactate levels can be measured in a blood test. Please see the Tests page for more information.

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Effects of Pathogenic Organisms in the GI Tract:

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Pathogenic organisms excrete toxins; which poison the body's cells, impair normal biochemical and mitochondrial function, put an additional burden on the liver; and put also put a constant and background strain on the immune system, rendering it slightly less prepared to deal with any other additional infections that might arise, of a microbial or viral origin. In addition, the constant strain on the immune system renders it slightly incapacitated, and it is likely to be further impaired in any case for toxicological and nutritional deficiency reasons. A constant immune system response also uses up a great deal of cellular energy and can result in excessive fatigue. Pathogenic organisms are responsible for a number of different diseases and disorders.

Dysbiotic bacteria, yeasts and parasites can produce a number of toxic substances including:

Some larger pathogenic organisms, such as tape worms, also carry with them secondary infections, such as a variety of protozoan parasites, which can leap frog their way into the body via the larger parasite.

Each of the three main categories of pathogenic organism are examined on this page, including a variety of treatment protocols.

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Hydrogen Sulphide:

Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) is an endogenous toxin produced in the body by the action of bad bacteria (such as Prevotella) and fungi (such as Candida Albicans) fermenting sugar in the gastrointestinal tract. Elevated levels of H2S in the blood and tissues can result in mitochondrial dysfunction. Please see the Mitochondrial and Toxicity pages for more information regarding H2S effects and treatment.

Hypothesis: Is ME/CFS caused by dysregulation of hydrogen sulfide metabolism? (2008) by Marian Dix Lemle

Please see the Effects of Toxicity and the Inefficient Liver Function pages for more information on H2S build up and its effects.

Pathogenic organisms can also produce secondary bile acids that may cause damage or inflammation to the microvilli lining (epithelium) of the small intestine (a.k.a. Brush Border). The microvilli lining is the interface where the absorption from the gut takes place, and absorptive efficiency may be considerably reduced by inflammation or damage to the Brush Border or the presence of mucoid plaque. Long term damage to the intestinal microvilli may potentially result in a variety of problems such as Leaky Gut Syndrome, allergies, IBS, autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis), headaches and food sensitivies etc. Pathogenic bacteria can also produce acute symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, diarrhea and a fever (in cases of food poisoning).

[Source: Doctor's Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis/Parasitology x1 Report]

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Bad Bacteria:

Yeasts, fungus and moulds:
Candida albicans:

Above are photographs of Candida albicans. Candida is a type of yeast, mould or fungus that is present all around us, but that is provided a very attractive breeding environment in those with a poor digestive system. There are a large number of tupes of Candida strain, but the generally most common variety that affects human digestive health and the immune system is Candida albicans. Other signficant strains of Candida include Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, Candida krusei, Candida glabrata, Candida guilliermondii, Candida rugosa, Candida lusitaniae and Candida dubliniensis.

A photograph of a budding Candida albicans cell is shown at the link below.

More Candida pictures can be found at the link below.

Fungal spores cover every exposed surface except for certain climates with extreme temperatures. These fungal spores are dormant and bud when the conditions are right, e.g. moisture. This is where mould 'comes from' when food is left refrigerated for too long and 'goes off'.

Under normal circumstances, Candida species entering the body through food and drink are destroyed in the stomach by the acidic pH. However Candida species may survive the body's defense of stomach acidity, on account of its low stomach acid content (in those afflicted individuals), and pass through and settle in the large or small intestine. Here it is warm, pH neutral and low in oxygen. They feed on all the simple carbohydrates that drop down to them from the stomach, and multiply at an alarming rate. They tend to burrow into the walls of the intestine, and release spores into the intestine and also into the blood stream. The highest concentration of candida is usually found in the colon (large intestine), but can also be found in the small intestine and the blood stream as a whole (spreading to certain organs etc.). In the GI tract, candida will also tend to burrow into the mucoid plaque layer and also embed themselves in the GI lining, as well as being present in the food/faeces continually. Clearly, if large amounts of mucoid plaque are present, then removing it will also help to remove/access candida effectively for elimination.

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Biochemical Markers for Candida:

There are three main biochemical markers formed by yeast/fungal organisms, usually but not necessarily in the gut. These are arabinose, beta-ketoglutaric acid and citramalic acid. Citramalate can also be formed by anaerobic bacteria.

Arabinose is an aldopentose (monosaccharide) sugar found in several fruits, e.g. apples, cherries, grapes, plums, and of course in juices made from these fruits. Elevated levels in urine above the reference range may indicate a high dietary intake of these fruits. However, arabinitol (which is converted into arabinose) has also been documented to be produced by Candida. When found in elevated levels in the bodily tissues, Arabinose can link with lysine and arginine, which may theoretically block some binding sites for coenzyme Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P - active B6), Biotin or Lipoic Acid. at the lysyl residue in apoenzyme proteins. This would impair enzymatic processees, such as the transamination of amino acids (in spite of a 'normal' intake of vitamin B6). So a high urine level of arabinose, without an associated dietary intake of the above fruits, strongly suggests the presence of Candida overgrowth.

Arabinose, beta-ketoglutaric acid and citramalic acid levels can be identified in a urine test such as the Optimal Nutrition Evaluation (ONE) by Genova Diagnostics. Please see the Identification page for more information. There are of course more direct methods of identifying bad bacteria, for example, stool analysis or live blood microscopy, but if one is evaluating amino acids and organic acids, then the results can provide some useful markers for bad bacteria and Candida.

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A biofilm is an aggregate of microogranisms whereby the cells are stuck to each other and/or to a surface. These adherent cells are frequently encased in a self-produced matrix (slime) of Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS is a polymeric mixture of DNA, proteins, polysaccharide sugars, fibrin and often minerals such as Iron and also heavy metals. Cells inside a biofilm undergo a phenotypic shift in behaviour. Biofilms can form on non-living surfaces (e.g. in natural, industrial and hospital settings), but in the context of living organisms, they are particularly pertinent in the pathogenesis of respiratory, gastrointestinal and vascular infections, where they exist on the mucus membranes or walls of the surfaces concerned. Biofilms can also trap a variety of viruses.

As discussed above, a number of specific types of bacteria can exist in biofilms and are implicated in sinusitis (nasal infections) as well as intestinal overgrowth (particularly Candida albicans and Pseumonas aeruginosa) and conditions such as Lyme Disease. The presence of biofilms can make such organisms very hard to eradicate with antimicrobial herbs and antibiotics alone, as the organisms are effectively hiding behind a protective barrier. It can also render them very hard to detect. Intestinal biofilms may also contribute to poor intestinal absorption of nutrients.

Biofilm protocols can be necessary in eradicating biofilm loving pathogenic organisms. can be quite involving and typically involve taking:

Clearly, if you break down biofilms, you need to kill the pathogens that are exposed and so such a biofilm protocol must be performed in conjunction with antimicrobials, and also intestinal absorbants to absorb the toxins produced (endotoxin release) when you kill the pathogens. These are described on the Detox page.

A number of good internet resources on biofilm protocols can be found, in particular, Dr Marcus Ettinger's web site and also Dr Dietrich Klinghardt's web site in the Lyme Disease section.

Fungal infections of the nasal passages are also an important cause in many cases, and this may well include the Candida albicans species.

According to Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, oral antimicrobial supplements and antibiotics can be quite ineffective against sinusitis, on account on the inability of these circulating antimicrobial compounds in the bloodstream to penetrate the biofilms on the tissue surfaces of the respiratory linings. This is where nasal sprays can apparently be quite effective. Nasal rinses (with salt water) can also be effective in clearing excess mucus and also some of the biofilms from the nasal passages, and to allow the antimicrobial nasal sprays to work most effectively.

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Yeast - Saccharomyces cerevisiae:

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of budding yeast. It is used in brewing and baking, where it is known as 'yeast' or 'brewer's yeast'. It is found occurring in small quantities on the surface of some fruits and vegetables. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or 'yeast', is no a probiotic yeast species. It serves no beneficial role in the human body. Its Latin name literally means 'sugar mould'.

Yeast is found in the GI tract in minute quantities in healthy individuals - i.e. its presence is rare. In general terms, an overgrowth of intestinal yeast is prevented by sufficient levels and diversity of beneficial flora, intestinal immune system defence (secretory IgA) and the correct intestinal pH. The probiotic species Lactobacillus create an unsuitable environment for yeast colonisation by producing acids such as lactic acid, which lowers the intestinal pH. Lactobacillus bacteria can also release antagonistic substances to bad bacteria and yeasts such as Hydrogen Peroxide, Lactocidin, Lactobacillin and Acidolin.

However, in certain circumstances, it may spread and multiply to dysbiotic quantities (i.e. moderate to high quantities), where it becomes a problem and is considered abnormal. Yeast grows in colonies and is not typically dispersed uniformly throughout the stool in the colon. This may result in it being undetectable or present at low levels when stool samples are examined only by microscopy, and indeed when attempts are made to grow the culture from a stool sample, as there is a large chance of missing the colonies, even if a large amount of yeast has cultured in stool in in the colon in general.

[Source: Doctor's Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis/Parasitology x1 Report]

Yeast, as mentioned above, is used in brewing and in baking. Baking kills the yeasts and in most brewing applications, the yeast is killed off by the increasing alcohol concentrations. Yeast extract (where yeast has been killed off) has a number of uses in food, either as a source of B-vitamins but also as a flavouring. However, the downside is that yeast, particularly yeast extract, is high in glutamate, and in general terms should be avoided (even in its dead form). The issues associated with elevated free glutamate levels and neurological damage and excitotoxicity are examined on the Nutritional page.

Certain true fermented foods which contain yeast(s) as part of the mother/starter culture, i.e. kefir and kombucha, when eaten raw/uncooked, may contain significant amounts of yeast, but their numbers are probably counterbalanced to some degree with high numbers of probiotic bacteria and probiotic yeast cultures where applicable. Ultimately it depends on how bad a yeast overgrowth you already have in your GI tract as to whether it will be beneficial, neutral or detrimental overall to consume such products. Kombucha is not such a lactic (probiotic) culture and is not really consumed for the bacteria and yeasts but more for the glucurate and enzyme (and often alcohol!) content. For example, In Kombucha, Saccharomyces cerevisiae exists in a symbiotic relationship with number of acetic acid bacteria. In addition, Kefir grains, used to produce milk or water kefir, contain both Saccharomyces delbruecki and Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast species. Yeast growth should not be part of fermented vegetables like sauerkraut until yeasts or fungi growth appear on the top of the ferment during the fermentation process. However, if an individual has a very low beneficial bacterial count in his GI tract, or rather a high acidophilus count and a low count of other critical bacteria, and has a high sugar or simple carbohydrate intake, and possibly a variety of other factors that affect one's beneficial bacterial balance, then he may set himself up for yeast overgrowth, despite (and because to a large extent) consuming seemingly large amounts of kefir. This is something to consider when consuming these types of fermented drink. I personally consumed water kefir daily for several months but it did nothing to help my dysbiosis and probably exacerbated my yeast overgrowth which was present at the time I started drinking the kefir.

If you have abnormally high yeast levels in your stool, then it would be wise to desist in taking these fermented foods and instead rely on a non-yeast containing probiotic supplement (and perhaps fermented vegetables), and taking anti-microbial herbs. Protocols for eliminating yeast overgrowth are almost identical to those for eliminating Candida overgrowth. Please see below for more information.

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Eliminating Candida:

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Oxygen Ion Releasing or 'Oxygenating' Treatments:

Oxygenating supplements as an antimicrobial treatment are discussed on the Mucoid Plaque page, on the Viral page and on the Cardiac page.

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Parallels between Candida overgrowth, cancer and acidosis:

Dr Tullio Simoncini has conduced research into the parallels between fungus overgrowth (in particular systematic candida) and cancer cell growth. He has established the similarities between the two, in terms of growth occurring in anaerobic, acidic conditions, where candida and cancer cells ferment simple sugars for energy and are killed off in an alkaline environment. He postulates that systematic candida and cancer are one and the same thing. Whilst I am not totally convinced of this theory, there are many parallels and much common ground. It is an area which demands further study. His book on the subject can be read at the link below. His main web site is listed at the second link.

Related articles to the proposition that fungus overgrowth is strongly related to the development of cancer are shown below.

Dr Mercola article 'Fungus Causing Cancer -- A Novel Approach to the Most Common Form of Death'

My personal opinion is that whilst both candidiatis and certain specific cases of cancer share some common causes, e.g. poor immune system function, acidosis, a diet high in simple carbohydrates etc. and toxins, this is not to say that one candida is a cause of cancer or that cancer is a cause of candida. I keep an open mind but does not wish to join the dots in this instance. There are many different types of cancer, and it would be foolish to generalise about the causes (or main cause) in each particular instance.

Please see the Other Approaches section of the links page for some unorthodox approaches to treating candida and mycoplasma infections.

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Ringworm is a collective name for certain tinea types of fungi which causes a ring-like red rash (hence the name) on the skin, scalp, groin, nail or feet (aka athlete's foot - occurring on the feet or between the toes, e.g. which may be red or white in appearance).

Ringworm usually occurs only on the surface of the skin, but the best treatment is a combination of internal anti-fungal herbs or supplements combined with the external application of an anti-fungal agent (e.g. tea-tree oil, aloe vera gel or Caprylic Acid etc.)

Tea tree oil is usually extremely expensive, and is very potent, and most forms available use a base oil to dilute it with and are perhaps around the 15% concentration mark. Tea tree oil should be applied to the athlete's foot afflicted area 3 times a day until it is gone. A cotton swab or bud may be effective in applying it. It depends on the type of bottle you have.

It is of course important to keep the area in question on the foot dry at all times during treatment, and avoid excessive sweating of the feet, to avoid conditions which stimulate the fungal growth. If you fail to do this, then the treatment may not work.

Other methods of treating athlete's foot include pre-soaking or applying a solution containing surgical spirit (methylated spirits or pure alcohol) and aspirin (e.g. 5 aspirin to 1/2 cup of alcohol), before applying the tea tree oil. The aspirin locally dilates the blood vessels and pores and allows the tea tree oil to be more effectively absorbed into the skin. One application should hopefully be enough, but monitor the area and repeat as necessary. Another method is to use vinegar instead of tea tree oil, applying it topically to the afflicted area. Finally one may choose to create a footbath solution out of vinegar and salt. Recommendations include 1/2 cup of vinegar, 2tbsp of salt and enough water to cover the feet. A stronger concentration will clearly not hinder the process. Avoid the above if there is cracked skin present as it may hurt!

Ringworm is generally not something that contributes significantly to CFS, but may be a sign of an impaired immune system, perhaps being strained by other microorganisms, toxins or mitochondrial inefficiency.

Please note that ringworm has nothing to do with the parasite roundworm discussed below, nor the harmful yeast candida (besides being another type of fungus), described above. It has been included for completeness and also because of its incorrect association with 'worms'!

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Leaky Gut Syndrome and Food Allergies:

As described above, Candida can often burrow through the intestinal lining and make its way into the blood stream, and spread around the entire body (systematic). In especially bad cases, enough burrow through the GI (intestinal) lining that the intestinal lining becomes semi-permeable, allowing particles of semi-digested food into the blood stream. Such particles of semi-digested food are attacked by the immune system, causing fatigue and flu-like symptoms, and in addition may cause allergic reactions in the body. This condition is known as 'Leaky Gut Syndrome' or LGS.

Digestive complications can thus arise from damage to the intestinal wall lining, by excessive immune system response to certain food types in the digestive tract; or the action of fungal species such as Candida albicans; or even the excessive use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen. The result can be a semi-permeable intestinal lining, whereby semi-digested food is allowed to pass directly into the blood stream before proper digestion has occurred, causing food sensitivites and excessive pressure on the immune system which seeks to attack the 'invading' molecules in the blood stream which should not really be there in that form.

LGS is one potential downstream consequence of too much (non-IgE mediated) immune system regulated inflammation in the digestive tract, caused by excessive Eosinophil hyperactivity and inflammatory cytokines being released by them. This is one feature of severe cases of Celiac Disease (Gliadin Protein Intolerance). For a detailed analysis of Food Allergies and Food Intolerance, please see the Food Allergy, Intolerance and Sensitivity page.

LGS is also caused by the use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen (which patients may well take because of their poor protein digestion and ongoing muscle/joint injuries. Natural anti-inflammatories can be used such as Nutri's Prozyme, which is enzyme-based). In such cases, as if the immune system wasn't overloaded already in fighting off the fungus, it now has semi-digested food to handle in the blood stream. This often creates food allergies, which mysteriously disappear once the candida has been killed off and the intestinal lining restored.

LGS and other negative side effects of pathogenic microorganisms is discussed in the section above entitled Effects of Pathogenic Organisms.

To cure leaky gut, one needs to reduce the inflammation and irritation of the gut lining and also to provide enough building materials to rebuild the gut lining. One also needs to ascertain the original cause of leaky gut and remove that causative factor or it will prolong or prevent recovery.

Some information on LGS can be found at the links below. contains some good information in general, although the treatments section is focussed soley on nutrition and not on standard accepted treatments for LGS (from my experience).

Some food allergies that may be induced by leaky gut syndrome or the presence of candida or for other reasons are listed at the link below.

When it comes to adjusting one's diet to accommodate for temporary food allergies, some choose to buy 'gluten free' and 'lactose free' processed foods. These include rice milk, soya milk, gluten free museli etc. Unfortunately, the labelling on these foods can be confusing, as simply buying gluten and lactose free food does not necessarily mean that they are that good for you, or are not full of simple carbohydrates, and ultimately are not exaccerbating your candida and LGS problem, which may well be the cause of your food allergies in the first place. For example, gluten free museli usually contains large amounts of sugar. Rice milk is very high in simple carbohydrates. Rice milk and soya milk (are other soya products) are highly processed also, and may not be compatible with an anti-candida diet. Please note that I am not criticising gluten and lactose free foods, but merely the highly processed forms and breakfast cereals. For more information, please see the Anti-Candida Diet section below.

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The Anti-Candida Diet:

I am not qualified to provide dietary advice, and people trying the above do so entirely at their own risk.

Why not try a change of diet for a week? What have you got to lose?

As an experiment, anyone who is feeling fatigued might want to try cutting out sugar, simple carbohydrates, pasturised milk and yeast containing foods completely for a week or two and notice if you feel any different. This would include avoiding sugar, alcohol, tea, coffee, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals (i.e. sugary cereal carb hit consumed with sugar-rich pasturised cow's milk), fruit juices, pasturised milk and cheese, sweets, cakes, chocolate and processed foods etc. and cutting down on potatoes and starchy vegetables like peas and sweetcorn. Instead you might want to focus on foods such as lean meats, white meats, fish, pulses (beans - not tinned beans with sugary tomato sauce), nuts, wild rice, plenty of steamed vegetables of all kinds, kefir (preferably based on live goat's milk), natural yoghurt, porridge (made with both porridge oats and oat bran), fermented cabbage juice (see recipe page), a few pieces of fruit a day maximum, and non-heat treated oils (correct omega 3:6:9 balance - see nutritional deficiencies page for more information). If you feel radically better on this new regime, then you more than likely have a significant bad bacteria or yeast problem in your GI tract. You might want to ensure you eat enough so as not to lose weight and to get enough nutritional input.

Please note that a restrictive diet alone may make you feel much better, but it alone will not kill off parasites/candida. You need to deprive the candida and parasites of their usual food sources whilst simultaneously actively killing them off using the correct supplement in the correct amount. Any prolonged diet changes should be discussed with your nutrionist or naturopathic medicine consultant. It is not the policy of this web site to offer dietary recommendations, and the author is not qualified to give dietary advice. An example of long term anti-candida diets are discussed below. If you are currently taking drugs regularly, even 'just' marijuana, and/or are hooked on junk food/sugary foods/simple carbohydrates, you are highly unlikely to completely cure yourself of dysbiosis and hormonal dysfuction. You really need to commit to a healthy regime. You need motivation. See the motivation page in the psychology section and also the drugs page if you need negative movitation and leverage.

The Anti-Candida Diet is described below.

There are many versions of the Anti-Candida Diet. There is no 'one size fits all' diet for everyone. A patient's exact diet will vary during the course of his treatment, and should be tailored to the exact severity of the condition. The severity of anti-candida diets varies. The diet is not a separate entity, but a part of the overall treatment, and the exact supplements/medication for killing off the candida must be taken into account when drawing up a proposed diet for a patient. A naturopathic consultant will be able to advise of the best course of action and of any diet changes and supplement requirements. Diet recommendations are also available from the National Candida Society in the UK, and from reputable books on CFS.

The purpose of an anti-candida diet is to deprive the candida of its usual food source, whilst still providing the body with all the nutrition that it requires. Whilst cutting off most/all of the candida's usual food supply will stop it multiplying, it will not actually reduce the amount of candida in the person's system. To achieve this, one needs to proactively kill it off. The supplements used for this purpose are described above. Some patients have been able to completely eliminate their candida without significantly changing their diet at all (with the exception of sugar and sweet elimination), whilst taking an anti-microbial supplement. Some patients have had to moderately change their diet for a period of a few weeks only, in combination with an anti-microbial supplement and have successfully eradicated all of their candida. And indeed, some patients have had huge trouble eliminating their candida overgrowth and require a very restrictive diet for a period of 6-12 months in combination with a variety of different anti-microbial supplements.

With regards to a highly restrictive diet, then, one can either choose to completely deprive candida of its normal food source, being simple carbohydrates and readily available energy sources, or one can choose to restrict their normal food source but not eliminate it completely. In reality there are no food sources that will completely deprive candida of digestible sugars, but it is a relative issue. Elimination is therefore never truly elimination, although it may be close to that. This is why a restrictive or elimination diet alone is unlikely to completely resolve candida overgrowth although it may well reduce it. The benefit of a restrictive diet is that the candida is kept weakened but still in the budding state, so that anti-microbial supplements can work with their maximum effect as the yeast buds and grows (albeit in a restricted manner), and can be killed off more easily. In some people, a severely restrictive elimination diet may force the yeast into its cyst form, where it may be harder to kill, and in which it can survive for many years. In such cases, when a person's normal diet is recommenced, the yeast spores then grow and the yest overgrowth starts all over again. Whichever approach one chooses to take is up to the individual to discuss with one's naturopathic consultant. An example of slightly less restrictive anti-candida diet protocol is listed below.

One thing to bear in mind is that there are two components to eliminating or restricting sources of food that encourage candida growth or prevent or slow its reduction.

Whether the total elimination approach with respect to yeasts is the right approach or more superstitious is up to you and your practitioner to decide. A list of food types that are likely to contain mould are shown at the links below. The second link looks at different approaches to and opinions on the anti-candida diet. Please note that this site is providing this as an example, to aid understanding, and is not prescribing this diet to anyone. There are many versions of it, and the exact constituents and recommendations of an anti-candida diet are usually tailored to the individual's requirements and situation at a given point in time, and reviewed and adjusted regularly. An anti-candida diet is not intended to be a static one-size-fits-all prescriptive diet. Anyone who chooses to do so does so at their own risk.

One may wish to consider the possibility of Food Intolerance and the need to incorporate a Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Diet into one's Anti-Candida Diet regime.

An Example of an Anti-Candida Diet Protocol is shown below. Remember that the exact quantities and make up of this diet will vary according to the individual or across the timeline of the treatment, and according to the practitioner's guidelines.

Food types to eliminate:

Food types that are eliminated with severe cases of candida, but which can be consumed in moderation with less severe cases are listed below.

Even in less severe but significant cases, it is unwise to consume any of these carbohydrates more than once a day. Sometimes one may choose to avoid these food types completely for a week or two and notice if one feels any difference, then reintroduce later.

Two servings/pieces of moderate carbohydrate fruit per day maximum (pretty much any fruit except bananas), as listed below.

It may be more conservative to stick with apples, which are often cheaper than other fruit too. Grapes, berries, tropical fruits and other medium carbohydrate fruits may be omitted depending on the severity of the candida case.

Food types that should be consumed liberally (or according to your dietary preferences and tolerances):

Please note that as a general rule, very moderate alcohol consumption in the form of spirits or wine is often not an issue in terms of digestive health for people in general, whereas beer, lager and stout are best avoided by even the very healthy on account of their yeast and grain content. Sorry lads! However, my personal approach is to avoid all alcohol, caffeine and recreational drugs (and medicinal drugs unless for specific reasons and as a last resort); and to avoid recreational drugs whether one has candida or not for toxicity, endocrine and psychological reasons.

Further reading on diet is found in the books listed on the links page and can be also found at the IHS web site below.

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