Sorting out fact from fiction can sometimes be difficult when it comes to candida and how to treat it.
Myth #1 – Only women get candida infections
Candida Albicans is commonly considered to be a yeast infection that only women get. It is in fact a fungal infection caused by antibiotic use that affects both men, women, and children. Research states that over 90% of the population might have systemic candida.
Myth #2 – Candida is a yeast infection
Candida Albicans in its normal yeast form is a beneficial organism that has co-evolved with over 10,000 other micro-organisms taking up residence in the intestinal tract and other tissues.
Only in its fungal (hyphal/mycelial) form is it an infectious agent that uses its cell wall, adhesion, morphing abilities, and enzymes to spread and destroy tissues throughout the body. Many people commonly refer to Candida Albicans as a yeast infection when it is actually a fungal infection.
Myth #3 – Candida needs sugars to become pathogenic and spread
Sugars will fuel Candida very effectively, but it’s not an absolute that by excluding sugars and simple carbs from your diet, you’ll starve it to death. People who don’t spend the time researching Candida put out this information to the detriment of others. Candida can live off of proteins and fat , as well. Excluding all sugars, can lead to immune system weakness and leaky gut.
The primary drive found in all living organisms is survival. If you remove all food sources from the yeast form of Candida, it will stimulate it to convert to its problematic fungal form and search for food in the body. If someone took all of the food out of my house, I’d go shopping to.
Myth #4 – Only immunosuppressed people get candida infections
The medical viewpoint is that only immunosuppressed people (AIDS, Immunosuppressive therapy, chemotherapy) get systemic candida. They state this as though that is the official position. Official position or not, for whatever reason, it is false, misleading, and demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge about candida, microbiology, and physiology. Additionally, it is exactly the opposite of what all the research has continually demonstrated since the 1940s when antibiotics were first introduced.
NASA does research on candida because astronauts come down with it while in space. Are astronauts immunosuppressed people by the medical definition?
Research has repeatedly shown that the immune system does not need to be suppressed in order for candida to convert to its fungal form and invade the body. On the other hand, a depressed immune system or slightly suppressed immune system will contribute to the spread of fungal candida. What can depress or suppress the immune system? Worries, stress, food coloring, sugar, and among many other things, candida itself. As was correctly pointed out above, slight weakness in the immune system would contribute to the spread of candida. So although a weakened immune system does help, it is not needed, but almost always present to some degree or another.
Myth #5 – Pathogenic Candida requires an acid pH environment to grow
This is another common myth put out by people who think everything is supposed to be alkaline in the body. The digestive tract is supposed to be acid and doesn’t even approach alkalinity until the lower end. The vaginal tissue is also supposed to be acidic.
The lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid to help maintain an acid pH. The stomach is very acidic, and the acidity of juices leaving the stomach helps to stimulate pancreatic function, as well as maintain the proper acid pH of the intestinal tract. Bile acids also contribute to maintaining the acid pH. In an acid environment, candida exists in its yeast form, but once that starts to shift to a more alkaline environment, the alkaline pH stimulates the conversion to the pathogenic, fungal form. The same is true for E. Coli. In an acid environment, it plays a role in the production of vitamin K for the body. In an alkaline environment it becomes the pathogenic form that causes so many problems for people. Fungal Candida does extremely well in alkaline environments such as the blood stream.
Myth #6 – Mercury feeds Candida
This myth seems to be put out by people who think that mercury determines everything in the body. The only possible explanation that I can come up with is that mercury would have a suppressive effect on the immune system, which would possibly allow fungal candida to spread unimpeded. The amount of mercury needed to have a suppressive effect systemically within the body would be greater than most people deal with. Either way, I have never seen any research that states that mercury feeds candida.
People who usually support the idea that mercury feeds candida claim that some doctors have pointed out that most people who have candida infections also have mercury toxicity. If that were true just by association, then it would also apply for parasites, and other heavy metals and chemicals. The average American has a large load of chemicals in the tissues. This doesn’t mean that these chemicals also feed candida. It’s an erroneous assumption to make just because 2 or more issues exist in the body at the same time.
Myth #7 – Oxygen kills Candida
Another erroneous myth. Candida Albicans is facultative anaerobe, which means it can exist in oxygen-rich (mouth, skin) and oxygen-depleted (intestinal tract, body tissues) environments. Some studies indicate that is harder to eliminate in an oxygen-rich environment. That seems to be more true of thrush, but not as true for skin infections.
Candida has the ability to evade the destructive substances produced by our body’s white blood cells.
Myth #8 – Only drugs can eliminate candida
Most people will be familiar with this myth. If anything drugs increase the resistance of candida. Candida is very adaptive to drugs that try to kill it off. Most research being done today is to find new drugs for fighting candida, because candida has developed resistance to all other antifungals. Antifungal drugs come with many side effects, which include destruction of liver tissue and suppression of the immune system.
The better choice is to use natural antifungals that aren’t toxic to the body. Most every plant on the earth has developed some form of antifungal mechanism in order to avoid being destroyed by some 1.5-2.5 million fungus that inhabit the Earth. There is plenty of research that shows the antifungal quality of many natural substances found in nature.
Myth #9 – Use of antifungals needs to be rotated to eliminate Candida
This claim is usually seen only on holistic websites and not in the research. Fungal candida can and has developed resistance and immunity to anti-fungal drugs. I find claims about needing to rotate antifungals on sites where the approach their using, or the substances that they choose to use, or some combination of the two, aren’t effective for eliminating systemic candida. They claim that candida is adapting to whatever their using, so you need to rotate antifungals. I find that they’re just not using an effective product or approach, and they subsequently rationalize its ineffectiveness as the candida adapting.
Most natural products are fungistatic (inhibit) and not fungicidal (kill). Its better to be fungistatic, as fungicidal products (drugs) create resistant strains of candida. Nature is filled with thousands of antifungal products that plants make and each one is effective as a fungistatic agent.
The safest and most effective agent against fungal candida is the fatty acid, undecenoic acid.
Myth #10 – Medical Doctors are familiar with Candida infections
Most MDs won’t even be familiar with anything about Candida Albicans and will dismiss it rather than take the time to find out more about it. There are over 53,000 research studies on Candida Albicans that has only been around since the introduction of antibiotics in the late 1940s. Research in the late 1940s, 50s, and 60s was driven by the fact that so many people developed systemic candida infections just by the use of a new drug, penicillin.
Some MDs will state that it’s only a concern in Immunosuppressed patients (AIDS, HIV) and patients receiving chemotherapy or immunosuppressive medications. It’s not. Research from the 1990s shows that even the slightest modification of the intestinal flora can create systemic candida infections. More recent research shows that antibiotics will cause candida and that these changes can lead to acute problems ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening colitis to chronic changes such as obesity, cancers, and many other diseases. Other research shows that the protease enzymes that candida uses can be responsible for diabetes, hypertension, and immune system suppression. Some researchers state that fungal candida occurs in health people, as well.