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Candida: Keep This Powerful Enemy in Control

Have you ever considered how your headaches, earaches, mouth sores, skin conditions, urinary tract infections or fatigue, among other issues, are triggered by what is inside you? What's more, the biggest culprit is a microorganism called Candida! If you didn’t know, Candida is more impactful to our health than we would like as many problems are caused by this yeast-like fungus.

Candida is naturally found in the body because it is part of the microbiota or intestinal flora, mainly found in the mucous membranes of the body, like in the gastrointestinal system, mouth, and sexual organs (1). There are about 200 species of intestinal flora, but as we have mentioned in previous articles, within that flora there are some microorganism species that help and others that harm our health – especially when increased disproportionately. Out of the few harmful types of Candida, Albicans is the most dangerous. When this microbiota gets out of control, the results can be very problematic. Albicans can sometimes create superficial infections on the mucous membranes or skin. When not taken care of in time, it can eventually reach the bloodstream and spread, severely affecting internal organs. (2)

Candida in its various types is one of the most common pathogens in the United States (3) and it can reach a mortality rate of 40% simply due to not being treated in a timely manner (4, 5)

Why is it growing more than it should? There are several factors:

  • Low immune system (2). In fact, the increase in Candida cases is due mainly to more people being immunosuppressed. (6)

  • Stress affects the disproportionate growth of Candida (1).

  • Some treatments, such as chemotherapies, organ transplants, or the use of intravenous devices, help transmit and spread Candida. (2)

  • Excess carbohydrates, especially sugar.

According to research, Candida is a very dangerous enemy because it adapts its metabolism to the conditions it encounters. It thrives when the body is weak due to lack of nutrients, and when there is an excess of nutrients. Within that scope, glucose is one of Candida’s favorite sources of carbon, allowing it to grow and increasing its virulence. At this point it can even become more resistant to drugs (7). In fact, there is a link between Candida and diabetes although we do not know exactly yet how it works. When there is a high concentration of glucose in uncontrolled diabetic patients, there are often recurrent infections of this type of fungus. (8)

Ways to control Candida

  • The first thing you should do if you suspect an infection is visit your doctor to confirm via testing. Your doctor may suggest topical or oral antifungals, and they may request an endoscopy or intestinal biopsy. It is very important to act early on.

  • People develop resistance to medication because the strains mutate. Proper medical surveillance is key, as your doctor may need to combine medications or look for alternatives.

  • Avoid refined carbohydrates, especially sugars. It’s fundamental advice. Your eating habits have a lot to do with the proliferation of Candida in your body.

  • There are some doctors who suggest treatment support that allows you to cleanse Candida from the body by eliminating sugar, white flour, yeast, cheese, and processed foods from your diet. Doctors will instead recommend fresh foods, especially vegetables and whole grains. (9)

  • Products and supplements that help control Candida and, above all, maintain the balance of intestinal flora. For example:

  • Coconut oil. Fatty oils, especially caprylic acid, can help control Candida with antifungal properties. (10)

  • Pau D'Arco. This is one of the many secrets of the Amazon that, today thanks to scientific evidence, is being considered around the world. It is the bark of a tree that has been studied and shown can help inhibit Candida and other fungi. Its greatest value is that it seems to help in cases of drug resistant infection. It can be taken as a tea or supplement alone or combined with other products. (9)

  • Garlic has also been used both topically and ingested due to its properties that fight pathogens and support the immune response. (9)

  • Probiotics are the best support, since they reinforce the formation of healthy microbiota, helping intestinal flora fulfill all its functions from the proper processing of food to its immune response. Probiotics can help treat Candida and prevent it from growing out of control. (9)

  • Zinc supplementation can help to reduce Candida infections among patients receiving antibiotics to treat an infection. (11)

The next time you feel a sore in your mouth or an infection that is too uncomfortable to confess, before grabbing over the counter medication at the drugstore, get your doctor's opinion and review these tips to regain control of that microorganism that can oftentimes become a powerful enemy... of course, only if you let it.

Let's be healthier together.

Your Santo Remedio Team

References

1.Clarissa J. Nobile, Alexander D. Johnson, Candida albicans Biofilms and Human Disease.

Annu Rev Microbiol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Jul 1.Published in final edited form as: Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015; 69: 71–92. doi: 10.1146/annurev-micro-091014-104330

PMCID: PMC4930275. NIHMSID: NIHMS797234, PMID: 26488273

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4930275/

2.Claudia Spampinato , Darío Leonardi Candida Infections, Causes, Targets, and Resistance Mechanisms: Traditional and Alternative Antifungal Agents. Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013: 204237. Published online 2013 Jun 26. doi: 10.1155/2013/204237. PMCID: PMC3708393

PMID: 23878798

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3708393/

3.Hilmar Wisplinghoff, Tammy Bischoff, Sandra M Tallent, Harald Seifert, Richard P Wenzel, Michael B Edmond. Nosocomial bloodstream infections in US hospitals: analysis of 24,179 cases from a prospective nationwide surveillance study. Multicenter Study

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Aug 1;39(3):309-17. doi: 10.1086/421946. Epub 2004 Jul 15. PMID: 15306996 DOI: 10.1086/421946

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15306996/

4.Ming-Fang Cheng, Yun-Liang Yang, Tzy-Jyun Yao, Chin-Yu Lin, Jih-Shin Liu, Ran-Bin Tang, Kwok-Woon Yu, Yu-Hua Fan, Kai-Sheng Hsieh, Monto Ho, Hsiu-Jung Lo.

Risk factors for fatal candidemia caused by Candida albicans and non-albicans Candida species

BMC Infect Dis. 2005 Apr 7;5:22. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-5-22. PMID: 15813977 PMCID: PMC1090575 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-5-22

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15813977/

5. M A Pfaller , R N Jones, S A Messer, M B Edmond, R P Wenzel. National surveillance of nosocomial blood stream infection due to Candida albicans: frequency of occurrence and antifungal susceptibility in the SCOPE Program. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 1998 May;31(1):327-32. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(97)00240-x. PMID: 9597393

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9597393/

6.M. Anaul Kabir, Zulfiqar Ahmad. Candida Infections and Their Prevention. ISRN Prev Med. 2013; 2013: 763628. Published online 2012 Nov 4. doi: 10.5402/2013/763628. PMCID: PMC4062852. PMID: 24977092

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4062852/

7.Mieke Van Ende,Stefanie Wijnants,Patrick Van Dijck. Sugar Sensing and Signaling in Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. Front Microbiol. 2019; 10: 99. Published online 2019 Jan 30. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00099. PMCID: PMC6363656. PMID: 30761119

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6363656/

8.Adrian Man, Cristina Nicoleta Ciurea, Dan Pasaroiu, Ana-Ioana Savin, Felicia Toma, Floredana Sular, Luigi Santacroce, Anca Mare . New perspectives on the nutritional factors influencing growth rate of Candida albicans in diabetics. An in vitro study. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2017 Sep; 112(9): 587–592. doi: 10.1590/0074-02760170098. PMCID: PMC5572443

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572443/

9.J Genet. Natural remedies for vaginal infections. Sidahora. Winter 1995;40-1.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11362438/

10.Kearney T. W. Gunsalus, Stephanie N. Tornberg-Belanger, Nirupa R. Matthan,Alice H. Lichtenstein, Carol A. Kumamoto, Manipulation of Host Diet To Reduce Gastrointestinal Colonization by the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida albicansmSphere. 2016 Jan-Feb; 1(1): e00020-15. Published online 2015 Nov 18. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00020-15 PMCID: PMC4863630 PMID: 27303684 Host-Microbe Biology

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863630/

11.Jun Xie, Lihong Zhu, Tingli Zhu,Ying Jian,Ye Ding, Min Zhou, Xiaoyan Feng. Zinc supplementation reduces Candida infections in pediatric intensive care unit: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2019 Mar; 64(2): 170–173.

Published online 2018 Nov 30. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.18-74. PMCID: PMC6436042. PMID: 30936630

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436042/

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