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Candida Article #3: Conquering Candida

by Sherridan L. Stock BSc (Hons) CBiol FBiol FZS FRES

This article first appeared in the International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine in 1993 and is re-produced with the kind permission of the author. It may not be re-produced without permission. We have made a few minor modifications and edited it so that where botanical supplement names have changed, the new names have been used.  Where supplements mentioned in the article are no longer available, appropriate substitutes have been recommended. It was written before Threelac and Fivelac our two most popular anti candida products existed, nonetheless the article is as salient now as it was then. You can also any products that we don't sell directly by contacting The Rainham Health Food Centre on 01634 861880. But please say you were referred by us.

Background

Candida albicans is responsible for an incredible amount of misery. The enormity of the problem has become apparent in recent years with the advent of successful treatment. If a random sample of patients complaining of miscellaneous symptoms is given anti-candidal therapy many of them will exhibit a marked diminution in symptoms over the next few months and some will exhibit a dramatic return to good health. This article discusses the varied nature of the clinical manifestations of candidiasis and describes a comprehensive approach to its treatment.

The realization that Candida albicans, a ubiquitous yeast, is much less innocent than is commonly supposed derives from the seminal work of the American physician, Dr Orian Truss, conducted during the sixties and seventies.(1)  While most of the orthodox medical profession remain oblivious to his work, a percipient few - including William Crook, John Parks Trowbridge, Leo Galland, Steven Rochlitz, and in Britain, Leon Chaitow - were quick to recognize its merit, and have extended and popularized Truss's theories throughout the eighties.(2-6)  We owe a great debt of gratitude to all of these workers for the understanding of the problem that they have given us, for as therapists we are now in a position to help many of those with chronic illness to an extent previously unimaginable.

The "headquarters" of Candida is in the intestine, particularly the ascending colon, where it is believed to reside in everyone.  Harm occurs only when the normal ecology of the bowel is disrupted and Candida proliferates opportunistically, liberating significant amounts of waste products into the general circulation, which can then impair the functioning of any organ. (3)  About 100 such waste and secretory products are recognized,(5) and are collectively known as Candida toxins.  Candida is dimorphic and the budding yeast form can change into an invasive fungal form which can penetrate the intestinal wall and disseminate to other organs (polysystemic candidiasis).(6)  When "on site" at other organs, not only will there be tissue damage and inflammation due to the physical presence of Candida, but the level of Candida toxins locally will presumably be higher than when derived from an intestinal infection.

Causes of candidiasis

  • Poor immunity is undoubtedly a major factor in allowing Candida to overgrow.  A weak immune system appears to be the norm these days, the main reason for which in our opinion is nutrient deficiency.  Almost every nutrient known has a role to play in creating immunity, and since most individuals exhibit multiple nutrient deficiencies, they inevitably have chronically impaired immune systems. 
  • Heavy metal toxicity, particularly lead (from petrol and lead plumbing) and mercury (from amalgam fillings) is immunosuppressant, as is chemical overload from our highly polluted and unnatural environment. 
  • Psychological stress appears to be a much overlooked cause of immune weakness, and the same is true of electromagnetic and geopathic stress.
  • Since the sustained presence of Candida burdens the immune system,(4) and its toxins are immunosuppressant,(5) a vicious cycle exists. 
  • Food and inhalant allergies, which Candida commonly causes, similarly burden the immune system,(6,7) fuelling the vicious cycle. 
  • Additionally, nutrient deficiencies induced by Candida may impair immunity, and thus also contribute to the vicious cycle.
  • Diet: Excess sugar consumption, of which most people are guilty, suppresses immunity (by depressing neutrophil and lymphocyte activity), and alcohol has a similar effect.  (Sugar, of course, also feeds Candida.)  Caffeine is an adrenal stressor, and depleted adrenal glands predispose to the development of candidiasis (vide infra).  A deficiency of dietary fibre encourages intestinal candidiasis because dietary fibre gives rise to short-chain fatty acids, which inhibit the growth of Candida.
  • Clinical overusage of antibiotics is widely recognized to precipitate Candida overgrowth.  Antibiotics kill the indigenous mucosal bacteria that normally compete with Candida for food and space, and also secrete anti-candidal substances.  In view of the explosive intensity of the overgrowth that can follow antibiotic usage, other pro-candidal mechanisms undoubtedly exist.   These could include a direct immunosuppressant effect of antibiotics; the release of immunosuppressant toxins from killed bacteria; and a direct stimulant effect on yeast growth.  Whether the intake of antibiotics in trace amounts from eating livestock treated with antibiotics is sufficient to exert a pro-candidal effect is an unresolved question.
  • Finally, the popularity of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy has played its role.  Candida is believed to possess both oestrogen(8) and progesterone(3) receptors, and exogenous sex hormones therefore feed the yeast desired molecules.  Other steroids used medically such as corticosteroids appear to exert a similar effect,(3) and additionally are immunosuppressive.

Diagnosis

The presence of Candida overgrowth can be detected in a number of ways.  These include the taking of a clinical history (there is a comprehensive questionnaire for this purpose in Dr William Crook's book, The Yeast Connection); determination of blood alcohol after a carbohydrate load; dark-field microscopy of blood; urine testing; Vega testing; kinesiology; and Vega Biokinesiology.  Since candidiasis is omnipresent in varying degrees, a further approach is to assume that it is present until proved otherwise by a three-month trial of anti-candidal therapy. 

Symptoms

It has been stated by Dr John Parks Trowbridge that virtually everyone exhibits minor symptoms of candidiasis, while about one third of the population (at least in the West) is severely affected,(3) and our experience over many years supports this remarkable assertion.  Trowbridge goes on to state that candidiasis "is a precursor for any and every degenerative disease...[since it causes] injury to every single body system,"(9) so the importance of acknowledging the prevalence of Candida is at once apparent.

Candida overgrowth causes many symptoms, the most common of which in our experience are fatigue, bloating (gas), food allergies, carbohydrate craving, vaginitis (thrush), anxiety/depression, impaired memory, poor concentration, a "foggy" brain with feelings of unreality, and general malaise.  Additionally, numerous other symptoms may less commonly be exhibited.  Of these, those we see most frequently include cystitis/urethritis, menstrual irregularities, loss of libido, stiff and painful joints, muscle pain, indigestion, diarrhoea/constipation, inhalant allergies, chemical sensitivities, catarrh, hay fever, sinusitis, persistent cough, cardiac arrhythmia, discoloured nails, acne and other skin eruptions, earaches, headaches, and dizziness.  Candida may also contribute significantly to the causation of a number of medical conditions as diverse as premenstrual tension, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, epilepsy, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, hypoadrenia, hypothyroidism, hypoglycaemia, ileocaecal valve dysfunction, and childhood hyperactivity.  The role of Candida in some of these conditions is discussed below.

Hypoadrenia

Several years ago we noted a correlation between healthy adrenal glands and the absence of candidiasis, and formed the opinion that healthy adrenal glands help protect against candidiasis. We now realize that the other side of the coin is perhaps more important: Candida commonly impairs adrenal functioning, sometimes severely so. 

Having made this latter observation, we wondered about the possible mechanism.  Initially we supposed that the Candida infection constituted an adrenal stressor, like any other infection.  We then saw a lady in whom candidiasis was a major cause of hypoadrenia, and noted that the amino acids that supported her adrenal glands best were taurine, cysteine, and glycine - all antioxidants.  Following up this clue we then ascertained that Candida and its toxins appeared to be exerting a direct cytotoxic effect on the adrenal glands via free-radical activity. 

Another mechanism suggested by our testing is that of Candida-induced autoimmune damage to the adrenal glands.  Several studies do, in fact, implicate Candida as a major cause of autoimmunity since it can reduce suppressor T-cell activity.(3)  Further, it is possible that because of a similarity between the protein sequence of the cell walls of Candida and that of human cells, antibodies directed at Candida may cross-react with human cells.(5)  We also wonder whether the presence of Candida and its toxins within a tissue causes the body to regard that tissue as non-self and therefore to initiate autoimmune attack.

Additionally, Candida toxins interfere with acetyl coenzyme A activity,(3) which could inhibit the synthesis of adrenal steroids, and further, it is believed that Candida possesses receptor sites that can bind adrenal steroids thus competing with host cells, producing apparent adrenal insufficiency.(3)

Hypothyroidism

The functioning of the thyroid gland is one of the first activities interfered with by Candida,(9) and it has been observed that 90% of Candida victims have low thyroid function.(8)  As with adrenal hormones, it appears that Candida receptor sites can bind thyroxine and render it physiologically unavailable.(8)  This may help explain the common finding of a normal blood level of thyroxine in a person who is clinically very obviously hypothyroid.  Moreover, candidiasis is commonly associated with zinc deficiency, and since zinc is necessary for the conversion of thyroxine to its active form, tri-iodothyronine, such a deficiency could produce symptoms of hypothyroidism (which also could occur in the presence of normal blood levels of thyroxine). (10)

Again, as with the adrenal glands, damage to the thyroid gland from Candida-induced free-radical activity and Candida-induced autoimmunity is a possibility.

Editorial Note: The article didn't mention the main botanical food supplement we use with herbs traditionally used to support the thyroid gland - Kelp Formula . There is a very strong similarity between symptoms of thyroid insufficiency and candida, primarily because the two problems frequently go hand in hand.

Food allergies

The relationship between food allergies and candidiasis is well-known.  Candida damages the gastrointestinal mucosa with its invading hyphae and secretory products such as phospholipase and acetaldehyde, which leads to an increase in the permeability of the mucosa ("leaky gut" syndrome).  This allows large molecules of incompletely digested food protein to enter the bloodstream, thus provoking an immune response.(6)  Additionally, irritation and inflammation of the intestine caused by Candida may impair local immunological defence mechanisms, which could result in food allergies, as could the more general immune dysfunctioning that is normally associated with candidiasis. 

The liver takes the full brunt of Candida toxins emanating from the bowel (at least one of which - acetaldehyde - is a known hepatotoxin) and also, Candida itself is likely to disseminate to the liver readily.  Liver function might therefore be expected to be disturbed in candidiasis, and this could encourage the development of food allergies since the liver is responsible for removing foreign proteins from the circulation.  Candida-induced hypoadrenia might also be part of the picture.  (Adrenal hormones modulate allergic responses.) 

The other side of the coin is that food allergies distract the immune system,(6,7) and further, produce immunosuppressive chemicals such as histamine and prostaglandin E2,(4) and therefore could predispose to candidiasis.

Hypoglycaemia

The relationship between Candida and hypoglycaemia is complex.  Both conditions can independently give rise to similar symptoms (fatigue, headaches, anxiety/depression, forgetfulness, poor concentration, carbohydrate craving);(11) hypoglycaemia, by impairing immunity (particularly neutrophil activity) can contribute to the development of candidiasis;(12) and candidiasis is implicated as a cause of hypoglycaemia.(2)

In candidiasis, Magnesium , vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate), zinc , and fatty acid deficiencies are all likely to occur and could predispose to the development of hypoglycaemia.  Hypothyroidism, hypoadrenia, and liver dysfunction induced by Candida could also give rise to hypoglycaemia.  Further, there is no doubt that hypoglycaemia can result from food allergies, which, as noted above, are common in candidiasis. Additionally, sugar metabolism at the cellular level may be impaired by Candida (Candida toxins interfere with acetyl coenzyme A activity,(3) thus reducing citric acid production), and this could give rise to hypoglycaemic-like symptoms.

Premenstrual syndrome

Most women with premenstrual tension are suffering from systemic candidiasis,(8) and a cause-and-effect relationship may sometimes be the case, since treatment of the candidiasis can eliminate the premenstrual symptoms.(13)  Candida infection disrupts the metabolism of vitamin B6 and essential fatty acids, and is associated with low levels of Magnesium, all of which could be relevant to premenstrual tension.  Further, Candida can apparently secrete oestrogens,(5) which could contribute to the oestrogen overload that characterizes most women with premenstrual tension.(14) It is also possible that Candida-induced liver dysfunction impairs the liver's ability to degrade oestrogen.  However, tissue responsiveness to oestrogen is reported to be impaired in candidiasis,(1) presumably because the yeast's oestrogen receptor sites bind oestrogen of human origin, rendering it physiologically unavailable.  The overall effect on oestrogen balance may therefore be variable, depending on which of these factors predominate.

Hyperactivity

We commonly note the existence of candidiasis in children with learning disability and hyperactivity.  Mothers of hyperactive children often give a history of candidal vaginitis, particularly during pregnancy, and the children have often been exposed to antibiotics early in life.  A low income is frequently part of the picture and leads to poor nutrition and a high-sugar diet. It can therefore be postulated that the hyperactivity results from the effect of Candida toxins on brain function, the ingress of food allergens and exorphins through a gut rendered leaky by Candida, Candida-induced chemical sensitivities, and Candida-induced nutritional deficiencies (Magnesium, zinc, pyridoxal phosphate, and gamma-linolenic acid).  Magnesium and zinc deficiencies could predispose to the heavy metal toxicity (lead,(15) copper,(15) and aluminium(16)) implicated by some authors.  Dyslectic tendencies appear to be related to Candida-derived acetaldehyde interfering with corpus callosum function. (5)

Ileocaecal valve dysfunction

The ileocaecal valve (ICV) comprises a sphincter-like thickening of the circular muscle at the distal end of the ileum and a pair of transverse folds or lips that project into the lumen of the caecum.  The purpose of the valve is to prevent the contents of the ileum (chyme) from passing into the caecum before nutrient and water absorption is complete, and to prevent the reflux of colonic contents into the ileum.(17,18)

In kinesiology, the ICV is commonly found to be malfunctioning: often it is inappropriately open and occasionally it is inappropriately closed.  The causes of such dysfunction are considered to be food sensitivities, intestinal acid/alkaline imbalance, psychological stress, and adrenal gland dysfunction.(18)

When the ICV is inappropriately open, toxic colonic waste can regurgitate into the ileum from where it can readily be absorbed.  Thus an open ICV leads to symptoms of autointoxication, which include headache, dizziness, faintness, nausea, and general achiness.  It has been pointed out in these columns (1985, March issue, p. 21) that such symptoms bear a close resemblance to those attributed to Candida, and the relationship between these two conditions therefore needs clarifying. 

Stimulated by this observation we attempted to analyse the situation kinesiologically, and concluded that the two conditions almost always co-exist, and that candidiasis is a major cause of ICV dysfunction.  Perhaps an excretory product of Candida interferes with the functioning of the valve.  It is also possible that Candida infiltrates the valve and physically prevents it from operating correctly.  Conversely, an ICV that is inappropriately open could exacerbate a candidal situation by allowing Candida access to the ileum (with consequent enhanced absorption of Candida toxins or possibly of Candida itself).

Certainly it seems wise to check for Candida overgrowth whenever the ICV is found to be dysfunctioning, and conversely to check for a dysfunctioning ICV whenever Candida overgrowth is found.  So one can cause or exacerbate the other, and both conditions can independently result in autointoxication from the bowel: Candida because it increases the permeability of the intestinal mucosa; and an open ICV because it allows colonic matter to reflux into the ileum.  And of course, either condition can be mistaken for the other.

Parenthetically, I should add that our testing suggests that intestinal parasites other than Candida (nematodes, protozoa) can also disrupt the functioning of the ICV.  As with candidiasis, parasitosis can present a diagnostic challenge, and a short trial of an appropriate therapeutic agent (see section entitled Improving the intestinal milieu) may be the best way of proceeding when parasitosis is suspected.

Part Two: Treatment

Anti-candidal therapy

There is no shortage of natural anti-candidal substances.  Indeed, we have identified more than 50 food supplements possessing such activity.  With this array to select from it is always possible to guarantee good results, although in difficult cases it can take 6-9 months to eliminate Candida overgrowth, instead of the usual 4-6 months.

Our favourite anti-candidal supplements include Mycocurb (Editorial Note: Oxygen Elements Plus or Aerobic Oxygen are acceptable alternatives), and CAN1F (hereafter referred to as Golden Seal Formula F).  Mycocurb consists of hyperoxygenated saline, which unlike hydrogen peroxide, appears to be a totally benign substance and, being a liquid, is invaluable for the treatment of children, who often are unable to swallow capsules.  Golden Seal Formula F combines various antifungal herbs, and these have been selected for their collective ability to access all body sites that may harbour Candida and to deal with all of the different strains commonly encountered. In fact, Golden Seal Formula F has simplified the treatment of candidiasis enormously.  We used to spend much time at each consultation identifying the various organs infected by Candida and would then test a variety of supplements for their activity at these sites.  We often found that several supplements had to be combined in order to achieve the spectrum of activity that we needed to eliminate Candida overgrowth completely.  Now, in all but the most complicated of cases, we have been able to abandon this tedious procedure.  We also found that resistance to individual supplements would sometimes develop, necessitating a change of supplement half-way through treatment.  This hardly ever occurs with Golden Seal Formula, presumably because of its highly composite nature. 

Defusing Candida toxins

Candida toxins are undoubtedly the cause of much of the symptomatology associated with candidiasis.  Pre-eminent among these is acetaldehyde, which poisons by irreversibly binding to tissues and destroying them by free-radical activity.(3,19)

Whilst it takes some months to eliminate Candida overgrowth, it is often possible to lower the level of Candida toxins quite quickly, and to achieve this we give Bayberry Formula alongside the anti-candidal treatment.  This formula contains herbs that support appropriate eliminatory pathways, and is also an antioxidant formula.  (One lady who was suicidal actually claimed that it saved her life by lifting her Candida-induced depression within a matter of days.)

Additionally, depending on the level of Candida toxins (we have developed a test vial for use with Vega testing or kinesiology that measures the level), we might also give zinc in ultra-pure form (NS 1) and molybdenum since the enzymes that degrade acetaldehyde (aldehyde dehydrogenase and aldehyde oxidase) are dependent on these two minerals.  In theory, taking a fibre supplement should help lower the level of Candida toxins in the intestine by binding them and by encouraging frequent bowel movements.  In practice, however, fibre supplements may not be well tolerated in those suffering from established candidiasis and/or a toxic bowel, perhaps because they stir up toxins by stimulating bowel motility, leading to their increased absorption.  Fibre supplements should therefore be introduced with some care, and taken along with plenty of water to assist in the detoxification and excretion of any mobilized toxins.

In the brain, acetaldehyde interferes with cholinergic mechanisms, inducing a relative shortage of acetylcholine (which produces problems with thinking, reading, concentration, memory, and behaviour),(5) and this can sometimes be helped by giving dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), a choline precursor that readily penetrates the blood-brain barrier, and vitamin B5, which is necessary for the acetylation of choline.  Additionally, cross-crawl techniques are useful to re-establish left-right brain coordination impaired through acetaldehyde-induced corpus callosum dysfunction.

Preventing Candida "die-off"

When treating candidiasis it is important to minimize the so-called "die-off" (Jarisch-Herxheimer) reaction, which can result when large numbers of Candida cells die, break open, and release their toxic contents.  Such a release of toxins and cellular debris can temporarily exacerbate any pre-existing symptom that is Candida-related, especially fatigue, bloating, headache, and general achiness.  Additionally, histamine-induced reactions can occur at infected sites as a result of an immune response to dead Candida cell-wall proteins.  Such reactions are most troublesome at mucous membranes.(3)

It is particularly important to prevent a die-off reaction in those suffering from certain serious conditions that may be Candida-related.  Such conditions include multiple sclerosis, asthma, epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias, depression, and arthritis.   Any exacerbation of these conditions is unacceptable, and great caution must be exercised in these circumstances.  Our approach here, and with those sensitive individuals who are likely to suffer much with die-off symptoms, is to precede anti-candidal therapy for two months by an anti-Candida-toxins regimen as outlined above, and on starting anti-candidal therapy we also give natural antihistamines such as Vitamin C , Vitamin B6 / pyridoxal phosphate, methionine, quercetin and bromelain to further attenuate the die-off reaction.  (Since Candida victims may be intolerant of the traces of corn proteins sometimes present in vitamin C, an ultra-pure form of vitamin C derived from sago.)  Only a minority will require these extra measures, however, and as long as anti-candidal therapy is started progressively (we normally start with one Golden Seal Formula capsule daily and build to the full dosage of three to six capsules daily over one month), serious die-off problems will not normally be encountered.  

Vanquishing vaginitis (vaginal thrush)

Editorial note: We have considerably altered this section of the original article to include the products which we provide that may give local relieve for vaginal thrush. We have italiscised our own comments.

Candidal vaginitis ("thrush") is a common and sometimes distressing condition that affects about 20% of all women.(3)  It should be regarded as a symptom of intestinal/systemic candidiasis rather than a separate entity, and will generally respond to intestinal/systemic anti-candidal therapy and immune enhancement measures. 

Nonetheless, local treatment is often indicated, and we generally advise the use of tea-tree oil pessaries*, or douching with herbs (CC 41) or diluted Oxypro, followed by lactobacilli (yogurt or Cervagyn cream).

Nonetheless, local treatment is often indicated, and we generally advise the use of , or douching with diluted

Editoral addition: Aerobic Oxygen, Aerobic K07, or Mycocurb are all acceptable alternative to OxyPro, and have a very similar action. This treatment may be supported with Bio-Kult .  These two approaches may be used separately or combined together for a cumulative effect. The Biokult capsules may be inserted into the vagina (the acididty of the vagina will break the capsule down) or mixed with a little live yoghurt and then applied to the area.

* We find Ozonated Olive Oil (which we market as 'Medcare') can be extremely helpful for vaginal thrush. It contains tea tree oil as well as ozonated olive oil. We regard this as our main product for symptomatic relief.

Acidifying the vagina with a vinegar bath (half a cup of white vinegar in a shallow bath) or cleansing the vagina with a salt bath (half a cup of table salt in a shallow bath) can be very helpful, as can restricting dietary sugar and dairy produce (lactose). Interestingly, vaginal thrush can initially worsen or even appear for the first time once intestinal/systemic anti-candidal therapy is started.  The cause of this phenomenon is not clear; perhaps it results from a temporary deterioration in immune status arising as part of the die-off reaction.

Candidal or other fungal infections of the skin will likewise usually respond to systemic anti-candidal therapy and immune support, and similarly, local treatment can speed up resolution of the problem. 

Editorial addition: There are a number of possibilities for treating fungal skin infections. Our primary recommended product is Ozonated Olive Oil. However MSM lotion or cream, Aqua Spirit, diluted Mycocurb or diluted Aerobic Oxygen can also be useful..

Correcting ICV dysfunction

Eliminating Candida overgrowth will do much to restore ICV dysfunction, both by removing Candida from the valve and by helping to stabilize emotions.  Kinesiology employs a number of physical or energetic corrections that can be helpful, some of which can be taught to the subject.  Certain herbs support ICV function, and these have been combined in ICV31, which we resort to if the dysfunction is particularly troublesome or painful.

Improving the intestinal milieu

Inadequate production of digestants (gastric acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile) is common and predisposes to intestinal candidiasis.   Our initial approach here is to give betaine hydrochloride and digestive enzymes (Editorial Note: the brand The Finchley Clinic recommends is called Active Digestive Enzymes).  If digestion improves with such replacement therapy we then feel justified in initiating a long-term program designed to rebuild and rejuvenate the organs of digestion using appropriate nutrients and herbs such as stomachics (HCL17) to encourage hydrochloric acid production, appropriate digestive alteratives (PAN14) to support the pancreas, and cholagogues/hepatics Milk Thistle Formula to enhance bile flow.

If Candida overgrowth is to be held in check in the colon, it is necessary to deal with the intestinal dysbiosis that is almost invariably present in those of us subsisting on a western diet.  Literally, dysbiosis means a "state of bad life" and this term is used to describe the imbalance between desirable and undesirable bacteria that can occur in the ileum and colon.  This is a large and important topic, and readers are referred to the excellent texts by Leon Chaitow & Natasha Trenev (20) and Dr Nigel Plummer.(21)

Our own approach to treating dysbiosis involves the use of anti-microbial herbs (DYS6) to reduce the population of undesirable bacteria in the colon (please note, Golden Seal Formula F also possesses considerable anti microbial effects), together with the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum We subscribe to the view that human-derived probiotics are preferable to the immunologically less acceptable bovine-derived varieties, and accordingly usually recommend only the former ( Bio-Acidophilus, Bifido-Acidophilus, Acidophilus Supreme).

Editorial note: The Finchley Clinic now usually uses Threelac or Fivelac c as our primary probiotics, as we have found it works faster than acidophilis and bifidum. We also recommend Bio-Kult if a wide spectrum friendly bacteria supplement is also required.

Dysbiosis and digestive insufficiency encourage intestinal parasites other than Candida. These include enteroviruses, protozoa, and nematodes.  Enteroviruses, if allowed to establish themselves in the colon can spread systemically to cause a myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) situation.  Protozoa and nematodes can cause a whole array of intestinal and systemic symptoms, and all three types of infection activate and burden the immune system.  We use anti-infective and immune-stimulating herbs Lapacho Formula to help deal with viruses; anti-protozoal herbs to help deal with protozoa; and vermifuge herbs to help deal with nematodes. Editorial note, our combined remedy Paratrex can be used for protozoa and nematodes.

Rebuilding the immune system

If candidiasis is regarded merely as a symptom of a weak immune system, the importance of attaining immune competence is at once apparent.  Relevant nutrient deficiencies need identifying and addressing, including those caused by Candida (see next section); mercury overload needs eliminating in those with amalgam fillings (we use MERC30, which contains appropriate detoxifying herbs, together with yeast-free selenomethionine and selected amino acids); psychological stress needs to be reduced (we use Lavendar Formula, which is a combination of botanical nervines, NSV9, which is a mixture of flower & gem resonances, and kinesiological techniques); and geopathic and electromagnetic stress needs combatting (we use GEO32, which contains herbs that support the organs responsible for resisting such stresses, NSV3, which contains flower and gem resonances known to enhance the aura, and devices such as the Charged Card MD2 and Environmental Stress Eliminator).  

It should be remembered that the liver and the adrenal glands constitute important components of the defence system, and these should be supported if necessary (we use Milk Thistle Formula and Licorice Formula or Licorice Formula A respectively).

Food allergens represent a burden on the immune system, and these should be identified and eliminated.  Apart from assisting immune recovery, this measure will often substantially reduce overall symptomatology.  (Generally speaking we do not find it necessary to impose the severe dietary restrictions recommended in most anti-candidal texts: removing dietary allergens together with sugar is usually quite adequate provided that the correct anti-candidal supplement is being taken at appropriate dosage.)

In an average case only a few of the above measures will need to be implemented, and where the budget is particularly restricted, we often merely give IMU9, which is a combination of immune-stimulating herbs, and remove allergens from the diet.

Correcting nutritional deficiencies

For reasons that are not entirely clear, candidiasis is associated with a number of nutrient deficiencies.  These include vitamin A, pyridoxal phosphate ( Vitamin B6), Magnesium, zinc, and Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids.(3,4)

One unifying hypothesis is that acetaldehyde displaces pyridoxal phosphate from its binding sites on albumin, resulting in its rapid metabolism.(19)  Since magnesium and zinc appear to be dependent on pyridoxal phosphate for their assimilation, this could lead to a deficiency of these minerals.  In turn, this would further deplete pyridoxal phosphate, and also deplete the phosphate coenzyme forms of vitamins B1, B2, and B5, since phosphate transfer is a magnesium-dependent process.  Additionally, the enzyme delta-6-desaturase is dependent on pyridoxal phosphate, magnesium, and zinc, so the conversion of cis-linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) would be inhibited by a deficiency of these co-factors. 

Alternatively, it could be argued that the Magnesium deficiency is "primary" (itself resulting from impaired renal reabsorption of magnesium consequent upon chloride retention due to the binding of chloride by leukotrienes produced as part of the inflammatory response to Candida).(4) The magnesium deficiency could then cause a depletion of the phosphate coenzyme forms of vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B6, with vitamin B6 being the most affected because pyridoxal phosphate formation is dependent on riboflavin (vitamin B2) phosphate and zinc (depleted as described above), in addition to magnesium.

With regard to vitamin A deficiency, it is theorized that the conversion of carotene to vitamin A is inhibited by Candida-induced hypothyroidism or by Candida-induced impairment of carotene dioxygenase in the intestine or liver.(4)  It may be relevant that Candida binds iron, and that carotene dioxygenase is an iron-dependent enzyme.

Whatever the mechanisms of these deficiencies, they should all be investigated and corrected where appropriate, particularly since they undoubtedly contribute to the symptomatology of candidiasis.  In view of the preceding considerations, vitamin A deficiency should be corrected with retinol rather than with carotene, and the pre-formed coenzyme forms of the B-vitamins should be preferred to the usual precursor forms.

Magnesium is a vitally important mineral, a deficiency of which can lead to multiple biochemical and physiological perturbations, including immune impairment.  It is, at the best of times, a difficult mineral to replete.  As well as eliminating Candida overgrowth it is essential to give Magnesium in a form that is well absorbed.  Over the years we have found that Magnesium Citrate citrate is one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium but noted that citrus-derived magnesium citrate is not always acceptable to those intolerant of citrus fruit.  Nowadays we therefore normally use only non-citrus-derived Magnesium Citrate (NS 4).  However, while this is an effective and inexpensive form of magnesium for most people, there is a significant minority for whom it is not adequately bioavailable. To overcome this problem, two other organic salts of magnesium have been combined with the citrate to form a complex (Magnesium Supreme) that tests as being highly bioavailable in all subjects.

{Editorial Note: We currently sell the non-citrus-derived magnesium citrate referred to above, which is fine for most people, as Magnesium Supreme is considerably dearer.}

Healing the leaky gut

As stated earlier, Candida overgrowth (and doubtless that of other intestinal parasites) damages the intestinal mucosa, leading to the leaky gut syndrome. As well as encouraging food allergies to develop, a leaky gut facilitates the absorption of toxins from the bowel.  Besides stressing the eliminatory organs, the resulting toxaemia is likely to give rise to minor symptoms such as headache, dizziness, faintness, nausea, and acne, and also is implicated in the causation of a number of major conditions including thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, pancreatitis, lupus erythematosus, allergies, asthma, and psoriasis.

Environmental allergies and chemical sensitivity may well fade once Candida overgrowth has been eliminated, and immunity thereby enhanced, but this is much less likely to occur with food allergies; here, it is essential to heal the leaky gut (which in any event should be addressed in order to minimize autointoxication).  We use Marshmallow Formula (a combination of intestinal vulneraries) as the main agent to achieve this, perhaps along with aloe vera juice, N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) or Enteroplex.

The foregoing represents a holistic and fairly exhaustive approach to the treatment of candidiasis, which of course, is not necessary in every case: often we do no more than give a single anti-candidal supplement for a few months.  However, as Pasteur eventually realized, it is the terrain not the germ that is important, and unless the factors that caused Candida to overgrow in the first place are modified, candidiasis can return with astonishing speed.

Acknowledgements

I should like to thank Leon Chaitow whose writings greatly influenced me in converting from orthodoxy to alternative medicine, Dr. Rodney Adeniyi-Jones and Harry Howell for demonstrating to me the alarming prevalence of candidiasis and the protean nature of its clinical manifestations, John Stirling for participating in many hours of colourful and candidaful discussions, Brian Butler for stimulating my interest in ileocaecal valve dysfunction, and Christine Carty for her invaluable help at the sharp end: treating and researching a clinical problem that incredibly is still largely ignored by the medical fraternity but is wrecking the lives of poor souls everywhere.

Case history #1

An apparently sullen and disagreeable 21-year-old female presented with fatigue, depression, and irritability.  These symptoms all tested as being caused by Candida, so we duly started her on anti-candidal therapy. A few months later she came running up to me, her face shining and with good eye contact, and excitedly related to me her progress.  She chatted away for fully five minutes before I recognized her, for the change in her appearance and demeanour was so dramatic.  Her mother confirmed that she no longer sat in her room all day, fatigued and depressed, and could now cheerfully converse with her father for hours on end, something she hadn't done since she was about ten. These results are all the more remarkable when one considers that the sole treatment had been a few capsules daily of a botanical anti-candidal preparation

Case history #2

Although we normally warn Candida sufferers that it will take about six months of treatment to completely eliminate Candida overgrowth, an initial improvement usually occurs within 1-2 months, and this may sometimes be spectacular, as in the following case. The lady concerned was a 29-year-old caterer who was overweight, bloated, depressed, permanently tired, and slept poorly.  Although hypothyroidism was much in evidence we decided that her candidiasis was primary, and so decided to treat this first.

We asked her to take five capsules daily of Golden Seal Formula, and instructed her to build up to this dose over one month.  We saw her again exactly two months later, by which time she had been taking the full dose for only one month.  Nonetheless the improvement in her well-being was quite remarkable.  Her excessive appetite had abated, she had lost two stones in weight, and the bloating had stopped.  The severe depression had entirely lifted, sleeping had normalized, and her energy levels had soared.  She recounted with pride how on one day the previous week she arose at 5 a.m., completed her housework, cleaned out her pets' hutches, and cooked her husband's breakfast, all by 7.30 a.m. She had never been able to accomplish anything like this before, and previously had often stayed in bed until noon.

Subsequently this lady wrote to me to say that "I feel like a changed woman since I started Golden Seal Formula.  I have more energy than I have ever had, and can get up early, something I have never done before..."  Her husband, too, enthused about her progress, and was kind enough to comment that we'd done more to help his wife in two months than the hospital had in six years.

Case history #3

About five years ago we were consulted by a 60-year-old housewife suffering from crippling joint pain and stiffness.  Our testing indicated that food allergies, particularly to wheat, were responsible, and that these were caused by pancreatic insufficiency and candidiasis.  We gave her Phaseolus Similiplex for the pancreas, lapacho for the candidiasis, and asked her to eliminate wheat, tomatoes, and caffeinated beverages from her diet.  Over the next six months or so there was an enormous improvement in the arthritis and it eventually became possible for her to eat bread without it causing a flare-up in her condition.   Her energy levels, always on the low side, improved somewhat.

Recently, the lady again consulted us.  The arthritis was still reasonably well-controlled as long as she avoided her allergens but she was now disabled by an overwhelming fatigue.  She repeatedly fell asleep throughout the day, and having walked from the car-park was barely able to stand once she had reached our premises.  Additionally there was a mental obfuscation and a loss of her usual good humour. Candida appeared to have returned with a vengeance, so we selected Golden Seal Formula from our now much expanded anti-candidal repertoire, which she took at a dosage of three capsules daily.  Over the ensuing months it was a joy to see her energy levels and good nature return.  She now engages in lively conversations with staff members when she visits us and remains standing for long periods.  Her arthritis is further improved, her catarrh is less, and her abdomen feels more comfortable.  We know that we have not yet optimized her health and that much remains to be done (including improving her immunity to prevent further relapses), but eliminating Candida overgrowth has certainly restored her zest for life.

Case history #4

Some years ago we saw a 12-year-old boy who had developed periodic whole body jerking that had been diagnosed by a neurologist as being a form of dystonia.  Our testing suggested that it was a variant of epilepsy, and we accordingly started him on an anti-epileptic regimen.  Sadly, there was very little improvement and because of the expense of a regimen that appeared not to be working, his mother discontinued the treatment.

Some eighteen months later the mother again approached us for help.  The news now was that the boy was substantially worse and that a diagnosis of non-verbal Tourette's syndrome had been made by the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases.  At this stage I felt that a fresh viewpoint would help and referred the boy to Dr Rodney Adeniyi-Jones, who, after a couple of sessions referred the boy back to me with the diagnosis of candidiasis.  (We had missed a case of Candida!  Never, ever again!  From now on, everyone gets checked!) 

An anti-candidal and anti-Candida-toxins program was mounted using Oxypro [Editorial note, this is a similar product to Aerobic Oxygen] and various other supplements, and more or less at the same time we started resonance therapy for obvious emotional disturbance, and provided a device to counter electromagnetic stress.  These measures combined have led to a huge reduction in the boy's distressing condition and a much more loving attitude towards his family.  This is one of several epileptiform diseases that we have seen in which Candida has been strongly implicated.

Case history #5

A 37-year-old female schoolteacher consulted us because of increasing unwellness.  As a child she had suffered much with repeated colds, coughs, and earache, and had received the customary treatment with antibiotics.  These frequent infections, together with flu-like episodes, continued throughout adolescence and into adulthood.  During a four-year stay at college she received several courses of oxytetracycline from the college doctors, and it was at this time that she first suffered from vaginal thrush.  The thrush re-emerged during two out of three pregnancies, and thereafter a more or less constant malaise, depression, and disconcerting brain fogginess were also part of the picture. Our testing confirmed the presence of candidiasis, so we started treatment with Golden Seal Formula.  A week later an unpleasant episode of hypoglycaemia occurred, so we replaced Golden Seal Formula with Bayberry Formula. in order to help reduce Candida toxins, and added HEN16, a botanical tonic.  An anti-hypoglycaemic diet was also started at this time.

Within a few days the weepiness and feelings of helplessness disappeared, and after a few weeks we restarted Golden Seal Formula.  Subsequently there was a gradual return of energy, well-being, enthusiasm, and clear-thinking.  Even immunity has returned, for the lifelong frequent colds and infections have ceased, and currently our patient is the only member of her family who is not suffering with a heavy cold.

Case history #6

During one of my rare (well, one and only actually) and scintillating (well, almost) television appearances, I propounded a view on the causation of M.E. that encompassed the Candida connection.  The establishment spokesman, a learned medical professor, was asked to comment on my views, and rather generously indicated that there might indeed be merit in what I was saying.  My fame thus assured, I set off home to learn that the phone had already begun to ring, and over the next few months we seemed to deal with nothing but M.E. and Candida cases.

In most cases of M.E that we have seen there is an active (as opposed to post-) viral situation together with candidiasis.  We believe that either infection can result in typical M.E. symptoms and that either infection can predispose to the other by undermining the immune system.  When candidiasis is the dominant infection recovery can be gratifyingly swift, as the following case history demonstrates.

The lady concerned was a 34-year-old housewife who had been diagnosed as having M.E. and came to us via the aforementioned television program.  She was fatigued, depressed, tearful, mentally confused, forgetful, lacked confidence, constipated, and suffered bloating after eating.  Symptoms regularly worsened each autumn, suggesting a mould sensitivity.  She had been like this since her late teens.

Although we could detect the presence of various viruses that have been linked to M.E., the levels were no more than we find in the average person, so we decided our approach would be mainly anti-candidal.  In addition to anti-candidal supplements, very large doses of pancreatin and moderate amounts of betaine hydrochloride were necessary to assist in removing Candida from the intestines, and to deal with the constipation.  After several months on these and other supplements there was virtually a complete disappearance of all symptoms, which correlated with the disappearance of Candida overgrowth, and the lady became positively radiant and good fun to work with.  She eventually abandoned her program without ill effects when she became pregnant. 

The improvement that occurred in this lady's mental functioning reminds me of another lady who once declared, after we had successfully battled long and hard against her cerebral Candida, "You've done something for which I shall always be grateful - you've given me my brain back."  Another very memorable comment from a freshly decandidarized lady was "You know, they say you can't buy health, but you can!"

References

1.  Truss, CO, The Missing Diagnosis, The Missing Diagnosis Inc., Alabama, 1982.

2.  Crook, WG, The Yeast Connection, Professional Books, Tennessee , 1986.

3.  Trowbridge, JP, Walker , M, The Yeast Syndrome, Bantam Books, London , 1986.

4.  Galland, LD, "Nutrition and Candida albicans". In A Year in Nutritional Medicine, Keats Publishing Inc., Connecticut , 1986.

5.  Rochlitz, S, Allergies and Candida, with the 21st Century Solution, Human Ecology Balancing Sciences Inc., New York, 1988.

6.  Chaitow, L, Candida Albicans - Could Yeast be your Problem?, Thorsons, London , 1985 & 1991.

7.  Rosenbaum ME, Bosco, D, The Super Supplements Bible, Thorsons, London ,1987.

8.  Smith, LH, "Trouble in the thyroid: keeping our fires lit", Health News & Review, 1992; 2: 6.

9.  Trowbridge, JP, "An update on the yeast syndrome", Health News & Review,1992; 2: 10 .

10. Passwater, RA, Cranton, EM, Trace Elements, Hair Analysis and Nutrition, Keats Publishing Inc., Connecticut, 1983.

11. Budd, ML, Low Blood Sugar, Thorsons, London , 1984.

12. Lorenzani, S, Candida - A Twentieth Century Disease, Keats Publishing Inc., Connecticut, 1986.

13. Chaitow, L, Fatigue, Thorsons, London , 1988.

14. Abraham, GE, "Nutritional factors in the etiology of the premenstrual tension syndromes", Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 1983; 28: 447-464.

15. Pfeiffer, CC, Zinc and other Micro-Nutrients, Keats Publishing Inc., Connecticut , 1978.

16. Davies, S, Stewart, A, Nutritional Medicine, Pan Books, London , 1987.

17. Guyton, AC, Textbook of Medical Physiology, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia , 1981.

18. Walther, DS, Applied Kinesiology - Synopsis, Systems DC, Colorado , 1988.

19. Truss , CO , "Metabolic abnormalities in patients with chronic candidiasis: the acetaldehyde hypothesis", Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry, 1984; 13: 66-93.

20. Chaitow, L, Trenev, N, Probiotics, Thorsons, London , 1990.

21. Plummer, N, The Lactic Acid Bacteria - Their Role in Human Health, BioMed Publications, West Midlands , 1992.

Biography of Sherridan Stock

Sherridan Stock spent the first 20 years or so of his professional life as a pharmacologist in the pharmaceutical industry, until his work as Head of the Pharmacology Department for one company involved developing drugs from natural sources and he became less 'chemical' in his outlook. He eventually became a convert to the non-drug approach to the treatment of disease. Along with Dr Rodney Adeniyi-Jones and Christine Carty he established natural medicine clinics in London and Rainham in Kent. Over the past few years they have developed Vega Biokinesiology, a methodology for analysing disease. Sherridan Stock has written for several medical and natural medicine publications.

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        Tuesday 30th December 2003  
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Candida Article #3: Conquering Candida