I've done a lot of research on Candida over the past two decades and as an Executive Recruiter in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, subscribed to dozens of medical journals and joined over 25 scientific associations. I kept my eye on every company, big or small, that was doing research in this area. While the medical doctors don't generally recognize Candida overgrowth, except in immune suppressed patients (AIDS, cancer, etc.), thankfully the scientific research is ongoing. Unfortunately, it can take decades for an actual drug to go from research and discovery to market, and I probably would be dead by that time.
Professor David Sackett, M.D., a pioneer of "evidence-based medicine," famously told his students, "Half of what you'll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half - so the most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own." Science depends upon such a sentiment, and honors the doubter and iconoclast who overturns false paradigms. Most medical doctors do not believe (because they are not taught), that an overgrowth of candida exists beyond the dying AIDS or cancer patient.
As the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote, "All truth goes through three phases. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self evident.” Most doctor's opinions about candida usually fall somewhere between the first and second phases.
Candida can manage to hide (sometimes for years) in parts of the body where traditional therapies don’t always reach, in our joints, for example and the deep folds of the intestines. It thrives on the foods that are a large part of the typical American diet, which in addition alters intestinal pH unfavorably. Taking antibiotics, steroids, or oral contraceptives can also trigger the change from good yeast to bad. Stress contributes to its proliferation, as does refined sugar. And because of its adaptability, it can be easily transmitted from person to person in a family. Mothers can pass it to their children through breast feeding, or through the birth canal, and of course, through intimate contact with their partners.
When our bodies lose their proper immune protection, this normal resident of our intestinal tract can “morph” from being a beneficial yeast into a harmful fungus. In its fungal form it develops rhizoids (long root-like structures that are invasive and penetrate the mucosa). Once this happens, the boundary between our intestinal tract and the rest of the circulatory system breaks down (leaky gut), and this can allow partially digested proteins to travel into the bloodstream where they can act as toxins and cause all sorts of health problems.
Once you get the overgrowth under control, the intestines can begin to heal and toxins will not be able to travel into the bloodstream in the future. The liver works in conjunction with the colon, kidneys and skin to excrete toxins from your blood. The toxins from a yeast overgrowth may already have overloaded your liver and kidneys and they cannot be expelled fast enough. The body tries to expel any excess toxins through the skin, which can cause rashes, itching and even acne. That's why the skin is often called the third kidney. In order to have a healthy, functioning liver and kidneys take care of the problem in your intestines first. Once the colon is healthy, the liver and kidneys can become clean and healthy.
Alyson and I realize now that is why our skin looks so youthful and rosey, why her "liver spots" on her hands completely disappeared and why our hair and nails are so strong now. We now know it's all tied together, with the Candida yeast/fungal overgrowth being the root cause.
Alyson also knew that there was a definite hormone connection as her symptoms used to flare up right on schedule during menstruation. After some research, she has read that this is because after the hormones have been used by your body, they are also removed from the blood and excreted from the system by the liver. Again, if the liver is already not functioning at 100% (which it's usually not when you have this condition), then these hormones and toxins remain in the blood as well. As a result, she has read, hormones get can get out of balance.
It certainly seems to make sense. Now that she is rid of her Candida overgrowth, her hormones don't get out of balance any more. It's one symptom she was very happy to be rid of.
There is an article written by Miriam Brazel, author of the book, Hormone Imbalance, The Mysterious Illness that address the hormone/yeast connection as well as the connection to other diseases. She quotes a lot from William Crook, M.D., author of the book, "The Yeast Connection" and "The Yeast Connection for Women."
An overgrowth of Candida yeast/fungus can cause food sensitivities and/or food cravings in some people. If you are already on a restrictive diet, remain on it while you are ridding your body of the yeast. Once your system normalizes, you can begin slowly trying to add foods back into your diet. If you crave things like sugar and carbohydrates (Candida thrives on them both), get off the sugar and don't go overboard on the carbohydrates while you are on the program. You may well find that once you are rid of the excess yeast, these cravings will actually subside.
Symbion contains three strains of highly effective beneficial spore-forming lactic acid bacteria that have been proven to not only get the aggressive candida strains back under control and in balance with our body’s natural ecosystems, but to prevent the overgrowth of the aggressive strains of candida in the future. Symbion bacteria cause the body to become a more balanced alkaline and pH levels normalize, a condition the candida yeast simply cannot thrive in (candida thrives in an acidic environment). As these friendly bacteria crowd out the overgrowth of candida yeast and toxic bacteria in the intestines, symptoms eventually disappear altogether. Because it doesn’t directly attack the candida yeast, the yeast doesn’t mutate, but simply dies away over time.
Symbion Ingredients: Bacillus coagulans (200 million CFU*), Bacillus subtilus (100 million CFU), Enterococcus faecium (100 million CFU), Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).
Each bottle contains 120 vegetarian caplets and contains no yeast, corn, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, sugar, salt, nuts or starch.
Symbion™ is manufactured in the U.S.A. in an FDA certified cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices), Kosher pharmaceutical facility, using only the purist, pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Each batch is DNA tested for ingredient purity, quality, and CFU concentration to ensure uniformity. More information about Symbion can be found at their website www.SymbionProbiotics.com.
This proprietary formulation contains three strains of live lactic acid bacteria:
- Spore Forming Lactic Acid Bacteria (Bacillus Coagulans)
- Spore Forming Bacteria (Bacillus Subtilis)
- Lactic Acid Bacteria (Group D [non-toxic] Enterococcus Faecalis)
All in a proprietary microencapsulation delivery system which gets those bacteria into the intestines alive and unharmed.
Other ingredients include lemon juice powder (for flavoring), refined yeast powder (a small amount, which simply feeds the ThreeLac while in shipping and will not affect yeast sensitive individuals), and fiber (FOS, which feeds the live bacteria). Do not refrigerate ThreeLac.
Once in the intestines, these oxygen-friendly bacteria go to work eliminating anaerobic problem organisms like yeast and fungus. An added benefit is that ThreeLac helps to balance the body's pH.
Per Global Health Trax, ThreeLac does not interfere with other medications or OTC products you may be taking. If you are taking antibiotics, take the ThreeLac as far apart from them as possible. Here is a note from the CEO:
There has been no indication of drug interaction with our natural products. Encourage your customers to have their doctors' monitor them while under the care of their physician. As their bodies begin to function appropriately, their physician may need to adjust their medications accordingly.
Global Health Trax, Inc.
Another product, Oxygen Elements Plus (now called Oxygen Elements Max), will create a rich oxygen environment that ThreeLac thrives in. Anaerobic organisms thrive in the absence of oxygen. I also mixed 3 drops in 1/2 oz. of pure water and used it topically, as well as a nasal wash. Any left over we soaked our toothbrushes in. (We also put two drops in our 13 year old dogs water bowls and they are running around like young pups again).
More information about all of GHT's products can be found at their website (see How to Order).
Statement regarding safety and purity:
"All imported products are required to be tested annually for purity and safety. The tests are thorough and stringent. The branch of FDA that oversees imports is very concerned with public safety, and we agree with this concern.
The FDA’s testing methods for this product are time-consuming and thorough and the latest testing was completed on June 15th, 2004. The great news for all of us is that we have the fully tested approval of FDA behind ThreeLac. You can inform your customers when they ask, that ThreeLac is safe and pure based on exacting tests performed by the Food and Drug Administration."
Global Health Trax, Inc.
Following is an excerpt from an article written on September 9, 1999 from CNN.com/Health featuring interviews with Dr. Jens Poinkau of The Mayo Clinic by CNN Medical Correspondent, Dr. Steve Salvatore:
"Fungus may be the cause of almost all cases of the most frequently reported chronic disease in the United States, sinusitis, instead of only a few as previously thought. The Mayo Clinic research team looked at 210 patients with sinusitis and discovered more than 40 different kinds of fungi in their nasal passages."
'We were able to find fungus which was never thought to be there in almost every case of chronic sinusitis,' said Mayo Clinic's Dr. Jens Poinkau. He goes on to say, 'The problem is that patients are sensitive to the fungus. And until we find something to change the DNA of that person, or the genetics of that person, change their sensitivity to the fungus, they are always going to be sensitive to that fungus.' The last sentence of the report reads, "They estimate it will be two years before any treatments are available."
They have since made exciting progress in their research, as reported on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
And finally, the following:
"The problem with Candida is that it is an amazingly opportunistic and adaptive organism.
All it needs for Candida to invade your gut is for something to kill off the normal flora; the bacteria that aid digestion and protect the gut from yeast.
Once the flora are damaged, yeast will invade. In ideal circumstances, Candida can double in quantity every half hour, so it takes very little time for it to populate a damaged intestine.
Hormones, antibiotics, environmental toxins, heavy metals and poor dietary habits can all contribute or cause a yeast infection
Once in the gut, Candida creates an environment that prevents the normal flora from repopulating. The lack of flora causes mal-digestion of certain sugars, carbohydrates, minerals and trace nutrients and leaves food to rot in the gut, creating an ideal environment for the Candida.
According to the conditions it finds, Candida can exist in 3 forms; a budding, multiplying yeast, a hyphae form, which penetrates the gut wall in search of nutrition in the blood and as highly invasive spores, which penetrate the gut wall to be transported in the blood stream to other organs.
A Candida diet without antimicotics will simply cause the Candida to change form and send hyphae through the wall of the gut and into the underlying blood vessels in search of glucose, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. In leaky gut syndrome, food particles are then free to enter the blood circulation and trigger allergic reactions.
Taking yeast medication like Diflucan or Nystatin can temporarily relieve symptoms, but unless measures are taken to repopulate the gut with friendly bacteria and correct whatever caused them to die off in the first place, the yeast will simply grow back, hence reports that while killing the yeast helps alleviate symptoms, the effect is usually only temporary.
Once the yeast has overgrown the gut, malnutrition will result, in the form of vitamin and trace nutrient deficiencies. In addition, the constant presence of a pathogen will stimulate the immune system 24 x 7 x 365, eventually causing immune deficiency (as found in CFS) and severe fatigue. Victims will experience a multitude of symptoms caused by malnutition, an impaired immune system, toxins from the yeast's metabolic processes and from the physical presence of the yeast."
While ThreeLac works in the intestines, the Oxygen Elements Plus (OE+) works throughout the rest of your body. Global Health Trax conducted independent USP Microbiological tests and found that OE+ not only kills the fungi Candida albicans (yeast) and A. niger (mold), it also kills several different bacteria: E. coli, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus.
Since Candida is always living in our guts in the yeast form, we just don't want it to overgrow or to morph into the fungal form. Maintaining proper intestinal pH and a healthy flora balance is key to maintaining a healthy body.
A standard and universally accepted written questionnaire was developed by William G. Crook, M.D. and will help you and your Doctor determine the level of yeast in your body. It is a comprehensive questionnaire and the one I prefer. It can be a real eye opener, as most people don't realize all of the symptoms they are suffering with can be yeast related. To take the Long Questionnaire and for more information about available tests, click here: Yeast Tests.