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Candida – The Master of Punishment and Reward

Candida (Candida albicans), as a fungus, is a bizarre  life form that is part animal, part vegetable, and part bacterial in nature.  They are eukaryotes, which comes from a Greek word meaning “true nut”.   The main part of their outer cell wall is composed of chitin, similar to what vegetables have, giving it a tough, rigid form.  The “nut” part is the membrane sac composed of lipoprotein (fats and proteins) which is the same cellular structure humans and animals have, and a nucleus at its center, which contains the DNA.   Candida can produce asexually, like bacteria, or sexually, clone itself, and alter its shape by rearranging its chromosomal structure into at least 7 different forms in order to ensure its ability to survive.  When it switches to invasive form, it becomes multi-cellular, growing hyphae or long root like structures which puncture the intestinal wall and allow it to feed – not just on sugar, but other nutrients the host should be getting.  In other words, if you have a Candida overgrowth, the Candida is stealing your nutrition.  These Candida colonies cover themselves with a thick protective biofilm which can grow up to 450 μm thick and make the colony very difficult to dislodge.  It is further protected by its tough cell wall.  

These very adaptable creatures further have the ability to simply hibernate when their food supply is inadequate, and come back out again when you consume sugar or carbohydrates – which explains why you can feel an intense rush of returning symptoms  so suddenly if you have been trying to follow a Candida diet and then eat something you shouldn’t.  When you eat sugar, the Candida ferments it and forms Acetylaldehyde, the same product that results when alcohol is broken down by the liver.  Acetylaldehyde combines with two key neurotransmitters, dopamine and seratonin, which act as chemical messengers, relaying nerve signals through the brain.  These are further broken down into morphine like molecules which occupy the same receptor sites as beta endorphins, and are highly addictive.  Next to directly consuming alcohol, production from Candida is the second major cause of Acetylaldehyde entering the brain.  Dopamine regulates a number of things including the sensation of feeling pleasure and stimulates one to seek pleasurable behaviors such as food, sex, or drugs that release dopamine, and is responsible for the strong cravings of addiction.   Serotonin also does many things, and is responsible for regulating appetite and sexual behavior as well as mood, aggression and ability to sleep.  Serotonin is also critical for proper function of the gastrointestinal tract muscles, immune function, and the cardiovascular and renal systems.  

Initially, Acetylaldehyde will release a flood of serotonin in the brain, resulting in a euphoric feeling of relaxed inhibition.  Needless to say, if you have Candida overgrowth and consume alcohol, you are getting a double whammy. However, ultimately, elevated amounts of Acetylaldehyde result in a vicious cycle of neurotransmitter depletion and displacement that play havoc with your brain chemistry and produce intense, uncontrollable cravings.   The Candida very effectively set you up for an unending roller coaster ride, rewarding you with a rush of opiate like feel good hormones when they get what they want – a feast of sugars and carbohydrates – and then punish you with uncontrollable cravings as their supply runs out and they demand more.

According to Dr. William Crook, author of 14 books and most famous for his pioneering work in studying yeast overgrowth, numerous people suffering from  with depression,  fatigue,muscle and joint pain headache, and digestive problems have been repeatedly misdiagnosed and/or have taken many tests which  find nothing wrong, but in fact they have Candida.  When the patient is treated with anti-fungal drugs, yeast spores often remain circulation in the blood-stream sometimes for years, even for decades, and can cause re-infection at any time.  As part of their growth process, Candida also secrete toxins, digestive enzymes, and fungal acid into the tissues of their host, feeding not only on sugar but on the amino acids of protein molecules they derive from the host’s tissue.  At least 79 different species of Candida endotoxins have been identified, including some which are neurotoxins that can cause damage to the central nervous system, depression, mood changes, aggression, and neurotic behaviors.  Candida further punish you by emitting these toxins when they die, known as “die-off reaction” or “Herximer effect”.  This can include symptoms such as:

  • sinus congestion, sore throat, cough
  • itching or skin rashes
  • fatigue, aches in muscles and joints
  • headaches
  • gas, bloating, digestive upsets, IBS like symptoms
  • heart palpitations, low blood pressure, fever, chills
  • blurred vision
  • anxiety or depression
  • intense cravings

These are built-in survival mechanisms of the species by discouraging the host from actions which kill the yeast, reduce their food supply or alter their comfortable living environment in which they want to continue to stay and grow and propagate.  The host is left in a constant state of putting up with unpleasant discomforts due to the Candida’s presence, which seem to intensify both when trying to get rid of the Candida, or if one slips back to forbidden foods  when temporary relief is obtained following a rigid and difficult to stick with Anti-Candida diet.  There also are differences of opinion with different Anti-Candida diets as to which foods are or are not allowed.  It will take some experimentation to find out which things work the best in your situation, but awareness is key, and even if you don’t have a Candida infection, being aware and taking preventive measures can help you avoid this very unpleasant and difficult to eradicate experience.

Some Anti-Candida diets for instance do not allow grains while others do.

In fact, thinking you are making healthy choices by trying to eat whole grain breads and cereals can feed the Candida just as easily because they are more difficult to digest.  Even many popular “natural” cereals are laden with GMOs.  (GMO refers to Genetically Modified Organisms, meaning any living thing which has had its genes modified by adding a gene from an unrelated species.) Wheat is the third leading crop in the U.S. and the U.S. supplies about 10% of the world’s wheat.  Many countries will not accept crops that are GMO, so for wheat growers, the topic is a sensitive one.  The FDA has not approved genetic modification of wheat and America’s wheat crop is supposed to be non-GMO, except last year some escaped  GMO wheat seed from biotech research giant Monsanto that mysteriously appeared in the field of an Oregon farmer eight years after testing was supposed to have been over with.   In spite of this fiasco, Monsanto has persisted with their experiments of unapproved GMO wheat and has just proclaimed the first ever GMO wheat crop will soon be ready, where it is growing at an undisclosed field in North Dakota.   Monsanto owns 90 – 95% of the seed companies out there.  However, even if our wheat is not GMO, it has been so intensively hybridized during the past 60 years to create hardier, more profitable crops, that its nutritional profile has completely changed, resulting in a myriad of health issues. These wheats contain phytic acid which prevents proper absorption of needed minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc.  They contain lectins which cause inflammation and insulin resistance. They contain amylopectin A, which raises blood sugar faster even than table sugar. Two slices of whole wheat bread will spike blood sugar more than eating a candy bar. They contain gliadin a protein within gluten which we cannot fully digest, contributing to Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Corn is the largest US crop, and 90% of it is GMO, and 80% of it is controlled by Monsanto.  94% of US soy (90% controlled by Monsanto), and 95% of the sugar beets (which come from Monsanto and represent more than half of the sugar in the US) are also GMO.

Also thanks to Monsanto, use of the popular herbicide Roundup (glyphosphate) which they created has tripled since 1997, and is the excuse for all the “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered crops.  Last May, the Environmental Protection Agency adopted new standards allowing glyphosphate in oilseed crops such as flax, soybeans, and canola to be doubled to 40 ppm.  This is more than 100,000 times the amount needed to induce breast cancer cells.  The EPA also increased allowable levels of glyphosphate in food crops from 200 ppm to 6000 ppm.  Organ damage has occurred in animals as low as 0.1 ppm.  Glyphosphate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer is the word’s best selling herbicide, used in over 150 crops in over 90 countries.  A recent European study tested volunteers from 18 countries, all living in cities, and who had never before touched or handled glyphosphate.  Yet 44% of those tested had glyphosphate in their urine.  In a bizarre twist, the Supreme Court has just decided to side with Monsanto whose patented GMO seeds are finding their way into the crops of small organic farmers and contaminating them. Not only are these farmers unable to sue Monsanto for damages to their crops, instead Monsanto has filed more than 100 lawsuits against these farmers for growing their patented seed – which the farmers did not want, did not plant, and had no intention of growing.  But the Supreme Court agreed these farmers have to pay royalties to Monsanto for using their patented seed. Monsanto owns 1676 seed and plant patents and 40% of US cropland or 151.4 million acres are planted with Monsanto’s GMO glyphosphate laden crops.  64 countries require GMO labeling, but the US does not, largely due to Monsanto’s influence. What does all this have to do with Candida?  Well, as it turns out, glyphosphate causes radical disruption of the life cycle of the bacteria in your boy – and it preferentially attacks the good bacteria, allowing Candida and other harmful species to take over.  

However, as increasing numbers of people are becoming aware of these facts, the struggle with Candida is not entirely lost.

Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Candida attacks and remains in individuals with a weakened immune system.  Therefore, doing everything you can to build up and strengthen your immune system is key.  Whatever diet you choose to follow, make sure it allows for adequate nutrients, and take additional supplements as needed.  Take a fiber supplement and drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins, and try to plan your schedule to ensure you get enough uninterrupted rest each night.
  2. Candida feeds on sugars and carbohydrates, including complex carbohydrates.  To get Candida under control, these foods must be minimized as much as possible, making every effort to avoid GMO foods which favor Candida.  Foods to avoid include soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, beet sugar, Hawaiian papaya, crookneck squash, and some varieties of zucchini, unless labeled 100% USDA Organic.  Focus on adequate amounts of protein, healthy fats and  fresh, preferably organic low carb alkalizing vegetables, and healthy fats.  Avoid processed, boxed, canned, and packaged foods.
  3. Avoid using glyphosphate weed killers on your lawn, garden or crops and support organic growers.  New studies conducted in Mississippi and Iowa found glyphosphate  present in 60 – 100% o all air and water samples.
  4. If you eat meat or dairy products, choose sources from quality organic grass-fed individuals
  5. Help support intestinal function and  balance of healthy bacteria by consuming daily: 1-4 oz aloe vera juice, 1-4 oz Young Living NingXia Red, 2 – 4 T daily of pure, preferably organic coconut oil, Redmond Clay, Young Living Megacal, 8 oz plain organic Kefir, 2 T of organic sauerkraut, and if possible 8 oz home-made bone broth (made from quality organic grass-fed beef bones or free range chickens).
  6. To help support an intestinal environment that favors beneficial bacteria:
  • 2-4 T pure organic coconut oil
  • Young Living brands of : Lemongrass,(Cymbopogon flexuosus), Thyme, (Thymus vulgaris, CT thymol), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).  Take 2-3 drops of any two oils from this list (which are on the GRAS list for dietary supplement ) combined with pure organic olive oil in clear vegetable capsules, then rotating to two others the next time, up to 4 times per day.
  • Young Living essential oil blends of Thieves {Clove† (Syzygium aromaticum), Lemon† (Citrus limon), Cinnamon† (Cinnamomum verum), Eucalyptus† (Eucalyptus radiata), and Rosemary† (Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1,8 cineol).; DiGize {Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma and J. scopulorum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), and Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin); Longevity {Thyme (Thymus vulgaris CT thymol), Orange (Citrus aurantium), Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)}; and ImmuPower {Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Mountain Savory (Satureja montana), cistus (Cistus ladanifer), Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), oregano (Origanum vulgare), Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and idaho tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) may also be used.  For blends, take one at a time, 4-6 drops with olive oil in clear veg caps, up to 4x day, rotating with other blends or singles.
  • Young Living MegaCal and/or Young Living Alkazyme formula will help maintain and support proper pH balance of the digestive tract.
  • Other helpful supplements include Garlic Oil, Pau D’Arco, Black Walnut, and Grapefruit Seed Extract.  Try to rotate these.
  • drinking water with fresh lemon will also help alkalize and cleanse the system

Go slowly with diet and anti-fungals at first to minimize die-off effects.  You will need to experiment and find which foods seem to be your personal triggers and avoid those at least for a time.   Some you may be able to add back in later, however all sugars, GMO and processed foods should be kept as minimal as possible.  Organic foods wherever possible are worth the effort, and/or fresh produce from your own garden or other small local growers.  For me, switching to organic full fat milk made a huge difference, especially if it is from grass-fed cows.  If you can find a good source of raw milk, even better.  Raw or organic goat milk is also an option.    Avoid heavy and/or difficult to digest meals as these will provide a ready source of food for Candida and encourage a Candida population explosion.  For sweets, try minimal amounts of dark chocolate, at least 72% cacao occasionally.  Organic raw  honey, organic maple syrup, and organic blackstrap unsulphured molasses from pure cane sugar may be used occasionaly as sweeteners in small amounts.  Many Anti-Candida diets suggest avoiding fermented foods but some of these such as organic apple cider vinegar, plain organic kefir, organic sauerkraut or other organic fermented vegetable can be very helpful.  Remember that meats and cheeses tend to be acid forming foods and should be eaten in moderation and balanced with alkalizing foods.  It will take time and patience and persistence, but balance can be restored.  However, if your struggle is seemingly endless despite diligently trying your best, it also possible you may have SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) either instead of, or in conjunction with, Candida.  Most of the symptoms for SIBO are very similar to Candida.

To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and how they may support a healthy lifestyle, please visit The Oil Well

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Author: ocequine3

Brenda Tippin is a Biologial Technician, Free-lance writer, and Morgan horse historian who has studied and used natural health products for more than 30 years. She is an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils which she has used successfully for herself, family, friends, horses and other pets. Brenda has written more than 40 articles for The Morgan Horse magazine since 1985, as well as other equine publications. She is a consultant and member of the project team for a new documentary film being developed on the Morgan as America's first horse breed, and is currently working on a book of her compiled articles and research. Brenda is also the author of the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report avaliable for free download (small donations appreciated to help defray costs of research.) Brenda has worked for the US Forest Service since 1979 in a variety of projects including wildlife surveys and 26 seasons staffing a remote fire tower to spot forest fires.

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