By ARIADNE WEINBERG, Featured Columnist
Candida may seem relatively innocuous. After all, the organic substance is only a yeast, right?
Unfortunately, the overgrowth of candida can lead to many different kinds of nasty conditions, ranging from the mundane yeast infections, to sinus inflammation (sinusitis), to even death.
Candida is the fourth most common source of hospital-acquired infection and the number one most common opportunistic infection in HIV-positive individuals. This opportunistic pathogenic microorganism is not to be trifled with.
Candida binds with a protein to invade and infect the body more efficiently. The micro-organism often targets the gut.
However, the effects are widespread, and may not just lead to a deadly reaction, yeast infection, or cold, but to more mundane, unfortunate conditions as well, such as acne, headaches, brain fog, constipation and that darned ringing in your ears. Many of our modern common woes in fact.
Candida has many different kinds of strains, including Candida tropicalis, involved in blood infections, Candida Glabrata, connected to oral thrush, and rare strains such as Candida Krusei and Candida Lusitaniae. Here we will mostly be focusing on the most common Candida Albicans, but the cures can apply to various types.
Eliminate Sugar and Certain Other Foods
There are certain foods that help yeast grow. According to naturopathic doctor and Dartmouth graduate Maura Henninger, there are several foods you can eliminate to suppress the candida growth in your tummy.
First step is no sugar. That’s a tough one, I know, but your overall health will improve, too. Second, no fruit in the 1st two weeks, then after that, you should choose fruit with a low glycemic index. Milk is also a no-no, as well as foods that contain yeast, including: alcohol, melons, and peanuts. You can also work experimentally with yourself and a doctor to see if you have any food sensitivities and allergies that are exacerbating the growing yeast.
2. Try Probiotics
In 2014, D. Li from the Sichuan University in Chengdu, China looked at 65 patients with candida-associated stomatitis. Li and researchers studied the effects of local antifungal agents alone as well as those agents in addition to local probiotics. These two options were administered for 3 days a week for 4 weeks.
The candida growth was lowered in both groups, but had a lower reduction rate in the probiotic group. Ask your doctor what might be some good probiotics to feed your tummy. Here are foods that act as natural probiotics.
3. Kill Candida Yeast with Coconuts
Capric acid, a substance found in coconut, has proven especially effective for killing off stomach yeast. In 2012, M. Takahashi and researchers from the Teiko University of Medical Mycology in Japan assessed the anti c. albicans activities of capric acid and lauric acid.
After doing the tests in lab dishes (in vitro), they discovered that all 4 substances inhibited the growth of stomach yeast, but capric and caprylic acid at low concentrations were the most effective.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar to the Rescue
Apple cider vinegar seems to be a cure-all for everything these days. The substance is a great bacteria-killer.
A 2015 study by A.C. Mota from the Jao Pessoa University in Paraíba, Brazil, revealed that the active ingredients in apple cider vinegar made the liquid a great anti-fungal agent. They evaluated the antifungal activity in-vitro of apple cider vinegar on candida bacteria, as well as figuring out the minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum fungicidal concentration of apple cider vinegar with 4% maleic acid and of nystatin.
The active ingredient, maleic acid, showed a stronger antifungal property. If you’d like to try a good recipe to fight off stomach yeast, try a tablespoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water. You can drink that after meals to calm your tummy. Be sure to ask your doctor first if the solution is safe for you.
5. Take Milk Thistle
Like apple cider vinegar, milk thistle has a great active ingredient: silibinin. (Try saying that ten times fast.)
Silibinin also has an antifungal effect against Candida albicans. D.G. Yun from the Kyungpook National University in Daegu in the Republic of Korea found that silibinin concentrations of more than 100 milligrams per millimeter were effective, and that they worked as a preventative mechanism in the early stages.
In other words, if you are just starting to get candida overgrowth, milk thistle is a good first line of defense.
6. Pop Vitamin C
Vitamin C is great for many immunological lines of defense. Luckily, the ingredient also interferes with yeast production in Candida albicans.
In 2014, Dr. Patrick Van Dijck and researchers from the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at KU Leuven in Belgium discovered that vitamin C achieved these morphogenetic changes between 30 and 37 degrees celsius. Ascorbic acid, vitamin C’s active ingredient, is a powerful fighter. You can incorporate more vitamin C into your diet with citrus or buy supplements. Ask your physician for the best course of action in your case.
7. Give Your Body Lavender
Lavender is not only delicious-smelling, the plant seems to be antifungal as well.
In a 2005 study, F.D. D’Auria from the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, analyzed the antifungal activity of the essential oil lavandula angustifolia and its main component linalyl acetate against isolates of Candida albicans. The lavender showed fungistatic and fungicidal activity against c. albicans strains. At lower concentrations, the plant inhibited germ tube formation, making lavender a good preventative option as well.
8. Sprinkle on Some Turmeric
The dark yellow spice, also known as curcuma, and famous for curing many a malaise, also comes to the rescue with stomach yeast.
In 2013, R. Rudayaki from the Universiti Putra Malaysia analyzed turmeric’s power against c. albicans biofilms at adherent, intermediate, and mature phases of growth. Turmeric displayed potent activity in general against c. albicans in vitro.
9. Imbibe Some Stevia
Stevia is not only a good alternative to sugar, the substance is effective for scaring away stomach yeast. A 1997 study by J.M. Amaro-Luis from the Universidad de los Andes in Merida, Venezuela confirmed something positive: Stevia triflora tested positively as an antimicrobial agent against c. albicans.
10. Eat Cultured Dairy
While regular dairy may not add much to an upset, yeast-filled stomach, cultured dairy has been shown to be curative. In 2013, S. Kumar from the Advanced Pediatric center in Chandigarh, India looked at the effects of cultured dairy probiotics, including lactobacillus acidophilus on 150 children, aged 3 months to 12 years. Their symptoms improved, because the candida growth reduced, after a week, and again after 2 weeks.