The Candida Expert

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Gut Microbes Benefit Pregnancy

More and more science points out how critical and essential the intestinal flora (microbiome) is for health in the body. We are “Super-organisms.” The current point of view is that we consist of host cells (human cells) and support cells (bacteria, parasites, viruses, yeasts, fungi, etc.). Over thousands of years, we have co-evolved into a cohesive and co-dependent unit, where the presence and health of all the parts (human and non-human alike) constitutes the health of the whole. This recent research article demonstrates how the intestinal flora, or gut microbiota, play a regulatory role in creating a healthy pregnancy.

The composition of microbes in the gut –http://candidaplan.com/blog/?p=336

 

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Hydrochloric Acid and Health

Hydrcochloric acid (HCL) is produced in the stomach to aid in activating digestion of foods and protection of the intestinal flora. Excess stomach acid (HCL) has traditionally been treated as a result of low HCL levels that creates cycles of over- and under-production. With the advent of direct-to-consumer marketing by pharmaceutical companies, the public was entrained to believe that this was purely an excess HCL problem that needed to be suppressed with antacids, leaving behind the science, physiology, and wisdom of the body.

Continue reading at –  http://candidaplan.com/blog/699/hydrochloric-acid-and-health/

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Candida and Diabetes

Common symptoms associated with candida infections include hypoglycemia and insulin resistance. These often occur together in many people. Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and insulin resistance is high blood sugar. Left alone long enough in the body, they can develop into diabetes. So what’s the connection with candida?

To discover this, we need to know more about how candida functions in the body. Candida has an amazing ability to adapt to the various environments found in the body’s many organs and tissues. When sugar is absent, it switches to burning fat as it’s main fuel source. So much for all of the candida diets that heavily restrict sugar. More about that in another post. Candida can thrive on sugar however and uses whatever is at hand, as well as creating conditions that serve it’s ability to continue to grow and spread.

The main mechanism by which candida causes tissue destruction in the human body is via a group of protease enzymes called Secteted Aspartyl Proteases (SAPs). Protease enzymes are responsible for breaking down protein and protein structures. SAPs are also considered to be candida’s main mechanism of virulence or pathogenicity – how it spreads in the body and causes damage.
Researchers at UCSD discovered that protease enzymes can lead to diabetes, hypertension, and immune system suppression (3 common symptoms of candida infections). They create diabetes by destroying the receptors on cells that insulin binds to. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas gland. It works like a key in that it attaches to a receptor site on cells, which then opens gates in the cell wall that allow sugar to enter the cell and be used as a fuel. Without insulin or the receptors, sugar stays in the blood stream and continues to build up, leading to problems in regulating blood sugar.

Through SAPs, candida can destroy the protein-based receptors on the cell walls, leading to higher levels of sugar circulating in the body. These same SAP enzymes can destroy attachment sites on white blood cells that enable the ability of white blood cells to leave the blood stream and enter tissues where an infection is taking place. The mechanism of how they create hypertension is still not clear.

http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=744.

 

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Azithromycin (Z-Pak, Z-MAX) and Levaquin Increase Cardiovascular Deaths

There never seems to be any good news coming out about antibiotics. This study compares usage to people who didn’t take antibiotics, clearly demonstrating that antibiotics kill people. The title states that they increase the risk of death, which minimizes the fact they are proven to cause more deaths – Worst Pills Best Pills Newsletter article August, 2012

Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Death With Azithromycin and Levofloxacin

A study just released in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has found that azithromycin (ZITHROMAX, ZMAX) and levofloxacin (LEVAQUIN), two widely used antibiotics, may increase the risk of cardiovascular death, especially sudden death from heart rhythm disturbances.

Based on an examination of the medical records of 3.5 million Tennessee Medicaid patients, those who took azithromycin (distributed commonly as the five-day “Z-PAK”) were almost three times more likely to die from cardiovascular causes, such as sudden cardiac death, during the five days of therapy than those who took no antibiotics. The patients who took azithromycin also were 2.5 times more likely to die from cardiovascular causes than those who took amoxicillin (AMOXIL), another antibiotic. This translated to 47 to 245 more cardiovascular deaths (the range of excess deaths depends on the patients’ cardiac risk factors) for every 1 million patients placed on the drug, relative to amoxicillin users.

Levofloxacin was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death compared to the risk in those who took amoxicillin, although the results for levofloxacin were less clear than those for azithromycin.

Based on this research and previous studies, both azithromycin and levofloxacin are thought to cause a heart rhythm disturbance known as torsades de pointes, which can lead to sudden cardiac death, the most common cause of death in azithromycin users in the recent NEJM study.

Another article by researchers at Vanderbilt University appeared in the NEJM in 2004 showed an increase death rate with the use of erythromycin. Other research published by the Americam Medical Association (AMA) has shown a 50% increase risk of breast cancer in women who used antibiotics for any indication.

Tryptophan Reduces Intestinal Inflammation

It’s always nice to see good research that helps to clarify simple principles that demonstrate what effectively works and doesn’t work for our bodies. Researchers from Japan, Switzerlan, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have discovered the effectiveness of the natural amino acid, Tryptophan in controlling inflammation of the intestinal tract. Such inflammation is associated with malnutrition, diarrhea, Crohn’s, IBS, IBD, and Colitis – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120725132133.htm

More than one billion people in poor countries are starving, and malnutrition remains a major problem even in rich countries, making it a leading cause of death in the world. For over a hundred years, doctors have known that a lack of protein in the diet or low levels of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, can lead to symptoms like diarrhoea, inflamed intestines and other immune system disorders, which weaken the body and can be fatal. However, the molecular mechanism which explains how malnutrition causes such severe symptoms has been largely unexplored.

Now a research group led by Josef Penninger, the director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna, Austria, in cooperation with Philip Rosenstiel, University of Kiel, Germany, has found a molecular explanation for the increased susceptibility to intestinal inflammation in malnutrition.  The researchers were studying an enzyme which helps to control blood pressure, kidney failure in diabetes, heart failure and lung injury, called the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2, or ACE2.  This enzyme was identified as the key receptor for SARS virus infections, but the researchers also discovered an entirely new function.  ACE2 controls the way our intestines take in amino acids from our food, via amino acid transporters, and in particular the uptake of the essential amino acid tryptophan.

Too little tryptophan alters our natural immune system, which changes the types of bacteria which can live in our bowels and guts, leading to higher sensitivity and eventually diarrhoea and inflamed intestines.  Increasing the intake of tryptophan in their diet provided relief for mice suffering from intestinal inflammation. The mixture of bacteria returned to normal, the inflammation died down, and the mice also became less susceptible to new attacks.

“The research shows how the food we eat can directly change the good bacteria in our intestines to bad bacteria and so influence our health”, says Thomas Perlot, the first author of the study. “Our results might also explain nutritional effects that have been known for centuries and provide a molecular link between malnutrition and the bacteria living in our intestines. This discovery could be used in the future to treat patients with a simple regulated diet or by taking tryptophan as a food supplement.  And there is hardly any risk of side effects from artificially increasing an amino acid found in the normal diet.”

Josef Penninger, the lead author, says “I have studied ACE2 for more than 10 years and was completely stunned by this novel link between ACE2 and amino acid balance in the gut. Biology continues to surprise me. Up to a billion people in the world are malnourished, especially the poor and disadvantaged. In Austria alone, around 80,000 people suffer from a chronic inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. I hope that our findings have opened a door to a better molecular understanding how malnutrition affects human health. Whether simple tryptophan diets can indeed cure the effects of malnutrition in humans now needs to be carefully tested in clinical trials.”

Candida Linked To Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, and Other Autoimmune Conditions

In this recent study, Candida albicans was shown to cause inflammatory and autoimmune reactions that lead to arthritis, psoriasis and other skin rashes, multiple sclerosis, and many other conditions and diseases – http://candidaplan.com/blog/620/candida-linked-to-arthritis-multiple-sclerosis-psoriasis-and-other-autoimmune-conditions/

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Can You Eat Too Many Healthy Fruits and Veggies?

Is it possible to overeat healthy foods? I guess that would depend on the context. The point of the article below is that it is possible to consume too many calories and gain weight, regardless of whether the food is healthy or not. Contrary to this type of logic however, when doing Dr. McCombs Candida Plan – http://candidaplan.com/, we find that eating plenty actually helps to increase weight loss. This is due to the fact that detoxifying the body takes lots of energy and you need to fuel this process. Many people comment that they “haven’t eaten this much in years and they’re still losing weight,” which brings us back to context. Here’s the short article anyway – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724144423.htm

It may make you scratch your head, but in fact it is possible to overeat healthy foods, according to Loyola University Health System registered dietitian Brooke Schantz.

“While fruits are nutritious, too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain,” Schantz said. “The key is to remember to control the portion sizes of the foods you consume.”

Schantz reported that overeating healthy foods is easy to do, but the same rules apply to healthy food as junk food. Weight fluctuates based on a basic concept — energy in versus energy out. If your total caloric intake is higher than the energy you burn off in a day, you will gain weight. If it is lower, you will lose weight.

“I have had many patients tell me that they don’t know why they are not losing weight,” Schantz said. “Then they report that they eat fruit all day long. They are almost always shocked when I advise them to watch the quantity of food they eat even if it is healthy.”

Schantz said that one exception applies. Nonstarchy vegetables are difficult to overeat unless they are accompanied by unnecessary calories from sauces, cheeses and butter. This is due to the high water and fiber content of these vegetables coupled with the stretching capacity of the stomach. The vegetables she suggested limiting are those that are high in starch, such as peas, corn and potatoes. Foods that are labeled as fat-free or low-fat are another area of concern.

“People tend to give themselves the freedom to overeat ‘healthy’ foods,” Schantz said. “While the label might say that a food or beverage is low-fat or fat-free, watch the quantity you consume and refrain from eating an excessive amount. Foods that carry these health claims may be high in sugar and calories.”

Context, context, context!

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