The Candida Expert

Posts tagged ‘Medicine’

Antibiotic Use In Infants Is Associated With Being Overweight

Antibiotics. Antibiotics. Antibiotics. Research continues to reveal the toll that these drugs take on human health. Antibiotics (meaning, “Against Life”) have been associated with many diseases in adults and children – obesity, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, malnutrition, diabetes, neurodegeneration, and many others. Two new studies, just published in the International Journal of Obesity and Nature Journal, cite once again the link between antibiotic use and weight gain in children. Antibiotics are given to farm animals to increase their weight. This type of use alone can be considered to be practical scientific evidence that…http://candidaplan.com/blog/425/antibiotic-use-in-infants-is-associated-with-being-overweight/

 

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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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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.

Does Candida Know When To Attack

There is always a wealth of information coming forth that helps to provide greater clarity on how candida becomes problematic in the body. This recent study, as reported in Science Daily, provides some good information and some confusing information. I’ll add some editorial throughout the article – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724153651.htm

The opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans inconspicuously lives in our bodies until it senses that we are weak when it quickly adapts to go on the offensive. The fungus, known for causing yeast and other minor infections, also causes a sometimes-fatal infection known as candidemia in immunocompromised patients An in vivo study, published in mBio, demonstrates how C. albicanscan distinguish between a healthy and an unhealthy host and alter its physiology to attack. [There are several factors that cause the conversion of the normal yeast form of candida to its pathogenic, problematic fungal form – pH, temperature, antibiotics, bacterial cell wall components, etc., The phrase, “senses we are weak” isn’t something that I have ever seen in scientific studies, but it may be another way to state immunsuppression. Even so, I have yet to see that listed as a trigger for yeast-to-fungal conversion. Immunosuppression can play a role in the spread of candida, but some studies indicate that it isn’t a pre-requisite for this to happen. Candidemia is another term for fungal sepsis, or blood-borne fungal infection. Sepsis is one of the top 10 or 11 leading causes of death in the United States, depending on year of reference, and fungal candida causes over 50% of that].

“The ability of the fungus to sense the immune status of its host may be key to its ability to colonize harmlessly in some people but become a deadly pathogen in others,” said Jessica V. Pierce, BA, PhD student in the molecular microbiology program at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts. [This is an interesting quote from an author in the study. It can be taken a couple of different ways. It might be interpreted that she is stating that it spreads throughout the body in its fungal form in the presence of an intact immune system, but doesn’t create any imbalances. That would be ignoring a lot of other research that demonstrates how the fungal form of candida creates many imbalances within the body. It has been shown to spread through the body without the immune system being compromised. A second interpretation and the one that I believe she is stating is that as a fungus, it colonizes the digestive tract harmlessly or pathogenically depending on the host immune status. That would ignore the fact that candida colonizes the intestinal tract in its yeast form. It may not be much of a differentiation, but it can be misleading as the fungal form is problematic and the yeast form isn’t.]

“Effective detection and treatment of disease in immunocompromised patients could potentially work by targeting the levels of a protein, Efg1p, that we found influenced the growth of Candida albicans inside the host,” she continued. [As stated before, there are several factors that cause the conversion of yeast-to-fungus. Efg1 has been identified previously as part of the internal mechanism that regulates the yeast-to-hyphal conversion and back again. It’s not the only part and its presence may not be a good indicator of fungal infections, as it can exist in the yeast form also.]

The researchers knew from previous research that Efg1p influences the expression of genes that regulate how harmful a fungal cell can become. Surprisingly, the investigators found that lower Efg1p levels allow the fungal cells to grow to high levels inside a host. Higher levels of the protein result in less growth. [Would the high levels be associated with it’s yeast form and the low levels with its fungal form. That can be a good reason for differentiating between yeast and fungus and not referring to both forms as though they were fungal.]

To examine how the immune status could affect the growth of C. albicans within a host, the researchers fed both healthy and immunocompromised mice equal amounts of two fungal strains containing two different levels of the Efg1p protein.

Fecal pellets from the mice were tested to determine which strain of fungi thrived. In a healthy host, the fungal cells with higher levels of the protein predominated.

In immunocompromised mice, the fungal cells with lower levels of the protein flourished. The researchers noted that lack of interactions with immune cells in the intestinal tract most likely caused the necessary environmental conditions favoring fungal cells that express lower levels of the protein, resulting in fungal overgrowth and setting the stage for systemic infection.

“By having a mixed population with some high Efg1p cells and some low Efg1p cells, the fungus can adjust its physiology to remain benign or become harmful when it colonizes hosts with varying immune statuses. These findings are important because they provide the first steps toward developing more effective methods for detecting and treating serious and stubborn infections caused by Candida albicans, such as candidemia,” said Carol A. Kumamoto, PhD, professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and member of the molecular microbiology and genetics program faculties at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

The immune system and “good bacteria” within the body act to regulate the size of C. albicans fungal populations in healthy individuals. When the immune system is compromised, the fungus can spread throughout the body. Candidemia, i.e. blood-borne Candida, is the fourth most common blood infection among hospitalized patients in the United States and is found in immunocompromised patients such as babies, those with catheters, and the critically ill. [Here we see the authors state that it is the immune system and the “good bacteria” that help to regulate the candida populations. This would be a very strong statement against the use of antibiotics, as antibiotics destroy the “good bacteria” and suppress the immune system. With Sepsis being one of the top causes of death in the United States and over 50% of that being due to fungal candida, much of that can be prevented by not using antibiotics. That would eliminate sepsis as a leading cause of death and fungal candida as the 4th leading cause of hospital infections. Throughout this article I didn’t see any differentiation between the yeast and fungal forms of candida and I didn’t find it mentioned in the original abstract either. Many studies seem to be limited in the breadth of understanding of candida and the vast amount of past research. Through other studies, it has already been established that immunosuppression is not necessary for the spread of candida. For more research on this, view the Candida Facts Sheet article.  Tests can only serve as indicators, not absolute measures of function in the body. Targeting something like Efg1 doesn’t seem to be a promising advancement in the understanding or treatment of candida. If the purpose is to create another target for antifungal medications, it must be remembered that all medications contain far more harmful effects than beneficial effects. One common effect of antifungal medications  is immunosuppression.

Candida and Inflammation in the Athlete

There’s a certain sense of loss in realizing that the best of each us is being eroded away, or lies wasting away, as hidden potential within the cells of our bodies. The gradual erosion of potential is often found in cases where there is an underlying imbalance in the body that creates chronic inflammation and the inability to absorb nutrients for normal function and repair. When chronic inflammation and nutritional imbalances are combined, degeneration of tissues advances at a far faster rate than it normally would. I have found this to repeatedly be the case in people who have been exposed to antibiotics and as a result suffer from the system-wide imbalances that are created from their usage.

In many people, this may look like a normal aging process. In the athlete, it usually is associated with excessive wear and tear on joints and failure of the muscles and the body to respond and perform as they once did. Athletic careers and pursuits can end prematurely, and the hopes and dreams of what could have been, remain forever as hopes and dreams.

Under these types of constant inflammatory conditions, the serious athlete or weekend warrior who pushes the limits of his body’s ability in pursuit of personal records and goals, will end up driving the inflammatory machinery that will eventually rob them of their potential for excellence. Exercise produces pro-inflammatory immune system responses and oxidative stress that play a role in repair and remodeling of muscle tissues. Intense exercise carries this response further, and over the long-run can produce immune system suppression and autoimmune-type responses. The following excerpt from Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition helps to explain a little more on this topic:

“DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) typically occurs after unaccustomed or high-intensity exercise, most commonly anaerobic. Soreness is usually noted at 24 hours post-exercise and can last as long as 5 to 7 days post-exercise. Although several models of DOMS have been suggested, researchers generally agree that muscle damage initiates a cascade of events leading to DOMS. The muscle damage and oxidative stress response following anaerobic exercise have been deemed necessary to promote skeletal muscle remodeling to gain benefit from the exercise, but enhanced recovery may be advantageous for more rapidly promoting an anabolic environment.

Exercise elicits mechanical and hormonal reactions from the body. The resulting muscle damage from these reactions elicits inflammatory and oxidative responses that may exacerbate muscle injury and prolong the time to regeneration. The hormonal contributor to muscle damage during exercise is derived through basic neuroendocrine responses to exercise demands. High intensity exercise triggers the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis leading to the release of cortisol and other catabolic hormones. These hormones function to meet increased energy needs by recruiting substrates for gluconeogenesis via the breakdown of lipids and proteins. Through their catabolic nature, these hormones also indirectly lead to muscle cell damage.

Inflammation following anaerobic exercise functions to clear debris in preparation for muscle regeneration. The magnitude of the increase in inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-6) varies proportionately to the intensity and duration of the exercise. However, a prolonged inflammatory response can increase muscle damage and delay recovery by exacerbating oxidative stress and increasing production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The increased ROS production seen with high intensity training can lead to oxidative stress such as lipid peroxidation (1).”

While intense exercise is usually associated with greater degrees of DOMS, inflammation, immune system suppression, and oxidative stress, mild-to-moderate exercise is typically associated with boosting the immune system and supporting greater health in the body. If however, there is an underlying state of chronic inflammation due to an infectious agent, then even mild-to-moderate exercise may result in many of the symptoms commonly found with intense exercise, as fuel is added to an already burning fire. Over a period of months and years, this can lead to shortened productivity and limited excellence in today’s athletes. In one sense, it is the equivalent of driving with the brakes on.

The most frequent infectious agent that fits this model is Candida albicans. C. albicans commonly exists as a yeast organism in the human body and is considered a normal part of healthy tissue flora. Due primarily to the effect of antibiotics, this yeast organism transforms into a pathogenic, problematic fungal form that has been associated with a multitude of conditions and diseases in the body.

Since the introduction of antibiotics in the late 1940s following WWII, there has been a remarkable increase in the research of candida-related conditions and diseases (2) with over 24,000 research articles being published since 1949. On average, that is enough for one research article per day in the last 51 years, with enough left over to fill another 6 years of daily research publications. With a one-to-one association between antibiotic use and the development of systemic fungal infections, implications exist for society as whole being afflicted with a post-antibiotic syndrome of fungal candida and immune system dysregulation.

In systemic fungal candida infections, ongoing pro-inflammatory reactions from both systemic and localized immune system responses combine with the virulence mechanisms of fungal candida to create a constant state of oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory hormonal imbalances, chronic tissue inflammation, and tissue degeneration. This type of smoldering, nonresolving inflammation becomes a constant component of the microenvironment within and is implicated in many diseases and conditions.

Joint restriction, pain, swelling and inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, blood sugar imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, slower post-exercise recovery periods and other symptoms are commonly associated with this underlying condition in today’s athletes and others.

In response to patients who had these problems, I developed a well laid out plan to counteract this post-antibiotic syndrome and subsequent systemic imbalances. Athletes who have followed the McCombs Plan have seen a decrease in the degree and amount of inflammation experienced during exercise, as well as pre- and post-exercise inflammatory responses with faster recovery times. Many of the conditions associated with fungal candida that impact human performance have been diminished and resolved. Marathon runners and Tri-atheletes found themselves competing without “hitting the wall.” Wrestlers, weight lifters and others found that their joint pains and restrictions decreased and disappeared. Increased energy and vitality that is sustained throughout the day has been a common response.

If we are to achieve the best that we can be, we must rid ourselves of these types of physiological limitations, or settle for less and be happy with what could have been.

1. The effects of theaflavin-enriched black tea extract on muscle soreness, oxidative stress, inflammation, and endocrine responses to acute anaerobic interval training: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study

Shawn M Arent, Meghan Senso, Devon L Golem and Kenneth H McKeever

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:11doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-11

http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/11

2. SciTrends of Biomedical Sciences

http://rzhetskylab.cu-genome.org/cgi-bin/trendshow?MeSHID=1191

H1N1 Vaccine: Licensed but Untested

Question: Dr. Jeff, What’s your opinion on getting the H1N1 vaccine?

Dr. Jeffrey McCombs: I don’t recommend the vaccine to anyone. The Swine Flu first appeared in 1976 and disappeared again until this year. At the time, there weren’t any of the mass marketing techniques used today by pharmaceutical companies. With viruses mutating thousands of times, you almost guaranteed that the vaccine wouldn’t cover what you’re exposed to. The majority of all mutations are weakened and non-infectious. Here’s another article put out by Dr. Tim O’Shea on the vaccine:

Licensed and Untested

This is exactly wherein lies the clear and present danger of the current swine flu vaccine program. This swine flu vaccine is actually being brought into existence for dissemination among the general public, starting with children. With 5 manufacturers having begun clinical trials only in August 2009, none scheduled for completion until next April, it is an astounding lesson in vaccine politics that the FDA approved the untested H1N1 vaccine on 15 Sep 09, just one month after the testing began!

Licensed and untested.

We see precisely the same sequence of events that led to the last swine flu fiasco in 1976 – 50 million were vaccinated with that untested vaccine. 21 deaths 565 paralyzed, withdrawn in 10 weeks. And never replaced. Never replaced – that’s the point. Why not? If the threat was so urgent that we had to start vaccinating before the vaccine was even tested, then where did that threat go? Why didn’t we just withdraw the toxic vaccine and then continue with researching and testing to develop one that worked?

With just a little research, independent of the popular media, a cognition begins to take shape in the mind of the discriminating reader, that there may be an ulterior agenda here, one that is not necessarily directed toward the overall well-being of children. If such a reader is a responsible parent, the next realization might be to change the default setting with respect to the decision to vaccinate. At present most parents default in favor of – when in doubt, vaccinate. Many today are changing that default setting: no more vaccines until it is proven to me beyond a doubt that – the vaccines have been tested and found to be 100% safe with no chance ofharming the child – that the child absolutely needs the vaccine for optimum immune development – there are no economic or political agendas involved in the vaccine being recommended.

It is becoming increasingly clear that natural selection will favor the lines of those parents who take these extra precautions to protect and safeguard the inner immunity of their children. Who else is going to come forward? The FDA, who does no testing of their own before making a decision, but relies entirely on the research submitted to them from the companies who stand to make billions in profits if the vaccine is approved? The vaccine manufacturers, who have been granted 100% immunity from liability for any deaths or injuries? The other regulatory agencies – NIH, CDC, HHS – whose political connections to the vaccine companies are a matter of public record? But that’s exactly what all the hurry, all the hyperbole, all the outright misdirection is about. They know that they don’t have time to come up with a fully tested vaccine – that would take a year. But by that time the imaginary disease will be gone, with no hope of raising it from the dead. The market is here and now. And everyone – the clinics, the manufacturers, the regulators, and the media – all want their share of the rewards.

Death by Cheerios

I suppose it’s possible, but not likely. However, if even one child died from eating Cheerios, the public response would be swift. The news media would blast this around the country for several days. Lawyers would organize seminars on how to prosecute other cereal deaths. Congress might even intervene on behalf of the public at large and children everywhere. The executives of General Mills would have to explain how this could happen and why nothing was done to see that it never happened in the first place.

So why is the hospitalization of thousands of children and deaths of hundreds of them from the side effects of drugs not worthy of the same attention and response? Why is the permanent disability of even one child from medications not worthy of ongoing media attention. Again, if a child entered into a coma from eating Cheerios, the media would follow his day to day progress for quite a while until some final resolution was reached.

Okay, so Cheerios is generally considered to be a safe choice, and drugs have inherent risks. Are these risks worth any child’s life. How about your life? Don’t we use medications believing that they are basically safe and benefit us? You probably wouldn’t feel too good knowing that no doctor knows how drugs do what they do, or that no one does. That also means that no one can predict what they will do to you, good or bad, or what the long-term results of using them will be. The Physician’s Desk Reference lists most drugs that are available, and is a resource for doctors to use. There is however, no information on how the drugs work inside the body, because no one knows and it states this for almost all drugs listed in there.

Drugs are prescribed based on risk-reward. I have never understood how the risk of death or permanent disability was worth any reward, yet most drugs carry this risk. Drug companies should be required to provide more assurances and research that proves the safety of the drugs they sell. As it is, the drug companies have now switched to spending more money on advertising and marketing than they do on research.

So where does this leave us and our children? I believe that it places us exactly where we need to be, in a position of assuming personal responsibility for how we take care of our health and the health of our children. The drug companies are going to continue to do what they need to do to make profits, so we need to do what is in our best interests. We need to make the hard choices between commitment and popularity. We need to choose what is best for our bodies, and those of our children, if any of us is going to have a chance of living in a drug-free world, even if it is just our own little corner of the world.

To lead a healthy life, is to lead a life out of the ordinary. It is an extra-ordinary life!

Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is a 3rd generation Doctor of Chiropractic, author of the book: LifeForce, and developer of the Life Force Plan. His 25 years of ongoing research and practice emphasizes addressing the nutritional, environmental, emotional, structural, and biochemical aspects of acute and chronic health conditions in his patients. An innovative forerunner in the continuously evolving fields of advanced healing arts, Dr. McCombs has worked with Olympic and Professional athletes, dancers, CEO’s, and people from all walks of life. He currently consults with people from around the world.

He can be contacted at www.mccombsplan.com, 888.236.7780.

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