March is the first month since September that hasn't had a holiday or event focusing on sweets and junk food. Think about it: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day... you can't get through one of those holidays without some sort of treat! So we've decided to focus March on Candida. Why? Read on and you'll see!
Are Yeasts Getting to You?
Millions of bacteria reside in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy individuals. A large percentage of these bacteria are beneficial organisms that keep the bowel functioning normally and discourage the overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast and other undesirable bacteria and fungi. Unfortunately, many of us have unhealthy guts, which has lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the intestinal tract. When something causes an imbalance, the many strains of Candida take over. Eventually they can turn parasitic, robbing the body of valuable nutrients. In extreme cases, the roots of the yeast can dig into the intestinal wall causing leakage and allowing for toxins to escape into the bloodstream.
What causes an overgrowth of Candida? There are many factors: impaired immune systems, stress, poor diet (high in refined carbohydrates and sugar), alcohol, steroids, birth control pills, extended use of antibiotics or meat raised with antibiotics in their food. All of these can contribute to the imbalance of bacteria we mentioned above. And how many of us can choose more than one? I can! In fact, there are many experts that believe up to 90% of Americans have yeast overgrowth.
Now let's talk about symptoms. There are many! Allergies, chemical sensitivities, depression, digestive problems, poor memory, muscle weakness, PMS, fatigue, recurrent vaginitis, skin irritations, headaches, nail fungus, and a 'sick all over' feeling. Plus, a few years ago the Mayo Clinic released a study showing most people with chronic sinus infections have a fungal problem (Mayo Study). Yep, yeast between the ears!
If any of this sounds familiar, we highly recommend you take this test: Candida Test. If you got a high score, come see us.
Read on to learn about one of our strongest yeast fighters, Syntol. And watch our upcoming newsletters for more about Candida, including diet changes (YES! Diet changes!) and foods, herbs, and other products that can help you feel good! For those of you that would like more details on yeast and candida, our favorite book is The Yeast Syndrome by John Parks Trowbridge and Morton Walker.
Diet Changes to Beat Candida
The dreaded topic: making changes to your diet. But this is a crucial step to beating candida. The sugars, starches and yeasts many of us eat are feeding the candida, so we must change our diets in order to stop the growth.
Many sources will tell you what not to eat. We'll keep it simple: eat meat, nuts and seeds, and vegetables. Bright side: for most of us this will only have to be done for a month. At that point we suggest taking the candida test again. If your numbers are lower beans may be added in. Following month two we typically take it on a case by case basis. Some of us will be ready to add some foods back in, others will not.
Note: corn and potatoes are not vegetables! Those are starchy foods that will feed your candida and should be avoided!
Not only is grass-fed beef more nutritious than corn/grain fed beef, but typically has one element crucial to the candida diet: no antibiotics.
Antibiotics are a major contributor to candida overgrowth. Not only do the wipe out the good bacteria in our guts that help keep candida under control, but they can also run down our immune systems. Beef from feedlot animals is injected with large amounts of antibiotics to speed up their growth and to compensate for crowded conditions, and that can transfer to the meat.
We got this link that discusses the concern just last week: Farm Aid. For more information about the benefits of grass-fed beef in general, check out Eat Wild.
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We've talked about coconut oil in the past and many of you have heard about it through other source, even Dr. Oz! But have you heard how it benefits candida? Get this - it contains caprylic acid, one of the key ingredients in Caprylimune. Coconut also contains lauric acid, both of which have strong anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. These two seem to target the bad bacteria and encourage the good to grow.
We believe coconut oil makes a good addition to your candida program. As sometimes people will get die-off symptoms when they start eating coconut oil, we suggest starting by adding just a teaspoon a day and slowly building up to three tablespoons. Coconut oil is easy to use. Spread it on toast instead of butter, stir some into your morning coffee, add some to oatmeal, or simply rub it onto your skin. It makes an excellent lotion!
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How timely! I saw a blog just yesterday talking about whether or not kombucha was safe for people with candida to drink. Why would this be an issue? Kombucha is a fermented tea made with a culture of bacteria and yeast. Good news: it's GOOD yeast and bacteria! In fact, kombucha may be beneficial. We'll let you read the blog to find out more about that: Healthy Home Economist.
Haven't heard of kombucha? This site has some pretty good information: Kombucha Kamp.
Interested in brewing some at home? Not necessary to order them! Misty's always brewing kombucha and often has scobys available. Stop by and ask!
Yeast/Fungal Detox has been our candida staple for many years. This Nature's Sunshine supplement is a nutritional formula designed to enhance immune function, promote liver health, and inhibit the growth and facilitate the detoxification of candida yeast and other disease-causing fungi. Yeast/Fungal Detox contains herbs and nutrients with proven anti-fungal and immune-enhancing activity. Here's a few of its ingredients:
Selenium is an antioxidant and a nutrient necessary for immune modulation. It's involved with some enzyme activity and has been shown to inhibit the growth of some yeast. Unfortunately, it is one of the most commonly deficient nutrients. Selenium deficiency has been associated with oral candida and may cause a reduction in candida-killing activity.
Zinc plays a pivotal role in resistance to virus, fungi, and bacteria infections. It is crucial in the efficient functioning of the immune system.
Oregano has been widely promoted for yeast infections as it is an anti-fungal. It also stimulated digestive function and expels excess mucus from the lungs.
This herb is a powerful anti-fungal agent. Pau d'Arco is considered a blood purifier and is also helpful for bacterial and viral infections, parasites and cancer.
Yeast/Fungal Detox also contains caprylic acid, which we discussed in a previous newsletter, echinacea (immune-stimulating), propionic acid (inhibits fungal growth), and sorbic acid (inhibit fungal growth).
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AquaFlora Candida 9
The problems and diseases of systemic yeast infections can manifest in varied ways. With systemic candida, the yeast fungi release mycotoxins (poisons) into the body, affecting different parts of the body in seemingly unrelated ways. For example, one person may get adult acne, the next arthritis, and another heart disease. Candida and their mycotoxins can cause all of these illnesses and many more.
Once the infection becomes systemic, it is almost impossible to get rid of it until the immune system is restored to a normal function. Many have experienced this frustration by taking products to kill the yeast, only to have it come back for another round. This is where Candida High Potency 9 comes in...
There are many candida products on the market that only address certain strains of candida. Aquaflora High Potency Candida 9 addresses 9 strains of candida frequently associated with human health challenges. Aquaflora combines many homeopathic ingredients to activate the immune system to correct the problems candida overgrowth can cause. Aquaflora lab tests have shown the inhibition of Candida growth by 99.9%.
In addition, Candida High Potency 9 has 3 flower essences to provide emotional support during the healing process. Those who have tried to get rid of candida in the past understand the significance of this through their experiences with elimination diets and 'candida die-off.' Most symptoms produced by this die-off are typical candidiasis symptoms such as intense fatigue, cravings, headaches, and cramps and can be disrupting to daily life. With the flower essences already included in our formula, you can achieve a powerful sense of well-being during recovery that minimizes and, in some cases, eliminates the die-off symptoms, and makes managing your candida-control diet easier.
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Caprylimune & Probiotics
Nature's Sunshine Caprylimune is a blend of herbs, vitamins and minerals formulated to fight and relieve symptoms from Candida. The blend also helps stimulate the immune system, often needed with candida overgrowth. Here's a bit about some of it's ingredients. Stop by and look at the book to learn more.
Caprylic Acid is often used to fight candida overgrowth. It helps maintain the delicate balance of intestinal flora in the colon, helping keep levels of yeast in check. Caprylic Acid is a natural fatty acid with strong antifungal properties.
Pau d'Arco is recommended by some doctors for some intestinal parasite infestations and yeast infections. It's also excellent for strengthening and supporting the immune system.
Garlic is a well-known antibiotic and immune system stimulant. It's capable of fighting infection and destroying parasites, worms, and other microorganisms.
We also strongly suggest taking a probiotic along with Caprylimune. Everybody has candida in their body - it's normal. What's not ok is when the good microorganisms are outnumbered by the candida. The good bacteria in probiotics are helpful in a couple of ways. First, a healthy balance of bacteria in our guts has been shown to help boost our immune systems, which is very helpful for fighting candida. Also, probiotics secrete some lactic and acetic acids in our stomachs, maintaining a good level of acidity. As yeasts grow faster in alkaline environments, good stomach acidity will help slow candida growth.
Our favorite probiotic to accompany Caprylimune is Bifidophilus Flora Force. However, if you've been on antibiotics recently or often we suggest you start with Probiotic Eleven. It's a bit stronger and helps build the good bacteria up a little quicker after they've been wiped out by the antibiotics. Both of these supplements should be refrigerated, so if you are traveling or will not have access to a refrigerator for some reason, we also have Viva Vitamins Super-Dophilus, which is shelf stable.
The name of this supplement does not lead you to believe it would be a candida fighter, but we were looking at the ingredients and realized, wow! This has a great mix of herbs that really are anti-fungal. So if you've got mild candida overgrowth (you did take the test, right?) Cold & Sinus Blaster is an easy way to fight it. Here's some of its candida-fighting herbs:
Garlic has been dubbed 'Nature's Penicillin' as it is excellent at fighting bacterial infections. Garlic also inhibits viral and fungal infections, plus stimulates digestive secretions and expels mucus.
Horseradish has mild anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, plus is a good immune booster. The root, not the condiment, by the way!
Garlic has been dubbed 'Nature's Penicillin' as it is excellent at fighting bacterial infections. Garlic also inhibits viral and fungal infections, plus stimulates digestive secretions and expels mucus. Onion, a member of the same family, is also in this supplement and is a good candida-fighter.
Cayenne pepper is excellent for your digestive and immune systems. It's been shown to help combat yeast overgrowth.
This is another anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-viral herb. Olive leaf is often used for boosting the immune system and is an excellen source of antioxidants.
Cold & Sinus Blaster is a spray, so a couple of times a day you'll spray a couple of times in your mouth. If you're interested in Cold & Sinus Blaster, you're welcome to stop by the store and give it a try. We've got a sample bottle behind the counter.