Most people reading this post will have an understanding of what candida is and why its a problem so I’m not going to get into that detail here. Rather, I’ll start by explaining how to deal with the above mentioned barriers and then cover off the equally important 3 other steps that need to be followed.
Before getting into the 4 steps, some quick background on my experience dealing with candida;
I’ve personally battled with candida overgrowth for as long as I can remember. I’ve probably tried every conventional and naturopathic remedy known to mankind but the best I had ever managed to do was dampen it’s effect for a while before it came back with avengence.
My other experience dealing with candida is through my clinical practice. Working with clients as a gut health specialist, employing colon hydrotherapy, candida is always coming up. In all the years I’ve done this work I’ve now formed the opinion that 80% or more of the population have at least some degree of issue with candida overgrowth. Further, for anybody with digestive issues (and I’d extend that to almost any health issues in general), candida overgrowth is in some way a contributing factor.
About a year ago I started hearing from a few clients about a product they’d tried (or heard about) called “Candida Cell Wall Suppressor” which deals with this chitin shell coating candida. With the strong die-off effect I was hearing about, it held promise. I had long known about biofilm being a barrier to candida, which I had personally endeavoured to deal with using natural anti-fungals such as pau d’arco, caprylic acid / coconut oil, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, olive leaf extract etc. These had helped when done in conjunction with a low GI diet, liver support and probiotics but had never actually completely done the job.
Maybe it was the “chitin shell” factor that I’d been missing?
So I decided to integrate that piece in, on top of all the other parts that I knew were important and through further research add in anything else needed to undergo a full scale war on candida!
I think it worked, six months ago I did this and finally I think I’m on top of candida. It only takes eating poorly for a stretch of time or going onto antibiotics to treat an infection for candida to rear it’s ugly head again. For many of us it doesn’t take much for candida to return, the great thing about the following 4 Step protocol is that I truly feel that it’s greatly weakened it’s ability to come back strongly.
Step 1 – Detach Biofilm / Remove Chitin Cell Membrane
Biofilm is a slimy mucus-like substance that very often coats pathogenic microbes (not just candida). It’s part of what makes dealing with infectious diseases difficult these days because it inhibits our immune cells (along with antibiotic medications) from doing their job.
The natural antifungals mentioned above are all renowned for dealing reasonably effectively with biofilm, some others are worth mentioning though;
- “Candidase” and YST Management which contain biofilm targeting enzymes.
- Natto – This Japanese superfood (fermented soy beans) researchers have found to have miraculous health promoting properties. It’s also contains nattokinase an enzyme which has been found to very effective at breaking down biofilm. Natto is very much an “acquired” taste but you can buy nattokinase in supplement form.
- Acidic foods – part of what makes Apple Cider Vinegar such a great all round health tonic is the caustic effect it has on mucus, thereby helping the break down biofilm. Similarly fermented foods (i.e sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha etc) produce lactic acid as a by-product of fermentation. This natural perserving agent, also helps break down biofilm, whilst also creating a fertile environment for healthy microflora to florish.
- Zeolite – a powerful antioxidant which possibly steals magnesium, calcium and iron from the biofilm matrix, thereby weakening it.
Dealing with Chitin & Ergosterol which make up Hard cellular membrane coating candida
Ergosterol is a cholesterol-like substance found mostly in fungi and makes up roughly half of the hard cell membrane of candida. Conventional anti-fungal drug therapy using Nystatin or Diflucan (flucanazole) inhibit the enzymes that make ergosterol. Whilst at times effective, when used repeatedly candida often forms a resistance to it. More importantly though, these drugs may not be effective at penetrating biofilm and have little to no effect on the more pervasive issue of breaking down chitin.
Chitin makes up the other half of the cell membrane. Chitlin is the same material as the exo-skeleton of insects lke fleas and intesinal parasites. It’s hard to crush a flea because Chitin armor is so strong.
Lufenuron is a drug developed by Novartis, commonly used as an effective fungi and flea treatment for animals. Lufenuron is a chitin synthase inhibitor which basically punches holes into the hard chitin shell. It prevents it growing back and seriously weakens the fungi, allowing the immune system cells to penetrate and kill it off. Whilst lufenuron has never been tested on humans, it hasn’t stopped people successfully using it off label.
Sarah Vaughter sells a single course of treatment from her website. The 9 grams cost US$27. Earlier in this post I mentioned Candida Cell Wall Suppressor which is also lufenuron but appears to be a rip off of Sarah Vaughter work using inferior ingredients and poor dosage protocol (yet costs considerably more).
My personal protocol for Step 1
– I used foods for dealing with the biofilm; ~8 tablespoons of coconut oil (caprylic acid source) mixed in food throughout the day, similarly lots of Apple Cider Vinegar throughout the day in salads and mixed in water. I also consumed fermented food daily.
– Lufenuron – I suspected that I would need a double dose so ordered 2 x 9 grams. Taking 3 grams a day over 6 days I mixed the product into a fat containing food. Everyday I already consume a mixture of Quark ( a type of cottage cheese) with flaxseed oil (Budwig Protocol), so I simply added the Lufenuron to this which I believe would have maximised the absorption into the fat cells (where you want the lufenuron to go). From here it is slowly released back into the bloodstream over the course of a couple of weeks.
Step 2 – Support the Liver
Once candida starts dying off, a consequence is that there is a lot of toxic residue left behind in the bloodstream. This is responsible for the often horrible “detox symptoms” that many people experience. The liver then has the job of neutralising these toxins so relies on accessing antioxidants. Glutathione is the master antioxidant produced in the liver, it’s job is to recycle all of the other antioxidants. If you have a healthy liver you’ll have enough, otherwise you need to provide the body with additional antioxidants through foods to ensure that the liver can do its job fully. Antioxidants are very abundant in all of the so called superfoods such as acai, camu camu, chlorella, cacao etc. Zeolite, activated charcoal, activated bentinite clay are other substances highly recommended to help “mop up” toxins released into the gut. These substances attract the toxins and bind them ahead of removal.
Employing these above measures to support the liver greatly mitigates the die-off effect.
Step 3 – Enhance Removal of Toxins
Whilst support the liver does greatly mitigate the effects of candida die-off, it’s only really as effective as your body’s ability to effectively remove the toxins. Toxins are eliminated via the elimination organs; skin, colon, kidneys and lungs. Employing methods to enhance removal of toxins via the various elimination channels not only makes the experience easier but once those toxins (and accompanying inflammation) are out of the body, the immune system can step up further it’s attack on remaining candida.
Skin – dry skin brushing and Far Infra Red Sauna. If using FIR Sauna, I highly recommend doing Dr Yu’s Detoxification Protocol – here is a link to an instructional video.
Colon – laxatives, colon irrigation. Implanting coffee into colon irrigation also stimulates production of Glutathione in the liver. If you wish to do colon irrigaton at home you can do via enema procedure or the simply and ( I think ) more effective way via a Higginson Syringe.
Kidneys – simply more fluid intake enables the kidneys to eliminate more of the toxins it neutralises.
* Fasting is another way to ramp up your body’s ability to quickly and effectively remove toxins. Simply, when not digesting food the body is able to devote so much more energy towards rebalancing itself, which includes dealing more effectively with toxins.
Step 4 – Rebuild the Gut using Prebiotics and Probiotics
Candida can only flourish in a gut where the good guys have been over taken by the bad guys, so it makes sense that we build up the good guys again.
This is the most important piece in the whole equation – everything else has led us to this point. Nothing really gets “fixed” until the gut flora has been put back into a healthy state.
It starts with prebiotics which is basically food for your good bacteria. The best food for your good bacteria is Resistant Starch. The foods highest in Resistant Starch include raw potato starch, raw plantain starch, green banana, kidney beans, uncooked rolled oats, cooked and cooled potato and sushi rice.
The average person (eating the standard diet) gets about 3-5 grams of Resistant Starch a day. The research indicates that a person needs about 20 grams of resistant starch minimum before meaningful benefits are seen. Once you reach about 50 grams there are diminishing returns so ideally you want about 20-50 grams a day.
The easiest way to get this is to consume raw unmodified potato starch in a glass of water. I therefore bought Bob’s Unmodified Potato Starch and have been taking 4 tablespoons a day since.
As for probiotics they are absolutely necessary to restore healthy balance in a gut which had been overwhelmed by candida and other harmful microbes (prebiotics alone probably won’t get you there).
If you are going to invest into a probiotic it needs to be strong enough and be of human strain bacteria to be truly effective. On this basis the only probiotic I would recommend is Progurt. There is simply nothing else that comes close to comparing. Your standard “probiotics” like Inner Health Plus are in my opinion a waste of money, literally the equivalent of throwing tic tacks at a charging elephant when we’re talking about overcoming candida.
Fermented foods I see as having more of a “symbiotic” effect, rather than probiotic effect on gut flora. The microflora contained in fermented foods help clean up the environment but fundamentally they are not indigenous to the human gut. Progurt contains human strain bacteria which makes a world of difference.
So there you have it, my 4 step guide to overcoming candida. Steps 1 & 4 are the most important, 2 & 3 mainly ease the detox symptoms. Like anything to do with health though, individuals will have individual experiences. This protocol on top of eating a low GI diet is what finally enabled me to break through with candida.
Candida is a health issues many of you have wrestled with. I’m sure that there are other pieces to the puzzle, along with things that have and haven’t worked for you. So, at this point I’m turning this over to you to share your experiences and insight. And of course please feel free to disagree with me! Would love to hear from you.
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Aaron Travers is author of “The Boda Fast – a three step plan to lower inflammation, maximise fat burning and restore vitality”. Aaron writes at www.thebodacleanse.com.au and shares his ideas and experiences on health and wellbeing from his personal life and through working with clients clinically and those doing his “supported fasting” programs. Every Friday he sends out his newsletter, fill in below form to subscribe.