## Wednesday, October 24, 2012 ... /////

### Candida: uncertainties, strategies, victories

I have declared a victory in the war against the yeast and started a normal diet.

As a result, the yeast cells have been downgraded from hostile eukaryotes and wannabe animals to largely counterproductive oversized molecules. Coming attacks by the microorganisms will be considered sporadic crimes unless the foe manages to convince me to officially wage another war in the future.

In this text, I want to review my struggles against the intruders that were intense in the most recent 50 days. Your humble correspondent will appreciate if you reduce the amount of comment feedback that focuses on myself – be sure that I am sort of tired of being connected with the condition, especially physically ;-) – and if you kindly prefer general scientific questions that may improve our knowledge and help the mankind (or at least other individual sufferers).

Some of the topics discussed here remain controversial among physicians. Nevertheless, I still believe that you may consider me the ultimate impartial arbiter in all the open questions which is why I expect the feedback of those who disagree with some claims to be constructive. Your humble correspondent has no history of hypochondria and a record of disdain for alternative medicine that I mostly keep (sorry – I had heavy arguments in the morning with two of my close relatives who are staunch defenders of alternative medicine and I mean a genuinely alternative one, e.g. a curative pyramid near Žatec that they will visit this or next week); still, I am not blind if I see that the generic real-world medicine is unhelpful in the case of conditions such as ones that I have experienced, plagued by misdiagnoses, no diagnoses, and mistreatments.

The text below will be divided to the following sections:

* Predispositions
* Habits that seem bad today
* Symptoms 2012
* Types of candidasis: recognized and questionable
* The Crook diet: the logic and the myths
* Fountains of health: some miraculous diet supplements

Predispositions

When I evaluate it with the hindsight, it seems to me the kingdom of fungi – which also contains molds, mushrooms, and yeasts – has always had a power to annoy me although the effects have been largely "cosmetic". It seems to me that a rather large percentage of people (although it's arguably a minority) are much more sensitive to fungi than e.g. bacteria. The fungi are responsible for various types of eczema, skin irritation – especially at places such as a sensitive place of the thighs – and probably also excessive tooth decay.

There are various conjectured interactions between the yeasts, dental mercury, tooth decay etc. – the causal influences may go in all directions – and I think it would be good if science settled all the major conjectures and the practical real-world medicine took these insights into account. In the past, the things that I attribute to the kingdom of fungi today have never been life-threatening for me but at some points, people noticed, physicians noticed, and their interpretation e.g. of the skin imperfections has always been invalid, I believe.

People with the same fungal vulnerability like me should adjust their everyday life in a way that is unsupportive of the fungi and yeasts. For example, I have always been hardy – used to the cold. But at some point, my environment "retaught me" to overdress and various comments at school and in the media "brainwashed me" into thinking that it's healthy to be sweat, and so on, because it kills the bacteria on the skin etc. It may kill the bacteria but the humid environment is still welcome by the fungi. Today, I think that the right recommendation to everyone who may have experienced some enhanced harassment by the kingdom of fungi is to undress as much as you can stand, allow the wind to remove humidity from your skin whenever possible, and so on. In particular, frequent showers are wrong and unproductive. In fact, if the fungal parasites play any role for the freshness of your skin, one may feel cleaner after several days of no shower.

Concerning the diet, I have always considered sugar to be the most uncontroversial nutrient and it's been the source of a clear majority of my calories. You may imagine that in the recent 50 days, the decision to reduce sugars below 5% of the mass of the food has changed my diet rather profoundly. ;-) Well, yeast beasts love to eat sugar so it's clear to me that I should be eating more vegetables and less fruits, more fats and meat and less sweeties, and so on. Still, I believe that for most people, sugar is the least problematic part of the nutrition.

Symptoms 2012

Starting from mid August 2012 or so, I experienced some mild discomfort in the urinary tract – too weak to recognize it as an illness. But I did notice that I couldn't survive without a toilet for most of the day, which I normally can. I also had the temptation to sleep after the lunch and was tired but those things can have various reasons so I ignored them, too. Doctors among the readers think that some people want to find a "sharp" explanation for any kind of fatigue or routine imperfect condition and I do agree with these doctors that most of these attempts are superstitious in character and these desires are efficiently abused by various crooks.

Some of those things may have been unusual but the thing got to my radar around August 23nd with a completely unprecedented symptom, the sweetish sick pseudoalcoholic taste in my mouth (and throat), especially 10 seconds after I ate something really sweet. After several days of this observation I've never witnessed before (except that I had a deja vu feeling that I have experienced it when I was a small boy, especially when I was visiting my late paternal grandmother – perhaps because she was giving me yeast to taste it and it had a similar effect?), I started to think about words such as "diabetes" (something that doctors clearly excluded on September 5th: the blood sugar and all such quantities were just perfectly fine) and more serious diseases (like one that killed Steve Jobs).

However, it still became clear to me that the right explanation has to be a parasite and it's one that actually consumes sugar – because the unknown chemical suddenly appeared seconds after eating sugar. For two weeks or so, I would be thinking it was some "bacteria". I reduced sugars a bit almost immediately (which seems a lucky choice despite the totally wrong "diabetes"-like guesses) but avoided things like antibiotics (which was lucky because that would make things worse). I bought sweeties with eucalyptus (which was arguably a good choice, too). But I was feeling rather bad sometime on September 4th and did a more intensive search on the possible causes of the strange taste which seemed way too non-generic to me. That's when I learned about the Candida and its most typical species, Candida Albicans, and the diverse annoyances it may cause. I went to doctors on September 5th, a day or two after I learned about the word "Candida". This self-diagnogis was ignored by the doctor and several urine/blood_sugar/throat tests showed I was healthy and should only be sure to fix my teeth (of course, I have already been convinced that no particular place in the mouth could have been the culprit).

Aside from the bizarre taste, I experienced some powerful intoxified feelings all over my body and some "brain fog" once I reduced and removed the sugar in my diet. Plus one highly intimate and frustrating symptom (linked to the verb "stand up" but please don't discuss this in the comments) that was lasting for more than one week in the first part of September – one that was totally unprecedented and it turned out to be temporary as well but I couldn't know at the time.

Another symptom I may have noticed for a few months was unprecedented, too. Scratches on the skin didn't heal – the speed of healing dropped almost to zero if not exactly to zero. This is said to be a typical sign of a yeast infection, too. (It's much better now.)

Also, I did the saliva test (originally developed by a company to help them sell a product to a subset of people who may really find it helpful) several times. Once you wake up, the first thing you do is to spit into a glass of clean water (chlorinated tap water after 10 minutes of letting it get rid of the chlorine). You observe what the saliva does. In my case, e.g. a month ago, it created hugely powerful, thick, sharp, speedy, intense "legs of a jellyfish" reaching from the surface to the water. If you didn't know it was just saliva, you would think it's some superfast cancer that is growing in the glass. ;-)

These strings didn't mean that I was a string theorist; instead, they indicated that I had lots of yeasts in my body (although other factors may influence the result, too). The test does something completely different today; nothing is left on the surface, some "cloudy saliva" remains at the bottom, much of it gets dissolved. The saliva test results may be affected by other things as well but as far as I can say, it's still an extremely meaningful proxy measurement of the number of yeasts in your body, especially if you calibrate the test according to yourself. Most of the criticism I have heard and watched is based on mostly unconstructive attitudes and a lack of any experience.

Of course, another major reason why I believed that the Candida had to be the culprit were the powerful die-off symptoms once I started the no-sugar diet. If you think that this whole "candida overgrowth" meme is wrong, I would love to hear your alternative explanation of this symptom, too.

Types of candidasis: recognized and questionable

Everyone seems to agree that there are certain types of candidasis – the Candida yeast infection. In particular, it's the oral and vaginal candidasis. I have no experience with the vaginal candidasis but it's being said that 3/4 of women experience it at least once in their lifetime. In this context, I would suggest that the male counterpart may be less visible and more internal but it exists as well and it may be widespread. The shy men would probably not see a doctor if they were going through it.

The oral Candidas tend to jump on/beneath (on the boundary of) things like tooth crowns – confirmed (also rather unprecedented and carrying lots of "power to confirm the Candida theory" because for years the crowns may have been the least problematic teeth I had) – and other implants – I can't say anything about them – in your mouth. At the same moment, I knew that the teeth were just some of the "victims" which couldn't explain the whole condition. For example, the strange taste often went from the esophagus (the tube in the throat that swallows food) and I had good reasons to think that the yeast is overrepresented in the digestive system, too, perhaps starting from the stomach. Also, the "die-off symbols" looked like the result of hundreds of grams of "wrong matter" across the body treated in some way, not some milligrams of yeast that may have been present in my mouth.

Here, the most important organ in the debate are the intestines. The Candida normally makes about 10%-15% of the gut flora, living in a balance with the "good bacteria" and other microscopic junk. This number is also arguably uncontroversial among properly educated modern physicians. Some sources say that during Candida overgrowth, the number may get as high as 90%. Whether the intestinal candidasis exists at all seems to be a controversial point – I hope that physicians will reveal their opinions and the evidence backing it. But I am confident that these microfoes had to be overgrown in my intestines.

When the scratches refused to heal, it had to be caused by the yeasts that got to the place. A question is whether they got there from other parts of the skin, by an external contact, or through the blood. This is a rather fundamental question I don't understand. It has some rather important implications – it's essentially the question whether the Candida was overgrown in my system or in my environment plus skin where it was moving via surface membranes. Can you clarify this question for me?

(I have some reasons – e.g. some fevers at night – to think that it did get to the blood stream, too.)

When the Candida takes care of your body, it's referred to as the systemic candidasis, and this is the disease jumping on 90,000 Americans every year which has a 40-50 percent mortality rate (the least optimistic idea I have learned when I studied that condition). Most of the victims are HIV patients or people who have underwent a cancer treatment etc. Today I believe that what I have experienced couldn't have been "systemic candidasis" but the definition of "systemic candidasis" seems confusing to me in that case. However, what I learned is that the "systemic candidasis" tortures lungs.

(My respiratory system hasn't been more healthy in my life than it was in the last 1+ year, however. For example, I haven't had a flu or cold for more than a year. And I actually blame some frequent colds/flus in 2010 that would routinely start a day after a big laundry – which was, inconveniently enough, a few days before various talks I was giving haha – on the fungi/yeast from the wet clothes in the air and my sensitivity to them. Once I avoided the vapors from the drying clothes, all colds/flu went away, so far completely. Quite a lesson. I had to experience this "laundry cold" about 7 times before I adjusted my behavior.)

So I propose to define the systemic candidasis as one that seriously cripples the respiratory system. The real controversy is therefore whether another type, the intestinal candidasis, is a real condition and it is sufficiently widespread and may be alleviated by a diet and special dietary supplements. Many physicians will answer No to both of these questions, I think. Your humble correspondent, a staunch disbeliever in alternative medicine, answers Probably yes. It seems pretty obvious to me that any organism that already lives in the intestines – and that may also thrive elsewhere, randomly – may "overgrow" and it has some implications.

What the "candida overgrowth" advocates say about the need to reduce the Candida concentration in the guts sounds utterly sensible to me and I think that I've accumulated evidence that it's needed, indeed. The following section is dedicated to the diet.

The Crook diet: the logic and the myths

My understanding is that the whole "anti-candida diet" that is believed by many people and recommended by lots of amateur pages on the Internet – including all of the details many of which must be wrong – goes back to the 1986 book by William Crook (not a convincing last name) on the left side.

He decided that the Candida is responsible for many mundane enough conditions and recommended people to adopt an "anti-candida diet", one that avoids all sugars (especially the simple enough sugars), the kitchen yeast and food based on it, vinegar, mushrooms, molds (including coffee where some mold is naturally present), alcohol, and some other things. With these restrictions I decided to be kind of necessary, over 90% of the supermarkets – especially the sections where I did most of my shopping in the previous years – became a taboo for me. ;-) And I am not even talking about restaurants.

This restriction is so constraining, powerful, and suppressing your normal social life that it's easier to enumerate what you can eat. Well, it's not so bad, after all. You can eat lots of vegetables – tomatoes, cabbage, horseradish, onion, garlic, etc. etc. (those became unlikely heroes of some of my shopping in the recent month) – pretty much all the meet (fish, grilled chicken, pork, beef, sausages, salami, whatever), eggs, fat-dominated cheeses of pretty much all types (not the moldy ones), white yoghurt, walnuts, hazelnuts, and – at least when you check that your guts don't react badly – beans, lentils, and other pulses which have played the role of "replacement side dishes" for weeks.

Some of these things should even be good for a fight against the yeast. I don't want to go into that, it's a complicated issue with claims at various degrees of reliability. Some of them must be just guesses, and so on.

Some of the rules about things you should avoid must be superstitions, random guesses by an amateur author. For example, it seems implausible to me now that yeast used in the kitchen may support the Candida growth. They're a different species so they surely can't have sex with each other, can they? Or do they abandon racism and support their cousins in a non-reproductive way? It makes almost no sense to me. The very same comments apply to general molds (and those in the coffee) and mushrooms. In fact, we were going to pick some mushrooms today in the morning. It wasn't bad, for 2 hours, see the picture below.

"Hřib podubák" and "máselník" in Czech. Do you have names for the individual species in English?

Alcohol is forbidden in the anti-candida diet and it can't support the growth of Candida, either: some other alcohols are the waste products of the Candida life, so you're adding something that is similar to a waste product for them. Hardly a way to support their growth. However, I understand the restrictions on the alcohol. When you start to reduce the concentration of the yeast in your body, you experience heavy die-off symptoms – brain fog, a feeling of intoxication similar to a hangover or drunkenness but without all pleasant side effects. This is arguably from the body's getting rid of the toxins released by the killed yeast cells and this is a job for your liver which may sometimes be a demanding job. You don't want to add extra work for your liver during the die-off symptoms. But I believe that as soon as you are kind of safely away from the die-off symptoms, there is absolutely nothing wrong about alcohol.

It's been very complicated to figure out which pH is more helpful in the fight against the yeast. Most of the information on the Internet is self-contradictory and most likely written by people who are guessing and who don't really understand what they are talking about. Finally, a scientific paper that I found gave me the following answer that seems to be justified by genuine experiments:

At acidic pH, C. albicans grows in the yeast form; at alkaline pH, it grows primarily in the filament form (19).
So neither acidic nor alkaline environment really kills the Candida. But the alkaline environment encourages the cells to produce filaments – F-strings and D1-branes – and perhaps also biofilms – D2-branes. They could actually be more capable of staying in your body, especially in the case of F-strings that are, by definition, attached to the D2-brane internal walls of your intenstines and other organs. ;-) So my feeling is that an acidic environment in your stomach and intestines may actually be better to send them out of your system more quickly. But don't expect that any tolerable value of pH will instantly kill them.

I partly mentioned it in the context of the sweating. Candida may flourish between 20 and 40 °C. Quite an interval. The values 33 °C and 38 °C seem to be particularly good for the yeast – and therefore bad for the human. A wintry weather is probably better for killing them. But don't forget that any part of your body, including the skin, tends to have over 35 °C most of the time and that's where the cells live. So it's hard to "freeze them, away", too.

Fountains of health: some miraculous diet supplements

The sugar-free diet started to impact me almost immediately and I do think that the die-off symptoms – feeling of intoxication, brain fog, and all these things that I interpret as "the liver's having a hard time to remove the toxins from the blood stream", please feel free to correct me – led me to the pessimistic September 11th article. I was feeling horrible.

However, the diet itself is too weak to achieve a "real breakthrough" in the fight against the yeast. Nystatin would be served by the doctors to assault the Candida. Fluconazole and the other *azoles are a more powerful alternative but it's my understanding that they're a more hardcore chemical that may have bad side effects – and damage the liver.

I became convinced that the caprylic acid is an effective and harmless alternative to Nystatin and it really works. The improvement of some symptoms was almost immediate – on September 13th – after I took my first pill of Candix from Candix.CZ (this dietary supplement mostly recommended to women with the vaginal candidasis but you eat it so it's less specific). It contained 200 mg of caprylic acid (twice a day), some probiotic cultures, and the vitamin C, but the caprylic acid is the most non-trivial component.

I embedded an amazon.com link to an American counterpart of it – it contains caprylic acid with some other, less important extra ingredients.

The origin of the caprylic acid is natural. If someone happens to have any form of candidasis, I think it's obvious she or he shouldn't be afraid of the pills. I am aware of no bad side effects. More naturally, the caprylic acid is included in the palm oil (not too good when you have too much) and the coconut oil which became my "most favorite new food".

The density of the coconut oil is 0.92 kg/m3 and 8% of its mass is caprylic acid so you should make a calculation. For example, the new 500 ml = 450 g package of the coconut oil I should receive today in the afternoon contains about 36 g of caprylic acid.

The caprylic acid is named after a Latin word for the goat because the goat milk is a source of it, too. Together with some capr-other-suffix-ish acids, the caprylic acid makes about 15% of the goat milk fat (out of it only 3% may be caprylic). I've had some enhanced die-off symbols in stages of the cure that I considered "advanced" – when I thought that the Candida had been largely defeated – and with the hindsight, the most likely explanation is that I took too much of this acid (or these acids) with a liter of goat milk plus a goat milk yoghurt so the Candida killing rate went too high and my liver had a hard time again. I haven't been able to quantify how many grams of the acid is found in 200 g of a goat milk yoghurt (mainly because I don't know how many percent of this yoghurt was milk fat – 3% would produce too low a prediction). Maybe something else was behind the die-off symptoms. Too little information here but I think it's "more likely than not" that those 40 g of flavored peanuts and 50 g of sugar-free chocolate (with some "other alcohol" instead of sugar) were innocent.

The goat milk has all kinds of health advantages over the cow milk, it's presented as an almost miraculous compound by many and I actually believe that much of this hype is true. Unfortunately, it's also about 6 times more expensive than cow milk. The coconut oil is tolerably expensive. The 500 ml package costs $10 here ($15 with shipping) and $18 at amazon.com and it actually contains 4,000 kcal or so, good nutrition value for 2 days, so it's not too expensive as a food, either. The caprylic acid has lots of other benefits. Here, the most important one is that the caprylic acid helps to break chitin into pieces and chitin is an important part of the cell walls of the yeast beast (and most fungi – some of them may have other polysaccharides instead), so the caprylic acid makes it possible for other agents to get inside the yeast cells and destroy them. If you're very rich, the coconut oil containing the caprylic acid is also great for cooking and baking. It's nice for massages, too. Generally it should improve your skin but let me already stop with this commercial. ;-) When the yeast infection is all over your body and you think there must be hundreds of grams or kilos of it in your guts, you will probably agree that the oral candidasis is just a tip of an iceberg. But when you succeed in the reduction of the yeast's habitat and you convince yourself that the oral Candida is one of the last ones that hasn't fully disappeared, you may also consider a more appropriate mouthwash. Much like in most cases, the generic mouthwashes are pretty much useless against the yeast. I discovered a Czech mouthwash called "Corsodyl". It's a commercial name for a 0.1% solution of chlorhexidine (di)gluconate. Be careful, it is a bit more powerful mouthwash but they usually say it has no known side effects, except for its tendency to darken the color of your teeth if you use it in the long run (it's still a temporary, reversible state of affairs) or the color of some plastic implants (if you have any) or temporarily modify perception of tastes (I haven't experienced it, except for the taste of the mouthwash itself). A U.S. counterpart of the mouthwash is linked via amazon.com. (I also suspect that it could have led to some weak but still clear gout-like symptoms I felt a few times hours after I took Corsodyl, i.e. painful crystals created out of excess uric acid or something similar in the fingers and toes, something I had never experienced before and so far I have not experienced it later. Of course, if it helps to destroy some beasts for years and perhaps even just months, you don't care about this temporary discomfort.) This mouthwash compound is sometimes given into chewing gums for horses to improve the hygiene of their mouths. It's also helpful for people who had very intense dental surgeries. What's important here is that it does kill the yeast, i.e. it is an antiseptic compound, unlike most of the regular mouthwashes. Let me end up with another miraculous cure, Chlorella, which is not quite directly linked to the Candida topic but it's interesting, too. It's the name of some green algae. You may buy dry pills – a compactified powder of a sort which is very green and leaves green powdery traces on your skin – and it is said to be able to bind various toxins and escort them from your body safely (they would be otherwise reabsorbed from the intestines by the blood stream). Again, like the coconut oil, it's also said (even by some seriously looking sources, journals etc.) to have some near-miraculous extra effects, including anti-cancer ones. The reason why I bought this particular product was that I read some speculations about the interrelationships between (dental) mercury and the Candida. The yeast may be behind the fact that you have some mercury in the first place because of the tooth decay in the past (I have lots of mercury) but the mercury may also return the favor and be a favorite hobby of the Candida cells. So this chlorella may make you less toxic, less tired, younger, blah blah blah, and your scratches are healing more quickly, and so on, but I bought it to reduce the levels of mercury and forget about all the recommendations about "replacing all amalgam fillings" which I never liked too much, anyway. Such a removal of lots of amalgam sounds like a very annoying maneuver that is bound to produce lots and lots of mercury by itself – from a more general viewpoint, it must be counterproductive, it seems to me. The fillings themselves must only release a "controllable" amount of mercury every day and the chlorella seems to be an example of a cure that may subtract much of this mercury from your body in a totally peaceful way. Again, there must inevitably be superstitions here but I do have some "at least anecdotal" evidence that there could exist a relationship between the Candida overgrowth and heavy metals in your body. I don't want to enumerate and parrot all the claimed advantages of the coconut oil and the chlorella, and perhaps other things, because I haven't verified them on a one-to-one basis. But I have acquired some "at least anecdotal" evidence that these things are helpful and various claims about their virtues that seem to stand on the boundary of (contemporary) science are probably true or mostly true – and should be studied by the pharmacologists more intensely than so far. Make no doubts about it: I am as thrilled about learning some reliable scientific insights about these matters and eliminate all kinds of superstitions as I am thrilled to learn some scientific insights about various physics questions. At the same moment, the unprecedented character of some symptoms I was experiencing especially a month ago or so – for weeks or months – also led me to be interested in things even if I weren't certain that they're guaranteed to be right. If something doesn't hurt and has a 30% chance to help you with a serious thing, you will pick it, won't you? In a similar condition, you just don't want to sacrifice your life by waiting for some evidence to become "rigorous". I've decided that many of the things – including the saliva test – do a very good job (certainly a better job than the rudimentary normal medical tests that are guaranteed to find nothing) but I still expect the researchers in medicine to transform all the guesses and heuristic cures to a much more reliable and accurate knowledge. The kingdom of fungi is full of species that are "largely harmless" (and even helpful for some minor metabolic purposes) or don't induce too acute conditions but they may still get out of control. I am convinced that many people's health, vitality, and beauty is being reduced by the fungi and yeasts of various sorts and much more effort should be dedicated to accessible ways to effectively diagnose these parasites and to cleverly fight them. By these comments, I may be trying to compensate my almost complete lack of attention to the fungi and yeast as health concerns in the past. But I realize there are of course people who care about such matters and have to care. For example, there was an outbreak of fungal meningitis in the U.S. in recent weeks (which was partially man-made, to make things worse). Also, for example, the SpaceX Dragon capsule arrived to the International Space Station with some package of the Candida Albicans – no kidding, click at the link – with the goal to study how this yeast beast behaves in microgravity. I am not sure they will discover much – it just doesn't "fall down" so quickly but small cells like these ones can't really care about gravity too much, can they? ;-) It's almost like the protons at the LHC that also don't care about gravity much so my educated guess is that the yeast cells just don't give a damn whether they're attached to an upper membrane or a lower one. And I have already mentioned that the coconut oil may replace the current largely ineffective compounds in toothpastes and perhaps transfer tooth decay into the history books. But I seem to agree with the "alternatively oriented" folks that the intestinal candidasis is a genuine condition that affects many people, is almost never diagnosed, and the character of the diet determines whether it's getting better or worse. There may exist imperfect tests such as the saliva test that may tell us something about it – and other tests are hard or expensive. But the modern medicine shouldn't deny an illness just because it is hard to reliably diagnose it (relatively to its impact which is often not too serious). What do you think about all these matters? Update: spices Oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and a few other spices seem to be anti-fungal. In particular, papers indicate that the oregano oil is the strongest one, perhaps 100 times stronger than the caprylic acid. It's due to the compounds (phenols) in it, especially thymol and carvacrol, that have been found out to be efficient against all Candida species, including the Flucanozol-resistant ones. Thymol and especially carvacrol have been found (paper 2011) to disrupt the biosynthesis of ergosterol, a steroid that fungi and yeasts use to build the membrane walls (cholesterol is the related steroid that plays the same role for animals like us). So the oil of oregano seems to be the ultimate winner and this sentence was added when I had already some positive experience with it. Amazon.com offers you various capsules and drops with the oil of oregano – usually around 50% of carvacrol in it (but it's often diluted in olive oil etc.). Unfortunately, I have to buy much more expensive equivalents here. #### snail feedback (45) : reader Bee said... Glad to hear you're feeling better :o) reader Luboš Motl said... Thanks a lot, Sabine, especially if it's not just an image-building nicety of yours. ;-) reader Eugene S said... Dear Lubos, glad to hear the good news. As in your previous article in the topic, as a non-medical person I have nothing substantial to contribute, except for my continued optimism that you will live to reach a healthy old age :) I don't see you mention anything about the role that your physical conditioning has played in your recovery. Imagine for a moment that you were a couch potato whose longest hike is to the refrigerator and back :) Those years of strenuous exercise that you have told us about -- bicycle riding, mountain climbing, "floorball" (what is that, anyway?) -- are like money in the bank. Every time you exercised, you made a deposit and now you are benefiting from the dividends. reader Luboš Motl said... In the most recent month, I have been moving or doing sports of a sort much more than normally and a part of my "better than normal feeling" may have something to do it, it's hard to attribute, but the greatest improvements really can't be due to some modest things like a month of some sports. Look for "floorball" somewhere on the Internet. ;-) I don't do any climbing. reader rrtucci said... How about probiotics like Kefir and yogurt and sauerkraut? What do you think about them? reader Luboš Motl said... I've eaten lots of white yogurt over the last 2 months, in average about 300 ml per day, and the cultures are probably necessary to "squeeze" other things like Candida from the intestines. At the same moment, I think it's not enough for getting out of the imbalance. reader anna v said... Good for you Lubos for diagnosing yourself and even using alternative paths. If you had noticed with my disagreements with Gordon I am a firm believer in "what works for you". May you have a long healthy and candida free future from now on. reader Shannon said... Dear Lubos, great news bravo ! Does one have to keep following this diet on and off as soon as -or if- you feel the symptoms coming back ?... or have all these products got rid of the fungi for good ? reader Luboš Motl said... Thanks, Shannon! Yours is a great question, and the big one. I don't know the answer, too early to say. When one looks at the internet forums, everyone says that they struggle with it for a year, or 15 years, and so on. I don't really understand it. If the beast got overgrown and one squeezes it back to the pre-disorder levels, and perhaps a little bit lower, there shouldn't be a good reason not to return to a convenient previous life in which one didn't even know what Candida meant, is there? They may have created a "settlement" from which they don't want to leave and they may try to expand the settlement but I will try to make their life harder with some caprylic acid etc. I just got another 500 ml of coconut oil now. The first one seems to have a better taste and finer consistency. I don't understand the difference between them. One is from South India and the other is from Sri Lanka, that's the only difference I see between the two cold-squeezed virgin coconut oils. ;-) reader Luboš Motl said... Thanks for your wish, Anna! reader James Gallagher said... I'm glad you are feeling better. Now you need to find a volunteer with the same symptons to follow the opposite diet -ie lots of alcohol, sugar etc. - that will possibly confirm your analysis and maybe even win you a nobel prize for medicine (like Barry Marshall who proved stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria (by drinking a petri dish full of them), astonishing the medical community of the time). (Unfortunately, if your analysis is correct, the volunteer will suffer.) reader Shannon said... Don't forget that your pre-Candida condition was... Candida-free. Still it came. You definitely have found the right cure/diet though. This is the main thing. reader Dilaton said... Dear Lumo, thats great news that you are feeling better, I want you to stay around forever :-)! So I'm slightly drawing hope from this that you may "live long and in peace" ;-) Cheers (I'll properly your report later today, I've only found time to scroll through and read what the others say so far) reader Gordon Wilson said... Anna: Your disagreements aren't with me, they are with science and rationality. I hope your crystals are properly arrayed. I presume your "whatever works for me" philosophy didn't extend to your CERN job. I do join in your good wishes to Lubos though. A good diet low in sugar is a good idea regardless of one's beliefs. And one without gluten certainly works for celiac disease. reader ThePeSla said... Lubos, a most interesting writing. The food shows in the USA like Dr. Oz raise some interesting questions about the diet and I noticed sugar intake does make a difference in rate of heeling. Some general foods (India) historically help longevity it seems. It is an acid things and many things are tied up to the health of our GI tact. I too am somewhat skeptical of alternatives, but proscription drugs are the fifth cause of death today here. We do not know enough. If you were to do some more advanced research consider the handedness of the molecules- polarized sugar has a definite effect on longevity, and the fungi are not as one handed as the rest of living things. But is this not a quantum question consider Alice in the looking glass sees the fire in the fireplace at a different energy? The PeSla reader Gordon Wilson said... Other than saying I am delighted that you are feeling much better, you don't want to know what I think of these matters, or, at least, I am not about to comment more than I already have. reader Eugene S said... Well, not rock climbing but hiking up to the peak of a mountain... but maybe I am just imagining that you told us about that once. reader Pablo said... Hi Gordon, until the age of 30 my position on these matters was like yours. I am a Chemist PhD and rejected everything but Now at the age of 36 my girlfried who is inside this world has showed and demostrated me a lot of incredible things that actually work (not only the anti-candida protocol). It's a pity there are no funds to conduct serious statistics on all this stuff. And today, after watching this video below, I think I'll start to believe in alien life visiting us!! :-) ► 9:00► 9:00 www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgZE8s0hBRQ Cheers Pablo reader Ann said... So happy you are on the mend, Lubos! The picture of the Czech mushrooms is beautiful. I hope you will be enjoying them again. reader NumCracker said... So, how exactly did you Lubos get infected? reader Smoking Frog said... How about if Lubos wins both the Nobel Prize for medicine and the Nobel Prize for physics? This would be a first, I think. :-) reader Dilaton said... Ha ha ha, the idea that the saliva test could alternatively be used to test if you are a string theorist, made me once again (!) almost blow what I'm drinking at the screen of my laptop when reading Lumo's corresponding funny comments, LOL :-D reader Luboš Motl said... Dear Numcracker, these conditions are often called "infection" but they're not sharp moments because each of us possesses a mezoscopic number of these cells everywhere. They're 10% of the gut flora in the intestines and they're in mouth, ass, genitals, on the skin, anywhere. They just sometimes get overreproduced. I think that the key contributor why they got out of control was that I was adding extra sugar to my already heavily-sugar-based food, and also sometimes vinegar to "compensate" the sugar, but those things support the growth of the yeast. I observed that the thing could have been accumulating on my toothbrush and dishes, too. But of course I don't know anything rigorously here. reader anna v said... Dear Gordon, I will overcome the impulse to be equally nasty about the "science" of medicine and will only observe that my particular alternative path is homeopathy, not crystals. Surely the CMS crystals are in their proper arrays so as to be able to give the signal of Higgs to gamma gamma. reader Casper said... Its good to see that pyramids are still in use. I thought they had gone out of fashion. reader zbynek said... Hi - glad youre better - keep in mind that fungal infections are considered opportunistic because mostly they take advantage when youre weakened by something else, so it may be worth getting a proper czech-over even though your doctor seems somewhat dismissive reader Luboš Motl said... Thanks for your advise, zbynek. If I were intensely looking for a ghost, I would probably find him or her or it. But it's not my style. It seems to me that many things related to stress and fatigue about certain things I didn't make public - together with the particularly welcoming "diet" in months before the infection - could have been enough to create the opportunity for the intruder and it's enough of an explanation for me. reader hapurahman12 said... Most women know what it’s like to get a mild yeast infection but may not have even given much thought about a prevent yeast infections in babies. reader tomas said... Where do you buy your coconut oil from? You could get it from here http://www.ekokoza.cz/eshop/Zajimave,potraviny/tuky,a,oleje/Kokosovy,tuk,kokosovy,olej.html It's awfully cheap and if you're afraid on the refined don't be, the process is pretty safe and the fat lasts longer. On the candida note, I heard that if you deprive them of sugar, they start growing filaments to find more sugar even outside intestines. Also, yeasts feed on PUFAs, so it is a good thing to cook with CO, and excess PUFAs are very problematic in many ways. reader Luboš Motl said... Thanks, I have bookmarked this supercheap "fat". Will investigate later. So far, I have bought 2.2 liters of coconut oil in the highest quality - for$70 in total or so. But this is so cheap that I could buy it soon, anyway, so that I may waste it. ;-) The cheap fat has no coconut flavor which will suck but OK.

PUFAs are too complicated... What does it mean in plain English, which foods?

Right, I also believe the paper mentioned above that alkaline environment makes them go filament, and it probably happened to me a bit in recent days, so I am trying to restore the acidity of the stomach and beyond and the (already reduced) problems go away.

PUFAs are basically oils from plants grown in the moderate climate region, e.g. rapeseed, corn, sunflower, soybean. If you replaced those with the coconut fat for frying and cooking, you should be fine. Also nuts and seeds contain a large portion of PUFAs, macadamia being a notable exception.

Dear Tomas, your constraint is extremely sophisticated. Do you actually have some science that supports it? I mean references to papers? It looks like arbitrary constraints that I will, without some evidence, count as superstitions. It's also hard to understand how a beast that eats simple sugars switches to PUFAs.

Based on your definition, I haven't avoided PUFAs but things seem mostly fine. I am cooking on olive oil but I have bought e.g. sunflower seeds many times in recent weeks. Sources have also convinced me that walnuts and even hazelnuts are OK if not beneficial against yeasts so I've actually eaten lots and lots of them in recent months. I've been feeling fine for weeks, with a few-day exception last week that I blame on a slight chlorella overdose that made my stomach too alkaline.

My bias against PUFAs is based on the oxidative capabilities of those oils, they go rancid pretty fast. The bit about candida feeding on them is from the Internetz, the same source for your nuts-are-beneficial. Nor do I think there is any merit to the acid/alkaline thing. :)
So, one, oxidative capabilities; two - a very little probability that humans ever consumed a large portion of them in the history of mankind. Three - PUFAs are seen in the atherosclerotic plaques, making them more fragile. We are talking the omega6 acid linoleic acid mostly, one that is abundant in oils I listed above.

some science:
PUFAs get stored in arteries, reflecting dietary intake, saturated fats don't/don't
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7934543

The more PUFAs in the plaque, the more easily in ruptures
http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/17/7/1337.long

They make you die sooner
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15374670

And here you can see the results of one - unintented - nation-wide experiment (Israel)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8960090

And some videos for inspiration. Def don't want this to happen inside me
http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/07/17/dangers-of-pufa-videos/

So you can see that I hate them so much and clutch at every negative mention I come across, be it something as elusive as candida

btw you can get macadamia in (the large) Tesco. Quite expensive and delicious.

Dear Tomas, the acid-yeast and alkaline-filament connection is the most reliably verified scientific assertion in this whole story.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC85214/

Thanks for your "candidness" but your last comment has assured me that the best attitude to your recommendations is to ignore them.

Your complaint against PUFAs is that they go rancid quickly. However, things being rancid are actually likely to be very beneficial in the fight against yeast. After all, the acids in the goat milk also "smell" rancid, and they're the same acids that are so potent in killing the membrane walls of the yeast cells.

So these complaints of yours don't have any positive relevance for the conditions I was facing and it's plausible that they have a negative correlation. I am really not interested in some general "one-size-fits all" recommendations based on mostly irrational prejudices - I hear lots of this silly stuff in my real-world environment, too. The things I was solving were very special, well-defined, so wisdom of the kind "macadamia is great for everyone" just seem to be recommendations of far lower quality and relevance than the insights I have reached after some research combined, unfortunately, with months of real-time observations of various reactions of my body.

Cheers
LM

Dear Lubos,

I don't challengeacid-yeast and alkaline-filament connection, I think it's correct . But I have problems with the dietary approach you may or may not heard of, which is that you need to eat a certain type of food in balance to provide your body with such acid or alkaline environment it needs. I thought you were heading that way, it seems you were not.

I wasn't even recommending macadamia or any wonder food. The only thing I say is limit those PUFA by way of discarding certain liquid oils mainly grain or seed derived. An easy thing to do, not even controversial as frying is generally not good. Also I think it is not ok to eat handfuls of nuts daily, but I don't guess normally noone would do it except when you're indoctrinated that it might be a good thing. But I don't insist you should as I say

Could you please expand on what are the acids that when rancid are beneficial against yeast? (or where can I read about that, thanks) PUFAs in goat milk are pretty low to non existent

Dear Tomas, there are almost no PUFAs in goat milk. I didn't claim otherwise. My claim was going in the other way around: in oils that go rancid, you find lots of short-chain fatty acids such as the butyric acid

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyric_acid

which is created out of glyceride when butter goes rancid. The butyric acid is an early member of these short-chain fatty acids together with the caproid, caprylic, lauric, and similar acids:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Fatty_acids

so I suppose it may have a similar impact on the chetin in the yeast membrane walls as the caprylic and other acids present in goat milk. This is also confirmed by some not-yet-conclusive but still nonzero evidence that the butyric acid helps with the Candida.

So while fats going rancid surely don't sound attractive, the Candida overgrowth is arguably a situation in which such compounds are useful.

Just to be sure, from your texts seen so far, your emotions against nuts seem utterly irrational to me.

Dear Lubos,

thanks for the explanation. I too am a fan of butyric acid, but it is a saturated fat. I am not going to explain myself to the last detail, just suffice it to say that I strongly suspect linoleic acid 18:2 may be dangerous and we are eating way too much of it.

So sorry, I am not resolving your specific problem by any other way than linking to a cheap source of fat, but I agree that butter and coconut should help and wish get rid off those pesky creatures soon.

Dear Tomas, I am confused by your "surprised" mentioning that the butyric acid is a saturated fatty acid. The same is true about the whole sequence I've been talking about, such as caproic, caprylic, lauric, palmic, linoleic, and all the acids in the list above.

I don't know whether omega-3 acids such as the linoleic acids are good or bad overall. The evidence is mixed. Omega-3 acids are surely fashionable and claimed to have some remarkably good effects, especially in the psychiatric realm - against dementia - although negative effects on all these things are possible, too. ;-)

This is a kind of a situation in which my default assumption is that both positive and negative expectations are mostly wishful thinking, unjustified superstitions. All this stuff is just some boring fat with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. It seems bizarre to attribute tons of remarkable properties to them. It's plausible that each of the compounds has some effect on something specific but if that's the case, I want to know what it is and what the evidence is that the effect exists, otherwise I find it wise to simply ignore this stuff.

Well my darling linoleic-you-know-who is unsaturated, omega 6, it has one free double bond, you made a mistake there. Overall I like your attitude. Nutrition science is still in its dark ages and while we know many details, we don't see the forest. But it does not hamper many from making conclusions. :)

Glad your doing well. My wife once bought oregano oil when she suspected candida. It was not confirmed, but the oil had a pleasant and strong odor and she was burping pizzas. :) And also she hasn't complained since then.,

Dear Tomaso, the linoleic mistake is admitted. ;-) Thanks for the wishes.

Noticed the omega-6 vs 3 issue and dismissal of it as not relevant. It is relevant, but not for the reason stated. The omega-6 vs omega-3 ration changes your tendency to inflammatory response via modulation of prostaglandin production.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#Mechanism_of_action
"
Eicosanoids made from n−3 fatty acids are often referred to as anti-inflammatory, but in fact they are just less inflammatory than those made from n−6 fats. If both n−3 and n−6 fatty acids are present, they will "compete" to be transformed, so the ratio of long-chain n−3:n−6 fatty acids directly affects the type of eicosanoids that are produced.
"

Basically the omgega-3 and omgega-6 are converted to protagandins by the same enzyme (nature being cheap...) and it expects that ratio common during our evolution. Which was much higher in omega-3 than now (when we feed grain to just about everything). Grains are hign in omega-6 and leaves / grasses high in omega-3. So "grass fed beef" better than "grain fed". There is extensive literature on this, it isn't just a 'fad'.

So as we (and our cattle) moved to more grain based diet, we shifted our 3 / 6 ratio toward much more inflammatory.

Now you have an illness, that will cause some of the "compliment reaction" (redness, swelling, itching, etc. etc. the standard inflammation / infection response). So your SYMPTOMS will be worse if you are more prone to inflammation.

Simply removing the omega-6 oils shifts you toward lower inflammation. (Adding more omega-3 can help too, but harder to do. Flax and seafoods help.) But easiest is just to remove Omega-6 Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids by shifting to mono-unsaturated. Drop (corn oil, soybean oil) and replace with (olive oil, grape oil, some safflower oils - particular variety developed to have olive oil like FA profile, palm oil, coconut oil, etc.)

Simply removing "grain" oils and using non-grain shifts your inflammation levels.

Because it works on the level of inflammation enhancing prostaglandin levels, it works for all sorts of auto-immune problems (arthritis) as well as overly strong response to infections ( 'die off symptoms').

Not magic, nor voodoo. Just basic biochemistry.

BTW, thanks for the info on caprylic acid. My niece has had some 'issues' that this may fix. She has discovered that coconut oil makes here feel better. Now I have a possible explanation of why, and ways to perhaps increase the benefit. ( i.e. have her try the yeast treatment foods...)

Excess inflammation isn't what was harassing me.

A general simple question: when one is ill, isn't it good to develop enough inflammation? Isn't it the body's own good strategy to resist and beat the disease?

The idea of your blog is really fresh, I'm positive that the people who encounter your blogs will definitely appreciate your content and opinions cooking games online.

Hello This is a site that I recommend http://goodtips.info/r.php?i=1071&lid=8147 to all yeast infection sufferers. I think it can help you Good Bye

Holy cow. I thought it was an impressively animated video, not obviously wrong, reproducing symptoms and experiences I knew, of course.

The animations are impressive.

But after half an hour, she says The best treatment is no treatment. Holy cow.

This wouldn't work for me. I have never taken any antibiotics against my Candida symptoms. And for quite some time, years or months, it depends which periods I count, I would be ignoring those things completely. But it didn't help.

I needed *some* treatment. The *azols or nystanin etc. used by technical physicians could have been just OK. Papers showed that the carvacrol and things like that (oregano oil) are equally effective and perhaps smaller in side effects as the *azols. So it works.

She says that killing the fungal cells is no good etc. Great. But it's needed at some moment. It's overgrowth, after all. One must destroy the colonies and the clumping of the yeast cells, and acidic environment and biotin are the two major things that help to "dissolve" the colonies, I think. But the reduction of the number of these cells simply is needed, too.