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Candida Breakdown

Candida1_1Candida, for most Americans, is not part of the daily vernacular; for raw-foodies, not so. Thanks to work by early raw-food authors, Candida and its effects have been given much attention.

When it comes to the cause of Candida however, specifically related to diet, the confusion is still prominent.

For those new to the subject, let us first address the basics.

What is Candida?
Candida is a yeast in the body. The most known form of Candida is Candida albicans, which is a mold/yeast. Everyone has some levels of candida in their system, however it only becomes a challenge when the Candida proliferates uncontrollably.

How does it effect me?
The effects of Candida are not very well understood by our health care system. That often leads to a misdiagnoses of Candia as the following:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Diet Disorder
  • Old Age
  • PMS
  • Influenza
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What causes the proliferation of Candida? Via Light Party
When the critical balance of Candida to bacteria in the body is disturbed, with Candida gaining the upper hand, we can develop symptoms anywhere in the body as a result of what progressive doctors call systemic candidiasis. This condition develops when the balance between yeast and bacteria is upset as a result of:

  • Immune dysfunction
  • Upset in ratio of good to bad bacteria in the GI tract
  • Change in intestinal pH A number of factors can cause immune dysfunction (Drugs, anti-inflammatories, cortisone, birth control pills, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

What is the raw-food take on Candida?
Authors, David Wolfe and Dr. Gabriel Cousens M.D., have been most prominently noted as saying that the main causes of Candida are diets high in sugar. Thus the encouragement of a low-glycemic diet.

"One’s diet creates an acid situation which activates a fermentation process in the body which then creates bacteria, fungus and mold that actually grow out of our own tissues. That’s why we have such an epidemic of candida today." - Dr. Gabriel Cousens M.D

Authors Frédéric Patenaude and Dr. Douglas Graham, D.C. have disputed the notion that the sugar is the cause and instead have said that excess fat is the challenge:

"Excess fat is the culprit in candida, not sugar, per se. When fat levels in the blood rise, so does blood sugar, because excess fat inhibits insulin from performing its function of escorting sugar out of the bloodstream. The excess fat lines the blood vessel walls, the cells’ insulin receptor sites, the sugar molecules themselves, and the insulin with a thin coating of fat, thus blocking and inhibiting normal metabolic activity. Too much sugar in the blood is as life threatening as too little and can result in serious illness or death. Yeast, or candida, is a constant presence in the blood; it serves as a life preservation mechanism, blooming when there is an excess of sugar in the blood stream to bring blood sugar down to a non-threatening level. When the sugar is distributed and used by the cells of the body, the yeast quickly dies off as it is supposed to. If fat levels stay chronically high due to a poor diet, sugar will remain in the bloodstream and feed the large candida colonies instead of feeding the 18 trillion cells of your body. Starved for fuel, these cells can no longer metabolize energy, and you become tired, and feel rundown. Because all carbohydrate, fat, and protein that we eat is converted to simple sugar (glucose) if it is to be used by the cells for fuel, the way out of this cycle is not to eat less sugar, but to consume less fat. When fat levels drop, the sugar starts to get processed and distributed again, and the yeast levels drop because there is no longer excess sugar available.

" - Frédéric Patenaude

So what is it the fat or the sugar?
If I knew the answer, there would probably be a lot more visitors to this blog. On a personal level, I have seen individuals go beyond the Candida challenge through a low-glycemic diet. However, these individuals also do not consume heavy amounts of fat. Their diets, as my own, tend to focus mostly on greens. This leads me to feel that reinstating the balance of candida to bacteria has to do with a little bit with fat and a little bit with sugar. From my limited experience, many individuals who eat a low-glycemic diet tend to stock up on fats and raw-junk-food. If they lowered the amounts of fats while continuing on the low-glycemic diet, I imagine greater benefits would follow. Likewise, individuals eating a large amount of fruits, dates and agave nectar would probably benefit from eating more green-leafy vegetables to lower the amount of sugar the body has to process.

The comments section is open on this one. If you have any stories about Candida, any questions you'd like to explore, or you would like to correct something written above, please feel free to post.

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