You may have heard of candida albicans before. We all naturally carry around some of this common yeast in our gut.
Most of the time we peacefully coexist. But certain things can cause the fungus to overgrow, triggering troubling symptoms. For instance, antibiotics, a sugar-heavy diet or a suppressed immune system can all be to blame.
The experts have been fighting among themselves for years about how common candida overgrowth is. They can’t even agree on exactly what effects it has on our health when it starts to spread.
But one thing is for sure. There is no doubt some folks do fall victim to candida.
Common candida overgrowth symptoms to watch for
Victims of candida overgrowth tend to report similar symptoms. The most common include…
- brain fog
- gas and bloating
- bad breath
- joint pain
- cravings for sweet foods
- loss of libido
- chronic urinary tract infections
But one of the biggest controversies surrounding candida is exactly what its link is to cancer.
Candida infections are fairly common in folks who are being treated for cancer. For years most researchers believed the yeast was simply taking advantage of cancer patient’s already compromised immune systems.
But some experts believe that the yeast may actually play a role in the development or progression of certain cancers. And there’s some research to back their theory up. According to a study published in the journal Critical Reviews in Microbiology, candida is capable of promoting cancer.1
The debate is a long way from over, and research into the cancer and candida connection is just beginning. And we have a long way to go before we truly understand the relationship between the yeast and cancer.
But one thing everyone can agree on is an overgrowth of this opportunistic fungus isn’t good for anyone. Which means managing your candida levels is a wise choice.
And it turns out there are a few common foods that can help us do just that.
Curb candida with these yeast-busting foods
Following are our three top picks for candida-fighting foods…
You probably know by now we’re big fans of coconut oil around here. Well it turns out this awesome oil is a natural antifungal. Coconut oil is rich in capric and lauric acids, both of which can reportedly help put up a fight against candida.
In a Nigerian study, seventeen different strains of candida where found to be susceptible to coconut oil.2 In another study, capric acid quickly defeated three different strains of candida by targeting their cell wells. And in the same study lauric acid was shown to effectively kill the yeast in lower concentrations.3
Coconut oil is affordable, has a long shelf life and is great for cooking (it’s heat stable, meaning no unhealthy trans fats to worry about). Look for a high-quality, virgin organic oil. And aim for two to three tablespoons a day.
Garlic doubles down in the fight against candida. A natural antifungal, garlic is rich in bug-busting allicin4 and diallyl disulfide.
In a study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, researchers found that fresh garlic is active against hard to kill candida albicans biofilms.5,6 And diallyl disulfide has been shown to deplete the glutathione in candida, killing the fungus.7
To get the most out of your garlic be sure to choose organic and eat some of it uncooked. When using garlic in cooking you can boost its effectiveness by letting it sit for at least ten minutes after crushing or mincing it to increase its allicin content, and make it more stable during cooking.
We’ve told you before about horseradish’s effects against cancer. (If you missed that report click here to catch up.) Now there’s another reason to add this powerful herb to your menu. It turns out horseradish may be an effective candida killer.
Like garlic, horseradish targets the glutathione in candida cells, rapidly killing them, according to a study published in the Journal of Basic Microbiology.8
To harness horseradish’s candida-slaying ability avoid the grocery store junk. It’s typically packed with sugar (both candida and cancer thrive on sugar). Make your own using fresh horseradish root (you’ll find a recipe here) instead. Stir some into burgers, meatloaf, tuna salad, deviled eggs or even mashed cauliflower.
1. “Candida albicans and cancer: Can this yeast induce cancer development or progression?,” Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Volume 42, 2016 – Issue 2
2. “In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria,” J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):384-7
3. “In Vitro Killing of Candida albicans by Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides,” Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 Nov; 45(11): 3209–3212
4. “Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic,” Microbes and Infection, 2, 1999, 125−129
5. “Effects of Fresh Garlic Extract on Candida albicans Biofilms,” Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005 Jan; 49(1): 473
6. “Understanding biofilm resistance to antibacterial agents,” Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2, 114-122 (February 2003)
7. “Diallyl disulphide depletes glutathione in Candida albicans: oxidative stress-mediated cell death studied by two-photon microscopy,” Yeast. 2007 Aug;24(8):695-706
8. “Glutathione protects Candida albicans against horseradish volatile oil,” J Basic Microbiol. 2016 Jun 7.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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