Blog: The Candida Diet
by Dr.Jeff

Candida and Mercury

Mercury is a toxic metal that can penetrate and damage every cell and tissue of the body. Mercury released into the body via amalgam fillings, and accumulated exposures in the tissues via food, air, and water, have the potential to create short- and long-term suppression of the immune system. This type of suppression facilitates the conversion and spread of Candida Albicans in its fungal/mycelial form.

Date:   10/31/2009 5:34:45 PM   ( 13 y ) ... viewed 4088 times

In an earlier post, I listed 10 Candida Myths. I’ve posted additional information below on Candida Myth #6. Hopefully, this will provide greater clarity about the effect of mercury on Candida Albicans and the human body.

#6 - Mercury feeds Candida.
I'm not sure where this information came from, as I have yet to find any studies that mention this. This mainly seems to be put out by people who think that mercury determines everything in the body. The only possible explanation that I can come up with is that mercury would have a suppressive effect on the immune system, which would possibly allow fungal candida to spread unimpeded. I have yet to find anyone who had this problem. The amount of mercury needed to have a suppressive effect systemically within the body would be greater than most people deal with. Either way, I have never seen any research that states that mercury feeds candida.

People who usually support the idea that mercury feeds candida claim that some doctors have pointed out that most people who have candida infections also have mercury toxicity. If that were true just by association, then it would also apply for parasites, and other heavy metals and chemicals. Lead is more common in people than mercury, but we don’t hear of lead feeding mercury. The average American has a large load of chemicals in the tissues - .

This doesn’t mean that these chemicals also feed candida. It’s an erroneous assumption to make just because 2 or more issues exist in the body at the same time.

To further elaborate on the above information, the following studies give more information on candida and mercury:

1. The results were as follows. (i) C. Albicans was the more mercury-resistant species, but both yeast species failed to grow in the media containing 0.75µg of Hg per ml. (ii) The amounts of organomercury produced by the two species were proportional to the amount of HgCl2 (inorganic mercury) added to the medium. In all cases C. Albicans produced considerably larger amounts of methylmercury than S. Cerevisiai. (iii) The amounts of elemental Hg produced were inversely proportional to the HgCl2 level added in the case of S. Cerevisiai but were all similar in the case of C. Albicans. (iv) Neither organomercury nor elemental Hg was produced in any of the control media.
Transformations of inorganic mercury by Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
S Yannai, I Berdicevsky, and L Duek

In the above study, we find that Candida Albicans is more mercury resistant than another common yeast, but fails to grow in solutions with that contain mercury. Additionally, it takes inorganic mercury and transforms it into 2 more toxic forms – methylmercury and elemental mercury. Since mercury tends to be toxic to most lifeforms, we find here in this study that not only did candida fail to grow in mercury, but it transformed it into a more toxic form for the body to deal with. This may be a mechanism that fungal candida uses to attempt to suppress surrounding immune cells and immune responses, which mercury is known to do.

2. Antifungal activities were reported for Candida albicans, Kluyveromyces fragilis, Rhodotorula rubra, Debaryomyces hansenii, Hanseniaspora guilliermondii, and the results were referenced against nystatin, ketaconazole, and clotrimazole antifungal agents. In most cases, the compounds tested showed broad-spectrum (Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria) activities that were either more effective than or as potent as the references.
Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activity of Fe(II), Zn(II), Cd(II) and Hg(II) complexes with 2,6-bis(benzimidazol-2-yl) pyridine ligand.
Aghatabay NM, Neshat A, Karabiyik T, Somer M, Haciu D, Dülger B.

This study highlights one again the antifungal properties of a complex containing mercury, as well as zinc, cadmium, and iron. Fungal candida is known to require iron for growth, so the inclusion of iron probably wasn’t a factor in the antifungal property of the mix.

3. The effects of Ag(I)(silver) and Hg(II)(mercury) on membrane potential and integrity of cells of Candida albicans and C. maltosa were determined. The membrane potentials of cells of both species were reduced rapidly within 15 min of exposure to Ag(I). No threshold dose for Hg(II) existed, and cells of both species lost membrane potential gradually in Hg(II) solutions. Cells of both species lost membrane integrity more rapidly in Ag(I) solutions than in Hg(II) solutions. In Hg(II) solutions, loss of cell recoverability preceded the loss of membrane potential and membrane integrity. C. albicans, in contrast to C. maltosa, showed no loss of membrane integrity after exposure to Hg(II) solutions for 1 h.
Toxic effects of Ag(I) and Hg(II) on Candida albicans and C. maltosa: a flow cytometric evaluation.
Zhang S, Crow SA Jr.

Another study demonstrating mercury’s affect against Candida Albicans and C. Albicans greater resistance to mercury than another organism.

4. The ability of neutrophils to phagocytose and kill Candida species as well as the splenic phagocytic function were investigated in workers from a mercury-producing plant. In the neutrophil phagocytosis study, two species of Candida were used since in individuals with myeloperoxidase deficiency neutrophils are unable to kill Candida albicans, while Candida pseudotropicalis can be effectively lysed. Phagocytosis of both antigens and splenic phagocytic function were normal in all the workers studied. However, following ingestion of the organisms there was considerable reduction in the ability of neutrophils from exposed workers to kill both species of Candida, and this was not explained by a mild impairment of phagocytosis. After improvement in the hygiene conditions in the factory, a new evaluation was performed, 6 months later, in the same workers and urinary mercury concentrations were determined monthly in each worker. Despite a significant reduction in urinary mercury concentrations, a greater impairment in the ability of neutrophils to kill C. Albicans was observed. The killing of C. pseudotropicalis presented no further impairment when compared to the previous evaluation. These results suggest that impairment of the lytic activity of neutrophils from workers with urinary mercury concentrations within the safe level for exposed population is due, at least in part, to some interference with myeloperoxidase activity. In addition, the mercury-NADPH complex, once formed, could limit the utilization of reduced pyridine nucleotides by NADPH-dependent enzymes such as NADPH oxidase, thereby inhibiting the PMN respiratory burst.
Polymorphonuclear phagocytosis and killing in workers exposed to inorganic mercury.
Perlingeiro RC, Queiroz ML.

This study seems to demonstrate the accumulative effect of mercury on the immune system’s (neutrophils) ability to reduce or eliminate Candida Albicans. Even when mercury concentrations in the worker were eventually reduced to within safe limits, an ongoing, and perhaps even progressive, inability of the neutrophils to eliminate candida is noted. It’s important to note that the neutrophils are the most effective immune cells against Candida Albicans. Macrophages, while more abundant, and dendritic cells which are less abundant, aren’t as effective against Candida s neutrophils. This type of study reinforces the experience of some people who state that they were not able to eliminate a candida problem until they had first addressed mercury in the form of amalgam removal.
The study does note that even when the mercury tissue concentrations were reduced, the inhibition of the neutrophils against C. Albicans persisted and increased. My experience in treating people for 18 years with Candida Albicans shows that amalgams haven’t prevented elimination of Fungal/Mycelial Candida. The ability of the immune system, however, is a definite factor in the elimination of Fungal Candida.

5. Mercury ions can inhibit Candida albicans phosphomannose isomerase (PMI) by two different processes at sub-micromolar concentrations. Kinetic studies show that mercury ions are in rapid equilibrium with the enzyme and cause a clear partial noncompetitive inhibition when mannose 6-phosphate is used as the substrate. In addition to this inhibition at rapid equilibrium, mercury ions also inactivate C. Albicans PMI by a much slower process, involving an irreversible mechanism. The rate of irreversible inactivation can be slowed by the addition of the substrate, mannose 6-phosphate. Since cysteine-150 is the only iodoacetate-modifiable cysteine in the protein, we propose that this is where the mercury ion reacts during the irreversible inactivation process.
Inhibition of phosphomannose isomerase by mercury ions.
Wells TN, Payton MA, Proudfoot AE.

This study demonstrates two different processes by which mercury inhibits Candida Albicans.

6. The purpose of the study reported here was to investigate the relative resistance of yeast species to various metallic and metalloid ions, with a view to gaining more knowledge on this subject, as resistant species may become dominant in habitats contaminated with the relevant metals. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida Albicans and Candida tropicalis were grown in media containing different concentrations of mercury (as HgCl(2)), cadmium (as CdCl(2)), lead (as Pb(CH(3)COO)(2)), arsenic (as Na(2)HAsO(4)) and selenium (as Na(2)SeO(3)) for various intervals. Invariably, the two Candida species turned out to be more resistant to all the metals studied than S. cerevisiae. The metal showing the highest toxicity for these species was mercury, with cadmium being the second, lead, the third and arsenic and selenium being the least toxic elements. Strains showing resistance to mercury were isolated, even in the case of S. cerevisiae.
Susceptibility of different yeast species to environmental toxic metals.
Berdicevsky I, Duek L, Merzbach D, Yannai S.

This study again demonstrates the toxic effect of mercury against micro-organisms.

Mercury is a toxic metal that can penetrate and damage every cell and tissue of the body. Mercury released into the body via amalgam fillings, and accumulated exposures in the tissues via food, air, and water, have the potential to create short- and long-term suppression of the immune system. This type of suppression facilitates the conversion and spread of Candida Albicans in its fungal/mycelial form. The effective elimination or reduction of fungal candida back into its normal yeast form requires a balanced approach that incorporates boosting immune system function and performance at the same time. The success of the McCombs Plan is in part due to this comprehensive approach.

More and more, science is viewing man as a super-organism. The human body is made up of 10 trillion cells that harbor 100 trillion cells in the gut. Research shows us that anything that damages the 100 trillion in the gut, damages us and vice versa. We can no longer ignore the devastating effects of antibiotics on this super-organism.

Although people with severely suppressed immune systems (AIDS/HIV, cancers, chemotherapy) should pay special attention to this information, it’s obvious that everyone is being affected by antibiotics alone and in combination with the many chemicals and heavy metals that body absorbs.

For more information on Dr. McCombs Candida Plan, go to,
or call us at 888.236.7780 to ask questions or schedule a consultation.

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