Blog: The Candida Diet
by Dr.Jeff

Oxygen and Candida albicans

Although we are talking about introducing oxygen into the intestinal tract, what we have just described is the equivalent effect from taking antibiotics

Date:   2/2/2012 2:56:40 PM   ( 10 y ) ... viewed 12391 times

Oxygen is one of the most abundant elements on the planet. The Oxygen content of the air we breathe is typically 19-21%. The rest of the air is approximately 78-80% nitrogen and 1% of other gases.

The oxygen content in the body of a living organism is usually highest in the respiratory system, (the lungs and oral cavity) and in the blood.. O2 diffuses through membranes in the lungs and into red blood cells. Hemoglobin in the red blood cells binds O2. A liter of blood can dissolve 200 cm3 of O2

To measure blood oxygen levels we look at two different measurements, the blood oxygen saturation level and the partial pressure. Blood oxygen saturation is determined by the hemoglobin found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is a type of protein, which is present in the blood. Each hemoglobin which will bind 4 oxygen molecules. Normal values for blood oxygen saturation are 95-99% or 96-100% depending on which source you cite.

The Partial Pressure measures the pressure of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma, which excludes the red blood cells. This measures how well oxygen is able to move from the airspaces of lungs to the blood. This is a much smaller amount of oxygen in the blood than the saturation level.

The next thing to look at is Candida albicans. Candida is normally present in the human body as a yeast organism. It is a FACULTATIVE anaerobe that can live in an oxygen-rich OR an oxygen-deprived environment.

The first thing we need to be clear about is the subject of aerobic and anaerobic organisms.

An Aerobic organism is any organism that requires oxygen for growth.
An anaerobic organism is any organism that does not require oxygen for growth.
If you stop here in your understanding about these organisms, you will be very misinformed. There are two types of anaerobes, and this is very important.
Obligate anaerobes, are anaerobic organisms that are “obligated” to an anaerobic or oxygen deprived environment. Obligate anaerobes cannot use oxygen for growth and will die in the presence of it.
Facultative anaerobes, such as Candida albicans, are anaerobic organisms that have the “faculty or ability” to live in an oxygen-rich environment or an oxygen deprived environment. Facultative anaerobes can grow without oxygen but can utilize oxygen if it is present
Candida albicans is a facultative anaerobe. It grows quite well in the lungs, the blood, and the oral cavity, all of which contain high levels of oxygen. Candida doesn’t normally stay in the bloodstream very long as there are larger quantities of white blood cells that are present in the blood. Lymphocytes are white blood cells. 20-50% of the lymphocytes in the body will be in the blood, where they look for invading infectious agents and/or tumor cells. The blood is not a good place for fungal candida to thrive. When you have severe suppression of your immune system, as in AIDS or cancer, or due to immunosuppressive drugs, fungal candida can become a systemic blood-borne infection, known as septicemia. Candida albicans is the #1 cause of death due to septicemia in hospitals. Unfortunately, medical doctors aren’t trained to recognize candida as a systemic infection, unless it is in the blood, and by then its almost too late.

The Anaerobic Intestinal Tract
The majority of the bacterial organisms in the intestinal tract (95-99%) are anaerobic. From what we’ve just learned, we know that some will be obligate anaerobes and some will be facultative anaerobes.
Some examples of facultative anaerobic bacteria are Staphylococcus and Listeria (Gram positive bacteria), and Escherichia coli and Klebsiella (Gram negative), all of which grow equally well in aerobic or anaerobic environments. All of those are well-known pathogens due to their ability to live with or without oxygen.

The majority of the bacteria in the intestinal tract are Obligate anaerobes, meaning that introducing oxygen into the intestinal tract would kill them.

A good example of this is the Bacteroides classification of intestinal bacteria. This is the most abundant anaerobe in the intestinal tract and it is an obligate anaerobe. Oxygen will kill Obligate anaerobes.

By using oxygen in the intestinal tract, we destroy bacteria and lose the competitive inhibition of these bacteria against pathogenic organisms such as candida, E coli, salmonella, klebsiella, etc. We also will lose the acids that these Obligate anaerobes are known to produce. Some of these acids help to keep the pH of the intestinal tract in a predominantly slightly acidic state. Others, such as butyric acid play a role in maintaining the health of the cells lining the entire intestinal tract. The loss of competitive inhibition and the change in pH to a more alkaline state, triggers the conversion of the yeast form of candida albicans to its problematic fungal form.

Looking at this further, we see that destroying these bacteria would lead to a hemorrhaging of their intracellular components into the surrounding tissues and fluids. Some of these intracellular components, such as peptidoglycans that are contained in the cell wall of bacteria, directly trigger the conversion of the normal yeast form of candida to its problematic fungal form. In someone who has already been exposed to antibiotics, this conversion could happen at an accelerated rate due to the previous imbalance that exists from past antibiotic exposure.

Although we are talking about introducing oxygen into the intestinal tract, what we have just described is the equivalent effect from taking antibiotics – loss of competitive inhibition, loss of acids which shape the intestinal pH, loss of short chain fatty acids which maintain the health of the intestinal cells, and hemorrhaging of intracellular components of bacterial cell wall membranes such as peptidoglycans that directly trigger the conversion of candida into its pathogenic, problematic fungal form.

Some people advocate the use of Hydrogen peroxide in the intestinal tract. This would have the effect stated above. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide is toxic to most cells. While it has advantages over the use of antibiotics topically, its ability to disrupt normal tissue flora internally could prove to be very harmful.

White blood cells use hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria. The hydrogen peroxide is contained inside the white blood cell in a small capsule called a peroxisome. When white blood cells engulf bacteria, the bacteria is encapsulated inside another sac-like structure. The two structures combine together inside the white blood cell, which releases the hydrogen peroxide and kills the bacteria. Notice here that the hydrogen peroxide is contained in a sac-like structure in order to protect the white blood cell from its toxic effects. Candida has the ability to withstand this result.

Research in 2009 shows that certain cells may produce hydrogen peroxide as a signal to attract or summon white blood cells to the site of an injury. This same research shows that it may be the ongoing production of Hydrogen peroxide by cells that leads to certain conditions such as asthma, chronic pulmonary obstruction and some inflammatory gut diseases.

In both hydrogen peroxide groups, significant mucosal abnormalities were observed (p < 0.001) and subjective complaints were numerous. Bacterial adherence was significantly reduced in the 1/4 hydrogen peroxide group but not in the 1/2 hydrogen peroxide group. Despite reports of dry mouth, salivary flow rate (SFRs) were not altered significantly. Since hydrogen peroxide rinses are associated with mucosal abnormalities and elicit overwhelmingly negative subjective reactions in normal individuals, they are not recommended for oral care.
The effects of hydrogen peroxide rinses on the normal oral mucosa.

Hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) is widely regarded as a cytotoxic agent whose levels must be minimized by the action of antioxidant defence enzymes. In fact, H(2)O(2) is poorly reactive in the absence of transition metal ions. Exposure of certain human tissues to H(2)O(2) may be greater than is commonly supposed: substantial amounts of H(2)O(2) can be present in beverages commonly drunk (especially instant coffee), in freshly voided human urine, and in exhaled air. Levels of H(2)O(2) in the human body may be controlled not only by catabolism but also by excretion, and H(2)O(2) could play a role in the regulation of renal function and as an antibacterial agent in the urine. Urinary H(2)O(2) levels are influenced by diet, but under certain conditions might be a valuable biomarker of 'oxidative stress'.
Hydrogen peroxide in the human body.

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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