PROBIOTICS AND PREBIOTICS
Candidiasis results from an imbalance in the intestines in the ratio of good health-giving bacteria to candida yeast. This yeast overgrowth changes the environment in the intestines so that yeast is favored over beneficial flora. Before the balance can be restored to healthy balance, the candida yeast colonies must be greatly reduced. Only after reducing the candida can the healthy flora have a chance to take hold. So in the beginning of battle with yeast taking probiotics will not have much benefit. The timing of when to introduce high doses of probiotics is something that has to be judged subjectively. Don’t expect to get rid of all yeast before taking probiotics. The best way to determine this is by inspecting toilet bowl after expelling your cleanse enemas. When you first start with cleanse enemas you will expel lots of yeast colonies. After a while (determined by how closely you follow protocol) you will see much less yeast coming out of you. When these amounts are approximately 85% less than what was seen at the beginning, it is time to ramp up probiotics. Actually, I think you should take probiotics from day 1 of your treatment. They provide health benefits and help form healthy stools. Just don’t expect the probiotics to do much against yeast in the beginning.
Most people know that yogurt and kefir contain the beneficial bacterial that create a healthy gut flora. There are many who recommend to people with candidiasis to consume lots of yogurt or kefir. My experience has shown me that while yogurt and kefir don’t exacerbate yeast infection greatly like Sugar
or bread, they do somewhat feed yeast. They are made with milk which contains lactose. The bacteria in the cultures metabolize this into galactose and glucose. This is a problem since the galactose is food for candida. During my treatment protocol I consumed about a pint of kefir every day and experienced an impasse in fighting the yeast. After I stopped consuming kefir I saw progress in reducing the yeast. I know this goes against the accepted wisdom of many but I stand by my warnings against yogurt and yeast.
There are two main families of healthy probiotics found in the human gut. There are the bifidobacteria which mainly colonize in the large intestine (colon). Then there are the lactobacillus bacteria which inhabit both large and small intestine. Both are important in promoting good health. Most commercial probiotics are fairly deficient in bifidobacteria. Since the most amount of candida infection occurs in the large intestine, it is important to supplement with plenty of bifidobacteria to supplant the yeast living there. One critical effect of the lactobacillus bacteria is that they produce mild acids which change the environment in the gut to favor the good flora and disfavor the candida. When supplementing with probiotics you need a potent dose of at least 50 billion microbes per day. A 100 billion dose is even better. I have heard of people taking 25o billion a day but I think that is a little overdoing it (but not harmful in any way). The particular formulation that I take is Ultimate Flora Critical Care which contains 50 billion microbes per capsule, 60% of which are the bifidobacteria and 40% are lactobacillus. I like this one and if you have a favorite one, that is fine too. I am not saying that the one I take is the only good one. But take 50 billion microbes dose every day. After following protocol for several months and you see much less yeast coming out of you, then up the dose of probiotics to 100 billion microbes per day.
I will mention another type of probiotic that is useful in fighting candida. These are the soil based bacteria. The notable ones in this category include bacillus subtilis, lactobacillus coagulans, and bacillus laterosporus. These are not native to the human gut and will not colonize there but will remain there for only about 4 – 5 days. They do have great benefit to candida sufferers because they kill candida and do so aggressively. Formulations that include these include Prescript-Assist, Three Lac, and Flora-Balance. Bacillus Coagulans can be purchased as a stand-alone probiotic and should be taken daily as an antifungal. It works as an antifungal totally differently than the chemical antifungals and is not absorbed into the blood and therefore gets to the lower parts of the intestines. Highly recommended.
When you do get to the point in your protocol where it is time to ramp up the probiotics, it will also be time to take prebiotics. The billions of probiotics you are taking will need food to not only survive but to reproduce and proliferate. When mentioning prebiotics, most people are familiar with FOS and inulin. These are sometimes included in probiotics to nourish them in the gut. In the small amounts found in probiotics they do not pose a problem but if taken in quantity they could benefit yeast as well as the probiotics. Maybe you could take them near the end of your protocol when yeast is in severe decline, but I would not take them to boost probiotics. There is controversy about FOS and inulin when dealing with yeast infection and I just choose to be safe and avoid them except for the tiny amounts that may be in the probiotic formulations themselves. When ramping up the probiotics I take one capsule (50 billion microbes) every 12 hours. Don’t take 2 capsules in one dose once a day.
The two natural prebiotics that I want to recommend to you are 1) oat bran and 2) almond butter.
Oat bran is the outer hull of the oat grain that has been ground into powder. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber becomes food for the beneficial gut flora. Oat bran has many benefits to health. Below is a link describing these benefits and exactly how oat bran digestion helps in battling candidiasis.
Oat Bran Fiber specifically is food for, and increases the numbers of the good bacteria (Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium) in the large bowel. In fact the total number of bacteria is increased so much that excess, or waste nitrogen goes into bacterial protein, thus diverting nitrogen excretion from the kidneys to the large bowel. That would certainly be of benefit for patients suffering renal failure. But here is where Oat Bran Fiber really starts to get healthy! The "SCFA's" produced by Oat Bran fermentation are antimicrobial! They inhibit the growth of potentially unhealthy or pathogenic bacteria and yeasts! This is probably due to the increase in colon acidity that they cause. (It is also theorized that some components of Oat Bran can bind with iron, thus making it less available to disease causing bacteria, which need iron to grow).
I buy Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Bran. After cooking it I add a little vanilla extract, cinnamon, stevia and enough unsweetened almond milk to make it smooth. Delicious. I eat one bowl a day. Also, I take my probiotic about 2 hours before eating the oat bran. This is not necessary but I think it helps.
The other natural prebiotic is almond butter. Finely ground almonds (butter) have been found to be an excellent prebiotic for both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus probiotics. The almond oil and almond skin are important in this respect. Below are two articles that discuss almonds as prebiotics:
I had a hard time finding an almond butter that does not contain sugar. I finally found one and it is Trader Joe’s Almond Butter. They have salted and unsalted kinds. I like the salted one better. Do not eat this on bread, crackers or rice cakes. Eat it with a spoon all by itself. I always sip unsweetened almond milk when I eat this because otherwise it would be hard to swallow. Also, since this is a natural product it will have a layer of oil on top when you first open it. Do not pour this off; it is an important part of its prebiotic effect. Get a long ice tea spoon and mix it thoroughly making sure you get way down to the bottom of the jar while you stir. I eat this once a day, usually anywhere from ¼ to ½ of a jar.
The only other prebiotic that I want to briefly mention is something called lactulose. It is a liquid and requires a prescription. I believe it is prescribed for constipation. It is not a strong laxative. It does 3 good things. 1) It acidifies the gut which disfavors candida. 2) It feeds probiotics. 3) It doesn’t feed candida. I wish I could try this but like I said, it requires a prescription which I don’t have. Jorge here on CZ recommends this and knows much more than I do about it.
In conclusion, I want to give an overview of the entire anti-candida protocol. Start with a strict candida diet to stop feeding the yeast. Then introduce antifungals twice a day (every 12 hours) to reduce yeast colonies. Include enema therapy (cleanse and retention) to attack yeast in the colon and to gauge how bad the candida is in the gut. When yeast coming out is greatly reduced, ramp up the probiotics and start the prebiotic regimen. I could also mention all the vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements that are recommended and necessary for robust health but that is not the focus of this series. I am still dealing with yeast and have not been cured yet but I am seeing remarkable progress. I can tell you that if you have had candidiasis for a long time (over 5 years and especially if over 10 years) the time to heal will be much longer than would be the case if you only have had it for a short period of time. Don’t despair but continue onward. When I do come close to something like being healed I plan on stopping all antifungals and start taking saccharomyces boulardii which is a Good type of yeast that actually attacks and discourages candida growth. I am counting on the probiotics and saccharomyces boulardii to keep the candida away. But even then I do not plan on abandoning the paleo diet I am on. I feel very healthy on the paleo diet and I don’t crave Sugar
at all anymore. Secondly, there is evidence that people who have had candidiasis for a long time have a component of their immune system damaged and when they get over their candidiasis, that component does not return to normal function quickly. It may take up to 2 years (this is a guess; I’m sure it depends on each person and how long they’ve had it). Below are links to posts Jorge did here on CZ about how candida suppresses this part of the immune system:
Again I want to give my obligatory disclaimer to my posts so that people won’t misunderstand me:
Since it is fairly hard to know how serious or widespread a yeast infection you might have, I am going to assume it is a serious infection. If your infection is not that serious then if you take my advice you will get over your infection much quicker than normal. All of the things I discuss here are helpful to curing yeast infection. It is impossible to answer what is the least you have to do or buy to get over your yeast problem. I am writing to a large audience. Each person’s needs are different. Don’t ask me if you HAVE TO do any one thing or combination of things I’ve discussed. Take responsibility for your own health. Do your own research like I have and EXPERIMENT wisely.
If you missed my previous posts in this series you can read them here: