The Best Supplements for People
The best supplements for people with Candida will not be the same across the board. The nutrients needed will be dependent on what strain and species of yeast you are dealing with, how well your detoxification system is working and any other conditions you have that are accompanying your yeast problem. A nutrient that helps support one health issue can actually aggravate another health issue. So it's important to educate yourself before you begin supplementation.
It is believed that a deficiency in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids makes the body weak and vulnerable to Candida overgrowth. On the other hand, the yeast itself can cause a deficiency in a variety of vitamins and minerals including B1 or thiamin, B3 or niacin, acetyl coenzyme A, pantothenic Acid or B5, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, biotin and others, because it consumes your nutrients for its own survival and due to acetaldehyde.
Regardless of which came first, people with Candida tend to have a multitude of deficiencies. Not only do deficiencies make the body vulnerable to yeast, but they also result in a vast array of psychological and physiological symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, chronic pain, cravings for sugar, carbs and other mind altering substances, skin conditions and many of the other symptoms that are indicative of Candida overgrowth. It can sometimes be difficult to know which symptoms are caused by the yeast and which ones are caused by the nutritional deficiencies. By identifying your nutritional deficiencies, you can improve your health, by reducing your level of overgrowth and by replenishing the deficiencies. Sometimes deficiency symptoms can be mistaken for Candida.
However, since there are a variety of nutrients that Candida uses for survival, you can make it proliferate with some supplementation, like many of the B vitamins. Additionally, many microbes use iron for their survival, and as you can learn on the biofilm page, many nutrients like iron, calcium and magnesium are used for the biofilm. Many antifungals kill yeast by creating oxidative stress that destroys the organism. If you take antioxidants too close to the time period that you take the antifungal, it will reduce oxidative stress, thus derail the effects of the antifungal. So, one needs to be careful when using nutritional supplements.
Many practitioners claim that you should take biotin because it will prevent Candida from changing from its yeast form into the mycelial fungal form. However, biotin is one of the primary nutrients that Candida needs to survive. So taking biotin actually makes yeast proliferate. Ask most anyone who has severe Candida and they will tell you that biotin brings on severe brain fog and other symptoms. Other people suggest supplementing with biotin because it is found that most people with Candida are deficient in biotin. The reason they are deficient is because Candida steals it, so taking more does not replenish the deficiency, because Candida just eats it all up.
Additionally, biotin is formed by the healthy bacteria in your gut, so if you're low in the good guys, then you'll be incapable of producing it and biotin levels will be low. This is true of most Candida species, not just Candida Albicans; except Candida Krusei, it doesn't need any vitamins for survival. Candida Glabrata needs niacin and vitamin B6 to survive. While on the other hand, one study found niacin to help eradicate Candida Albicans and aspergillus (another fungus). So, as you can see, the nutrients used by Candida varies from species to species and you can make your yeast issue worse if you take the wrong supplement.
In general, there are a variety of nutrients that will support the body during Candida treatment without causing it to increase. The most important one is Vitamin C as it boosts the immune system, assists with detox, supports the adrenal glands and reduces die off and allergic reactions to the yeast or other allergens and much more.
Some practitioners are finding that many people are much more successful with their treatment protocol if they take molybdenum and pantethine. These two nutrients help the body break down acetaldehyde, one of the main neurotoxins that Candida releases in the body, by improving acetylation. Acetylation is one of your body's main phase 2 detoxification pathways. Acetaldehyde is very harmful to the human mind and body, causing a variety of symptoms like brain fog, chronic pain, memory problems, depression, anxiety, addiction to many mind altering substances and many more. Reducing acetaldehyde in the body helps alleviate or improve many symptoms like brain fog, chronic pain, depression, and chemical sensitivities, however, this does not get rid of Candida. Molybdenum and pantethine help decongest the liver and reduce symptoms. Personally, I have found these two nutrients to be one of the most beneficial steps I've ever taken in regard to yeast. They completely eliminated a life-long issue with wide-spread pain in my body and significantly reduced chemical sensitivities.
The dosage most often used for this purpose is 300 mcg of molybdenum and at least 600 mg of pantethine. They are particularly beneficial if you have chemical sensitivities accompanying your Candida. However, it's important to also take a multimineral or supplement with copper, because if you take molybdenum on its own for an extended period of time, you can drive your copper levels down too low. Additionally, pantethine is the absolute best nutrient to support the adrenal glands, which are typically weak in people with Candida, as it directly fuels your adrenal glands ability to produce cortisol.
Zinc, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin D are also crucial for the body to fight off Candida, so if you are deficient in any of these, you will be more vulnerable to overgrowth. Many people are deficient in zinc, because some microbes have developed the ability to make you excrete your zinc in your urine in order to disable your immune system. A deficiency in zinc can also cause the lining of your gut to become weak and more permeable, which results in leaky gut and the escape of toxins and undigested food particles into the bloodstream.
Cravings for sweets are one of the biggest challenges that people with Candida face. Supplementation with glutamine is very effective in relieving cravings for some. It is also beneficial for repairing the holes in the intestinal wall that lead to leaky gut syndrome and it stabilizes blood sugar and increases your primary calming neurotransmitter called GABA. However, not everyone tolerates glutamine, so you'll have to monitor your symptoms. Glutamine can be converted into glutamate, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter that can result in a variety of negative symptoms like agitation, insomnia, and anxiety when in excess. Supplementation with chromium can help control cravings for sweets and balance your blood sugar if you are deficient in this mineral.
Of course, no good yeast protocol is complete without the use of probiotics and digestive enzymes; and colostrum provides supreme benefit for the gut and immune system in many. Silymarin, also known as milk thistle, is also superb for supporting the liver.
Many people with Candida have trouble tolerating supplements of all kinds. There are a wide variety of reasons this occurs. If you are one of those people, then please read the following page.
So, these are some of the nutrients that typically help people with Candida overgrowth. However, it's important to keep in mind that everyone is unique biochemically, so what is true for one person may not necessarily be true for another. It's always good to try and identify what nutrients your body needs through nutritional testing whenever possible. You must do your homework and discuss things with your health care provider before using any form of supplementation to try and avoid negative reactions and achieve optimal benefit. Always use your body as a guide for what supplements you take by observing how it responds and adjust accordingly.
It's equally important to be aware that nutritional supplements have little to no value if they are not accompanied by the proper diet. They cannot repair if you are continually ingesting foods and substances the destroy.
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Biao Ma, Shih-Jung Pan, Renee Domergue, Tracey Rigby, et al. al. High-Affinity Transporters for NAD+ Precursors in Candida glabrata Are Regulated by Hst1 and Induced in Response to Niacin Limitation. Mol Cell Biol. 2009 August; 29(15): 4067–4079.
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University of Montreal. "Vitamin B3 as a novel approach to treat fungal infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2010. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708141617.htm