The Scientific Definition:
Candida albicans is a commensal, normal, human mucosal inhabitant, and can cause disease when antibiotics, corticosteroids, birth control pills, immune suppression or surgery occurs.
Candida albicans is only one of a few species of yeasts found in and on humans. It prefers sugar or glycogen-rich, moist environments. Candida thrives on human mucosal tissues, like the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, where it competes with the more numerous and simpler bacteria. Candida is a fermenter, as are most yeasts. Fermentation enzymes inside the Candida yeast cells generate energy and molecules for growth and survival of the yeasts. Sugar and hydrolyzed glycogen are the raw materials for fermentation.
Candida albicans is:
- a member of the fungi genus and one of only a few that may cause human disease.
- a yeast (fungus) that reproduces by budding (blastospores).
- able to form pseudohyphae and real hyphae, especially when invading host tissues, or in specialized culture conditions that promote pseudohyphae.
- present in low numbers, normally a few hundred cells per gram of tissue, but thousands to millions when unchecked or out of control.
- suppressed by other microbes, mainly bacteria (termed normal flora) in mouth, GI tract, vagina
- irritating, debilitating and even life-threatening in acute and chronic forms of disease. Candida normally causes disease in cutaneous (skin and nails) and mucocutaneous (mouth, GI tract) sites; however, Candida may even invade the blood stream and attack internal organs such as the kidney, liver, spleen, lungs and the heart and its valves (endocarditis).
Candida Yeast Infections: Factors that Promote Growth and Multiplication
- steroids such as prednisone suppress white blood cell activities; hormones like estrogen and progesterone promote glycogen in tissue and directly stimulate Candida cells
- antibiotics kill or inactivate normal flora bacteria which typically suppress Candida
- immunosuppressive drugs shut down the normal immune system (innate host defenses)
- hypo- forms of each of the following: thyroidism, adrenalism, parathyroidism
- cancers, or immune disorders such as chronic granulomatous disease
- AIDS patients and/or a compromised autoimmune system
- surgery and indwelling catheters
Candida Yeasts are Opportunistic Pathogens
Candida albicans, and about 7 other species of the genus Candida, may cause human disease. Opportunistic pathogens are microbes that are not typically pathogens but, when provided the right circumstances as shown above, they can cause disease in one form or another. Candida spp. may be considered as true opportunists.
Control of Candida relates directly to restoration or supplementation of normal flora and innate body defenses.
(End of Definition)
But if you ask your doctor about a candida diagnosis or test, you're likely to get one of several responses:
- "Candida" is a myth.
- If you had candida, you would be lying in a hospital bed dying of AIDS or cancer.
- A look that suggests you have the IQ of a roundworm.
- He/she ignores your question altogether and recommends a battery of expensive tests (there are no reliable lab tests for candida anyway).
- All of the above.
Or if you're lucky enough to find a (rare) doctor who recognizes that an overgrowth of candida can and does exist in humans beyond dying of some auto-immune disease (what little they're taught about it in medical school), then at least you've found someone who takes you seriously. A few renowned doctors have been champions of the overgrowth of candida in the general population - William Crook, M.D., Memhat Oz, M.D., Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., William Shaw, M.D. and a growing number of others.
The problem with their age-old approach to candida is that they try to assault the yeast/fungus with a barrage of antifungal drugs, sometimes coupled with antibiotics, and a ridiculously strict and impossible diet in an attempt to "starve" the candida yeast into submission.
What happens? It appears to work at first and symptoms do get better for a few weeks, sometimes dramatically so. The doctors claim victory, the drugs are eventually stopped (long term, they are all dangerous), the diet continues because the patient them finds it impossible to reintroduce "forbidden foods" (the list is as long as your arm), and by then, the wily candida has mutated into an ever more virulent strain, now resistant to the drugs and any other efforts to eradicate it.
That is where Symbion Probiotics differ so dramatically.
To find out more about Symbion Probiotics, click here: What are Symbion Probiotics?
To find out the most common symptoms and the only reliable way to diagnose a possible overgrowth of candida (written by William Crook, M.D.), click here: Symptoms and Test