FUNGI AND YEAST INFECTIONS
Fungi is a group of simple plants that have no chlorophyll. Some species of fungi are single celled and others are multi-cellular organisms. Fungi are made up of filaments called hyphe that are stacked together from end to end.
Some kinds of fungi live on land and others live in water environments. Since fungi has no chlorophyll, it can not make its own food. Some types of live off of other organisms and are parasites, while others feed off of dead and decaying matter. A third kind of fungi lives with other organisms and neither the fungi or the organism is hurt. This kind of relationship is called positive symbiosis.
Fungal infections in humans can range from common mild conditions such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, mycosis, tinea, Thrush, ringworm and candida infections to serious life-threatening diseases such as invasive aspergillosis.
Trillions of varying species bacteria and yeasts reside in the gastro-intestinal tract and upon the skin. Normally, in the correct balance, they are harmless and some types of bacteria are actually beneficial and vital for human health and many processes that take place within the body. However, a great number of factors can quickly reduce the numbers of these beneficial bacteria and this is when an overgrowth of yeast can occur leading to many symptoms and chronic health conditions. A yeast is a special type of "budding" fungus. Candida albicans yeast overgrowth is a very common occurrence in humans but all too often ignored by doctors treating patients for a very wide variety of symptoms.
Certain medications like antibiotics, azathioprine , corticosteroids and the ones administered during chemotherapy or after transplant surgery suppress the immune system thereby increasing yeast overgrowth. Other factors that weaken the immune system include:
Stress seems to be an important factor that affects the immune system response as people suffering prolonged stressful situations generate fewer lymphocytes in response to antigens and fewer antibodies in response to viruses and yeasts. This may be because stress and intense exercise uses up all nutrients (especially the B-group vitamins and their co-factors and minerals) at a much faster rate leading to deficiencies if they are not sufficiently replaced which in turn affects the antibody cell production and maintenance.
Sugar has greatly increased in the human diet over the past 100 years as have pharmaceutical drug and toxic chemical use and chronic immune disorders have risen accordingly. It may be because sugar feeds the yeasts in the intestines and helps it to grow out of control and this, along with the factors mentioned above, could be the root cause of the many auto-immune disorders that are seen today.
Some systematic yeast infections are caused by fungi present in the soil, plants and house dust. Fungal infections that are contagious in nature are usually spread from an infected individual to an uninfected individual either by direct contact or by using objects that the infected individual has touched and contaminated.
The capability of fungi to survive and spread is greatly underestimated as is shown by a species called Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis also known as the 'zombie ant fungus'. This organism has been shown to control the mind and behaviour of carpenter ant workers. It manipulates its ant victims to return and die in the vicinity of the ant nest, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts and infects others by dropping spores.
SYMPTOMS OF FUNGAL INFECTIONS
Fungal infections in the nasal cavities (sinusitis) can cause blockage and loss of the sense of smell. Small polyps can develop which can hinder breathing through the nose. A main symptom is major fatigue for over 3 months. Other common symptoms can be a runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of smell and headaches. There can also be a tendency towards nosebleeds but this is not apparent in all cases and nosebleeds can be due to other conditions. In 25% of chronic maxillary sinusitis (in the cheek bone area) there is an underlying dental infection which must be resolved. See Sinusitis.
Acute and chronic fungal infections can cause permanent lung, organ and bone damage. If not treated in time, they can become fatal too.
POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF YEAST OVERGROWTH IN THE INTESTINES
Food cravings or addictions for alcohol, bread, pasta and other high carbohydrate foods and also alcohol.
Fungal infections of the skin or nails, i.e. ringworm, seborrhoea dermatitis, dark and light patches on the skin (tinea versicolor), etc.
General itching and rashes.
Glands – swollen, too little saliva (dryness in the mouth), blocked salivary glands, swollen lymph nodes.
Hair loss, scum on the scalp, dandruff, itchy scalp, scalp sores and dryness.
Headaches, migraines, brain fog.
Heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat.
Haemorrhoids, rectal itching, rash, irritation and redness.
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
Hypothyroidism, Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome, Hashimoto’s disease, hyperthyroidism, erratic thyroid function.
Increased occurrences of herpes eruptions.
Insomnia, nightmares and waking up frequently.
Itchy burning or puffy eyes.
Kidney and bladder - burning pain when urinating, cystitis, difficulty urinating, inflammation of the bladder,
Lack of appetite.
Male associated problems - difficulty urinating, enlarged prostate, impotence, loss of sex drive, prostitis, penis infections, painful intercourse, swollen scrotum, Tinea cruris (jock itch) or urinary frequency or urgency.
Memory loss, having to read words more than once and inability to concentrate.
Mouth sores or blisters, bad breath, canker sores, dryness, a white coating on the tongue (thrush) and blocked salivary glands.
Muscle aches and pain, numbness, burning or tingling, and lack of strength and coordination.
Nasal congestion, dryness, itching or postnasal drip.
Odour of the body, feet or hair not resolved by washing.
Reduced mental clarity.
Respiratory - cough, bronchitis or pneumonia, pain or tightness in the chest, wheezing or shortness of breath.
Sinus inflammation, headaches, swelling and infections.
Sore throat, hoarse voice, constant tickle in the throat, laryngitis, loss of voice.
Urinary tract infections.
White coated tongue.
An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders and some people have more than one at the same time. All microbes, including bacteria, parasites, viruses and yeast, can cause the immune system to attack cells throughout the body including the brain, ears, eyes, liver, joints, kidneys, lungs, heart, intestines, muscles and peripheral nerves. These attacks can be mild and rectify themselves after a few weeks or can become chronic and cause worsening damage over years.
Auto-immune attack is often connected with causes such as chronic infections with yeast microbes like Candida. The original root cause that could have created this yeast overgrowth may have been:
All of these factors can cause an imbalance of the intestinal bacteria and a yeast overgrowth and this will keep the immune system in a constant state of imbalance, producing auto-immune reactions.Adrenal hormones are often lacking in the vast majority of those with autoimmune disorders. The main hormone that controls the immune system is cortisol (hydrocortisone). A deficiency in cortisol results in an over reactive immune system.
AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS THAT MAY BE CAUSED BY INTESTINAL FLORA IMBALANCE AND YEAST INFECTION
FUNGAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, pulmonary
aspergilloma, or invasive aspergillosis. Aspergillosis are widely
distributed fungal moulds found in soil and other organic matter.
They have also been isolated in air-conditioning systems. There are
more than a hundred different species but most human disease is
caused by Aspergillus fumigatus or Aspergillus niger. Occasionally,
Aspergillus clavatus and Aspergillus flavus cause human illness.
Inhalation of fungus from the natural soil habitat.
Found in exposed and moist parts of the body, like
the vagina, vulva, penis, foreskin, nostrils, ear, oral cavity,
nipples and folds of skin in diaper area. Candida can infect the
Caused by inhalation of airborne, fungal particles
Caused by inhalation of soil contaminated with the encapsulated yeast.
Fungal meningitis is relatively uncommon and causes chronic
meningitis. Occasionally it can mimic acute bacterial meningitis.
Cryptococcal meningitis is a common fungal form of the disease that
affects people with immune deficiencies, such as AIDS. It can be
life-threatening if not treated with an antifungal medication.
Primarily affects the lungs.
Ringworm is caused by various types of fungi and can be treated by the following remedies:
For more information about each remedy see
A fungal infection of the nasal cavities that can lead to bacterial infection. Can be treated easily with natural remedies. See: Sinusitis.
Tinea pedis affects the epidermis of the foot.
Most women are bothered at one time or another by vaginitis; the itching, burning, pain and discharge that comes with a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infections can be caused by a number of organisms, many of which inhabit the healthy vagina. One of the most common causes of vaginitis is the fungus Candida albicans. The annoying symptoms can include itching, discharge that has a "baked bread" odour, and reddening of the labia and, in some cases, the upper thigh. While yeast infections can often be treated successfully at home, it's important to be sure that yeast is really the culprit. Infection with other types of organisms can often cause symptoms similar to those of a yeast infection.
To cure thrush naturally is simple. Dip a tampon in some organic probiotic plain yoghurt and insert into the vagina. Leave for 4 hours then remove and take a tea tree oil and sea salt bath. Make sure to clean inside the vaginal opening while laying in the bath. If the infection is severe use the same method the following day. This should clear up the over production of yeast and return the balance of flora to normal.
Yeast organisms like warm, moist conditions, with little or no oxygen. In order to deny them the perfect growing medium, dry the vaginal area thoroughly after bathing or showering. Choose cotton underwear and loose clothes if suffering repeated attacks only wear tights with a built-in cotton-lined panty. Also, change into dry clothing straight after swimming.
Avoid using perfumed talcum powders and deodorants around the genitals as these can cause irritation that can lead to yeast infections. Perfumed soaps may have the same reaction. Try washing with home made natural herbal teas instead. See below.
Often, men harbour yeast organisms, especially in the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis, but show no symptoms, so when one partner is treated for a yeast infection, the other should be treated at the same time to avoid re-infection. Couples who make love before a yeast infection has been completely cured should also use condoms during intercourse to act as a barrier and prevent passing the infection.
Women who take birth control pills also appear to be at increased risk for developing yeast infections. While researchers haven't established a cause-and-effect relationship between the Pill and yeast, some studies have shown that oral contraceptives increase the glycogen (the body's storage form of sugar) in the vagina which provides more food for yeast reproduction.
Women who douche frequently in the belief that it is a healthy practice may actually increase their risk for yeast infections by altering the vagina's pH balance. Routine douching is simply not necessary, since the vagina is able to clean itself. Routine douching has been linked to an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes and result in infertility. If the infection spreads to the circulatory system, it can be fatal. Not only has routine douching been associated with an increased risk of PID, some researchers believe it may increase a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer.
In all cases normal personal hygiene without internal douching is the best prevention and cure for both bacterial and fungal infections. A healthy level of bacteria in the intestines is also important to provide the body with the antibodies it needs to clear up any infections. See below for a list of natural foods that can do this.
Veruccas are highly contagious and affect the feet.
DIAGNOSIS OF YEAST OVERGROWTH
As can be seen from the above there is a whole host of common ailments and symptoms that may be simply due to an imbalance of intestinal flora and an overgrowth of yeast. Often these conditions are treated with pharmaceutical medications that will simply compound the problem and what is being consumed in the diet or omitted from it is not considered at all.
Doctors rarely test for yeast overgrowth in the intestines as it is difficult to establish and even if yeast levels are assessed via the blood, saliva or stool, it is impossible to know how tolerant a person is to yeast such as candida and its by-products. A person with a strong constitution may be capable of hosting large populations of yeast with minimal symptoms, while another person may suffer greatly from a very mild overgrowth of yeast.
There is a scam on the internet that suggests a spit test can be an indicator of yeast overgrowth however, this was invented by a pharmaceutical company hard selling their antifungal medication and is no accurate indication and should be ignored as spit viscosity and density varies in everyone depending upon many factors and therefore most people will get a false negative or positive result.
POSSIBLE FOOD AND DRINK CAUSES OF INCREASED YEAST GROWTH
Consuming an excess of any of the following food and drinks can cause an increase in yeast in the intestines.
Some iron supplements, which rapidly produce free iron in the digestive tract, are routinely used in infant formulas, food fortification especially breakfast cereals, many low quality dietary supplements and prescription medications for those with anaemia. Such iron compromises immunity and promotes digestive imbalance and the overgrowth of harmful bacterial and yeasts.
EIGHT STEPS FOR CORRECTING THE INTESTINAL FLORA BALANCE
Step 1 Beverages
Abstain from drinking alcohol, caffeine-laden drinks (coffee and fizzy drinks) and chlorinated water entirely for one month as these can all aggravate a yeast infection. Stick with vegetable juices, coconut water, green and herbal teas and bottled at source mineral water or filtered water and drink at least eight glassfuls of these per day. Always drink one large glass of water before bed as this will help to flush out toxins caused from the die off of the yeasts.
Step 2 Cheese
Avoid cheese for one month as this contains moulds from the cheese making process which may hamper the elimination of a yeast infection. This will also result in some weight loss if cheese was consumed regularly.
Step 3 High glycaemic index foods
The higher the glycaemic Index of foods, the faster blood sugar rises after consumption and this extra sugar in the system will feed yeasts so these should be avoided. Foods with a high glycaemic index are:
Step 4 Mushrooms
While some medicinal mushrooms have powerful health benefits, many of them can cause an inflammatory reaction when there is a yeast infection present, causing more sensitivity for the sufferer and prolonging the course of the infection. Some mushrooms may also have traces of mould on them and this, if it is not removed completely, can cause further health problems. Until the yeast overgrowth is under control it is best to avoid mushrooms altogether.
Step 5 Vinegar
Most types of vinegar contain yeast, which depletes stomach acid and can cause inflammation and worsen symptoms and should be avoided. However, apple cider vinegar has many health benefits and does not appear to cause this problem.
Step 6 Shellfish
The shellfish that live on the sea floor and consume any detritus that falls their way may contain harmful toxins and chemicals and even some heavy metals which can aggravate the system when trying to fend off a yeast overgrowth. It is best to avoid clams, crab, crayfish, lobster, oysters and any other bottom dwelling shellfish until the intestinal flora has been rebalanced.
When consuming any seafood that may contain heavy metals, consuming algae such as chlorella, dulse, Irish moss and spirulina and herbs such as coriander or green tea or sulphur-rich foods at the same time can help to eliminate heavy metals from the system. See Sulphur sources below.
Step 7 Sugar
Cut out all forms of sugar for one month as this feeds the yeasts and helps them proliferate. Many processed and ready meals contain sugar in varying forms and these food additives should be avoided such as:
Step 8 Yeast products
Avoid any yeast products such as beer, Brewer’s yeast, wine and yeast extracts for one month. All these can cause bloating and flatulence which is often because of the yeast content. They also contain sugars which add to the burden. The result of eliminating these from the diet can be weight loss if they are usually consumed regularly which is advantageous when trying to balance the intestinal flora and improve the immune system and metabolism.
NATURE CURES FOR YEAST OVERGROWTH
Conventionally, a number of medicines can be used to eliminate fungal infections. But excessive consumption of these medicines has been found to result in mild as well as serious side effects like anaemia, kidney damage, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and steroid dependency. To avoid such harmful side effects it is wise to try natural remedies first to cure infections.
The best way to reduce yeasts in the body is to consume a diet rich in the foods listed below and reduce all the factors that can create the environment where yeast can grow well.
Lactoferrin is a natural component in saliva and must be present in adequate amounts to keep yeasts such as candida in balance. those with oral candida have significant low levels of lactoferrin and lack the ability to inhibit candida growth. Also the immune cells in these patients’ saliva have defective weapons systems that reduced their ability to kill yeasts such as candida.
Candida overgrowth sticks to mucosal linings and spreads like a weed. A study with vaginal mucosal lining cells showed that lactoferrin not only significantly reduces candida from sticking; it also actually helps detach candida if it has already latched on. This finding is likely to apply to other mucosal linings such as the lungs, sinuses and digestive tract.
Natural foods that contain short-chain fatty acids are the best defence against yeast overgrowth. Caprylic acid, lactoferrin, lauric acid and undecylenic acid all act to keep yeast levels in check within and upon the human body. The following all contain compounds which can fight against yeast overgrowth and regain a normal level of flora in the intestines. Making teas with the herbs in the following list and drinking three cups per day can help reduce yeast overgrowth.
Natural food remedies for yeast overgrowth
Liquorice root helps to produce the adrenal hormones often lacking in people with chronic yeast infections that can then lead to an over reactive immune system. The main hormone that controls the immune system is cortisol (hydrocortisone).
Olive leaf extract has an active ingredient, oleuropein, which has powerful healing properties that fight bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses and yeasts. The olive tree is often referred to as "The Tree of Life" and the extract from its leaves has been used as a natural antimicrobial for thousands of years and was revered by the ancient Egyptians.
To find out more about the herbs mentioned above go to the A-Z of Herbs and Spices page.
DAILY ESSENTIALS FOR ELIMINATING YEAST OVERGROWTH
Consume a healthy portion of both insoluble and soluble fibre at least twice a day to aid absorption of nutrients and elimination of toxins from dying yeast cultures.. Beans, peas and pulses and vegetables (with their skins) are the best sources. Coconut flesh, nuts, seeds, brown rice and other unrefined whole grains are also good choices and seeds must still contain their husks. Fruit (with skins) is also high in fibre but also rich in sugars so should be kept to a minimum as they contain fructose which provide a growth spurt to yeasts.
When trying to eliminate a yeast overgrowth it is important to avoid especially sweet fruits such as apricots, bananas, mangos, melon, nectarines peaches, plums, prunes, strawberries and all dried fruits for the first month. They can then be introduced a few times a week once the intestinal flora has been rebalanced. It is important to consume all the different colours of vegetables whilst eliminating these fruits from the diet to ensure all nutrients are consumed that may be missing.
Highest sources of insoluble fibre
The highest amounts of insoluble fibre are found in dark green leafy vegetables, grain and seed husks and root vegetable skins.
Highest sources of soluble fibre
*Consume a tablespoon of psyllium husks daily with a large tumbler of water afterwards to aid in better digestion and colon health.
PREBIOTIC AND PROBIOTIC FOODS
Consuming prebiotic and probiotic foods regularly on a daily basis will increase the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the intestines which will then crowd out and reduce the numbers of naturally occurring yeasts in the intestines.
The human digestive system has a hard time breaking down many of these carbohydrates. Almost 90% escapes digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon where it performs a different function: that of a prebiotic. The bacteria that feed on fermentable carbohydrate produce many beneficial substances, including short-chain fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin K and certain B vitamins. They also promote further absorption of some minerals that have escaped the small intestine, including calcium and magnesium.
During and after any treatment with antibiotics, it is advisable to include more probiotic foods in the daily diet to replenish the beneficial bacteria that are wiped out by antibiotics. It is advisable to consume probiotics at least an hour before other foods to enable enough beneficial bacteria to survive and pass through the strong stomach acids.
PROCESSES THE INTESTINAL BACTERIA ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
Making a rich soup with any of the following ingredients and consuming a small bowl daily before meals can help to restore the balance of the intestinal flora. Add plain yoghurt, spices like turmeric and chilli pepper and herbs such as coriander for added benefit. As mentioned above it is particularly important to address any imbalance of the beneficial bacteria in the intestines as this can combat any fungal or yeast invasion. Try to include some from each of the two categories below in the daily diet.
Prebiotic foods that feed the existing beneficial bacteria
Consumed one of more of the following probiotic foods one hour before a main meal to help replenish the beneficial bacteria in the guts. This is especially important after taking a course of antibiotics as they will have destroyed the beneficial bacteria as well as any pathogenic types that they were taken for.
Probiotic foods that contain beneficial bacteria
Miso (a Japanese fermented seasoning made with soya beans, salt and a type of fungus called koji)
Sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)
Tempeh (fermented soya beans)
Yoghurt (plain with live cultures)
Brine pickles are easy to make at home taking only five days to ferment using just sea salt and water. They are not only beneficial for the intestinal bacteria balance but also provide high nutrition from the chosen foods, herbs and spices that have been pickled and will last up to twelve months if kept in a sealed jar so are a great chemical free preservation method. See Brine Pickling
NATURE CURES INTERNAL REMEDIES FOR FUNGAL, MOULD AND YEAST INFECTIONS
In many cases, topical mixtures just will not permanently rid the skin of mould growth. In these cases it is entirely possible that the growth is more than just a fungal infection on the skin and more extreme measures may need to be taken and a diet life style change may be the best option. Completely eliminate yeast, sugar and wheat from the diet and try to eat unprocessed or refined natural foods free of additives and added sugar. Replace sugar with honey, especially in teas, as honey contains enzymes which will also fight off fungal infections whilst sugar will feed the fungi.
Many everyday natural foods have powerful antifungal properties such as: chicory, onions, crushed cloves, potatoes, tea and watercress.. They can be used both internally and externally to kill off yeast and fungal infections. Also, high fibre foods such as fibre foods such as legumes, vegetables and whole grains will bolster the body's defence system. The following remedies can be tried when mould infections persist.
For more information about each one see:
More natural remedies: A decoction can be made of grated alum root simmered in a litre of water until the liquid has halved, strain then drink when cooled. NOTE: Alum root may cause gastrointestinal irritation if taken in large amounts.
Cayenne pepper: Put a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper in water or juice and drink it three times a day.
Cnidium monnieri seeds contain
Garlic cloves (sliced or crushed) have
Ground spices: Add ground spices such as
Herbal teas: Drink three cups of cleansing herbal teas daily such as anise, basil, burdock, coriander leaves, dandelion, green tea, liquorice root, oregano, rosemary and/or thyme. Steep the herbs in hot water for 20 minutes then strain and reheat the liquid gently before sipping slowly. Add honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice if desired and drink 1 to 4 cups per day.
Honey: Replace sugar with honey, especially in teas, as honey contains enzymes which will also fight off fungal infections whilst sugar will feed the mould.
Lemon: Consume half the juice of a lemon daily.
Lotus flower and milk: Taking a mixture prepared from lotus flowers and milk twice a day for at least two weeks for infections of the lips.
Seeds: Pumpkin, papaya and watermelon seeds contain powerful antifungal properties and should be crushed and sprinkled on meals.
Tea infusions made with the following herbs can help to treat fungal infections. Use one teaspoon of any the following per cup of boiled water, steep 10-20 minutes and drink up to three cups a day. Gently reheat (do not boil) and sweeten with honey if desired. More than one can be combined for extra antifungal strength.
NOTE: Do not drink nettle tea if there are any heart or kidney problems.
Steep one teaspoon of crushed seeds of any of the following per cup of hot boiled water, steep 10-20 minutes and drink up to three cups a day. Gently reheat (do not boil) and sweeten with honey if desired. More than one can be combined for extra antifungal strength.
Tea for a fungal lung or sinus infection
To fight a fungal infection and ease breathing difficulties make a tea by mixing all the following ingredients and let them steep in hot (but not boiling) water for two hours. Then strain and gently reheat adding honey if desired. Drink three mugs per day until infection has gone.
One teaspoon of
Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon and include the grated zest.
Three mugs of bottled or filtered water
Check the pH of saliva with pHydrion paper. If the saliva pH is below 7.2 then there may be an imbalance of the bacteria flora in the intestines. To increase the oral pH to a normal 7.2 or greater, drink one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in 57 ml (two ounces) of cooled boiled water. It is that simple to neutralise the acids that can cause bacteria imbalance, fungal and yeast infections, virus infections, tooth cavities and decay, mouth sores, proliferation of worms and parasites, halitosis, acne, MRSA, anaemia and even oral cancer.
Cleaning the teeth with bicarbonate of soda and coconut oil after eating can help to correct the PH balance and avoiding commercial powerful toothpastes and mouthwashes can also help readdress the balance. It has been proved that the strong antibacterial mouthwashes encourages the proliferation of worms and parasites by killing the good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
NUTRIENTS TO REDUCE YEAST OVERGROWTH
Natural foods rich in the following nutrients are particularly useful to help the body fight off a Candida infection. Restoring the body's natural defences by addressing the balance of beneficial bacteria in the body is often all it takes to clear yeast and fungal infections in the early stages. This will also prevent and protect against infection in the first place. Supplements are not advised as they can upset the balance of nutrients and minerals in the body and often contain artificial additives that can cause further health issues. Follow the links below to find out the highest natural food resources of these nutrients.
NOTE: To benefit from foods containing fat-soluble nutrients, such as the carotenoids in carrots and tomatoes, always eat together with oily foods like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil, fish, nut, seed or other cold pressed plant oils because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture of the essential vitamin A nutrient.
NOTE: It is always best to consume natural foods rich in the vitamins and minerals required rather than synthetic versions as there is concern that the synthesising of some supplements can leave traces of heavy metals which are detectable in the final product. Over the last decade a number of supplements, from individual vitamins to whey proteins, have been tested and traces of a number of heavy metals have been detected. As mandatory product testing is not enforced it is impossible to determine which supplements may contain these heavy metals, and which do not. It is for this reason that many people do not recommend synthetic forms, as heavy metals are linked to brain degeneration, liver toxicity and genetic mutations and could lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease. See Heavy Metals under the A-Z of Minerals on this website for more information about how to avoid heavy metals and eliminate them from the body.
Only the highest food sources that are appropriate for people suffering with a yeast overgrowth are included in the following nutrient lists. The food sources that can promote yeast overgrowth, such as meat, dairy and those containing high-glycaemic index or sugar and yeast products have been omitted.
Found in every cell of the body, alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that attacks free radicals, waste products from the body’s conversion of food into energy, that can cause illness and cell degeneration. Alpha-lipoic acid is a particularly versatile antioxidant because it is both fat-soluble and water-soluble, allowing it to work in every part of the anatomy and protect cells both inside and out. Alpha-lipoic acid works as an antioxidant in both water and fatty tissue, enabling it to enter all parts of the cell and protect it from the damage and is especially important for nerve cells.
Because it works synergistically with many other nutrients, deficiency symptoms for this substance alone are difficult to characterise or diagnose. A true deficiency can mimic the general symptoms of inadequate antioxidant activity, including weakened immune function, decreased muscle mass and memory problems.
Natural sources of alpha-lipoic acid
Astaxanthin is a omega-3 fatty acid and one of the most powerful antioxidants known to man. Daily consumption of foods rich in astaxanthin can help with the regulation of blood pressure, blood sugar, liver and pancreas function, immune and inflammatory responses as well as thyroid and adrenal activity and hormone production. Astaxanthin gives the red and pink colour to fresh water and ocean fish.
Natural sources of astaxanthin
Salmon and salmon roe (eggs)
NOTE:The highest concentration of this powerful antioxidant is found in a type of algae (Haematococcus microalgae) and red krill oil. Farmed salmon is often dyed pink. Wiold salmon is more nutriritous.
Avenacin is saponin which comprises of a mixture of four (A-1, B-1, A-2 and B-2) major auto fluorescent compounds that are accumulated in the roots of oats and barley, especially root tips, that have antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Capric acid, together with caprylic acid and lauric acid, other medium-chain fatty acids, have powerful properties to fight yeast infections as they can easily enter the cells.. Natural sources of these fatty acids are aubergine, coconut flesh and cold-pressed oil, goats milk and pomegranate seed oil.
Natural sources of capric acid
Natural sources of caprylic acid in alphabetical order
Natural sources of lauric acid
Every cell in the body uses Iodine. Primarily, Iodine is crucial to the thyroid gland; it not only regulates the thyroid to guard against over and under activity, it serves as a kind of disinfectant route. A large amount of blood passes through the thyroid, an is thereby cleansed of harmful micro-organisms on the way.
Iodine is a fatal enemy of single cell micro-organisms. When life first started to evolve as a single cell organism, iodine was not part of their makeup. It was only later, after it had become concentrated in seaweed, that it was incorporated into the more complex, higher life forms. It is for this reason that the simplest level of life, the micro-organism, cannot tolerate iodine. It kills single celled organisms by penetrating the cell wall and combining with the amino acids tyrosine or histidine. All single cells showing tyrosine on their outer cell membranes are killed instantly by a simple chemical reaction with iodine that denatures proteins.
Nature and evolution have provided an important mechanism to control pathogenic life forms without man-made antibiotics that can cause mutations and resistance of pathogenic bacteria leading to infections such as MRSA and kill off the beneficial bacteria in the intestines leading to an overgrowth of yeasts. Iodine also helps the body to rid itself of harmful chemicals and heavy metals as well as eliminating abnormal cells which means it can also protect against cancer.
Highest sources of iodine in micrograms per serving mentioned
Selenium is an important antioxidant that plays a role in the body's utilisation of oxygen. Alcoholics, as well as patients with arthrogryposis-renal dysfunction-cholestasis (ARC), candidiasis, chronic fatigue syndrome and other auto-immune disorders usually have low levels of selenium. It has a role in detoxifying poisonous phenols, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, hydrocarbons and chlorine which can help improve the levels of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and hence lower yeast overgrowth. It also helps in the prevention and treatment of dandruff and improves the condition of hair and nails. Supplements should not be taken as it can be toxic in high levels leading to brittle nails, gastrointestinal upset, hair loss and mild nerve damage.
Highest sources of selenium in micrograms per 100 grams
*Just two brazil nuts per day will provide adequate levels of selenium in the diet.
Sulphur is a very powerful component against fungi and yeast infections both internally and externally. Flower of sulphur has long been used to treat infecxtions of the skin and is safe to use on animals too.
NOTE: Those suffering with bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis should avoid sulphur-rich foods.
Highest sources of sulphur in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: Some people develop an intolerance to the thiols in sulphur-contain foods. See Food Allergies
A deficiency in vitamin A is associated with impaired immunity and increased risk of infectious disease because it plays a role in infection and maintaining mucosal surfaces by influencing T cells, B cells and cytokines. Adequate levels of zinc are needed to transport vitamin A to the retina.
Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet: preformed vitamin A and pro-formed vitamin A which is made from carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is found in foods from animal sources as they have already made carotenoids into vitamin A and includes dairy products, fish and meat (especially liver). The most important pro-formed vitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene; other pro-formed vitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.
The body converts these plant pigments into vitamin A. Both preformed vitamin A and pro-formed vitamin A must be metabolised intracellularly in the body to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of vitamin A, to support the vitamin's important biological functions. Other carotenoids found in food, such as lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, are not converted into vitamin A. Carotenoids are fat-soluble so must be consumed with a little oil from other foods such as avocado, fish, nuts, olives or seeds.
Highest sources of pro-formed vitamin A (carotenoids) in micrograms per 100 grams
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is required for the metabolism of carbohydrates and helps fuel the body by converting blood sugar into energy. It also keeps mucous membranes healthy and is essential for the brain, heart, muscular function and the nervous system. It also enhances circulation and helps with blood formation and all these vital roles are important to help keep yeasts at bay.
Highest sources of vitamin B1 in milligrams per 100 grams
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is required by the body to use oxygen and for the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates and protein. Vitamin B2 is further needed to activate vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B9 (folic acid), helps to create vitamin B3 (niacin) and assists the adrenal gland. It is also used for red blood cell formation, antibody production, cell respiration and growth. It is required for the health of the mucus membranes in the digestive tract and helps with the absorption of iron and vitamin B6. It is most beneficial to the skin, hair and nails.
Riboflavin is manufactured industrially using yeast or other fermenting organisms, used as a yellow colouring in foods and as vitamin fortification, but is difficult to incorporate into most foods due to poor solubility and it is destroyed upon exposure to light. It is very important to avoid supplements containing vitamin B2 and foods which have been fortified or coloured with riboflavin when suffering from an overgrowth of yeast.
Highest sources of vitamin B2 in milligrams per 100 grams
Almonds 1.10 mg
Lean beef 0.86 mg
Soya beans 0.76 mg
Wheat bran 0.58 mg
Mackerel 0.58 mg
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is required for cell respiration and helps in the release of energy and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is also required for proper circulation and healthy skin, functioning of the nervous system and normal secretion of bile and stomach fluids. The body manufactures vitamin B3 from tryptophan and vitamin B6. The body’s immune system creates a specific cytokine, interferon gamma, which breaks down tryptophan to make niacin. The man-made synthetic version of vitamin B3 has anti-vitamin properties meaning it inhibits the absorption of other vitamins and should be avoided.
Highest sources of vitamin B3 in milligrams per 100 grams
Vitamin B 5, also known as pantothenic acid, is involved in reactions that supply energy, in the synthesis of such vital compounds as sterols (cholesterol), hormones (growth, stress and sex hormones), neurotransmitters (acetylcholine), phospholipids (components of cell membranes), porphyrin (component of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red blood cell pigment), antibodies and in the metabolism of drugs (sulfonamides).
It also plays an important role in the secretion of hormones, such as cortisone, because it supports the adrenal gland. These hormones assist the metabolism, help to fight allergies and are beneficial in the maintenance of healthy skin, muscles and nerves. Vitamin B5 is synthesised by bacterial flora in the intestines which means an upset in the levels of beneficial bacteria can reduce levels of available vitamin B5.
Highest sources of vitamin B5 (In milligrams per 100 grams)
Vitamin B6. also known as pyridoxine, is required for the balancing of hormonal changes as well as assisting the immune system and the growth of new cells. A vitamin B6 deficiency can depress aspects of the immune response such as lymphocytes’ ability to mature and spin off into various types of T and B cells. It also assists in the balancing of sodium and potassium, promotes red blood cell production and is also needed by the body to manufacture its own vitamin B3 and converts glycogen to the glucose needed for energy. Alcohol promotes the loss and destruction of vitamin B6 from the body and some medications, such as theophylline often prescribed to asthmatic children, decreases body stores of vitamin B6.
Highest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams
* Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.
Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, vitamin H or coenzyme R, is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids and the metabolism of fats and proteins. It plays a role in the Krebs cycle, which takes place within the mitochondria . It is also required for healthy hair and skin, healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow and assisting with muscle pain. Vitamin B7 not only assists in various metabolic chemical conversions, but also helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide and is also helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Because of these vital roles it is an important nutrient in the diet when trying to fight off yeast overgrowth. Other nutrients that are required for the effective use of vitamin B7 are chromium, magnesium, manganese and vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12.
Highest sources of vitamin B7 in micrograms per 100 grams
Vitamin B8, also known as inositol, is a water-soluble fatty lipid that is required by the body for the formation of healthy cells. It assists the B vitamins to function more effectively and plays an important part in the health of cell membranes especially the specialised cells in the brain, bone marrow, eyes and intestines. Cell membranes are responsible for regulating the contents of the cells, to enable the cells to function correctly.
Its most important role seems to be in the central nervous system, where it serves to help transmit messages along neural pathways. Inositol is obtained from food from phytic acid, a substance found in the fibre of foods (phytic acid gets converted to inositol in the intestine) and from foods directly in the form of myo-inositol.
Deficiency can be caused by alcohol and coffee which block absorption of inositol. Antibiotics and many other medications also block B vitamins and vital co-factors like inositol from being absorbed. Stress and intense exercise uses up all nutrients (especially the B-group vitamins and their co-factors) at a much faster rate.
Highest sources of vitamin B8 (200 mg plus per 100 g)
Highest sources of vitamin B8 (100 mg plus per 100 g)
Vitamin B 12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is essential to the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids and important for the proper function of the nervous system and the maintenance and formation of blood cells and is involved in many other processes throughout the human body. Vitamin B12 is synthesised only by microorganisms and is not present in many plants as it is bound to the protein in foods. This is a primary reason why most plant-based foods cannot be relied upon to supply good amounts of vitamin B12 except for barley grass which is a surprisingly rich source of this vitamin. Root vegetable with stained spots due to contact with the soil, are a good supply of vitamin B12 however, once they are peeled or scrubbed they will no longer contain any vitamin B12.
Most animals obtain the vitamin preformed from their intestinal bacterial flora and although the bacteria in the human colon produces some B12 because it is below the ileum, where B12 is absorbed into the blood stream, it must be obtained in the diet from the food sources below.
Older adults with atrophic gastritis hampers the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from natural foods. Athletes, alcohol drinkers, people in stressful situations, people taking prescribed or recreational drugs, pregnant and lactating women, those on low-fat diets, vegetarians and vegans can all be deficient in vitamin B12. Anyone suffering with digestive and absorption issues or liver disorders can also be deficient in this vital vitamin.
Highest sources of vitamin B12 in milligrams per 100 grams
Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams
Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to diabetes mellitus (DM), inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and it is because vitamin D assists the immune system. A lower maternal intake of vitamin D during pregnancy in women whose prospective child was at risk of developing autoimmune diabetes mellitus is associated with a statistically increased risk of the child developing pancreatic autoimmunity.
Many people are deficient in vitamin D and unaware of it. This is especially true in the Northern hemisphere where sunlight is weak from October to April. Vitamin D is made in the skin from cholesterol when it is exposed to the sun’s UV rays. This is then stored in the fatty tissues of the body for between 30-60 days. Often not enough is stored to last through the winter. Also sunscreens, windows and clothing will stop the skin from being able to produce it. It is always advisable to consume vitamin D rich foods to compensate especially in the winter months. Just ten minutes of midday warm sunshine on exposed skin is all that is needed to top up supplies.
Complete cloud cover reduces UV energy by 50%; shade (including that produced by severe pollution) reduces it by 60%. Those with dark skin have less ability to produce vitamin D as over 90% of the sun rays cannot penetrate the skin This is also applicable to those that maintain a deep suntan over a period of time.
Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium. Alcohol and some medications cause the expulsion of zinc so it is advisable to consume more zinc rich foods if on medications or if alcohol is consumed regularly See Zinc on p xx. Copper rich foods are also rich in iron therefore, algae such as chlorella and spirulina and seaweed, plus green leafy vegetables all contain good amounts of copper. Cooking in copper pots can also provide extra copper in the diet.
Vitamin D is produced by cholesterol in the skin when it is exposed to sunshine. It is then stored in the fatty tissues of the body for between 30-60 days. During the winter months, in the northern hemisphere, there is often not enough to last through until the sun reaches its optimal strength again in the spring leading to a deficiency unless extra vitamin D rich foods are consumed.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving
NOTE:If supplements are taken they must be vitamin D3 and not D2 and check that aspartame has not been added to chewable forms. Consuming natural foods that are rich in vitamin D is far healthier, balanced and safer than taking supplements. Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D.
One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
The body needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria, viruses and yeasts. A deficiency can be caused by liver damage and may lead to nerve and muscle damage, an impaired immune system and fatigue. It is important to consume equal amounts of vitamin E and vitamin C as they have an opposite effect on the absorption of various minerals. Avoiding supplements and consuming nuts and seeds with dried fruits instead is a good way to gain sufficient and balanced amounts of both these vitamins.
Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams
Zinc is a trace element essential for cells of the immune system and zinc deficiency affects the ability of T cells and other immune cells to function as they should. It plays an essential role in guarding against diseases and infection and is also needed to transport vitamin A to the retina. Zinc supplements are not advised though as too much zinc can inhibit the function of the immune system.
Iron can interfere with zinc absorption and therefore, if iron supplements are absolutely necessary, they should be taken alone between meals. Too much phosphorous can cause diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissue and can interfere with the body's ability to use iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It is a matter of getting the balance right which is why supplementation is not advised. Consuming foods that contain these minerals instead will ensure that a natural balance is kept.
Highest sources of zinc (In milligrams per 100 grams)
OTHER WAYS TO REDUCE YEAST OVERLOAD
If a person in a household has a yeast overload or infection the house dust will contain their contaminated skin and their hair may also be contaminated. Most people lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. Humans shed their epidermis at the rate of 0.28 to 0.085 grams (0.001 to 0.003 ounces) of skin flakes every hour. That is roughly 0.68 to 2 grams (0.024 to 0.072 ounces) per day and 255 grams to 765 grams (9 to 27 ounces or 0.56 to 1.68 pounds) per year. Dandruff can be caused by a fungal infection of the scalp and will cause even more shedding of skin from the scalp. The following can help to avoid yeast infection and overload and should be followed when someone is experiencing any of the ailments and symptoms listed above:
It is also important to shower at least once a day making sure to dry the body well after wards. Showering is more hygienic than taking a bath although a hot bath with aloe vera, coconut oil and a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil can help to kill yeasts infections of the skin.
Make your own natural dusting powder
EXTERNAL REMEDIES TO REDUCE FUNGAL OVERGROWTH ON THE SKIN
NOTE:Fungal spores can contaminated the soil of houseplants therefore, if suffering from a yeast overgrowth, it may help to remove houseplants from the home.
Fungi are important decomposers of dead animal and plant matter. They break down dead organic matter into simple compounds that can be absorbed by the plants around it. During the process of decomposing matter, fungi returns carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Green plants use the carbon dioxide during photosynthesis to produce food. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis, so animal and human life depends on the fungi for survival. Plants also benefit from fungi that settle around their roots. As the fungus decomposes dead matter around the roots of the plant, it leaves behind nutrients that the plant needs. Fungi also breaks down minerals in rocks.
When reproductive hyphae cells are made by the fungus, a mushroom shape forms at the top. The scientific name for the mushroom shape is the sporocarp. It has one purpose, that is to release reproductive spores. The sporocarp is not part of the live fungi. Reproduction in fungi is sexual, but the spores which contain the reproductive cells must somehow come in contact with one another before fungi can reproduce.
Humans can inhale these fungi spores or they can land on the skin. As a result, fungal infections often start in the lungs or on the skin but will usually only infect a person if they have a weakened immune system or take antibiotics.
There are approximately 200 species of fungi that live on the feet of humans and many others living on and inside the body which usually cause no harm. But when the immune system is affected or the natural balance of microbes is upset, through diet, medications, chemicals and toxins, fungi can proliferate and cause illness and rashes on the skin and under the nails.
The yeasts responsible for thrush form part of the normal commensal flora in humans, living harmlessly on skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal and genital tracts until a change in the host allows them to cause infection. The dermatophytes, or ringworm fungi, which cause athlete's foot and other infections of the skin, hair and nails are dependent on a human or animal host and are passed from person to person or animal to person. Most fungi, however, are free living in the environment and few of these are capable of causing infection in an otherwise healthy individual but can be responsible for life-threatening infections in patients with lowered immunity.
Avoid all yeast and yeast extract products such as brewer's or torula yeast or yeast spreads if suffering with a fungal infection as some may aggravate the condition.