Gut bacteria, gut fungus & Candida Overgrowth

7 Feb 2018

 

 

The microbiome, also known as your gut bacteria, are the community of microorganisms that live inside your intestinal tract.

 

So often we here about these gut bacteria, but so little we hear about the gut fungus.

 

Ever heard of the mycobiome?

 

It’s the fungus in our gut.

 

Over the past few years, most of the gut hype has focused around building your good gut bacteria up through probiotic foods and supplements… however the poor old gut fungus hasn’t got much attention.

 

But did you know?

 

Your gut bacteria and fungi actually work together, sort of like bacteria-man and robin.

 

Generally, they live in harmony. Chilling side by side in a symbiotic manner. When things are good, they help your intestinal system flourish, resulting in a number of benefits, such as: normal digestion, synthesis of certain vitamins, stronger immunity and improved gut integrity.

 

Candida albicans.

 

What?

 

You may of heard of candida overgrowth or fungal overgrowth?

 

When your intestinal tract is healthy, you should have healthy amounts of fungus such as Candida. But when these guys outgrow their stay, a funky situation called Candidiasis (Candida Overgrowth) can result.

 

Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. It can infect the mouth, skin, stomach, urinary tract, and vagina. 

 

Candida overgrowth in the mouth, as an example, can result in oral sores, creamy white patches, difficulty chewing, swallowing issues and even taste changes.

 

Some possible causes of Candidiasis

  • Taking certain medications e.g. antibiotics, corticosteroids

  • Having a bacterial infection

  • Pregnancy

  • Being overweight

  • Particular conditions e.g. diabetes, psoriasis

  • A weak immune system

 

What can you do if you Candida Overgrowth?

 

 

1. Speak with you Doctor

 

They may prescribe antifungal medications or discuss other forms of treatment.

 

 

2. Diet & Lifestyle

 

i) The Candida Diet

 

At this point in time, there is not enough strong evidence behind this particular diet to count on it as reliable. On top of this, particular candida diet protocols cut out a lot of different foods, which may result in nutrient deficiencies. In turn, nutrient deficiencies can weaken the immune system to an even greater degree, allowing for further opportunistic growth of the unfavourable Candida fungus. In summary, there is not enough research to prove that this diet resolves Candida overgrowth.

 

 

ii) Food sensitivities  

 

Some science suggests that those prone to Candida infections may have particular sensitivities to certain foods, including some particular proteins. This is best addressed via a consultation with a Dietitian.

 

 

iii) Alcohol and simple sugars

 

Both alcohol and foods containing processed sugars can have a negative affect on overall health. For example, their consumption can cause decreases in good gut bacteria, reduced immune function, increased weight gain and inflammation, as well as compromise meeting nutrient requirements. It is recommended to limit or even better, avoid, both alcohol and processed foods if you have Candida overgrowth.

 

 

iv) Strengthen your immune system with these nutrients from foods 

  • Proteins - legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products, fish, eggs and lean meats.

  • Vitamin A - sweet potato, carrots, kale, spinach, red capsicum and eggs.

  • Vitamin E - wheat germ, nuts (*almonds), nut butters, seeds (sunflower*), sunflower oil

  • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, red capsicum, tomatoes, kiwis, dark green leafys, broccoli, berries, chilli

  • Zinc – beans, lentils, mushrooms, dairy, tofu/tempeh, eggs, oats, pumpkin seeds, hummus, whole grains, seafood, lean meat

  • Selenium – brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, lentils, mushrooms, soya/mung beans, pasta, eggs, cheese, sardines, salmon, chicken

  • Probiotics - yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut

  • Prebiotics - essential for good gut health, click here

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REED NUTRITION

 

6 Lawson St Byron Bay Australia NSW 2481

josh@reednutrition.com.au

0466119389