So a lot of importance is given to balancing acidity and alkalinity on the candida diet and I really think this is the key to the whole thing. And this message is for the true life-long candida sufferers, not those of you who have an occasional flare up or contracted candida after taking antibiotics or other medications, as these types of candida can easily be cured quite quickly. In my case, my body is generally very acidic. I believe that the majority people who suffer from long-term candida are also acidic, but it could also be possible that some people are too alkaline, I don't know because I only know about my own body.
Then let us think, what is acidity? Acid is used in the body for digestion and energy (think battery acid, it produces power). So when the correct amount of acidity is in the body and it is in balance, it is very beneficial and necessary. The problem is when the body becomes overly acidic. We know that our blood has to remain at a very specific Ph level, I believe it's like 7.4 or something, so it's on the alkaline side. It cannot vary at all or you will die, so your body goes through great lengths to make sure your blood stays at the correct Ph level. Therefore, if you are overly acidic, your body has to store this excess acidity in various parts of your body that should not be acidic. Your body may also rob other parts of alkalinity and may even remove calcium and other alkalizing minerals from bones and other places to compensate for the unbalance.
Since candida mainly starts in the intestines, I will discuss how and why this occurs. Of course we know our stomach should be acidic to help break down foods, but then as the food passes to the small intestine, the environment should be alkaline and this is an area where big problems will occur if it is less alkaline than it should be. The large intestine is either slightly acidic or neutral in it's balanced state, but of course in the overly acidic body, it is much to acidic, and at least for me, this is where I feel the majority of my candida problem. Please respond if you also feel your main problem is in the lower intestine.
We know that candida is contained in all human bodies along with thousands of other types of bacteria. So the problem is not candida itself, the problem is that our body is out of balance. When the large and small intestine are not in the correct Ph level (too acidic), then the proper balance of bacteria does not grow correctly, especially the beneficial bacteria that keeps the candida in balance. So of course the candida starts growing like crazy, causing further digestion problems (I've heard something like 80% or more of digestion takes place in the intestines) and all sorts of other diseases and symptoms.
There is much speculation about the causes of candida, is it because of parasites, Amalgam fillings, immunizations, poor diet, etc. Well, I don't think candida is caused by parasites. I think that parasites in the body are just another type of disease that is able to thrive in an overly acidic body. If the body is the correct Ph balance, all parasites will naturally be destroyed. I know some people firmly believe that Amalgam fillings are the cause of their candida, and I can't argue this point because I have never had any cavities and I don't have any experience in this topic. Immunizations and poor diet definitely could be causes of long-term candida but I think it's because they acidify the body. We know that immunizations and all types of pharmaceuticals are acidifying and poisonous to the body.
I can't prove any of this and I don't have any research to back it up. But I have studied a lot about diet, nutrition, and natural therapies according to western and eastern traditions. And most importantly, I have learned by listening to my own body and noticing what works and what doesn't work.
So the next question is, how do we solve this problem and bring the body back into balance? The answer is by diet and lifestyle. And the diet recommendations that I will give may surprise you. It is very different from the classic anti-candida diet that most of us are following.
Incorporating fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, vinegar, etc) helps increase acidity, feeds good flora, introduces more good flora into the body, and is very nourishing. Eating foods that act as prebiotics helps too (rice bran, yucca, fibers, etc). Fermented foods offer a double punch because many contain prebiotics as well as probiotics (example: coconut vinegar contains FOS, which feed the good dudes).
Eating nothing processed helps too.
Keeps carbs low and sensible. Veggies are great (but too much will be alkalizing...however, these should be the bulk of your carbs). Fibers are important. Fruits only if tolerated, and at a very small amount.
Healthy fats are vital. coconut oil is fantastic, as are almonds, avocados, and EVOO.
Probiotics are essential too...but fermented foods are more "potent." However, with dysbiosis, you can't get enough, it seems!
All good flora helps to produce an acidic environment due to the acetic acid (and other byproducts) they produce as they ferment fibers. Bad flora create an alkaline environment, and their byproducts are toxic.
Thus, increase the good flora! :-)
many people report good results and reversal of many issues with SCD and GAPS diets. I'm still learning more about these. If anyone has more insight on SCD and GAPS, I'd love to hear.
But you're saying the you want to increase acidity. My opinion is that we want to reduce acidity and increase alkalinity. Please read my original post again. According to my research, the stomach of course should be acidic Ph 4-5, but the small intestine should be quite alkaline Ph 8+. The large intestine about neutral Ph 7. I know for a fact that my candida is produced by excess acidity in the body and my theory is that most people suffering from candida are also overly acidic. Could you tell me why you think we would want to increase acidity? I think maybe about 4 years back I was also of the mind-set that we should increase acidity in the intestine but I don't remember why I thought this (I think some people were theorizing that the acidity would destroy the candida but I don't know where this theory comes from). You list vinegar as a food that we should consume, but everything that I have ever read about candida is to avoid vinegar except apple cider vinegar, which although acidic, is extremely alkalizing for the body (same as lemon). Kefir and yogurt are good because they have good bacteria and because their sugars are mostly already digested; there is some disagreement as to whether they are alkaline or acidic.
I haven't done much research on the subject of what byproducts good bacteria produce, I know that some of them do produce acids that help with the digestion of food, but I don't think that they all produce acids. I think there are countless byproducts that healthy flora produce to help with digesting food and keeping various areas of the body in the correct Ph balance.
Anyway, we can't really say, alkaline is good, acid is bad, or the other way around. The body is a very complex organism and it needs to be balanced with different levels of acidity and alkalinity in various places. But again my theory is that the majority of candida sufferers are more acidic in most places than we should be.
Sorry, wanted to add two more things. Yes all research that I have read says that candida thrives in an overly acidic environment, but I think I remember now why a long time ago I was thinking acid kills candida. There is something about vaginal yeast infections, that an acid environment will get rid of it. I think maybe even people use vinegar douches to get rid of these. Is this correct? If anyone knows please respond. But I don't think that a vaginal yeast infection is the same as candida. I don't really know anything about this but I have heard that people who suffer from candida may have more vaginal yeast infections. But candida is a fungus, and yeast and fungus are two different things, could be some connection though. Anyone with info on this, I would be interested to know more about this.
Candida is a YEAST, but an alkaline environment turns on a gene that transforms it from it's normal yeast-like form to a pathogenic FUNGAL form. (EVERYONE has candida, and it is generally harmless when in a yeast-like state. When it changes into the fungal form, THATS when issues arise). The more alkaline u are, the more the candida thrive and mutate.
Different areas of our body contain different pHs. Thus, is candida migrates to an area that provides it a better environment, it may become pathogenic. For instance, we all normally have E coli in our guts, but if it migrates elsewhere, it can then give us major issues, for it is in an area it is not supposed to be and/or it mutates and/or it overgrows/overtakes the normal flora (causing dysbiosis).
I have been dealing with candida for YEARS, but never suffer from vaginal yeast infections. My symptoms are always in my gut/GI and skin (and mood and causing a cascade of other health issues due to the impact these infections have on my immunity and hormones, etc). No two candida cases are alike, thus making the treatment very difficult.
all research that I have read says that candida thrives in an overly acidic environment
All the "research" you have read is wrong.
Candida is a yeast that has the ability to turn into a fungus. It's DIMORPHIC. In a petri dish, in the absence of any competition (or the body's immune system) all that is required is a pH above 4. That's the cut-off point. Below 4 it remains a yeast.
What you probably read, and the only roundabout connection to be made re: acidity, is that an overly acidic body does not operate at peak efficiency or performance. And this would impact the immune system. So an acidic body might struggle more to combat fungal candida due to a sub-par immune system. Other than that, the people you were reading have got it backwards.
Women frequently get "yeast" infections (i.e. fungus infections) after a round of antibiotics, b/c the antiBx kill off too many good bacteria in the vagina. Without the competition, and the acidic output of those bacteria, candida blooms.
Okay well I will say that I was researching this topic about 4 or 5 years back and all the information that I came across was saying that candida in its fungal form thrives in an acidic environment. Many people that were posting here at that time were also saying this. I have been watching Dr. McCombs' videos on you tube and I sent him a message asking about candida and pH levels and he was able to point me to some pretty clear studies that show that the fungal form of candida grows buds at pH 4.5 and has massive branching at pH 6.7 (although anything under pH 7 is still acidic, so technically candida is growing in an acid not alkaline environment, so maybe the research that I was reading is not completely wrong). But I get the point, the closer it is getting toward alkaline, the more the candida is turning into fungal form and growing branches and roots. Anyway, this doesn't really change my theory on acid/alkaline balance. I still think balancing these plays one of the key roles in bringing the body back into optimal health. The body is very complex and each part of the body has an optimal pH under which it operates for optimal health. If the pH of a certain part of the body is disturbed for any reason (either goes towards too alkaline or too acidic), that part of the body is unable to function correctly.
For example, in the stomach the pH has a certain optimal level; I believe its about 2-3. If the pH starts going too high, then the food will not be properly broken down. If it goes too low, then the stomach will be agitated also leading to poor digestion. Even the research that Dr. McCombs pointed me to also backs up my claim that the pH level clearly affects the growth of candida. Okay so I had it backwards. I'm the first to admit that I was wrong, but this research makes it very clear that the pH level has a great effect on the growth of candida.