Candida, depression and St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is probably most well known for it's helpfulness in mild to moderate depression, but it has been found not to be effective in severe depression. Here is our experience so far with this and my thoughts, which I am posting because I am hoping that they will be helpful to others who are suffering from Depression
or candida or both.
Our 16 year old son has a candida overgrowth, and we have recently realized that his symptom from the candida is depression, which was formerly masked by extreme fatigue, but now we have found and corrected the source of the fatigue (a folate problem due to having the mthfr 677 gene mutation) and he was doing pretty well, until he went off his anti-candida diet (GAPS) for a month and just adding potatoes and homemade sourdough bread was making him worse and worse so he went back on the GAPS diet and within 24 hours the Depression
hit hard. His symptom were going up and down depending on whether he was taking anything to kill the candida, and it made him so depressed it was hard to take so now we are using undecylenic acid in the form of Thorne's sf722 to treat the candida, because it has less die off symptoms, along with the GAPS diet but there is still enough die off to keep him feeling depressed if we don't do other things to deal with the die off. It has recently become clear to us that the thing that is helping the most is St. John's Wort. (He is also taking sauna's and some other herbal liver support along with vitamins.) With the St. John's Wort he feels good even while on the treatment.
My theory is that many people who experience clinical Depression
are depressed because of the toxins that the candida is producing, but this isn't recognized by most conventional doctors, so they put them on drugs rather than treating the candida. Candida produces various toxins, and the symptoms produced by the toxins develop in accordance with the genetic makeup of the individual, which is why depression runs in families. Other people with different genes have other symptoms from candida. We have found with my son that there is a threshold point where the amount of toxin produces symptoms; under the threshold there are no symptoms, and there are fairly strong symptoms over the threshold. At first our son was too far above the threshold for the St. John's Wort do bring the toxin levels down far enough to make a difference, but lately he has been changing from depressed to feeling good or from feeling good to depressed within hours and that makes it much easier to figure out what is helping. It is proven that St. John's Wort causes a certain liver enzyme to work better or causes the liver to produce more of this enzyme, I am not sure which. This enzyme has been proven to detoxify certain drugs, and so persons taking these drugs are always warned not to take St. John's Wort because it clears the drugs from their bodies too quickly. I believe this enzyme neutralizes the candida toxin that produces depression in some people, but when there is too much candida and too much toxin, it can't detoxify enough to get the level below the threshold, which is why it does not work for people with severe depression - their toxin level is too far above the threshold. But if this person takes action to lower the amount of candida and thus lower the amount of the toxin in their body, the St. John's Wart can help to lower the toxin level below the threshold and the person will feel well. This is why some people feel better within a few hours after taking St. John's Wart - the level of toxins was already not very far above the threshold. Others take it for weeks before the toxin level is low enough to be effective. Yet others just have too much candida and can't get the level low enough.
My conclusion is that any person with depression should consider treatment (along with dietary changes) for candida along with St. John's Wort to help alleviate the symptoms.
I would be interested to know if the St. John's Wort helps with other symptoms of candida besides depression. Has anyone had experience with this?