Choosing the right Probiotic
Good quality probiotics are a vital element in the successful treatment of a Candida overgrowth. When combined with a suitable diet and the correct anti-fungals you create an environment where Candida can no longer spread and cause damage to your system.
There are two fundamental ways in which probiotics work to attack Candida. Recent research has show that Candida thrives in an Alkaline environment. The stomach is naturally acidic but can become less acid under certain circumstances, such as after a course of antibiotics. The healthy bacteria that are in probiotics release low level amounts of lactic and acetic acid that help to re-acidulate your stomach and make it less hospitable for Candida. Secondly, the good bacteria that the probiotics deliver compete with the Candida yeast for the nutrients that you eat, making it harder for an overgrowth to occur.
What to consider when choosing a probiotic
There are several different considerations to take into account when choosing the right probiotics. With so many products on the market, all with a variety for potency, delivery systems and ingredients it can seem daunting. Here are some important points to consider when you look for the right probiotic for you.
The bacteria count per capsule
A general guideline with probiotics is that the higher the bacteria count the better, however this isn’t recommended for those new to probiotics. High bacteria counts will mean that they are very effective and will cause the Candida to ‘die-off’ rapidly. Although this is what we want in the long-term, the ‘die-off’ symptoms can be very unpleasant and risk you stopping altogether. The best method to use is to start with a lower bacteria count ( 1bn – 2bn) and then gradually increase their strength over a period of a month to (100bn). This should ensure that you don’t experience intolerable ‘die-off’ symptoms.
You don’t have to take supplement capsules to get probiotics into your system. You may wish to use a whole foods approach to your diet plan, in which case there are yogurt and Kefir cultures that are less concentrated but still very effective in treating Candida Albicans.
Look for active probiotics in the chiller cabinet of your local health food shop. Remember they are live organisms and will need to be kept refrigerated once home in order to keep them in the best condition possible.
Should you use multiple strain probiotics?
Probiotic supplements can contain a variety of up to 15 strains of bacteria within them, others just have a single strain. These are two different approaches that work better for some people than others. The key to success here is that you experiment and find which is best for you. Make sure your probiotic contains the most effective know strains: B. Bifidum and /or L. Acidophilus.
Now is the time to get to know your friendly bacteria allies. There are literally thousands of different types of probicotic bacteria but some are more suited to our purposes than others. Here are some of the ones you want to look out for:
- The most common strain you will find is Lactobacillus Acidophilus. Studies have shown that it will reduce the recovery time in treating Candida as well as enhancing your immune systems responsiveness. Adding it to your diet in the long-term will help ensure that Candida does not overgrow in the future. Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS-1, is a less common but a more potent strain.
- Bifidobacteria Bifidum is a popular probiotic used in cultured yogurt drinks. It helps with digestion and will support the immune system by aiding the absorption of B vitamins. Although you can find probiotic drinks on the market that contain these cultures, they often contain added sugar, and are therefore not suitable for treating Candida.
You may have seen ‘Inulin’ on the ingredients of a probiotic, or the term ‘prebiotic’ and wondered what these are. Inulin is an indigestible food source that feeds the probiotic once it is inside your system. This is what is know as a prebiotic. Most of the time your natural diet will be sufficient to support the probiotics that you take. You also don’t necessarily need to take a probiotic with a prebiotic built-in as there are other natural sources that you can incorporate into your diet, such as Chicory Coffee.
In order for the probiotics to work they have to be in a delivery system. This is usually either in a capsule or a powder form and it allows the probiotics to establish themselves in your gut without being passed through into the intestine. Both methods are equally effective and it is a matter of personal preference which method you choose.