Acidity / Alkalinity and Candida overgrowth can be confusing subjects. The bodies natural pH level should be around 7.4 which is slightly alkaline, but fighting Candida requires an acidic pH level in the stomach.
Can changing your bodies pH level really make a difference? It is important to remember that your body is not just ‘alkaline’ or ‘acidic’ but is in fact made up of various pH regions that perform different tasks. For example, the blood needs to be alkaline whereas the digestive tract has to be acidic in order to perform correctly.
With our modern lifestyles it is very easy to unbalance the stomachs naturally acidic pH level and make it more alkaline – creating a perfect condition for Candida to grow. Antibiotics, the contraceptive pill and a diet that is bias towards alkaline foods are all common causes of pH imbalance. The Anti Candida Diet Plan is formulated to restore the natural acidity in your stomach using dietary changes and high quality probiotics.
How does Acidity and Alkalinity affect your body
Different regions of the body use different pH levels in order to perform optimally. There are complexs systems that maintain subtle balances and to describe your body as either ‘too acidic’ or ‘too alkaline’ is over simplifying the reality of how your body works. Your blood pH level is normally around 7.35 – 7.45 (slightly alkaline) but your stomach needs to be a very acidic environment in order to digest and is normally pH 1 – 2 (acidic). Even these levels fluctuate – as blood is pumped around you stomach its pH is lowered by the acidity in the stomach.
Understanding that the body is comprised of many differing pH regions is very important if you are going to attempt adjusting its balance. In recent times there have been numerous publications extolling the benefits of a alkaline biased diet with claims that it can help you lose weight, increase your bone strength and even guard against cancer. The truth is that there has been very little scientific research in this area and pushing your bodies pH profile much beyond 7.45 can cause a condition called Alkalosis. What Candida suffers need to be aware of is that an alkaline environment within the body will encourage Candidiasis.
How does an Alkaline system aid Candida?
In order for a Candida overgrowth to occur it needs a alkaline (low acid) environment in your digestive system. When your stomach has the correct acidity levels it actually prevents pathogens like Candida from becoming a problem. Restoring the stomachs pH level through diet and supplementation are effective ways of stopping Candida and preventing it in the future. Acid forming probiotics like acidophilus and caprylic acid have been found to be very effective acid producing micro-organisms that also work as antifugals.
Candida naturally makes conditions inside your body more suitable for its growth because as it digests and ferments the sugars in your intestines it produces ammonia as a by-product. Ammonia is a alkaline gas that increases the alkalinity of your digestive system and will aid fungal and yeast growth.
The acidic environment in the stomach is the bodies primary defence against ingested pathogens. A study in 2001 found that an acidic pH environment inhibits Candida growth. You can read the full report here but this excerpt outlines the importance of its findings: “both capric and lauric acids are active in killing Candida Albicans and may therefore be useful for treatment of infections caused by that pathogen” It has now been discovered that caprylic and lauric acid which naturally occur in coconut oil have powerful pH regulating and antifungal properties.
One of the most effective aids in your recovery from a Candida overgrowth is the use of probiotics. Probiotics once in your digestive system produce small quantities of acetic and lactic acid which help to restore the natural acidic environment. Probiotics are especially helpfully following a course of antibiotics when you are especially susceptible to Candida taking hold.
How does your stomach become too alkaline?
There are numerous factors that lead to your stomach becoming too alkaline and often they are combined. The leading cause of Candidiasis is thought to be the over use of antibiotics in the treatment of common colds. Antibiotics not only eradicate the virus that is making you ill but also the harmless bacteria that live in your gut. These ‘healthy’ bacteria produce small amounts of lactic and acetic acid which help maintain the acid environment in the stomach. Once the bacteria are killed, Candida also has less competition and can grow quickly, alkalising your system further as it does.
Your diet is the other major alkalising factor. A healthy diet is widely considered to contain a good proportion of fruits and vegetables. While this is true, many fruits have a high alkalinity and high amount of fructose – a natural fruit sugar which directly feeds the Candida.
The final factor the determines your stocmach acidity is something that is out of your control. Age. We now know that as we age our ability to produce strong stomach acid declines. A recent study has shown that acid production reduces from 180 mg/hr in 11-20 year-olds, all the way down to 50 mg/hr in 61-70 year-olds. With nearly a 70% decrease in production this makes older people more susceptible to a Candida overgrowth.
How can I increase my stomachs acidity?
A pro-active approach to helping you stomach is to be aware of your diet and ensuring you consume foods that will boost your stomach pH acidity regularly but in a gentle way. Foods like yoghurt and kafir have bacteria in them that produce lactic and acetic acid in the stomach and intestines. The Anti Candida Diet Plan makes it impossible for Candida to thrive.
By now you are probably aware of the importance of avoiding antibiotics whenever possible. Of course there are times when it is unavoidable and antibiotics are essential in maintaining your physical wellbeing, but do try to avoid having them prescribed to you on a regular basis. Remember that if you have to take a full course of antibiotics it is a good idea to take probiotics at the same time to help replace the good bacteria killed off by the antibiotics. Keeping your gut flora in good health with probiotics will ensure that your system does not become too alkaline.
Even when not on antibiotics, probiotics are one of the best ways to achieve and maintain normal pH balance in the stomach.
Another consideration of you diet should be the use of Vitamins as they can also aid pH balance. Ascorbic acid, commonly know as Vitamin C not only helps boost you acidity levels but is also used by you adrenal glands and supports your immune system. When embarking on an anti Candida diet plan Vitamin C should be considered as a worthwhile complimentary supplement. A general B Vitamin complex is also a good idea as it helps the stomach produce hydrochloric acid.
Finally there are acid neutralizing products on the market that are taken to ease conditions like heartburn and acid reflux. Candida itself can cause indigestion and so you may well have taken these antacids. The short term benefit is lost in the long run however as they drastically reduce the volume and concentration of the acid in your stomach while feeding the Candida with sugar and helping it grow.