Can Digestive Enzymes Assist in Controlling Candida Overgrowth?

While the body produces a wide spectrum of digestive enzymes, there are some digestive enzymes that you must get through the food that you eat.

The cell wall of Candida can change its composition and influence the immune system.

Enzymes that break down plant fibers—like cellulase and hemicellulase—are naturally found in plants and not in you.


Taking digestive enzymes with and after meals can aid in healthy digestion. Taking digestive enzymes, like Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes, between meals may help to target systemic Candida overgrowth.

The primary role of cellulase enzymes is to help the body digest soluble fiber, breaking it into smaller pieces that can be used for energy. All raw fruits, raw vegetables, and whole, unprocessed grains contain cellulase.

As it turns out, therapeutic doses of cellulase and hemicellulase enzymes can target Candida overgrowth.

When Candida Is Hard to Reach

Candida is an aggressive and opportunistic fungus that naturally lives in the human body.

Once Candida has access to the bloodstream, it can reach into the sinus cavities and colonize every organ in the body, including the skin and the brain. Worse—the tough cell wall of Candida yeast and its sticky biofilm are enough to protect it from antifungal medications and antifungal herbs.

The cell wall of Candida is made up of mostly sugars and proteins. The most important sugars that make up the cell wall of Candida are called beta-glucans. (1) Beta-glucans are fibrous sugars. They are what give structure to the bran in grain and the woody part of plants.

The beta-glucans in the cell wall of Candida both stimulate and suppress an immune response. (2) Because the cell wall of Candida can change its composition and influence the immune system, this means that Candida overgrowth is sometimes very difficult to manage.

Besides giving structure to the cell wall of Candida, beta-glucans also are used as a structural building block for Candida biofilm.

Biofilm is a resilient, sticky matrix that Candida builds up around itself as it colonizes tissue in the body. Like a camouflaged hideout, biofilm allows Candida to grow while protecting it from the immune system. Biofilm can even disarm immune cells. (3)

Digestive Enzymes That Destroy Candida

Cellulase and hemicellulase contain enzymes that break apart the cell wall of Candida. These enzymes also degrade Candida biofilm, reducing its ability to hide from the immune system and invade tissue.

Cellulase and hemicellulase break down the tough “roughage” found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. When left undigested, these fibrous sugars can slow digestion, prevent the absorption of nutrients, and ultimately contribute to fungal overgrowth.

For example, in one small study, 16 nursing home patients took a multi-enzyme blend containing cellulase. (4) Researchers found that protein absorption was enhanced. This indicates improved digestion. Immune function also improved. When patients stopped taking the enzyme supplement, the positive benefits reversed.<

When battling Candida overgrowth, it is essential to include enzymes that break down Candida’s cell wall and strip away its biofilm.

In a laboratory setting, hemicellulase enzymes are often used to destroy the cell wall of Candida. Research has also shown that hemicellulase enzymes reduce the ability of Candida to form protective biofilms. (5)

Enzyme therapy can expose beta-glucans and activate an immune response against Candida overgrowth. (6)

Digestive Enzymes for Candida Can Target Systemic Overgrowth

A “leaky” or permeable gut lining, antibiotic use, and a sugary, gluten-filled diet are just some common factors that invite systemic Candida overgrowth. This is when restorative enzyme therapy becomes critical.

If you need to enhance your digestion, always consume supplemental enzymes with a meal or just after a meal. This timing mimics your body’s natural release of digestive enzymes. (7)

But what about between meals?

The enzymes found in raw foods and those that we take as a supplement with meals mostly remain in the digestive tract, where they assist with the breakdown of food. However, when we take supplemental enzymes between meals—especially in slightly larger doses, these enzymes can show up in the bloodstream. (8)

In fact, research has found that the body intuitively secretes digestive enzymes into the bloodstream, where they are able to tackle systemic infection. (9)

When you take digestive enzymes between meals, you can control systemic Candida overgrowth.

Body Ecology’s Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes contains cellulase and hemicellulase—key enzymes that may break down the cell wall of Candida and destroy its protective biofilm, thus preventing digestive overload and Candida overgrowth in the gut.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Your body produces enzymes that aid in digestion, while other digestive enzymes are found in the food you eat. Using enzyme therapy can even help to target systemic Candida overgrowth.

Candida, an opportunistic yeast, is naturally found in the body and can resist antifungal herbs and medications. Candida can change its composition to become so aggressive that it influences the immune system.

For this reason, digestive enzymes like cellulase and hemicellulase are critical to break down the resilient cell wall of Candida. In order to effectively battle Candida overgrowth, digestive enzymes must strip away Candida’s biofilm to prevent a weakened immune response.

Taking digestive enzymes with or after a meal can aid in healthy digestion. Digestive enzymes like Body Ecology’s Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes can be taken between meals to tackle systemic infection triggered by leaky gut, antibiotic use, or gluten in the diet.

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  1. J Ruiz-Herrera, et al. Molecular organization of the cell wall of Candida albicans and its relation to pathogenicity. FEMS Yeast Research. 2006; 6: 14–29. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2005.00017.x
  2. Y Nakagawa, et al. Suppression by Candida albicans b-glucan of cytokine release from activated human monocytes and from T cells in the presence of monocytes. J Infect Dis. 2003 187: 710–713.
  3. Nakagawa Y, Ohno N & Murai T. Suppression by Candida albicansβ-glucan of cytokine release from activated human monocytes and from T cells in the presence of monocytes. J Infect Dis. 2003; 187: 710 – 713.
  4. Glade MJ, Kendra D, Kaminski MV. Improvement in protein utilization in nursing-home patients on tube feeding supplemented with an enzyme product derived from Aspergillus niger and bromelain. Nutrition 2001;17:348-50.
  5. Nett J, Lincoln L, Marchillo K, et al. Putative role of beta-1,3 glucans in Candida albicans biofilm resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2007;51:510-20.
  6. M Galan-Diez, et al. Candida albicans beta-glucan exposure is controlled by the fungal CEK1-mediated mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway that modulates immune responses triggered through dectin-1. Infect Immun. 2010 Apr;78(4):1426-36. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00989-09. Epub 2010 Jan 25.
  7. Dominguez-Munoz JE, Iglesias-Garcia J, Iglesias-Rey M, Figueiras A, Vilarino-Insua M. Effect of the administration schedule on the therapeutic efficacy of oral pancreatic enzyme supplements in patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: a randomized, three-way crossover study. Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 2005; 21: 993–1000.
  8. C Kolac, et al. Oral bioavailability of proteolytic enzymes. European journal of pharmaceutics and biopharmaceutics.1996; 42 (4): 222-232.
  9. L Isenman, et al. The endocrine secretion of mammalian digestive enzymes by exocrine glands. Am J Physiol. 1999 Feb;276(2 Pt 1):E223-32.
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