Struggling with Memory Loss or Mental Health? You may have a Candida problem.
When you think of mental health issues, you may think “chemical imbalance in the brain.” And with memory issues, you may think it’s a brain disorder or simply aging. Research out there increasingly indicates there’s more at play than brain chemistry and aging.
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So your diet can make a difference, and Candida could very well be why. In fact, research shows that Candida may impact mental health, memory, digestion, and a variety of other issues.
Furthermore, in the Journal of Evolutionary Medicine in 2015, researchers noted some fascinating case studies of “psychiatric disorders (including anxiety disorders, affective disorders, and autistic spectrum disorders) co-occuring with the autoimmune disease…,” further stating that our bodies’ microbiomes have lost biodiversity over time, promoting inflammation in the body and contributing to disease, particularly in Western countries.3 Once again, it’s all in your gut!
SO, WHAT IS CANDIDA?
Let’s take a look.
The pesky yeast Candida albicans is native to the gut, and has a knack for taking over its environment. This can happen locally (where Candida lives) or systemically (throughout the whole body).
Candida infection has been found in the:
- Throat 6
- Reproductive tract 6
- Genitalia, much more commonly in women 6
- Blood 8
- Bones 6
- Brain 4
CANDIDA IMPACTS: IS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AT RISK?
Researchers studying Candida at the Hematology-Oncology department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles concluded that although it is unknown exactly how Candida invades the central nervous system, it must be able to cross the human blood-brain barrier as live pathogens, contributing to disease such as meningitis.4
An additional study out of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that other systems in the body — including your gut and your immune system — link up with the brain, influencing things like memory.1
In addition to the above, Johns Hopkins researchers found that women with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and a history of Candida overgrowth were more likely to score lower on memory tests than those women without a history of infection.1
While too soon to draw conclusions, it is certain that more research must be done, especially when coupled with the revelation that people with mental health disorders themselves were at least partially responsible for recommending this particular study.
In a nutshell, Candida infection may impact memory — especially when there’s also a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It may also contribute to mental health disorders. This also tells us that there’s an important link between your gut, your immune system, and your brain.
WHEN YOU NOURISH YOUR GUT, YOU NOURISH YOUR BRAIN
The competition between friendly bacteria and small amounts of Candida yeast is necessary to keep Candida in check. Dysbiosis — an unhealthy balance of microbes in the digestive or reproductive tract — can give Candida the upper hand. Once this happens, your immune system targets Candida with antibodies that search and destroy.
Recent research is so revolutionary that it has launched a completely new cutting-edge area of study — “psychobiotics.” Recent research into the connection between the gut microbiome and mental health examines the differences in our between our gut health and those of our ancestors.5
While it’s too soon for scientists to draw concrete conclusions between specific probiotics, one thing is clear: doctors and scientists are now saying what Donna Gates has been saying for decades —
We are on the verge of an exciting revolution in health and medicine.
HOW TO WIN THE BATTLE AGAINST CANDIDA
Candida overgrowth isn’t just hard on your gut — it can have a lasting impact on memory and mental health. To keep your memory and mental health strong, take a close look at your diet and also make sure you’re not taking antibiotics when you don’t need them. Keeping yeast in check is about understanding how Candida works and what it doesn’t like.
Here are a few basic tips to get you started:
- Reduce Sugar: Candida feeds on sugar. In fact, it wiggles its way into your cravings control center and demands. One of the best ways to fight yeast overgrowth and curb the desire for sweets is to limit or completely remove added sugars from your diet.
- Introduce Anti-Yeast Herbs: Pau D’Arco, Olive Leaf Extract, Garlic, Black Walnut, Tea Tree, Cloves, Goldenseal.
- Rebuild Your Inner Ecosystem: Whether it’s from years of a processed diet or a couple rounds of antibiotic drugs, dysbiosis affects everyone in a similar way — it allows Candida yeast to flourish. While anti-yeast herbs put Candida in check, probiotics like Bifidobacteria maintain a watchful eye on Candida over the long-term.
- Nourish Your Cells: A robust inner ecosystem that’s teeming with friendly microbes requires healthy mucosal tissue — in other words, the lining of the gut needs to be strong. You can directly nourish intestinal cells with L-glutamine, an amino acid that rebuilds and repairs cellular damage.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
The latest research indicates that mental health and memory issues are impacted by more than just the brain. Several other systems within the body can influence brain health and memory, including the gut and the immune system.
For this reason, when Candida yeast spreads systemically throughout the body, it can have a devastating effect — even on mental health. Men with a history of Candida infection may be more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Candida infection in women with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder could make memory worse.
To protect your body and preserve mental health, there are several simple steps you can take to keep Candida in check:
- Reduce sugar to fight yeast overgrowth. Candida feeds on sugar. Combat sugar cravings with our powerful probiotic drink.
- Rebuild the gut. Strengthening the gut with probiotics like Bifidobacteria can help to keep Candida contained in the future.
- Nourish damaged cells. The amino acid L-glutamine can help to clean up Candida’s mess, balancing the body by nourishing and repairing the intestines.
- Severance, E. G., Gressitt, K. L., Stallings, C. R., Katsafanas, E., Schweinfurth, L. A., Savage, C. L., … & Leweke, F. M. (2016). Candida albicans exposures, sex specificity and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. npj Schizophrenia, 2, 16018.
- BMC Med. 2013; 11: 200.Published online 2013 Sep 12. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-200PMCID: PMC3846682, PMID: 24228900, So depression is an inflammatory disease, but where does the inflammation come from?, Michael Berk,corresponding author1,2,3,4 Lana J Williams,1,2 Felice N Jacka,1,2 Adrienne O’Neil,1,5 Julie A Pasco,1,6 Steven Moylan,1 Nicholas B Allen,7 Amanda L Stuart,1 Amie C Hayley,1 Michelle L Byrne,7 and Michael Maes1,8
- Cheng AM, Jaint D, Thomas S, Wilson JK, Parker W. Overcoming evolutionary mismatch by self-treatment with helminths: current practices and experience. J Evol Med. 2015 [Ref list]
- Traversal of Candida albicans across Human Blood-Brain Barrier In Vitro, Ambrose Y. Jong,1,* Monique F. Stins,2 Sheng-He Huang,2 Steven H. M. Chen,1 and Kwang Sik Kim2, Editor: R. N. Moore
- J Physiol Anthropol. 2017; 36: 1. Published online 2016 Jun 27. doi: 10.1186/s40101-016-0101-y, PMCID: PMC4940716, PMID: 27405349, Microbiome and mental health in the modern environment, Emily Deanscorresponding author
- https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/index.html, Candidiasis, Center for Disease control,
- Kumamoto CA. Inflammation and gastrointestinal Candida colonization. Current opinion in microbiology. 2011;14(4):386-391. doi:10.1016/j.mib.2011.07.015.Candida colonisation as a source for candidaemia.
- Miranda LN, van der Heijden IM, Costa SF, Sousa AP, Sienra RA, Gobara S, Santos CR, Lobo RD, Pessoa VP Jr, Levin AS, J Hosp Infect. 2009 May; 72(1):9-16.