You can’t beat a Candida overgrowth without taking a good, long look at what you’re putting into your body. Once you decide to eliminate your Candida, you will need to spend some time looking at ingredient labels in the supermarket, checking the carbohydrate content and looking for different sugars like dextrose. But you should remember that the water you are drinking might have just as large an impact on your ability to recover from Candida.
This is because most drinking water (at least in the US) contains chlorine and fluoride, two chemicals that have been added by your local water authority. Chlorine is added to prevent water-borne diseases like dysentery. Fluoride is added to prevent tooth decay. But both can also affect the balance of microorganisms in your gut.
Why Is There Fluoride In Your Water?
The US was the first to introduce widespread fluoridation, after a series of studies in the 1940s suggested significant reductions in cavities. By 2006, almost 70% of public water supplies in the US were fluoridated. The fluoride is usually added in the form of sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid, or sodium fluorosilicate.
The recent evidence for fluoridation is somewhat mixed. A 2007 study found that it leads to an average 27% reduction in cavities. But when some European countries stopping adding fluoride to their water, the cavity rate actually dropped. These countries provided regular, preventative dental care, suggesting that this equally (if not more) important than fluoride.
Doesn’t Fluoride Kill Candida?
If you’ve read somewhere that fluoride actually kills Candida, you’re absolutely right. A Swiss study in 2008 found that sodium fluoride had a mild inhibitory effect on the growth of Candida albicans. In fact there was even another study into using sodium fluoride as a preservative to prevent Candida albicans from ruining urine samples.
So does that mean we should all be taking extra fluoride to prevent a Candida overgrowth? Definitely not. Although fluoride will certainly kill off some of your Candida, the problem is that it does not discriminate. Just like chlorine, it affects your good bacteria just as much as it affects the pathogenic Candida. In fact a Brazilian study found that sodium fluoride was effective at inhibiting the growth of 7 out of 8 bacteria tested.
Fluoride And Your Immune System
This has important implications for Candida sufferers. Restoring a healthy balance of microorganisms to your gut is one of the most important elements of my Ultimate Candida Diet program, but the evidence suggests that fluoride may prevent this from happening. That balance forms a crucial part of your immune system and your defense against a Candida overgrowth.
A 2006 study by the National Research Council also voiced concerns over fluoride’s potential impact on the immune system, saying that “There is no question that fluoride can affect the cells involved in providing immune responses.”
Fluoridated water has also been linked to brain damage, lowered IQ, thyroid disease, weakened bones, and a number of other health problems. Fluoride is widely acknowledged to be a toxic substance (it is actually lethal in large doses), so eliminating it from your diet will give your body and immune system a better shot at fighting off the Candida.
Reducing Your Fluoride Exposure
If you have fluoride in your drinking water, it is not always easy or cheap to remove it. The regular carbon-based water filters will not remove it, so you need to look at more expensive units. However, even if you’re on a budget, there are three simple ways to eliminate much of your fluoride intake.
Firstly, buy organic vegetables. One of the requirements that organic farmers need to meet is that they do not use pesticides that leave fluoride residue on their produce. If you buy organic, you can be confident that your food will be pretty much fluoride-free.
Second, buy a fluoride-free toothpaste. There are plenty of fluoride-free brands available. You can also make your own by mixing together baking soda with a little sea salt. And there is an even better alternative for Candida sufferers – simply mix together equal parts of coconut oil and baking soda, then adding a few drops of peppermint oil.
Lastly, you should consider refusing the fluoride treatment offered by your dentist. These are typically applied by gel, foam or varnish, and they contain extremely high levels of fluoride. No matter how good your dentist is, you will end up swallowing some of the fluoride.