Ahhhhh, I don’t get this at all! My doctor/nutritionist, who specializes in yeast problems, tells me that I have to make my intestines more alkaline, because Candida yeast turns fungal in an acidic environment, the exact opposite of what I’d believed up until now.
The only logic I found which seems to support this line of thinking is that the purpose of Candida in a healthy body is to keep the intestines alkaline enough, so in an infested body, perhaps the environment is very alkaline, making it appear that the Candida is thriving in alkalinity, but in reality, a reason the Candida were allowed to infest in the first place (in addition to imbalanced from diet, anti-biotics, etc.) is that the intestines were too acidic?
Sorry if I am not making any sense. I am just soooooo confused right now by all the different information, and this subject matter in particular seems to be controversial almost to the point that one can arbitrarily switch the words “acid” and “alkaline” in a sentence describing forms of Candida.
I originally posted a message similar to the one below sometime in 2011 in response to questions such as yours. It contains a couple of interesting facts that are not usually considered when debating which is more beneficial, acidic or alkaline, for a Candida infestation.
As far as a pH balance of the human body is concerned, if you have a Candida overgrowth in your body, the only part of the body that you really have to worry about is the intestines which are where the Candida cells normally grow and multiply. This balance is taken care of with the many different types of probiotics that are suggested during the treatment. So if your doctor is right, and you want to make certain that your intestines are in an alkaline state and not an acidic state, then you certainly don’t want to drink kefir, eat yogurt, or take probiotics.
To understand the natural pH balance of the human body, first we need to realize that there’s a huge misconception about the acidic and alkaline balance which stems from the way our pH is normally tested. The way that’s done is to test the blood, urine, or saliva, and all three of these are normally more alkalized than acidic. So many people assume that the entire body is and should be more alkalized than acidic. But this is not necessarily true.
The only way to get a true picture of the alkaline/acidic amounts in the human body is to look at one section at a time, because some parts of the body are naturally more acidic than others, and some more alkaline.
So if you did a pH check on the individual parts of the body this is some of what you’d find:
The skin is naturally more acidic, and so is the vagina. In a healthy human, both the stomach and the digestive system have a more acidic environment. However, the blood is naturally more alkaline as are some other parts of the body. So this is why it’s so misleading to make a claim that the human body as a whole should have a certain pH balance, or that it should be more of one than the other because it really all depends on which part of the body you’re talking about.
The reasons that a more acidic environment is natural and needed in certain areas of the body are, for one, the skin needs to be more acidic because it has to protect itself from environmental factors such dangerous bacteria and toxins. This is also the reason that sweat and oils on the skin are acidic in nature.
The vagina also maintains an acidic environment for protection, and when the pH balance changes to alkaline in the vagina, that’s when yeast infections are the result.
The stomach, digestive system, and colon are normally more acidic because the production of digestive acids are part of the process of digesting and utilizing the foods we eat as fuel; plus the acidic environment protects us from such things as fungal infections in the digestive system.
When the digestive system becomes too alkaline because of antiobiotics destroying the acid-producing bacteria, then yeast is often allowed to grow and Candida albicans is often the result. Of course, too many of the foods that the yeast live on such as sugar and simple carbohydrates can trigger a yeast overgrowth which has been dormant for years.
Below are a few facts to think about as far as the acidic/alkaline balance is concerned. These facts show that fungi cannot survive an acidic environment but will thrive in an alkaline environment.
Research has shown that pathogens are destroyed in an acidic environment and thrive in an alkaline environment (I’m referring to the stomach and intestines which are normally more acidic). On a normal basis Candida may not be considered a pathogen, but Candida albicans certainly is.
“Candida: Any of the parasitic imperfect fungi that make up the genus Candida, which resemble yeasts and occur especially in the mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract. Though usually benign, Candida can become pathogenic, causing diseases including Candidiasis and thrush.” Source, Online Encyclopedia
It’s recommended that anyone with a Candida infestation should eat and take high doses of probiotics, and this turns out to be the main factor in successfully treating the infestation. It’s a well documented fact that the beneficial flora in the intestines create lactic acid which balances the intestinal pH, they also produce short chain fatty acids as a by-product of fermentation in the intestinal tract which serve as food for the mucosal lining of the intestines and are indispensable to musocal health and its functioning. In other words, the beneficial bacteria produce an acidic environment in the intestines. As you see, the beneficial acetic acid bacteria are not referred to as “acetic acid” without reason.
A question to consider is, if producing acid is beneficial for the Candida to grow and thrive, why are the bacteria, which cause an acidic environment, called ‘beneficial’ and why would we treat Candida with the probiotics? Logically, with the theory of Candida thriving in an acidic environment, we would be increasing the population of the Candida with the various probiotics. So, again, logically speaking and according to the theory, anyone with a Candida infestation should avoid all fermented foods as well as probiotic supplements.
Why does the human body naturally produce Hydrochloric acid in the stomach? The reason is that the hydrochloric acid kills most of the contaminating microorganisms in the stomach which in turn allows for easier digestion.
This statement was made by a forum member, “A high alkaline diet will help to keep our bodies in the healthy, slightly alkaline state, rather than slightly acidic which is more common.”
If that’s true, why does only a very small percentage of the population have Candida infestations if ‘slightly acidic’ is more common? Considering the theory of an alkaline environment being needed, it seems that the opposite would be true.
Even though a lot of people believe that Candida cannot be contracted through sexual intercourse, the opposite is true, and once you know a few facts, it’s not at all difficult to understand.
The vagina normally has an acidic pH making the normal environment for the vagina more acidic, but semen has a more alkaline pH; this is why having unprotected sexual intercourse often enough can produce an alkaline environment in the vagina, and adding to other aspects such as the normal American diet consisting of high carbohydrate foods and sugar, this makes it ideal for a Candida overgrowth or yeast infection.
So if the vagina is predominately acidic in a healthy female, and Candida thrives in an acidic environment, why do all women not have a Candida albicans overgrowth — all the time?
Interestingly enough, my doctor also used the vagina as his main evidence, instead supporting the hypothesis of an ALKALINE intestinal pH being healthy, noting how commonly yeast becomes a problem in the vagina (though not all females have problems there all the time). He didn’t mention that the way beneficial bacteria improve the intestinal environment during an infestation is by making it more acidic though. =P
many sparrows;42994 wrote: The large intestine needs to be acidic to function well, but then the next bit of the intestine needs to be alkaline. So that explains the confusion.
That may very well be my misunderstanding. Thankfully, I don’t think the treatment diet/protocol would vary too much either way, since certainly no one would recommend one without probiotics.