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brownhair
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Able – I’m new to the diet/pills and I’ve realized I really need to alternate my Anti-fungal fixers each week or two. I was looking at what to get when I came across this. Was wondering what you think? It’s long but seems logical.

**Candex is a scam, January 14, 2013
By G Cotten “gbc57” – Save your money, the “science” behind this product is just bogus. All the enzymes in Candex do is breakdown complex carbohydrates into simple sugars (like glucose) — simple sugars that yeast prefer to eat. In fact,most of the enzymes used in Candex are used in industry to feed yeast! Yes, that’s right, to feed yeast.

Moreover, the main enzyme found in Candex, cellulase, attacks a carbohydrate called cellulose that is not appreciably found in yeast cell walls. Cellulose is the chief component of plant cell walls and not yeast cell walls — which just shows how little thought went into this product. In fact, scientists have even engineered yeast to make their own cellulase so that the yeast can more efficiently convert cellulose-containing plant products into ethanol for biofuels, which tells you that yeast don’t mind cellulase at all. If you doubt me do your own google/wikipedia search on the enzymes found in Candex: invertase, cellulase, and amylase and google components of yeast (fungal) cell walls.

I think the people who make this product are preying on people’s frustrations and hopes to hawk a product of dubious value. If you take the recommended dosage, 4 pills a day, you’ll be flushing $500-$1,000 a year down the toilet.

If you want more details on the Candex scam read on… but before I get to that I have one recommendation: those of you who suspect you have “leaky gut” may want to see a recent NY Times article (“The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints – Feb 1, 2013”) for some possible advice on Chinese herbs — which although I don’t know if it actually works is at least based on ancient herbal traditions.

Background: a friend of mine had a lot of gastrointestinal tract problems, skin rashes, and thrush (yeast infection). Compounding her frustrations were the medical doctors who tend to act as if things they don’t understand are “in your head.” This led her to do her own online investigations — which led to Candex. She tried Candex and had a very bad reaction — diarrhea and much gas. There have been many other reports of this here on Amazon and elsewhere on the web. Perhaps people who already have gastrointestinal issues may be particularly sensitive to this product — or perhaps this product, which was supposed to be gluten free, contains wheat (my friend is wheat intolerant).

Because I have a background in biochemistry and medical research she asked me to look over Candex and its claims.

According to “Pure Essence Labs”, Candex’s manufacturer, “Because the cell wall of Candida (and all other fungal organisms) is made mostly of fiber, fiber-digesting enzymes can break it down. When the cell wall breaks down, the yeast dies, while causing virtually no healing crisis.” To accomplish this Candex has 5 enzymes (those are the only ingredients listed on the bottle and on the company’s website). The first two enzymes are “cellulases” (enzymes that degrade the complex carbohydrate, cellulose, into sugar). I’ll get to those enzymes in a second. The other enzymes listed include two types of Amylases and Invertase.

Invertase is an enzyme that speeds up the breakdown of sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose. Glucose and fructose are two common sugars, in fact, they are the two most prevalent sugars in grapes — and as you know yeast love grape juice (and make wine in the process). So all Invertase does is produce something that yeast love to eat, glucose and fructose.

Now that might be damming enough, but even worse, where do you think much of the food industry gets invertase? From yeast! Yes, that is correct, a Candyx enzyme that is supposedly helping to kill yeast is often purified from yeast!!??

Some of the other enzymes in Candyx are also components of the food industry e.g. amylases are added during breadmaking to speed up the breakdown of starch into glucose. Glucose, in turn, is then eaten by the growing yeast, which in turn pump out lots of carbon dioxide, which makes the bread rise. By the way, yeast naturally have amylases but the breadmakers add extra amylase to quicken the breadmaking process. As a further aside, amylases are already present in your mouth and are the reason why crackers taste sweeter if you hold them in your mouth for a while before swallowing as the starch gets converted to glucose.

OK, so far, with amylase and invertase all we’ve done is help breakdown complex carbohydrates (like starch) into simpler sugars (like glucose) that yeast and bacteria prefer to eat. Now as to those cellulases…

I looked in Wikipedia under “Cell Wall” and found, that while plant cell walls contain cellulose, “Most true fungi” (yeast are classified as fungi) “have a cell wall consisting largely of chitin. True fungi do not have cellulose in their cell walls….”

Hmmmm,… let’s repeat that. Yeast do not have cellulose. But Candyx works through enzymes that largely degrade Cellulose??? So the good people at Candyx are supplying enzymes good at breaking down plant cell walls but NOT good at breaking down yeast cell walls – which suggests Candyx might help if you had grass growing in your gut but definitely won’t help with internal yeast.

But might the enzymes that degrade cellulose and plant cell walls also work on yeast cell walls? That seems highly unlikely. Most enzymes are highly specific for their substrates. For instance, although both cellulose and starch are simply long strings of glucose linked together, the enzymes found in humans only allow us to digest starchy plants but not plants made mostly from cellulose (like grass). In contrast, cow guts have the enzyme cellulase so cows can eat and digest grass (actually, symbiotic bacteria living in the gut of cows produce the cellulase for the cow). Therefore, it seems unlikely that the cellulase in Candyx will have any significant affect on yeast cell walls (which lack cellulose).

Not only that, but a quick search of the scientific literature finds that some scientists have bioengineered yeast to produce high amounts of cellulases to HELP yeast breakdown cellulose-containing wood and grass products into simpler sugars. The yeast then eat the sugar released from the cellulse and in the process the yeast make more ethanol (which is what the biofuels industry is after). So once again, industry uses an enzyme found in Candyx to promote yeast growth not inhibit it.

Speaking of cows breaking down grass cellulose, let’s consider that more carefully. Cellulose is notoriously difficult to breakdown — which is why besides having cellulase, cows have four stomachs and tend to chew the heck out of their food. This leads to another concern, that is, whether the enzymes in Candyx –even if they could kill yeast (which I strongly doubt) — would have sufficient time to act on yeast in your throat (as the enzyme does not sit there for very long) — or if the enzymes can even survive in the harsh conditions of our stomach to kill yeast living in our intestines — after all, the chief function of our stomach is to degrade things that we’ve eaten.

Now, as to all those positive reviews on Amazon for Candyx. Of the top three “most helpful” 5-star reviews on Amazon two of the people (as of Jan 2013) had no or few other reviews of products on Amazon. In my experience, most of the “most helpful” Amazon reviewers generally have a wide range of products that they review. The third person (of the top 3 reviewers) has many other reviews almost all on heath related products and largely gives them all 5 stars. This sounds fishy — call me suspicious but also see a recent Dec 4, 2012 NY Times article: “On Amazon, Cooking Up Friendly Reviews” and CNET “How to spot fake user reviews while shopping online.”

Lastly, I note there seems to be a good number of people on Amazon who did have an extremely poor reaction to this product (as did my friend).

I also looked up “Candex”in Wikipedia and found an article that said although sellers will claim there is scientific evidence in support of Candex, the study “has not been reviewed by scientific peers, nor published in medical journals.” and “is flawed due to the lack of a control group.” In short, it is easy for a company to cook up an internal “study” to get whatever answer they want. Moreover, it is well known in the medical literature that just giving people a pill, any pill, even a sugar capsule helps many and many would get better all on their own, especially if they have become more careful about their diet. Some might call that mind over medication and that’s fine if an expensive placebo works for you. But I find little reassurance for Candex on that score.

In summary, in absence of any studies I’m HIGHLY skeptical of this product’s claims; the reviews seemed cooked and the science dodgy.

I understand your frustration, but I would recommend either altering your diet and trying the previously mentioned Chinese herbal medicines or finding a sympathetic doctor — especially if you have an obvious yeast infection in your mouth or elsewhere. A yeast infection could be symptomatic of something more serious — as all of us harbor yeast but in most of us our immune system controls it. If you have a yeast infection your doctor can prescribe a proven yeast drug and then you could perhaps try to repopulate your gut with beneficial probiotic bacteria.