Fast Tract Diet for SIBO Forum Fast Tract Diet Q&A I have Candida, what should I do? Reply To: I have Candida, what should I do?

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From a discussion with Paul Jaminet (a caution about coconut oil to treat candida):

Hi Paul,
I’m getting confused by the recommendation to avoid coconut oil to remedy Candida, which seems to conflict with the testimonials and info below. What do you make of it?
Coconut Oil and Candida Yeast Infections
There is good research now that shows the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil kill candida yeast. Caprylic acid is one of the fatty acids found incoconut oil that has been used for quite some time in fighting candida yeast infections. William Crook, M.D., the author of The Yeast Connection and the questionnaire above, reports that many physicians have used caprylic acid successfully for yeast infections and that it works especially well for those patients who have adverse reactions to antifungal drugs.
Besides caprylic acid, two other medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil have been found to kill Candida albicans. A study done at the University of Iceland showed “capric acid, a 10-carbon saturated fatty acid, causes the fastest and most effective killing of all three strains of Candida albicans tested, leaving the cytoplasm disorganized and shrunken because of a disrupted or disintegrated plasma membrane. Lauric acid, a 12-carbon saturated fatty acid, was the most active at lower concentrations and after a longer incubation time.”2 This study shows great promise that all the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil work together to kill Candida albicans.
So to summarize the Coconut Diet Anti-Yeast program:
1. Slowly work up to at least 3.5 tablespoons of Virgin Coconut Oil into one’s diet.
2. Add traditional fermented foods to one’s diet.
3. Eliminate sugars and simple carbohydrates (white breads, pasta, etc.) asmuch as possible from your diet.
on 09 Jul 2011 at 7:04 am # Paul Jaminet

Hi Mark,
First, you have to keep in mind that there are two environments we are concerned with: inside the gut with access to food but not blood, and inside the body with access to blood but not food.
In the first case, they’ll feed on dietary carbs/fiber. In the second case,on ketones.
So coconut oil which is ketogenic promotes systemic candidiasis.
Secondly, in the gut you have to consider both the effects on fungi and bacteria. Coconut oil is antifungal and antibacterial. Olive oil is antifungalbut not so much antibacterial. Since you’re trying to replace the fungi with bacteria, arguably olive oil is better.
Likewise the advice to reduce carbs is good for high-carb dieters, but can backfire for low-carb dieters because further reductions in carbs cause ketosis and promote systemic invasion.
Best, Paul

I quoted your explanation to Mark about the two environments for candida toa group I am part of. Of course everyone was shocked to hear that coconut oil could possibly be any thing other than the cure for candida. As was I when you first proposed that it might be causing my GERD through ketosis. I know you must have good research to show that ketosis can feed candida and am hoping you will present it in your upcoming post on fungus. But meantime, do you have any studies, etc. I could refer them to?

Hi Ellen,
As far as low-carb ketosis goes, this is a woefully under-researched area. It’s more basic biology, if you think about the biology it has to be this way. Also personal experience, nothing flares my fungal infection like ketogenic dieting.
However, there are papers dealing with diabetics (who experience high levels of ketones, even ketoacidosis) and their vulnerability to fungal infections. “diabetes Candida” brings up 704 papers. Here are some papers: Neutrophils are less able to kill Candida when ketones are present.,, Candidiasis in diabetic patients with ketoacidosis. Obese people develop candida infections when fasting causes ketosis. Virulent strains of Candida maymake and release pyruvate causing neighboring human cells to turn the excess pyruvate into ketones which benefit the Candida. Serum drawn from fasting patients is less protective against Candida than serum drawn postprandially, and antifungal drugs work better in the fed state than in a fasted state.
Hope this helps. Maybe I’ll do a blog post about this next week just to spell it out a bit.