Yeast (Candida)

Yeast and bacteria make up the normal flora in the gastrointestinal tract.  Competition between the two species is what maintains the balance.   Antibiotics, poor diet, insufficient soluble fiber in the diet and poor gastric acid and digestive enzyme production can result in gastric dysbiosis in which yeast overgrowth occurs in the intestinal tract.  Probiotics and antifungal medications are commonly prescribed to fight dysbiosis but it can be a long and difficult battle. 

 Research has shown that prebiotics are more effective than probiotics in most cases to resolve dysbiosis.  Prebiotics are the optimal food for the bacterial flora in the intestines, whereas probiotics contain the favorable bacteria for the intestines.  The reason prebiotics have been more effective than probiotics at reversing dysbiosis is because it doesn’t do much good to just keep reintroducing the good bacteria into the intestinal tract if you don’t provide them with their optimal food source (soluble fiber).  Yeast is a very opportunistic organism, meaning they can thrive on a wide variety of food sources.  But the favorable bacterial flora in the intestines cannot.  The optimum food for the bacteria is soluble fiber,which our diets are becoming very deficient in.  Without this optimum food source of soluble fiber, the bacteria will not flourish, resulting in yeast overgrowth due to lack of competition from the bacteria.   Of course if the dysbiosis is due to the administration of antibiotics, then a probiotic would be indicated followed with prebiotics.

 A very good prebiotic is frucotooligosaccharides (FOS).  FOS is a soluble fiber consisting of sucrose and fructose but the way the two simple sugars are bound together, our body can’t digest them but the bacteria can flourish on them.  The exception to when FOS should not be supplemented is if a bad bacteria such as Klebsiella is present in the stool as this bad bacteria will flourish on FOS as well.  So the stools must be negative for the bad bacteria before supplementing FOS. 

 The key to supplementing FOS to get the most benefit is to take 2,000-3,000 mg of FOS all at one time each day.  The reason for this is as the bacteria utilize the FOS, they produce a protein the stimulates gene expression of two very important calcium binding proteins, Calbindin D9k and Calbindin D28k.  In order to stimulate gene expression, a particular protein must be present in a finite concentration, which is achieved if 2,000 –3,000 mg of FOS are taken all at once.  The Calbindin D9k is needed for calcium and other mineral absorption from the intestines.  The Calbindin D28k is needed to protect the cells from too much calcium influx that can result in cell damage and inflammation. 

 Many doctors and parents are reporting that the gastrointestinal problems including dysbiosis have resolved in their patients and children respectively after starting Respen-A with FOS.