3 keys to understanding candida

There are 3 keys to understanding candida and its complex mechanisms in the body that don’t lend themselves easily to online chat groups and simplistic discussions.


Modern medicine, composed of poorly trained physicians with fanatical devotion to archaic principles and dogma, have very little to offer most people and people are awakening to this fact.


The hope of alternative medicine’s ability to provide better solutions has driven doctors and hospitals to aggressively promote alternative therapies. The requisite knowledge of how the body functions however is still absent and eventually doctors return to ineffective choices and problematic medicines.


There are 3 keys to understanding candida as a major factor in the health of individuals worldwide.


  • Antibiotics are the number one cause of fungal candida and many other imbalances.
  • Fungal candida maintains imbalances created by antibiotics and inhibits the recolonization of the Lactobacillus bacterial species.
  • Lactobacillus species are a keystone bacterial species that impacts the health of the body in numerous ways.


Antibiotics and candida


Key #1 – Antibiotics


Antibiotics are the #1 factor in fungal candida overgrowth. They are also the number one choice of doctors for a wide variety of conditions for which they were never approved.


Antibiotics create a permanent shift in bacterial ratios that has a tremendous and deadly impact on health and longevity. Whether someone took antibiotics last week or decades ago, the permanent shift is created and needs to be corrected for.


In 5 to 7 days, antibiotics can wipe out all the bacteria in the body. (1)


Candida albicans infections often occur during or shortly after antibacterial treatment.” (2)


“…antibiotic therapy has been reported to precede disseminated candidiasis in children.” (3)


 “Antibiotic treatment has also been shown to increase the rate of C. albicans isolation in stool. (4)


Oral antibiotic therapy in humans often leads to colonization and over-growth of the GI tract by C. albicans” (5)


Antibiotics decreased the total population levels of the indigenous bacterial flora, and predisposed mice to gastrointestinal overgrowth and subsequent dissemination by Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis, C. pseudotropicalis, C. tropicalis, and Torulopsis glabrata.” (6)


Antibiotic treatment decreased the total population levels of the indigenous bacterial flora and predisposed hamsters to gastrointestinal overgrowth and subsequent systemic dissemination by C. albicans in 86% of the animals.” (7)


It is no accident that antibiotics are the most cited cause of fungal candida growth dating back to the introduction of antibiotics in the late 1940s.


Antibiotics Cause Candida


Antibiotics induce fungal growth in at least 10 different ways


– loss of bacterial inhibition, especially that of Lactobacillus species.

– loss of nutrient competition.

– establish alkaline pH by elimination of acid-producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus species.

– direct stimulation of candida from yeast to problematic fungal form.

– degrade mucus proteins that protect intestinal cells and inhibit candida.

– alter immune response towards one that favors fungal candida growth.

– suppress immune system responses.

– eliminate the microbiome and its effect on immunity.

– suppress acute-phase proteins that make iron unavailable for candida growth.

– destroy bacteria and cause the release of substances that directly trigger the growth of fungal candida.


Other than antibiotics, chemotherapy can also induce many of these pro-candida changes, but its limited use does not compare to the widespread use of antibiotics.


Other factors that are occasionally cited – estrogen, steroids, birth control – do not create the necessary changes for fungal candida overgrowth and are more likely to stimulate overgrowth that has already been established by past antibiotic use.

candida and probiotcs

Fungal candida

Key #2 – Fungal Candida


Understanding candida is more complex than most doctors and people grasp.


Fungal candida drives the same Th-2 dominant immune response that antibiotics do, thus maintaining an immune response favorable to candida growth.


Fungal candida drives inflammatory cytokines that limit the function of many pathways in the body.


Candida and antibiotics both degrade mucus cells leading to leaky gut and the spread of candida.


Fungal candida inhibits the colonization of the Lactobacillus species that in turn would inhibit it.


“the presence of C. albicans resulted in a long-term reduction in Lactobacillus spp.” (8)


“The presence of C. albicans in the antibiotic-disrupted bacterial community of the murine cecum was associated with suppressed regrowth of Lactobacillus populations.” (9)


Candida has been associated with over 125 different conditions. (15)

Lactobacillus and candida


Key #3 – Lactobacillus


Lactobacillus bacteria are considered to be a keystone species in the intestinal microbiome. Just as understanding candida is important, so to is understanding the bacteria that are affected by it.


A keystone species is a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its natural environment relative to its abundance. Such species are described as playing a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community, affecting many other organisms in an ecosystem and helping to determine the types and numbers of various other species in the community…Without keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. (10)


The female genital communities are always totally dominated by Lactobacillus. The dominance of Lactobacillus in the vagina ecosystems is well known and also its ability to keep the stability and resistance of the community against colonizers  (11)


Important Functions:

While Lactobacilli in the vaginal tissues are not a true “keystone” species, it is the dominant species whose absence means collapse of proper function in the vaginal flora.


Among the many other functions of Lactobacillus species, these are some very important ones:


– Preservation of tight junctions between intestinal cells that prevent leaky gut.


– Regulation of the immune system’s cytokine expression to help control inflammation.


– Regulation of Tregs, the primary immune cells that create immune system tolerance and reduce inflammation.


– Coordination of immune defenses of the gut for protection of mucosal surfaces. (13)


– Prevention and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (14)


– Competitive exclusion and antimicrobial protection against fungal candida and other pathogens.


– Maintenance of the intestinal barrier by stimulating mucin production and butyrate production.


– Significantly reduce elevated fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels. (12)


– Induction of nitric oxide synthesis for normal function of the pyloric valve of the stomach and overall digestive function.


– Prevention of dental cavities.


– Lactobacillus species help to recover the age-diminished Nitric Oxide (NO) pathway by synthesis of NO. Nitric oxide helps to ensure cardiovascular and brain health and proper digestive function.


These are just a few of the many functions that Lactobacillus provide for a healthy gut, healthy immune system and overall body health.


These 3 keys to understanding candida form a foundation that over 65,000 studies on PubMed support. They can save a lot of time, money, and frustration when it comes to bringing the body back into an optimal state of health.



1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2134008/?tool=pmcentrez

2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18608929

3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC315286/pdf/jbacter00585-0178.pdf

4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC260558/pdf/iai00091-0028.pdf

5) http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/30113658?tokenId=KxZI8GrRjXWed9JhIfFv

6) http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00362178385380051

7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC261235/pdf/iai00114-0202.pdf

8) https://iai.asm.org/content/80/10/3371.long

9) https://iai.asm.org/content/80/10/3371.long

10) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_species

11) https://www.nature.com/articles/srep15920



13) https://mmbr.asm.org/content/72/4/728/figures-only

14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637082?dopt=Abstract

15) https://www.candidaplan.com/120-common-candida-symptoms/


Get started today with Dr. McCombs Candida Plan and enjoy a vital, productive, and long life!!!


A. 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Treating Candida – https://www.candidaplan.com/5-mistakes-to-avoid-when-treating-candida/

B. Candida Diets: 8-part Series – https://www.candidaplan.com/candida-diets/

C. Candida and Cancer – https://www.candidaplan.com/candida-cancer-2/

D. Candida and Pregnancy – https://www.candidaplan.com/candida-and-pregnancy/

E. Candida Diet Trip, Tricks, and Hacks – https://www.candidaplan.com/candida-diet-tips-tricks-hacks/


Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is founder of the McCombs Center for Health, the Candida Plan, the Candida Library, and author of LifeforceThe Everything Candida Book, and The Everything Guide to Autoimmune Diets. Check out our podcast, Candida Diet Tips Recipes, and Insights on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Alexa Flash Briefings.

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