How Your Probiotic Therapy Helps Alkalize Your Body
7 minute read
Candida is a yeast that is commonly found in the body. This yeast thrives in alkaline environments. When you have taken antibiotics or when you have a primarily alkaline diet, the environment becomes the perfect breeding ground for Candida. Candidiasis is the infection that occurs when this is allowed to happen. Your body requires an alkaline environment, typically around a 7.4 pH reading, so how do we protect against this common infection? The answer lies in your gut.
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Your digestive system is the one place in your body that requires acid in order to function properly. The gut therefore can play an important role in maintaining a pH balance to reduce any Candida overgrowth. Since your diet can cause too much alkalinity, there is a special diet you can follow to restore digestive acids. The right diet and a broad spectrum probiotics can ensure that Candida does not get a chance to take over.
The pH Situation
The topic of your body pH is not as simple as keeping it around 7.4. In fact, the situation is fairly complicated. Your average blood pH is slightly alkaline but your various organs require different pH levels in order to function properly. As said, your stomach needs an acidic environment, somewhere in the vicinity of 2 and 4. Your colon on the other hand needs only a slightly acidic pH somewhere between 5.5 and 7. And when you look closely at your blood, you will find that the pH varies as it circulates around your body.
There are a few diets out there that you can follow which promote an alkaline environment. The concept behind them is that alkalinity will help reduce fatigue, promote weight loss, improve bone health, and prevent cancer. These claims are largely unsupported however, and raising your pH above 7.45 can be dangerous. Alkalosis can cause you to experience hand tremors and muscle spasms. For those suffering with Candida problems, this higher alkalinity promotes their growth and potential takeover.
Candida's Love of Alkalinity
Candida needs an alkaline or neutral environment in order to change into its fungal form. It even goes so far as to reduce the acidity in your intestines. One of its byproducts is ammonia, which is an alkaline gas that increases the alkalinity in the area and promotes the growth of other yeasts. By alkalizing its immediate environment, Candida can switch to its pathogenic form which causes Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Acid-producing probiotics such as acidophilus, are able to slow and reverse the overgrowth of Candida. Our digestive systems have therefore naturally evolved to be acidic as a way to prevent this and protect us from pathogens. Our digestive tract is the first line of defense against the pathogens that we ingest each day. Studies have shown that capric and lauric acids are able to kill Candida and could be useful for infection treatments.
The most effective anti-fungals used against Candida is caprylic and lauric acid which are both found in coconut oil. Treatment for Candida fungal infections is easier to get then you probably thought.
Probiotics are also great for treating Candida. The reason they are so effective is because they produce lactic and acetic acid. Including probiotics as part of your daily regimen will keep your intestinal pH balanced and acidity restored to prevent overgrowth of Candida and other yeasts.
The most common reason Candida overgrowth occurs is because of an antibiotic regimen. After following a course of antibiotics, both friendly and non-friendly bacteria are killed off. This means acidity levels drop and Candida can thrive and spread.
Too Much Alkalinity
Your gut can become too alkaline for a number of reasons. The over-reliance on antibiotics is sadly the top reason. While they are great for getting rid of disease causing bacteria, they unfortunately do not discriminate. This means antibiotics kill off the good bacteria too and Candida can begin to thrive. When the good bacteria go, so does the stomach acid. A reduction in bacteria means a reduction in lactic and acetic acid; the outcome is an alkaline gut and a perfect breeding ground for Candida.
Diet can also contribute to the alkalinity of your gut. Fruits are very alkaline so a diet rich in fruits will mean excess alkalinity in the stomach and digestive tract. While fruits provide many essential nutrients, you need to take care not to overdo it. Candida thrives on the sugar found in fruits and the alkalinity they produce. This is not to say you need to avoid fruits because that would not benefit your overall health. Just be sure to maintain a balance with high-alkaline foods.
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One final problem we face regarding our pH is age. As we get older the acidity levels of our stomach start to decrease. The older we get the more susceptible we are to Candida overgrowth. The average stomach acid secretion in 11 to 20 year-olds is 180 mg/hr. In a 50 year old, the number is closer to 50 mg/hr. This is a fairly significant drop in acid secretion, so we need additional support to keep Candida under control.
Restore Your Acidity
The first piece of advice when it comes to maintaining healthy stomach acid levels is to only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Antibiotics can be life-saving, but just be sure that your doctor is not over prescribing them. If you find that you do need to take a course of antibiotics, be sure to also take a probiotic supplement. This will help to maintain good gut flora and prevent the area from becoming too alkaline.
Probiotics are actually the best way to prevent alkalinity, regardless of whether you are taking antibiotics or not. Remember that your friendly gut flora produce acid which keeps the stomach and intestinal levels stable. Regular intake of probiotic supplements can only further support your natural flora.
It is also recommended to avoid antacids and acid blockers. Given that acid reflux and GERD are common ailments in this country, many people rely on these medications. They do reduce stomach acid which contributes to Candida overgrowth, so if other natural remedies for your digestive troubles can be found, it is highly recommended.
Vitamins can also help with gut pH maintenance. Vitamin C is scientifically known as ascorbic acid. The key word here is 'acid'. So, not only is Vitamin C a nice boost for your immune system and adrenal glands, it helps to contribute to acid levels in the gut. Anyone suffering with Candidiasis will benefit from a high intake of Vitamin C.
B vitamins help the body produce hydrochloric acid in the gut, specifically B6 and B12. You will get the same pH benefits from taking a general -complex multivitamin; no need to just look for those specific ones.
The Bottom Line
Your diet also contributes heavily to the pH of your digestive tract. Probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut should be a part of your daily diet. The good bacteria found in these foods secrete the same acid as the probiotics discussed earlier. Studies have shown that the live bacteria strains in yogurt are able to make it through the digestive process, reaching your gut, and promoting a healthy pH environment.
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