Enzymes and Bacteria, Yeast, and Parasites
last updated 8.25.05
see Enzymes and Leaky gut / intestinal problems
see Enzymes and Viruses
If you are needing to treat a bad bacteria problem, you might want to add strong proteases. Protease enzymes have a synergistic effect with antibiotics.
Enzymes and bacteria
Yeast / Candida
Nice overview and pictures of Candida
Click here to see various pictures of candida yeast
Eating a lot of processed and prepared foods can promote yeast. Many of the commonly used preservatives are antibiotics and kill of bacteria. But when you ingest these, it can kill off the more beneficial bacteria in your gut, and leave an open door for yeast to expand and grow.
Anything that weakens the immune system may contribute to Candida overgrowth.
Chronic candidiasis is a complex condition which can have many different symptoms, or sets of symptoms, depending on the individual. Usually, an treatment found to be 'effective' will consist of several different things - not just one supplement or medication or lifestyle change.
Factors which can promote Candida or make you susceptible to Candida overgrowth:
- prolonged antibiotic use
- impaired digestion for any reason
- poor diet
- some medications
- immune or autoimmune problems
- poor liver function or liver disease
- nutrient difficiencies or malabsorption
- prolonged disease
This page has many resources for Candida:
Enzymes and Yeast Research
Enzymes for Fighting Yeast
There are a few enzyme products on the market that are formulated for fighting yeast (Candida) problems. You want to particularly check the label and look for these types of enzymes:
Yeast cells have tough outer shells made up of protein and cellulose. The shells may be several layers think and present a barrier to the commonly used anti-fungal medications and over-the-counter supplements. The strategy of using the yeast fighting enzymes is to decompose or break down the yeast coverings so the yeast dies. Many people dealing with yeast have found that combining an anti-fungal with a yeast enzyme product gives a powerful synergistic effect on yeast. The enzymes breakdown the coating and the anti-fungals can act more quickly and effectively in destroying yeast cells. In addition, protease enzymes can help reduce die-off discomfort because they can further breakdown the waste and residue by the dead yeast cells. You can try giving more proteases if die-off is too uncomfortable, or simply reduce the amount of enzymes and anti-fungals given (go lower-n-slower).
A couple of the yeast fighting enzyme products say there is 'no die-off' with enzymes. After investigating this claim, this is not meant to mean there is no possible chance that die-off with ever occur with enzymes. Afterall, if the yeast is dying there should be debris left over.
Take the 'no die-off symptoms' with a grain of salt and bit a marketing. A technical person at one enzyme company relayed that the 'no die-off' is relative to the die-off usually seen with prescription anti-fungals where you have a set dose that is given at set intervals. With enzymes, you can dose lower if you need to and add more enzymes in if you need to. The proteases in the enzyme product break down waste and debris. The proteases are supposed to be breaking down the dead cells into small amino acids or sections and detoxifying them instead of leaving large chunks of dead cells for the body to detox. It was advised that if die-off is too uncomfortable...add more proteases to help relieve this.
If you use an enzyme product to fight yeast, you can see die-off symptoms if the die-off is happening faster than the given amount of enzymes can break down quickly. However, you can lower the enzyme dose and do it more gradually, or you can add more proteases to help relieve the discomfort.
You can also consider epsom salts, activated charcoal, vitamin C or other measures commonly used to help relieve die-off symptoms.
see Activated Charcoal
see Epsom Salts
Pick a combination of a yeast fighting enzyme product:
Add a yeast fighting herb or medication (some common ones below)
- Grapefruit seed extract
- Oil of oregano
- Caprylic acid
- Pau d'arco
Die-off can be expressed as a whole range of symptoms depending on the person. 'Flu-like' symptoms are very common.
Another key clue is if you see very good improvements with enzymes ALONG WITH any negatives. With enzymes, there is a pattern that as long as you see good improvements with the negatives, the negatives are nearly always adjustment effects that go away on their own or are tied to die-off. It is when you only see negatives you really need to keep your eye on things. Sometimes the negative-only cases are still adjustments, but sometimes they are related to an allergy/intolerance and a different product or therapy is needed first.
Interestingly, with a serious bacteria or yeast infection, you can get negative-only responses initially because the toxins put out by the pathogens can mask any benefits from the enzymes. Sometimes a person may need a solid yeast or bacteria treatment first, and then the benefits from enzymes show through. If you get positive responses only with enzymes, that's great and you are home free.
There are some tests one can do to find out if bacteria or yeast is a problem, but these are known not to be accurate. The test is run, and then the doctor estimates if the pathogen is likely based on all the results.
With yeast, common indicators are:
- yeast rashes somewhere else in the body: thrush on the tongue, athlete's food, vaginal irritation in girls/women,
- intense carbohydrate cravings
- inappropriate uncontrollable sudden giggling or laughter (yeast by-products include alcohol so you get 'drunk-like' behavior particularly after eating carbs or sweets)
- poor sleep, sleep waking at night
- moodiness, emotionalism you don't have a reason for
- odd behavior about 30 minutes after eating
One of the criteria for diagnosing yeast is if the person responds to yeast treatment. There are prescription yeast medications you can ask for to try (Flagyl, diflucan, etc). However, there is an over-the-counter strategy that you can try. Quite a few parents find this very effective on yeast: combine one of the herbal yeast fighters (grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, caprylic acid) with an enzyme yeast-fighting product (Candidase, No-Fenol, etc). The combination is awesome. It is thought the enzymes break down out yeast coating and then the yeast killer finishes off the yeast cell. Giving a protease product like Peptizyde or ViraStop may help reduce die-off symptoms too.
The yeast treatment needs to be given between meals (not with meals). This way the enzymes aren't held up digesting food. They go on down through the digestive tract and attack the yeast. Start very slowly though because this can really whack yeast (more die-off and person feels miserable). When yeast is bad it can take up to 6 weeks to slowly get through the die-off phase.
To help with die-off reactions, you can:
- give more proteases, if tolerated (between meals...like 3-4 capsules every 3-4 hours)
- give more vitamin C which is a good antioxidant helping with detox
- Epsom salts baths help with calming and detox www.enzymestuff.com/epsomsalts.htm
- lots of pure water to help flush the gunk out
Bacteria is much easier to get rid of. My younger son had a bad bacteria problem. It is characterized by:
- aggression, moodiness, irritability, 'anger' for no apparent reason
- sleep problems but not with the giggling or laughter
- really foul smelling stools or body odor (we are talking incredible STENCH); bad breath; stinky sweat.
- frequently occurs with constipation (infrequent painful stools, streaking/smearing in underwear, etc)
- ammonia smells from person
Proteases can impact bacteria killing them off. Bacteria is composed of proteins. Yeast is composed of proteins and cellulases (much more cellulases involved).
Probiotics cause die-off in bacteria and yeast for the same reasons enzymes do, but also because they are good microbes that also crowd out the bad microbes. So they have other means of causing die-off in addition to enzymes. Probiotics can also have anti-pathogen properties. Yogurt with live cultures will contain probiotics as well as enzymes.
see the low-n-slow enzymes dosing will the additional notes for yeast