When probiotics don't heal your gut

February 28, 2015
Volume 5    |   Issue 18

As you may know, probiotics are a vital supplement for having a healthy gut. These beneficial bacteria help balance your digestive system and boost your immune system. But what happens when taking probiotics doesn't have the effect you expect?

It happens. I talk to a lot of people who have symptoms that scream for probiotics. However, a few of these folks just don't see much improvement when they take probiotics. The question is why?

There can be a number of reasons probiotics don't work as well as they should. But one of the most common reasons probiotics don't work is that the person has an overgrowth of Candida. Candida is yeast or fungus. And it's the most common cause of fungal infections around the world. It's a nasty infection that is terribly difficult to get rid of.

Candida typically starts after several courses of antibiotics. The drugs don't just kill off the bacteria in your gut, they also clear the way for yeast to grow. But it gets worse. Not only do antibiotics create an environment that's conducive to Candida, but it also encourages it to grow. So taking several courses of the drugs often results in this fungal infection. It's very common.

Unfortunately, most doctors don't know how to treat Candida. The best they can offer is anti-fungal medications. These drugs are fairly gentle to your system, but they're not terribly effective against Candida. In severe cases, doctors will use an IV anti-fungal. But again, these oftentimes don't work.

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While Candida can be very difficult to treat, there is a supplement you can use that will kill many cases of the fungus. However, you can't just take this supplement and expect a lasting cure. You have to eat a diet that's completely free of sugar, including processed carbohydrates, fruit, soft drinks, and alcohol. A high-fiber diet that's rich in vegetables is a must.

Once you've got the diet in place, then you can start taking a supplement called undecenoic acid. It also goes by the names 10-undecenoic acid and undecylenic acid. Undecenoic acid comes from the castor bean. You may have heard of an old folk remedy called castor oil packs. Some women used these during pregnancy to prevent early termination of the pregnancy. Many believe it's the undecenoic acid that really had the ability to help these women. Castor oil packs are known to break up waste in your liver and intestines. But you don't use a castor oil pack to fight Candida (though some people do ingest castor oil to fight Candida). Instead, you can take an undecenoic acid supplement that works extremely well against yeast.

For some people, this supplement alone will wipe out the yeast infection. It really is that powerful. But you need to have the right diet in place to make sure you don't do anything that will encourage the yeast to regrow. People often think the yeast is gone, only to have it return.

My favorite brand of undecenoic acid is made by Thorne. The name of the supplement is Formula SF722. You can find it in many health food stores and on the Internet. Most people can take five gel caps three times a day. But for stubborn cases, you can take up to 10 gel caps three times a day.

Once you take this supplement, your gut will have a much better environment, and the probiotics you're taking will work much better.

Your insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.

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