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Connecting the dots ... Is ME/CFS a complex fungal intolerance? (part 7 - conclusion)

Hello blog readers! Time for the promised update. Sorry about the long delay, thanks PASC/LC for that...

Here is a final entry in this blog series, my 'results' report and conclusion based on evidence of multiple people testing out this theory, with some references. I am now calling this a 'Deep Candida' theory since that seems to communicate better than 'complex fungal intolerance'. Deep Candida is also more accurate. Most people are familiar with surface infestations of Candida, and I want to distinguish the problem of deep-level intestinal Candida issue.

'RESULTS' REPORT: In the past few years several people have tried parts of the self-treatment approach I describe in the prior blogs for deep candida problems in the digestive system. The response has been universally positive among those who persisted with the low daily dose (one capsule) of Candex or Candidase. Here are some examples:

1. ME/CFS patient, low functioning with chronic insomnia. Tried parts of the protocol for several years but did not have sleep improvement until they added Candidase. Takes Candidase at night, sometimes in the middle of the night, and it assists with sleep in a noticeable and significant way. Sleep latency improved but not solved.

2. ME/CFS patient, medium functioning. Added Candex to existing treatments. Reported significant energy improvements, to the point of being able to exercise again (walking).

3. ME/CFS patient, low functioning with chronic insomnia and benzodiazapine dependence. Added Candidase to existing protocol taking in mornings. Insomnia reduced then eliminated within two months. Severe sleep latency solved, normal circadian rhythm restored. Was able to discontinue benzodiazapine use. Tested recovery once each month by going off the Candidase for a few days, but insomnia returned within 48 hours each time until month 8. From that point until now, only used Candidase preventively (once every 2 months for 2 days).

4. MCS / EHS patient who is a recovered ME/CFS patient but remained mostly housebound due to sensitivities. Symptoms reduced significantly after about 9 months of daily Candex. Can now tolerate low-level enviroinmental chemical or EMF exposures with faster recovery times.


5. CF + ASD patient with chronic insomnia and some energy limitations. Takes Candex at night with melatonin. Long-term sleep latency problem mostly resolved after adding Candex, circadian rhythm normalized, able to work a regular schedule.

There are more cases I am aware of, but this is a good sample. A few highly sensitive people had to work up to the one capsule daily dose very slowly, taking a partial capsule once a week at first. These were mostly patients who had worked on candida problems before, some had tried everything generally recommended (anti-fungal diets, anti-fungal drugs and herbs, stress reduction, etc). For some reason those treatment are just not adequate to do what the cellulase enzyme, taken consistently at low dose, can accomplish. I believe low-dose cellulase may be reducing the 'foothold' of candida in the digestive system in a way other treatments can not match.

CONCLUSION: My conclusion from these cases is that deep Candida may be a strong disruptor of autonomic nervous system metabolism, resulting in multiple potential pathologies. I believe the cases, including my own, support the idea that treating deep candida with cellulase may uniquely reduce functional load on the immune and detox systems. For the people who had improvement in insomnia and circadian rhythm problems, treating with cellulase may free up some melatonin production by reducing tryptophol levels. Consistent low-dose cellulase appears capable of eventually 'sweeping' candida from some part of the digestive system where it can produce tryptophol, possibly that is the small intestine.

To answer the original question of this blog series, I do not believe this 'citizen science' experiment showed that ME/CFS is exclusively a complex fungal intolerance (deep candida infection). While we each had improvements, they were not sufficient gains to support the idea this might explain the entire syndrome. However, I do believe that the theory of excess tryptophol production by Candida disrupting natural melatonin pathway is supported by the results of the patient experiments. The most consistent improvements were sleep quality and energy gains. Which we would expect from improved natural melatonin production. I think the role of candida in these cases is complicated. A few responses raise questions about the possible role of candida in creating hyper-sensitivities, or sensory processing problems. Perhaps that is also a component of ME/CFS involving candida.

REFERENCES:

Tryptophol - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophol This Wikipedia page provides a general overview of tryptophol, including its occurrence in various organisms like Candida.

Regulation of Aromatic Alcohol Production in Candida albicans: https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/aem.01614-08 This study reveals conditions that boost tryptophol production by Candida including presence of specific amino acids (tryptophan), anaerobic conditions (found in the small intestine). Temperature variations did not alter tryptophol production, and presence of a nitrogen source (ammonia with or without l-proline) lowered tryptophol production. Candida requires additional food sources, they used dextrose growth media (which presumably may be relevant to overall candida activity if those types of undigested carbs are available in the small intestine).


NOTES:

Candida is a heavily researched micro-organism and this is far from a thorough treatment of the role of the tryptophol alcohol in candida toxicity. For example, tryptophol is used by Candida in a quorum-sensing function. It may even trigger apoptosis of Candida at certain concentrations. Therefore, logically if tryptophol levels are high, there could also be a lot of 'candida die-off'. So tryptophol may do much more harm than just disrupting the tryptophan pathway.

In my opinion this blog is barely scratching the surface of a possible role of candida in ME/CFS. I read dozens of studies about tryptophol, candida and sleeping sickness while I was trying to untangle how treating candida could trigger such a drastic improvement in sleep functions. The topic deserves serious study in the ME/CFS research community in my opinion.

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