NAG (N-acetylglucosamine) increases Candida virulence

dannybex

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I guess this has been touched on elsewhere, but I thought it might deserve it's own thread, as many of us have been taking NAG (myself off and on) for anxiety and sinus issues.

I wasn't aware that it is linked with increasing the virulence of candida infections as apparently it helps change candida from the yeast form to the invasive hyphal form, which is the type that causes intestinal permeability and spreads into other parts of the body.

Some links and studies:

http://pathway.candidagenome.org/CALBI/NEW-IMAGE?object=GLUAMCAT-PWY

http://mic.sgmjournals.org/content/...49395-0?crawler=true&mimetype=application/pdf

This last one is very long and complicated -- perhaps NAG has a protective role as well? I'll leave it for the geniuses on PR to help us decipher this.

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2012/489208/#B3
 

Hip

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I wasn't aware that it is linked with increasing the virulence of candida infections as apparently it helps change candida from the yeast form to the invasive hyphal form, which is the type that causes intestinal permeability and spreads into other parts of the body.
The second study you cited certainly seems to indicate that NAG induces the hyphal form (the study calls N-acetyl-glucosamine a "hyphal induction method").

However, one study I came across said that N-acetyl-glucosamine induces white to opaque switching in Candida albicans. Now apparently white Candida are a more virulent form than opaque Candida, and opaque Candida don't readily convert to the hyphal form, which is the tissue invasive form.

So that study seems to be at odds with the study you cited.

I imagine that the only way you are going to work out whether NAG supplementation increases or decreases Candida levels is by an experimental study. I don't think it is going to be possible to predict this theoretically.


Some more info on the white and opaque forms of Candida can be found in this paper:

Environmental Induction of White–Opaque Switching in Candida albicans
 
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minkeygirl

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@Hip i have a new symptom I'll liken to jitters. Justy called it vibrating inside. Some days I don't have to. Today it started when I woke. I can't seem to figure out what is from even eliminating things.

Someone led me to your thread on anxiety so I got some NAG to start. I mean I have no ideas although I'm not anxious and my BP is low.

I just took one then saw this. Since I have gut issues (don't know what exactly but probably candida among others) do I want to take this?

I know you said to test it but has anything happened since this was talked about? I do not need raging bad candida on top of everything else.
 

Hip

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Since I have gut issues (don't know what exactly but probably candida among others) do I want to take this?
I originally tried N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) because I read it has beneficial effects for mucous membranes throughout the body (intestines, stomach, throat, sinuses). I have IBS-D, and my digestion is sensitive to things like spices and too much sugar, so I was hoping that NAG might sooth any irritated intestinal linings I might have, and improve my IBS.

I did not notice any benefits for my IBS, but NAG seemed to sooth my chronic nasal / sinus inflammation, possibly through its effects on the nasal mucous membranes.

It was while taking NAG for potential intestinal benefits that I noticed, completely unexpectedly, that NAG had potent anti-anxiety effects for me. Lots of people that I then suggested NAG to also found it has a strong anxiolytic action (but around 50% reported it did not work for them).

Nobody taking NAG has yet reported to me that it caused any Candida problems, but it is perhaps something that should be kept in mind. I have never found any reports online of Candida overgrowth developing from taking NAG either.



I imagine any Candida problems that NAG might theoretically cause would only appear after months of taking NAG. So if you are just doing a short-term test of NAG for a week or two, I doubt if this will be an issue anyway.

For anti-anxiety purposes, NAG kicks in pretty quickly, within a few hours. So if you are not noticing any anti-anxiety benefits within a few days or a week, it's unfortunately probably not going to work for you.

The main anxiety disorder I have is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and this is what NAG seems to treat in many people. Whether it will have any effect on this "jittery vibrating inside" feeling you have is hard to say. I think I read elsewhere that you have some OCD, which is also classed as an anxiety disorder, so I would be interested to know if NAG helps this, as so far I don't think anyone with OCD has tried NAG (just those with GAD).
 

dannybex

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@Hip -- wondering what you think about this study that showed NAG increased ammonia (and biofilm formation), at least when it comes to strep mucans:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24928869

"Finally, metabolism of these amino sugars by S. mutans resulted in the production of significant quantities of ammonia, which can neutralize cytoplasmic pH and increase acid tolerance, thus contributing to enhanced persistence and pathogenic potential."
 

Hip

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@dannybex
The study is looking at Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, and I would guess that swallowing oral tablets of NAG will have little effect on NAG levels in the mouth.
 

dannybex

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@dannybex
The study is looking at Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, and I would guess that swallowing oral tablets of NAG will have little effect on NAG levels in the mouth.
I've been letting them dissolve in my mouth. I wonder how many others are doing the same?

I also wonder if it might increase ammonia levels produced by other bacteria, or fungal infections as noted above. It does seem to help with anxiety and help reduce inflammation in the sinuses -- and I know it's needed in the gut as well -- just wondering if for some people it might have some negatives as well. Thanks @Hip.
 

Hip

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I also wonder if it might increase ammonia levels produced by other bacteria
Although the study says NAG raises ammonia, whether this can raise ammonia to physiologically relevant levels (eg, so that your sweat smells of ammonia) is another question. It's hard to tell from the study.

I tend to think the best way to determine the positives and negatives from a drug or supplement is to take it for a few weeks or months, and then stopping it for a few weeks or months, and observing all your symptoms. And repeating this process.

For most supplements, I find I only really become aware of their (often subtle) effects, both good and bad, when I start and stop taking them. During the transition from starting or stopping you tend to notice as benefits or negative effects appear and then disappear.
 
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dannybex

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Cell walls of fungi are composed mainly of chitin and NAG. So NAG probably gets in the way of antifungals, which often target cell walls. I would avoid it altogether if you have fungal issues.
I'm starting to think that I should do just that. Unfortunately, because it was helping with anxiety.
 

adreno

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Approximately 80 to 90% of the cell wall of C. albicans is carbohydrate. Three basic constituents represent the major polysaccharides of the cell wall: (i) branched polymers of glucose containing β-1,3 and β-1,6 linkages (β-glucans); (ii) unbranched polymers of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc) containing β-1,4 bonds (chitin); and (iii) polymers of mannose (mannan) covalently associated with proteins (glyco[manno]proteins).
http://mmbr.asm.org/content/62/1/130.full
 
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Cell walls of fungi are composed mainly of chitin and NAG. So NAG probably gets in the way of antifungals, which often target cell walls. I would avoid it altogether if you have fungal issues.

1) Do you think D-Ribose another sugar and mitochondria support supp could be a viable alternative for both leaky gut and CFS?

Thanks a lot.

PS Im mostly interested due to celiac and ASD, not CSF but I am concernced about fungi since I believe NAG could allow viruses / fungi to create biofilms to hide
 

xrayspex

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Having restarted NAG recently partly because of Hips long surviving thread about it http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...h-three-supplements.18369/page-17#post-441069 I did notice after about a week that candida likely increasing..........I was googling that and found this thread. There certainly are a number of studies dating back to 1961 showing nag may make candida more virulent. but I feel there must be more to the story, because it has decreased considerably, in a short time, really bothersome teeth and bone pain flare been in for almost 2 months (osteoarthritis and emerging dental stuff with sjogrens) . Its hard to believe that it was bad for me that it would be improving those things and there are studies to support its use in dentistry and osteoarthritis etc

I wonder if this study explains the complexity of it? that it may not be black and white and mutually exclusive conclusion, but maybe it improves the health of all the players in the gut including yeast? this was in conclusion:
" In particular, it will be interesting to define the roles for GlcNAc signaling in complex ecological niches, such as the human gut, where a broad range of bacteria, fungi, and human cells coexist. The microbes in the human gut must be balanced between beneficial effects for the host and pathogenic effects when the microbiome is dysregulated [119121]. In this regard it is also interesting that GlcNAc was reported to have beneficial therapeutic effects on patients with inflammatory bowel disease, suggesting that new studies in this area could lead to novel therapies for human disease"

I am going to cautiously proceed and take extra probiotic etc and monitor, if it seems like candida getting out of balance to where its causing systemic increase in dysfunctional things than will try different form of glucosamine and see if it has same benefits without the yeast concern. I am hoping it helps the bacteria and fungi and cells find homeostasis instead of me focusing on annhilating one thing and promoting another.....maybe this is a socialistic/democratic supplement ;) ? time will tell if am in denial or found a holistic approach....
 

dannybex

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I've been thinking along those lines too. NAG definitely is a component of biofilms. But biofilms protect both the good and the bad -- so it's possible that NAG is helping in some areas, but also possible that it may make things worse in others.

From a website selling anti-candida supplements:

"Surprising as it may seem biofilms in a healthy environment are actually a good thing. The protective layer they make forms a thin mucus in the intestinal area (as @Hip mentions above) and allows for the passage of nutrients into the body. In normal circumstances they protect against inflammatory conditions and also moisten and lubricate the gut lining. In fact we see biofilms everyday. From the film that forms on our teeth to the film that forms in the water bowl of your dog – we are surrounded by biofilms."

I've had a chronic sinus issue for yeeeeaaaars, and started using lactoferrin and also a colostrum (w/lactoferrin) supplement. It helps in some ways, but I think because lactoferrin disrupts biofilm formation the infection started to manifest (grow?), causing a really sore throat, mucus drainage, etc -- something I'll have to go through to get rid of it -- but also something I don't need right at the moment as I have a doc's appointment in a few days. So I stopped 'em, and restarted some NAG...and the acute sinus/throat symptoms have subsided and "improved".

I remember @Gestalt having success using Candex to break down biofilms, and I think it was the final piece in his puzzle that helped him move on w/his life, so I may try that too, if I can raise the funds. That stuff is really pricey. Would be interesting to know if he's still doing well...

p.s. and yes, the 'right' blend of probiotics/prebiotics/SBO's will probably be necessary. I was also taking tiny trial doses of Prescript-Assist, but it didn't flare (I don't think) until I substantially increased the colostrum w/lactoferrin.
 
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xrayspex

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well this will be interesting, I am so happy to have pain reduced, and also still grappling with dose because sometimes it also makes me feel too sedated, but if want analgesic effect needing to be at a certain dose....more will be revealed

yea the whole biofilm Stratton Cpn possibility was just always too much for me to wrap mind around, and body, its beyond what I feel able to handle with working on stuff.....its not that I don't think there could be something to it but don't have the heart to go thru what it might take.....I even felt bad from VSL3
 

Paralee

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Does NAG possibly inhibit calcium uptake and delivery? Or mess with adrenals somehow? Shaky under the skin can be caused by low calcium and adrenal problems, and too much thyroid, I think.
 

dannybex

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@Hip

Okay, almost 2 years after I started this thread, I came across this study, which, while also in vitro, says that:

"GlcNAc induces rapid cell death in C. albicans due to the constitutive activation of oxidative metabolism and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and multiple pathways are involved in its regulation."

"We suggest that C. albicans may use the amino sugar GlcNAc, which is an important component of bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan, fungal cell wall chitin, and animal cell extracellular matrix, as a signal to trigger maximal utilization of environmental nutrients, thus promoting its growth and survival in the host when nutrients are abundant."

That bolded part seems to be the key. And probably other factors as well. Especially considering the fact that everyone has candida in their gut -- it's a normal part of the microbiome. So it seems to that if people are taking NAG for many other reasons, they would develop raging fungal infections...which doesn't seem to be happening.
 
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Hip

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@dannybex, you could always take N-acetyl-glucosamine transdermally if you are concerned about feeding gut Candida. The molecular weight of NAG is 221 daltons, well below the 500 dalton limit for skin absorption of molecules, so it should absorb quite well when the NAG powder from a capsule is rubbed on the skin.