Vaginal Yeast Infection

About the Disorder

Candida albicans is a single-cell organism belonging to the family of fungi.

It’s a saprophyte, living on organic residues from digestive processes. In particular, it feeds on products deriving from the metabolism of carbohydrates. Under normal conditions and with a well balanced immune system, it comfortably coexists with the individual, inhabiting the mucosae of organs in charge of digestive processes – the small intestine in particular – , without causing any problem whatsoever. In this situation, Candida albicans takes the form of a harmless and non-invasive yeast, characterized by roundish spores grouped in tiny clusters.

Another feature of Candida is, however,its dimorphism:  it can transform itself, becoming pathogenic and invasive. In fact, under certain conditions, Candida branches out, developing tentacles (hyphae) that intertwine to form complex grids, which take on the conformation of moulds. It invades the space usually inhabited by physiological, intestinal bacterial flora, thereby hindering its proliferation as well as its ability to carry out its protective function while disposing of residues and toxins.

As a result, Candida can therefore cause several gastro-intestinal disorders (such as halitosis, meteorism, constipation, diarrhea, colitis). But there’s more to this: by penetrating the intestinal mucosa, the mould’s tentacles can reach out and infiltrate the surrounding districts up to the blood vessels and deep lymphatics, altering the intestine’s selective permeability and making the organism prone to infections and allergies.

A non selective intestinal mucosa can, in fact, easily let through undigested residues and toxins: substances which should have been expelled from the body but which end up in the blood flow instead, triggering off selfintoxication.

PREDISPOSING FACTORS

Generally speaking, the transformation from harmlessness to invasiveness occurs when the organism is weakened and loses control over Candida, the “opportunistic” organism taking advantage of the situation. There are several factors potentially leading to a weakening of the body’s immune system, such as: a diet rich in refined carbohyrates and poor in nutrients, environmental and food pollutants, dental amalgams containing mercury, stress, use/abuse of drugs (particularly antibiotics), contraceptive pill.

As regards nutrition, it must be highlighted that Candida feeds on sugars, therefore a diet rich in carbohydrates (particularly if refined) encourages its proliferation. Other predisposing factors are pathologies such as diabetes and immuno-depressive conditions (autoimmune diseases, cancer, treatments with chemiotherapy and radiotherapy, intake of corticosteroids).

VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION (or CANDIDA)

Following intestinal invasion of Candida, the mucosa coating genital organs easily becomes ground for proliferation. The highest incidence occurs among women: hormonal factors, contraceptive pill, inadequate or too aggressive hygiene can, in fact, alter the natural immune defense mechanisms of the vaginal mucosa, leading to vaginitis characterize by burning feeling, itching, discomfort or pain and ill-smelling discharge (acute episode of vaginal yeast infection).

If the predisposing factors (i.e. nutritional style) do not change, it is likely to incur in relapses (relapsing vaginal yeast infection). Men are not immune from genital candidiasis, both due to the fact that the pathology is of intestinal origin and also because Candida is sexually transmitted. It is therefore essential to cure the partner of the woman acting as a  carrier of this type of vaginitis, so as to prevent potential re-infestation of both partners whenever sexual intercourse takes place.

Treatment of vaginal yeast infection using conventional medicine   

Conventional medicine provides for pharmacological treatments based on synthetic antifungals that aim to eradicate the fungus, by means of a strong, negative action towards the organism (for instance, one need only think of strong antibiotics that damage the normal intestinal flora, leaving it seriously compromised once therapy has been completed), while disregarding to restore optimal physiological conditions typical of a healthy organism. Moreover, it can cause development of resistance,  and impoverishment of physiological bacterial flora creates fertile ground for further relapses. By underestimating these aspects, the risk is to incur in relapses of intestinal or vaginal yeast infection, since causes and predisposing factors at the origin of the first “invasion” (immunological weakness, unhealthy diet) are still present. It’s therefore necessary to recur to a therapeutic approach that manages to control the growth of Candida albicans in order to safeguard it from further harm to the organism and at the level of the mucosae affected, while helping the body’s natural balance to be restored.

Nature can help you solve vaginal yeast infection   

Our Approach

A natural and effective approach

Vaginal yeast infection is a very common affection in the Western world, and the relation between the disease and intestinal, systemic yeast infection is by now confirmed. As mentioned earlier, the “true home” of Candida is the mucosa of the small intestine, whereas the vagina can be seen as its “temporary address”.

 Vaginal yeast infection can turn out to be particularly tenacious and difficult to eradicate, as confirmed by millions of women affected by multiple relapses; the situation gets even worse when the approach employed tends to worsen the body’s general condition, further weakening the organism’s immune system and making it prone to continual relapses.

 Once again, nature can be of great help, thanks to the extraordinary properties of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), the efficacy of which against Candida is confirmed by numerous studies and applications.

GSE and Vaginal Yeast Infection

Results obtained regarding the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against over 100 strains of yeasts and moulds, including several strains of Candida, among which Candida albicans, have proven that GSE is an exceptional remedy in case of vaginal and systemic Candisiasis. Its efficacy and speed of action, together with the rare if not unique characteristic of not having a significantly negative impact on intestinal microbial flora, as confirmed in a study published in the “Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine” n° 3 Vol. 5 of 1990, make it a really exceptional remedy to keep pathogenic proliferation of Candida under control, bringing it back to its original status of saprophytic yeast, which is harmless for the organism.

It has already been pointed out earlier just how important intestinal microflora is: if healthy and balanced, it plays an essential role in maintaining the immune system balanced and efficient, allowing the organism to defend itself adequately from any kind of infection, including Candida. Therefore, with its direct action against Candida and indirect effect by reinforcing the immune system starting from its creating a better intestinal “ground”, GSE represents an extremely valid natural remedy to eradicate Candida while protecting the physiological flora and enabling at the same time the organism’s defense system to be reinforced.

In this connection, here follows some evidence about the countless cases dealt with by doctors of different nationalities, on the successful use of GSE: Dr Leo Galland (new York) reports that out of 297 patients affected by intestinal yeast infection, 295 recovered thanks to Grapefruit Seed Extract: “I have strongly reconsidered the value of GSE in my medical practice. GSE is not toxic at all. During the past year, I have used GSE for the treatment of intestinal parasites and chronic yeast infection, obtaining excellent results. In treating yeast infection it has proven as effective as nystatin, caprylic acid and other antifungal substances. Many patients who are sensitive to medicines tolerate GSE much more easily compared to antifungal medicines and I have managed to cure several patients affected by chronic Candidiasis , who couldn’t take any other kind of treatment. In intestinal infections from protozoa (Giardia lambia and Entamoeba histolytica), GSE has proven to be more effective than metronidazole and other antiprotozoal treatments.”

At Monterrey, in Messico, at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, GSE has yielded excellent results in controlling Candida Albican Vaginitis. 20 women affected by vaginal yeast infections were asked to use vaginal douches containing GSE, every 12 hours for three days in a row. Patients were aged between 22 and 44 and had an active sex life. Dr Luis E. Todd reports that “15 women were healed after the first treatment, 4 after the second   and another one after the third application.”

 Dr. Jeffrey Anderson Mill Valley, CA, USA : “As a specialist in environmental medicine and immunology, I have a significant number of patients affected by chronic intestinal Candidiasis and hidden protozoic parasitosis.  I have found that GSE is an excellent antifungal agent:  it has given me great satisfaction in cases of patients affected by chronic intestinal Candidiasis and have also had good results with certain protozoic infections. It seems not to have any side-effects and no toxicity whatever. I’ll definitely continue to use this product.” Another testimony comes from Dr. David Bayley, N.D. North Vancouver, BC, stating: “After having treated patients with oral thrush and intestinal Candidiasis for several years, I have found GSE to be really effective in solving these problems; moreover, it has no contraindications. Its efficacy is comparable to nystatin.”

In the light of the above considerations, GSE therefore represents the cornerstone upon which an extraordinarily effective approach is based, aimed at definitely solving typical relapsing disorders. The association and synergy of specific plant extracts offers a possible solution, through a mechanism of action aimed at:

  1. Controlling Candida directly at intestinal level
  2. Promoting recolonisation of physiological, intestinal bacterial flora
  3. Fighting vaginal Candidias “on the spot”, while restoring the natural, “selfdefensive” balance of vaginal mucosa.

This approach, combined with a healthy lifestyle (in terms of diet, but not only), includes the use of natural remedies that are well known in folk tradition and the efficacy of which in providing an opportunity to reach a solution has been confirmed by recent studies.

  1. To control Candida directly at intestinal level

Nature can help you with..

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained proving the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against over 100 strains of yeasts and moulds, including Candida albicans, together with a number of field applications, confirm GSE to be an exceptional remedy in cases of vaginal and systemic Candidiasis. The association with other specific ingredients, to be used for oral/systemic intake, boosts the efficacy and speed of action of GSE.

Tabebuia: native to the Amazon forest and also known as Tecoma, Pau d’Arco or Lapacho, Tabebuia shows a powerful antifungal activity and is therefore a valid aid against Candidias. The bark is used, rich in chinonic compounds.

Rosemary: belonging to the Labiatae family, rich in rosmarinic and ursolic acid, it exerts an antifungal action, as confirmed by several studies and applications, and is therefore useful in the treatment of infections from fungi of the Candida variety.

Uncaria: native to South America, the bark is used as it shows powerful efficacy in regulating the immune system. Uncaria increases resistance of the organism against infections, improving its response in case of illness.

Fructoligosaccharides: prebiotic fibres particularly useful in promoting adequate intestinal colonisation of the physiological flora, indirectly countering intestinal proliferation of Candida.

Given the importance of  eradicating Candida at intestinal/systemic level in the first place, in order to obtain long-lasting results the ideal means of intake for such ingredients are swallowable tablets. These are to be taken with doses and timing according to whether treatment is intended for Candida as a single, acute episode, relapsing Candida or for preventive cycles.

  1. To promote recolonisation of physiological, intestinal bacterial flora

Nature can help you with…

  Lactobacillus acidophilus super strain:  Lactobacillus acidophilus is a physiological antagonist of Candida at small intestine level. When the small intestine is crowded with acidophilus colonisers, no space is left for the pathogenic proliferation of Candida.   Lactobacillus acidophilus super strain is the result of an accurate selection among 200 different types of known strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus. It has proven to be particularly predisposed to inhibit infections from fungi, including Candida. It can therefore be useful in case of fungal overgrowth (resistant and relapsing).

The peculiarities of the super strain selected are as follows:

  1. Safe to use: the strain originally comes from the human intestine (subsequently developed in adequate, totally allergen free cultures) approved by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
  1. Excellent survival chances in the acidic environment of the stomach. Studies have shown that over 90% of L. acidophilus harmlessly pass through the gastric barrier and that of bile acids; capsules therefore do not require gastroprotective agents.
  2. Adhesion to the intestinal mucosa. The close affinity between the strain and cells forming the intestinal mucosa prevents microbes from taking root while encouraging prolonged contact with the lymphoid tissue of the mucosa itself (GALT, Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue), thus promoting modulation of the immune response.
  3. Inhibition of pathogens. Thanks to its ability to produce lactic acid, L. acidophilus enhances the level of acidity in the intestine and inhibits growth of pathogens, both those responsible for uro-gynaecological affections (Escheria coli, Proteus, Enterococcus, Candida), as well as Salmonella and Staphylococcus.
  4. Natural resistance to antibiotics, safe and non transferable. What makes this super strain unique is its intrinsic resistance to antibiotic drugs. Studies have shown that its growth is not inhibited when taken concomitantly with an antibiotic therapy, proving to have good resistance against main categories of antibiotics used.

 This resistance is a natural, intrinsic feature of the strain itself, not acquired and as such not transferable to other microbic strains; this natural resistance is of fundamental importance, as it ensures all benefial properties of the probiotic, ensuring absolute safety in terms of non transferability of resistance to other, potentially dangerous bacterial strains. Similar resistance of the super strain has been shown also against several types of NSAIMs. L. acidophilus is therefore also safe and effective whenever intake of drugs is necessary.

  1. Preciousness of the supernatant. L. acidophilus grows in a culture medium naturally free from allergens, therefore it can also be lyophilized. Useful as it is rich in anti-microbial compounds, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and immunostimulants, as well as being a natural buffer for the survival of lactobacilli and formation of colonies in the intestine.
  2. Absence of allergens: milk, soy and gluten by-products.
  3. 100% vegetarian tablest, without any trace of animal gelatin.

Fructoligosaccharides: prebiotic fibres particularly useful in promoting adequate intestinal colonisation of the physiological flora, indirectly countering intestinal proliferation of Candida.

The ideal means for intake of these ingredients is 100% vegetarian capsules. Each capsule contains 10 billion live cells of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Ideal preservation is in packaging with high desiccant activity, enabling to maintain relative humidity levels below 10% and ensuring optimal conservation of the super strain’s vitality throughout its shelf-life.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is strongly recommended both as a preventive measure and to solve health problems, and should be taken once daily.

  1. To fight vaginal Candidias “on the spot”, while restoring the natural, “selfdefensive” balance of the vaginal mucosa.

Nature can help you with…

Grapefruit Seed Extract: as already highlighted, results obtained proving the efficacy of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) against over 100 strains of yeasts and moulds, including Candida albicans, together with a number of field applications, confirm GSE to be an exceptional remedy in cases of vaginal Candidiasis. The association with other specific ingredients, to be used for oral/systemic intake, boosts GSE’s efficacy and speed of action.

Calendula: belonging to the family of Asteraceae, it is native to Europe, North Africa and South—East Asia. It has marked emollient, disinfecting and antiphlogistic properites, useful for skin and mucosae. Polyacetylenes, phenolic acids, polisaccharides and triterpene saponines contained in the plant have an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and disinfecting action, while stimulating leucocyte activity and therefore enabling rapid healing from inflammatory conditions.

Aloe vera: belonging to the family of Aloeaceae, the plant prefers dry, hot climates. Characteristic constituents are polisaccharides, with marked emollient, cicatrizing and soothing properties at skin and mucosa level. Its phytocomplex is moreover rich in substances with anti-inflammatory, antifungal and analgesic properties, such as mineral salts (among which potassium, sodium, iron, copper and chromium), vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E, essential and non-essential amino acids, organic acids, phospholipids.

 Lactotbacillus sporogenes and acidophilus: to restore self-defensive balance of the microbial flora in the vaginal environment, thereby countering the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria at the level of mucosae in the intimate parts.

Lactic acid: in normal, balanced conditions, lactic acid is naturally produced at vaginal level by microbial flora, physiologically bringing vaginal pH to 5 – 5.5, which is the optimal condition to contrast pathogens and promote natural, self-defensive balance of the mucosa. Lactic acid can therefore be included to regulate natural physiological pH.

For direct action at vaginal mucosa level, the above-mentioned ingredients are conveyed in a specific solution for vaginal irrigations.

The same ingredients present in vaginal douches are used in a formulation devised for the physiological cleansing of external intimate parts – both male and female. Use of this formulation is indicated both in case of acute or relapsing affections, as well as a preventive measure in the daily cleansing of the intimate parts.

Nature can help you with…

CARRAGENIN: this promising inhibitor of HPV, HSV-2 and HIV  viral infections, extracted from red algae typically growing along the rocky coastline of the North Atlantic, is a polysaccharide rich in calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium salts.

Considering the vegetarian and vegan alternatives to gelatin (which is of animal origin anyway!),  it is included in many gynaecological preparations, with a lubricating function. It has recently proven to have an inhibiting effect towards the most common sexually transmitted viruses (HPV, HSV-2 and HIV). Several researches have confirmed its antiviral activity, particularly against Papilloma Virus (HPV).

By inhibiting the virions from linking to carriers present on cell membranes, it was found that the presence of carragenin prevents viral particles from infecting cells and reproducing themselves. In particular, HPV virus takes advantage of a disaccharide complex called heparan sulphate, so as to penetrate and infect the cell. Imitating the structure of heparan sulphate, Carragenin ties the virion to itself and prevents viruses from accessing vaginal mucosa cells. Due to this particular function, carragenin is considered by many as a valid and much safer alternative to HPV vaccine, posing a risk to health in pre-pubertal and child-bearing ages that is by now obvious to the eyes of all.

Carragenin’s antiviral, protective activity has also been proven against Type 2 (HSV – 2) Herpes Simplex, responsible for genital herpes as well as the much dreaded HIV.

Grapefruit Seed Extract:  it is a well-known fact that Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), has marked, broad spectrum antimicrobial properties, as confirmed by Laboratories and Institutes worldwide. In fact, numerous studies have proven that Grapefruit Seed Extract is active against over 800 bacterial strains, several viruses as well as 100 strains of yeasts an moulds, including Candida albicans. Its efficacy is coupled with it extraordinary “selectivity”: GSE, in fact, acts on pathogens without having a significant, negative impact on physiological microbial flora protecting the mucosa coating the genital parts (Döderlein flora).

Tea Tree Oil: oil extracted from Melaleuca alternifolia leaves features a phytocomplex rich in terpenic substances, with marked antibacterial and antifungal properties. It therefore carries out specific action against microorganisms that are likely to cause affections involving the intimate parts. In particular, its action against diverent varieties of Candida (Candida albicans, Candida glabrata), has been verified (including cases that are resistant to conventional treatment).

Calendula: extracts obtained from Calendula officinalis flowers feature both broad spectrum antifungal and antiviral, as well as soothing, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, its phytocomplex is rich in flavonoids, triterpenes and mucilages, particularly  useful in case of irritations and inflammations of the intimate parts.

Aloe Vera: gel extracts from Aloe barbadensis leaves, with well-known antifungal, emollient, soothing, anti-inflammatory properties, proves useful in all cases where irritation and inflammation of the mucosae at genital level are present, providing rapid and long-lasting relief.

Primrose oil: oil obtained from Oenothera biennis is an excellent source of ω-6 polyunsaturated fats, making it particularly useful as it renews elasticity of the mucosae, improving their inflammatory and irritative conditions, soothing itching feelings and providing rapid, long-lasting relief.

Soy lecithin: this is a complex made of phospholipids, rich in fatty acids and phosphatidylcholine, obtained from GMO free soybeans. These phospholipids form micelles that are very similar to vaginal mucosae membranes, capable of incorporating active molecules of plant ingredients. This property promotes the spreading of plant ingredients throughout the mucosae, improving their bioavailability, enabling faster absorption and guaranteeing higher effectiveness.

Olive Oil: oil obtained from pressing the fruit of olive trees has traditionally been produced since the times of the ancient Egypt, not only for food use. In particular, it proves to have extraordinary emollient, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties for topical use, thanks to its contents rich in fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E, as well as phytosterols and polyphenols. Therefore, as well as being an excipient, it also has a nutrient activity on the mucosae.

Palm oil: obtained from Elaeis guineensis palm fruit, it is rich in fatty acids, vitamins A and E. Thanks to these constituents, it is useful both as an excipient, as well as being an essential protective element, as is has marked nutrient, hydrating and emollient properties, carrying out a beneficial action on the mucosae of the intimate parts.

The above-described ingredients can be conveyed in specific pharmaceutical products suitable for vaginal applications. Their association, essential to guarantee a definitive solution in case of Candida, can be further supported by specific remedies indicated for:

– Cleansing outside the home:  a solution containing GSE, calendula and lactic acid can be used to soak hygienic wet wipes, individually packed in single use sachets, effective and ideal to use in any situation.

– Deodorisation and specific hygienisation for the intimate parts: GSE, calendula, aloe, neem, cyclodextrins and lactic acid provide a solution that is suitable for a propellant free, practical bottle spray.

–  Treatment of causes and symptoms of vulvar affections:  GSE, plantain, horse chestnut,  hamamelis, calendula, aloe vera and soy lecithin are the ideal ingredients to obtain a delicate cream.