Candida albicans or C. albicans for short, is a yeast, a member of the fungus family, which can live in our intestinal tract along with other good and bad microbes that together make up our gut microbiome. Usually, this fungus is harmless and can be found in the intestinal tract of 40% of healthy adults without causing us any discomfort. However, if C. albicans grows unchecked, it causes Candidiasis (a pervasive yeast overgrowth or infection). Although almost 20 species of Candida may cause infection, we know that C. albicans is the most common culprit. Now, most of you will be stopping here to say to yourselves, “Isn’t that a kind of infection that causes vaginal itching or a UTI? Wouldn’t I know if I had that??”. The answer is yes AND no. An overgrowth of this bacteria can cause unpleasant itching and vaginal yeast infections and those kind of symptoms usually clue someone in that it’s time to take a trip to their doctor. However, it can also cause yeast infections in your GI tract, esophagus and mouth, and those types can be more difficult for us to spot.
Chances are you’ve heard the gluten-free hype. Going gluten free has been touted as the next big weight loss wonder, and books and articles have bounced on the scene to wax eloquent on this newest health fad. Grocery stores and health food stores alike rose admirably to the occasion and upped their stock of products stamped ‘GF’. Continue reading