What is Candida Albicans?

candida_albicans_2Candida 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.

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Should You Go Gluten Free?

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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

Appreciate Apples Like a Glass of Fine Wine!

apples

Apple Appreciation 101

The overall flavor of an apple is dependent on the balance sweetness and sourness with a touch of bitter, the presence or absence of volatile aromatic compounds and some polyphenolic compounds contributing to astringent mouthfeels. Continue reading

Have you ever done drugs?  If you answered no, then you are probably lying!

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The world’s most common psychoactive drug is not what you might think.  After hearing the words “psychoactive” and  “drug” most people immediately think of illegal substances and hippies from the 1960’s.  But what you might not realize is that you probably are addicted to a psychoactive substance that you consume every morning: coffee. And in coffee, you’ll find the drug affectionately known as caffeine (yes, even most decaffeinated varieties contain some caffeine). Continue reading