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Green Blessings ...
with Susun Weed

Top Ten Worst Diet and Healthcare Choices
& Ten Better Choices #6

6. Anti-candida diets/treatments are based on a supposed overgrowth of the common gut resident Candida albicans. Since 1986, when Dr. William Crook published The Yeast Connection – a book based entirely on speculation, without a single study of any kind – until this very day, an entirely false view of Candida has prevailed. A recent (2009) article in the Huffington Post by Kim Evans claims: "First, an estimated 90 percent of the population has a problem with candida overgrowth, although most don't know it. And second, candida overgrowth can be the root cause of literally hundreds of different problems in the body." There are many MDs who have fallen for this unsubstantiated belief, including Dr. Tullio Simoncini of Rome, who is convinced that cancer is an advanced form of Candida overgrowth.

Candida is found in both the healthy vagina and throughout the healthy gut. When the pH of the vagina becomes more alkaline, candida is able to outgrow the other resident organisms, resulting in a yeast "infection." Since virtually every woman has dealt with the yeasty-smelling, thick, white discharge indicative of overgrowth of vaginal Candida, (and, since some mothers have seen Candida overgrow in their babies mouth, that is, "thrush"), it makes sense that the same thing could happen in the gut: Candida could overgrow, causing problems.

How does the body work? It may make sense, but it still isn't true. In fact, Candida is an important symbiotic organism in our gut. It helps us be healthy; it doesn't make us sick. At least 90% of all humans have Candida in residence in their intestines, along with lots of other yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and micro-organisms. This is the microbiome, and its health is your health. The only times I have seen true Candida overgrowth in the intestines – after heavy radiation or chemo treatments or in end-stage HIV – the person was dead within days. We need a healthy range of gut flora, and eating a diet devoid of fermented foods severely limits the health of the microbiome.

Instead: Even if there was such a thing as Candida overgrowth in the intestines, the solution is not to destroy it, but to encourage the other members of the microbiome. This is the basic lesson we are all learning: Killing bad things does not work nearly as well as nourishing good things. Instead of following an anti-Candida diet, flaunt it: Eat miso and tamari, beer and wine, sauerkraut, seaweed, blue cheese and brie, sourdough bread and pickled beets, mushrooms galore, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, coffee, and chocolate. (All fermented foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics.)

"Candida hypersensitivity is an implausible syndrome, useful only for generating demand for fanciful and worthless treatments."

Learn More:

Top Ten Worst Diet and Healthcare Choices

& Ten Better Choices #7

7. A colonic is a type of enema, sometimes referred to as a "high enema." During a colonic, also known as a colon cleanse, very large amounts of fluid – as much as 16 gallons of water, herbal brew, or coffee – are pumped into the large intestine through a tube inserted into the rectum. Proponents believe that this irrigation of the bowel is required to remove intestinal toxins and things that are "stuck" in the "folds of the gut" which are responsible for a host of problems from headaches to allergies. This persistent idea – which has gone through phases of popularity and rejection over a thousand-year period – is staging a comeback due to a major marketing campaign by Dr. Mishori and endorsement by celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé Knowles.

A meta-analysis published in Journal of Family Medicine, concluded that colon cleansing has a host of dangerous side effects, including death, yet provides no known health benefits.

"Coffee enemas used in colon cleansing have been linked to several deaths."

How does the body work? The digestive tract is lined with mucus cells which prevent anything from getting stuck in the intestines. These cells are replaced daily. You can see how fast these cells turn over by 1. noticing how quickly wounds in the mouth heal, and 2. remembering that chemotherapy (which kills rapidly-reproducing cells) is very destructive to the gut.

I asked over 5000 surgeons and surgical nurses (who have been present when the human intestines were opened) if they saw "toxins" or "old fecal matter" stuck to the inside of the intestines. The more polite said "No." The less polite laughed in my face. Colonics do not remove toxins, but they do remove electrolytes, minerals critically necessary for good health. Colon cleansing cannot promote health. Colonics can only critically dehydrate your cells and leave you feeling a lot worse due to the inevitable side effects: cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, excessive urination, infection, and (in rare cases) perforation of the bowel and death.

Colonics, like enemas, are habit-forming. The muscular movement of food through the intestines is called peristalsis. Peristalsis, like swallowing, is a complicated finely-tuned, and precisely-timed interaction of muscles, nerves, and hormones. Introducing liquids into the large intestine disrupts peristalsis, resulting in short-term bowel irregularities and long-term habituation as peristalsis is more and more injured.

Instead: Eat more fiber. Fiber is like a brush that sweeps the intestines. A fiber-rich diet increases peristalsis naturally, ending even chronic constipation. Fiber is a pre-biotic which feeds the helpful flora in the large intestines which eliminate unwanted substances like LDL. Colonics and enemas deeply disturb and even remove this healthy flora, leaving us less able to deal with metabolic toxins. Whole grains, beans, well-cooked greens, frozen fruit, and herbs such as plantain seed and marshmallow root are excellent sources of fiber.

More info on fiber at

Learn More:

Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way

Publication date: June 21, 2011

Author: Susun S. Weed

Simple, successful, strategies cover the entire range of options -- from mainstream to radical -- to help you choose the best, and the safest, ways to optimize sexual and reproductive health.
Foreword: Aviva Romm, MD, midwife, 484 pages, Index, illustrations

Retails for $29.95






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