Candida albicans
Nichole Hurd

Candida albicans, a gram positive diploid yeast found in the human intestinal tract, has been linked to many immune disorders including autism.  I personally found this organism interesting because of its direct impact upon my family.  My younger brother was diagnosed with late onset autism at an early age, but because he has been treated for yeast and has kept to a strict diet, he has overcome most of his autistic symptoms. Now, at age 11, my brother is a healthy, bright fifth grade student.  I think that he may have been infected with Candida albicans.

C. albicans, ATCC organism 96114,requires ATCC medium 1245 YEPD (10g yeast extract; 20 g Bacto-peptone (BD 211677); 20 g glucose; 20 g Agar, Bacto (BD214050); 1 L distilled water; autoclaved at 121 oC for 15 minutes).  It is sold for $250, and was first deposited to the ATCC bank by T. Suzuki.

In “normal” conditions, C. albicans exists as a round yeast cell, but at human body conditions, it changes into a hyphal form, a long chain of budded cells.  Each cell is generally 10-12 µm in diameter.

C. albicans exists in the normal gut flora of most humans, but in immunocompromised individuals, it can take root and form hyphea, which penetrate the intestinal walls.  It produces ethanol and acetaldehyde, which are released into the host’s bloodstream and can cause brain damage.  Not only can these chemicals slip into the bloodstream, but the cells themselves can slip into the bloodstream and travel all over the body, causing chronic immune reactions including allergies and autoimmune disorders.

When the normal gut flora are destroyed or repressed, C. albicans along with many other unfavorable microbes can take advantage of the decreased protection and multiply.  Many factors can inhibit the intestinal flora in this way, including the use of broad spectrum antibiotics, alcohol, and hormones- particularly birth control pills or steroids.  This environment can also be induced by diet or stress levels.

Once C. albicans has taken over, the body is slowly poisoned with ethanol and acetaldehyde, resulting in fatigue, headaches, intestinal and psychological problems, lack of concentration, allergies, skin irritations, throat and ear infections, and hypoglycemia, among other symptoms.  Someone familiar with the disorder might recognize almost all of these symptoms as those of autism.  Dr. William Shaw of The Great Plains Laboratory, as well as several Japanese doctors and some American allergists have investigated this correlation.  According to the Autism Research Institute, these physicians have treated some children diagnosed with late-onset autism with Nystatin, a prescription drug proven to kill Candida without harming the human body.  Several of these children showed considerable improvement, and some have improved so much that they function as normal children.  A prime example of this is Duffy Mayo.  Diagnosed with late onset autism at when he was three and a half, Duffy received Nystatin as treatment from allergist Alan Levin, and, after a short regression, his autistic characteristics improved significantly.  Nystatin treatment, coupled with a diet free of the carbohydrates and sugars that C. albicans lives on, Duffy was able to fully recover, and by the time he was ten years old, he functioned as a normal child, with few remaining signs of autism.  Even with the proof offered by Duffy’s case and the case of several other children, many physicians are still uncertain of C. albicans autistic effect on children. 

Even without proving the link between C. albicans and autism, the organism has an incredible effect on the human immune system once it has been allowed to settle in.

Sources

http://www.microbiologybytes.com/video/Candida.html

http://www.autism.com/ari/editorials/ed_candida.htm

http://www.ei-resource.org/illness-information/environmental-illnesses/candida-and-gut-dysbiosis/
*Disclaimer - This report was written by a student participaring in a microbiology course at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The accuracy of the contents of this report is not guaranteed and it is recommended that you seek additional sources of information to verify the contents.

 

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