The controversial theory that suggested that the yeast in your body not only feeds, but also causes cancer has been confirmed by a recent study.
According to a study published in Critical Reviews in Microbiology supports the theory that Candida albicans (yeast) infection contributes in the creation of cancer.
The study titled “Candida albicans and cancer: Can this yeast induce cancer development or progression?” provides the following information:
“There is currently increasing concern about the relation between microbial infections and cancer. More and more studies support the view that there is an association, above all, when the causal agents are bacteria or viruses. This review adds to this, summarizing evidence that the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans increases the risk of carcinogenesis and metastasis. Until recent years, Candida spp. had fundamentally been linked to cancerous processes as it is an opportunist pathogen that takes advantage of the immunosuppressed state of patients particularly due to chemotherapy. In contrast, the most recent findings demonstrate that C. albicans is capable of promoting cancer by several mechanisms, as described in the review: production of carcinogenic byproducts, triggering of inflammation, induction of Th17 response and molecular mimicry. We underline the need not only to control this type of infection during cancer treatment, especially given the major role of this yeast species in nosocomial infections, but also to find new therapeutic approaches to avoid the pro-tumor effect of this fungal species.”
There are four ways of how Candida albicans may be contributing to cancer:
- Production of carcinogenic byproducts – it starts by producing nitrosamines, carcinogens that activate specific proto-oncogenes that could trigger cancerous lesions. Then, Candida albicans produces acetaldehyde, which is produced as the first metabolite of ethanol (the yeast fermentation byproduct), and which is a DNA-damaging (mutagenic) and carcinogenic chemical with a wide range of downstream cancer promoting properties.
- Triggering of inflammation – when an inflammation is left untreated, it can promote cancer by damaging the tissue and secreting proliferative chemicals intended to stimulate regeneration of damaged tissue, but which can render tissue immortalized when the inflammation is chronic and misdirected. Candida albicans is known for its ability to promote numerous inflammatory responses within the body when growing beyond their normal population density due to immunosuppression, an inappropriate diet, and/or chemical exposure. It’s been found that these misguided inflammatory responses further promote increases in tumor cell adhesion, which is believed to promote the formation of secondary tumors and/or metastasis.
- Induction of Th17 response – angiogenesis can also be promoted by factors secreted from set of CD4 T-cells that are dominant in response to Candida albicans, namely, TH17 cells, leading to increased tumor incidence and growth.
- Molecular mimicry – Antibodies produced against a protein on the surface of Candida Albicans (CR3-RP) have structural and antigenic similarities with a receptor on certain of our white blood cells (leukocytes). This “molecular mimicry” may cause antibodies to be formed against our immune cells that then disturb the anti-tumor and anti-Candida defenses of the host.
According to this recently conducted study, yeast overgrowth can be a contributing cause of cancer, but it also, indirectly, raises a red flag to both sugar and alcohol consumption.
Reducing sugar and alcohol to the minimum is a great step, because excessive sugar and alcohol consumption produce acetaldehyde. When the goal is full remission, you should eliminate sugar and alcohol completely from your diet.
It’s been also found that sugar both feeds cancer cells and contributes into transforming normal cells into cancerous ones, meaning that sugar is potentially carcinogenic.
Moreover, sugar promotes yeast growth, meaning that sugar is both directly and indirectly carcinogenic.
How can turmeric help?
According to a new study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology, curcumin may be the perfect way to fight cancers that have a fungal component.
The study is titled “Curcumin and its promise as an anticancer drug: An analysis of its anticancer and antifungal effects in cancer and associated complications from invasive fungal infections” and addressed the concerning problem of invasive fungal infections, as a major cause of both morbidity and mortality, in cancer patients.
“Effective anti-infection therapy is necessary to inhibit significant deterioration from these infections. However, they are difficult to treat, and increasing antifungal drug resistance often leads to a relapse” reads part of the study. Here’s what the authors have to say:
“Curcumin, a natural component that is isolated from the rhizome of Curcuma longa plants, has attracted great interest among many scientists studying solid cancers over the last half century. Interestingly, curcumin provides an ideal alternative to current therapies because of its relatively safe profile, even at high doses. To date, curcumin’s potent antifungal activity against different strains of Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus, Trichosporon and Paracoccidioides have been reported, indicating that curcumin anticancer drugs may also possess an antifungal role, helping cancer patients to resist invasive fungal infection related complications. The aim of this review is to discuss curcumin’s dual pharmacological activities regarding its applications as a natural anticancer and antifungal agent. These dual pharmacological activities are expected to lead to clinical trials and to improve infection survival among cancer patients.”
The study further explains how conventional therapies often result in collateral damage to the patient’s immune system, which contributes to fungal overgrowth, and that conventional drugs for fungal infections can damage the liver and kidneys along with developing even more aggressive, treatment-resistant fungal infections.
Furthermore, conventional cancer treatments are focused only target one aspect of cancer and on a single pathway or molecule on a cancer cell, whereas curcumin combats the fungal infection and can address a multitude of cancer targets. It can destroy the cancer stem cell subpopulation which is at the root of cancer malignancy and recurrence.
The study concludes the following:
Curcumin is an up-and-coming drug of natural origin with multi-target properties, and it has exhibited efficient anticancer and antifungal activities alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy drugs and antifungal agents. The dual pharmacological activities of curcumin may make it a good candidate for the prevention and treatment of cancer and its cancer-related invasive fungal infection related complications. Further investigation is necessary to clarify curcumin’s anticancer and antifungal mechanisms for better understanding. In spite of the useful biological activities of curcumin, its poor water solubility and low bioavailability hinders its clinical applications. Various nano-sized curcumin delivery systems, such as nanoparticles, nanospheres, solid lipid nanoparticles, micelles, and liposomes have been shown to overcome these shortcomings and significantly improve the anticancer and antifungal activities of curcumin. Many studies on curcumin and its nanoformulations are still in the preclinical stage at present. A clinical trials stage is necessary to unlock the potential of curcumin nanoformulations as a therapeutic strategy for treating cancer and its IFI complications.”
Curcumin is becoming one of the most researched natural remedy and has at least 750 studied potential therapeutic applications.