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Why is Gluten Excluded in Candida Diets?

Many of the Candida diets also suggest excluding gluten from the diet. What isn't explained is why this particular protein is excluded and other proteins are not. Usually sugars are the main foodstuffs to exclude. In this article Ron Hoggan explains his theory of why gluten is a problem for people suffering from yeast problems.

Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997
From: Ron Hoggan

If we assume that yeast overgrowth occurs when "friendly" intestinal bacteria are killed off by antibiotics, and the yeast, among other things, interferes with adequate absorption, then they do have a point. After all, some B vitamins require the bacterial action in the intestine, to be absorbed.

What disturbs me is that I doubt that these recurring candida infestations could happen without gluten or lactose problems. Sure, antibiotics kill off the "friendly" bacteria. But that should be a very temporary event, followed by re-colonization of the gut, by bacterial cultures.

What stops that return of the bacteria? A condition where clubbed and flattened villi cause decay of food in the intestine due to malabsorption. In that case, the candida is provided with food so it can continue to proliferate.

If gluten/casein is eliminated from the diet, the situation will soon normalize, in most cases. Then a return to a normal diet, after the repair of the intestine has taken place, will not result in immediate symptoms. In fact, it may take months or years before sufficient intestinal damage results, and the symptoms return. The conclusion drawn from this is that a new return of the candida has taken place. Within limits, this is a correct assessment. But it ignores the underlying problem.

The underlying problem is gluten-induced intestinal damage, but because the Candida is easier to identify, the underlying pathology is missed.

If I'm right, then these people with recurring and chronic yeast infections will be at much greater risk of developing stomach and intestinal malignancies, especially lymphomas. If they are right, they get to eat a food that is of questionable nutritional value, and has been identified as causing a variety of other ills. It is a lop-sided equation, but I don't know how to convince them that they are walking into the lion's den. It is too bad!

Best Wishes,
Ron Hoggan