S Colet Lahoz, a US practitioner, reported the results of a four year survey conducted among 50 people suffering from chronic candidiasis, all of them with at least a six year history of symptoms (Townsend Letter for Doctors, July 1995).

Seventy per cent of the patients said that the anti candida diet was essential in controlling the symptoms. Acupuncture was also found to be beneficial by 64 per cent, who reported it led to an improvement in energy levels and food digestibility. Chiropractic treatments had very mixed results, but colonic irrigation was recommended by all who had tried it.Of the drug therapies, the conventional anti fungals (nystatin, nizoral, and diflucan) were found by many patients to have only short term benefit, with the symptoms recurring soon after discontinuance. These drugs also seemed to cause the most side effects. However, the patients found that a cocktail of non pharmaceuticals (caprylic acid, oleic acid, psyllium, bentonite and Lactobacillus acidophilus) seemed to work the best and have the most long lasting effects.

This combination of treatments is marketed in the US as Candida Purge. In Britain, a similar anti Candida regime is provided by Biocare. The treatment is given in three separate stages: first, a preparation called Colon Care is prescribed for 14 days. Like Candida Purge, one of its ingredients is psyllium, but it also contains plant derived emetics, in order initially to cleanse the colon. The second preparation given is Candidicin, which contains natural anti fungals extracted from coconuts, oregano and cloves. After a month, a daily third capsule is added containing acidophilus bacteria.

In a later survey by Dr Keith Eaton, among 25 patients, 21 of them had symptoms cleared by diet alone. Once symptom free, the excluded foods were reintroduced to see which would cause recurrence: overall, yeast extract, leavened bread, alcohol and mouldy cheeses equally resulted in adverse reactions, although the pattern varied with different patients, few reacting to all the foods tested

(J of Nut Environ Med, 1998; vol 8).

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