I love reading about nutrition theory and there is no shortage of viewpoints on how to eat healthfully. The Body Ecology Diet‘s focus is on maintaining a healthy intestinal tract populated with beneficial bacteria and void of high levels of unhealthy yeast.
The book’s focus is on the condition candidiasis, which is an overgrowth of the yeast candida albicans. Candidiasis is normally recognized as a yeast infection of the mouth, genitals, or other moist areas on/near the outside of the body. Among alternative nutrition thinkers, however, candida albicans is believed to commonly overgrow within our intestines, where it feeds on sugar and is blamed for a number of symptoms. Author Donna Gates writes that given the right conditions, candida puts toxins into your bloodstream, overgrows in the intestines, and can expand into blood and organs causing problems such as:
- Poor memory
- A spacey feeling in one’s head
- Muscle aches
- Constipation and diarrhea (probably not at the same time :P )
- Mucus in stool
- Food sensitivities/intolerances
- Chronic rashes/psoriasis
I don’t understand the mechanism by which all of these issues could be impacted by an unhealthy gut, but some of them do make sense to me. For example, I believe that immune reactions I have to certain foods can precipitate “spacey” feelings that I sometimes get in my head, so it’s not a stretch to believe that intestinal health can mediate or cause the same reaction.