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Candida, biofilms and pomegranate!


Candida, biofilms and pomegranate!

We see so many drug resistant pathogens in our clinic such as parasites (dientamoeba fragilis, blastocystis hominis), bacteria (helicobacter pylori, klebsiella pneumoniae, staphylococcus aureas, gardnerella vaginosis), fungus (candida albicans, candida glabrata) to name a few. More and more patients are undergoing multiple rounds of antibiotic therapy to no avail.

This phenomenon has led us to reading more and more research on natural medicines for parasitic, bacterial and fungal infections.

Let’s take a sneak peek at a couple of snippets of research we have come across in relation to candida overgrowth.

Can did what?

Candida albicans or candida glabrata overgrowth is an opportunistic fungal infection particularly affecting those with a compromised immune system. Fluconazole is the standard antifungal treatment used although resistance to treatment is increasingly common.

It’s important to remember with all recurrent and resistant infections, holistic treatment seeks to enhance the immune system rather than focus on the pathogen in isolation. In other words, alongside choosing therapeutics that have an antifungal action, we will always include immune stimulants and address the nervous system and relevant body systems that may be driving a weakened immune response. Sometimes we won’t even use an antimicrobial in the first instance. Particularly if you have been through many rounds of antibiotics and are run down. One example relevant to candida is the association between candida overgrowth and diabetes mellitus. If you are prone to recurrent thrush and have diabetes mellitus then the focus of your treatment must be on regulating blood sugar rather than antifungals.

In a study by Paul et al, the authors found that in HIV affected cells, pomegranate peel (punica granatum) demonstrated positive antifungal results against treatment resistant candida infections. The extract in an ethanol base revealed the best results. The authors concluded that human clinical trials would guide clinical application further and is warranted due to the promising in vitro (test tube) research available for pomegranate in treatment resistant infections.

Biofilms

In another study by Bakkiyaraj et al, the authors found that pomegranate also inhibited biofilms constructed by pathogens which are responsible for virulence and play a major role in treatment resistance. In fact pomegranate has demonstrated biofilm inhibition across multiple strains of treatment resistant organisms including not only candida albicans but Escherichia coli and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The effect was also measured in a methanolic extraction of pomegranate. Ellagic acid has been identified as the main active constituent exerting antioxidant, chemoprotection, and inflammation reduction.

We love love love pomegranate

We absolutely love pomegranate and it has become one of our most used herbs in clinic! It’s important to only use pomegranate as prescribed by a qualified herbalist. You need the rind and seed to exert the therapeutic effects and we dispense pomegranate in an ethanolic based extract after assessing for potential drug herb interactions.

References

Bakkiyaraj D1, Nandhini JR, Malathy B, Pandian SK. 2013, “The anti-biofilm potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) extract against human bacterial and fungal pathogens.” Biofouling. 29(8):929-37. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23906229

Paul S1, Mohanram K2, Kannan I1. 2018, “Antifungal Activity, Gas Chromatographic-Mass Spectrometric Analysis And in silico Study of Punica Granatum Peel Extracts Against Fluconazole Resistant Strains of Candida Species.” Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 19(3):250-257. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29766800

Our naturopath is fully qualiflied and has clinics based online Australia wide, Sydney and Glen Innes service Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Canberra, Tasmania, remote and rural Australia.

The information you have read here is not a substitute for personal health advice. Always seek advice from your health care practitioner for personal health advice. Refrain from self prescribing herbs and supplements that may interaction with medications.

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