A new study has shown Candida, a common fungal infection, can cross the blood-brain barrier and eventually cause Alzheimer's or dementia.
In all cases of Alzheimer's or dementia, there's brain inflammation (neuroinflammation). But, inflammation doesn't just 'magically' appear. Something has to cause the inflammation.
The three big causes of brain inflammation are HIGH CIRCULATING INSULIN, LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, and FREE RADICAL DAMAGE. Any of these can lead to dementia and Alzheimer's.
This new study has shown once again Leaky Gut Syndrome can be directly linked to brain disorders.
In this episode we talk about the two reasons why candida can even get into your brain in the first place.
We talk about low stomach acid and leaky gut syndrome. We also share how to protect your brain from candida.
Dr. Martin Jr.: You're listening to The Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical, and in our opinion, awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes, so enjoy.
Hi, I'm Dr. Martin, Jr., and this is The Doctor Is In podcast, and this is Episode 167. [00:00:30] Now, today I'm on my own. My dad is still on holidays. He's soaking up some vitamin D, some much needed vitamin D. We've had a long winter up north already. It seems like the snow came and it hasn't left even since the first snowfall. So, he's away this week, but rest assured, he'll be back with us again next week.
So today, what I want to do is talk about a little interesting study that came out just this year, in 2019, early [00:01:00] in 2019, talking about the brain, specifically. But, before I get into that, last year we've done a few podcast episodes on the brain and if you've haven't had a chance to listen to those, go back and listen. They're fantastic. You know, one of the big worries that people have is that their brain won't live as long as their bodies, and rightfully so. It's really a normal thing to worry about because if you've looked at the headlines over the last year, for example, in 2018, [00:01:30] dementia became Britain's biggest killer. In fact, it overtook heart disease for the first time. That's happening in a lot of the developed countries in the world.
There's another statistic that is also quite interesting. For example, half of the adults aged 85 and older have Alzheimer's. So, if the purpose of anti-aging is to live longer, that's awesome, however, if our [00:02:00] brain isn't living as long as our body, that can create, obviously, some big issues. That's what we're seeing today. Half of the adults over the age of 85 have Alzheimer's, so it's a big problem. Our brains aren't aging as well as our bodies are.
Now, you know, it's amazing. Our bodies ... Like, the number one disability when it comes to our physical bodies has to do with sarcopenia and osteoporosis, right? A lot of seniors are disabled because of [00:02:30] muscle wasting and bone wasting. That really affects their day-to-day activities. Again, the problem is, is that when the brain ... the same thing happens to the brain, the brain wastes away or it go through an atrophy, you end up with dementia or Alzheimer's, so that becomes, like I said, a big problem.
We also have on our website, a training there specifically called Age-Proof Your Brain. If you haven't gone through that, go to our website, it's free, [00:03:00] and just watch our presentation there. We talk about how to age-proof your brain, knowing that half of the adults, aged 85 and older, have Alzheimer's and that Alzheimer's is climbing the list of top killers, and in some countries, it's number one. Other countries, like Australia, it's number two. So, I mean, it's definitely becoming a problem. But, in that training that we have on our website, we reverse engineer dementia and Alzheimer's, so we talk about how in every case [00:03:30] of dementia and Alzheimer's, there's inflammation on the brain, or neuroinflammation. You'll find inflammation in every case of dementia and Alzheimer's, however, as we've said many times before, not all cases come from the same cause. What I mean by that is very simple. Inflammation is not Houdini. It's not magic. It doesn't just show up on its own for no apparent reason. Something has to cause inflammation. [00:04:00] I know for a long time people have said, "Inflammation is the cause of all disease," but that's not completely true, because something has to cause that inflammation. When you want to figure out what's going on, you have to figure out what's causing the inflammation. You can say that inflammation causes dementia and Alzheimer's, but that's not really true because something causes that inflammation.
In that training, we talk about the three big causes of inflammation in the brain. [00:04:30] We talk about high circulating insulin. What happens after a long period of time when people have elevated insulin, it can shrink the brain, it can cause a problem with how your brain uses glucose, and it can absolutely lead to neuroinflammation and dementia and Alzheimer's. In fact, some studies estimate up to 50% of people with dementia or Alzheimer's, that's the cause of it. That's the reason why they have it is because of high circulating insulin. So, [00:05:00] half the people who end up with a brain issue, as they age, it's because of that.
But, that's not the only causes. You can repair that, or you can prevent that aspect, but it doesn't mean you're not going to end up with dementia or Alzheimer's, because there are two other big causes as well. One, we talk about in the training is free radical damage. Again, that's a big cause of inflammation and that can lead to dementia, Alzheimer's. And another one is leaky gut. [00:05:30] A lot of people are surprised to think that the brain and the gut are so connected, but I'm here to tell you, they absolutely are. That's what I want to talk about for the rest of this shorter episode.
There was a study done that was just released, it talks about specifically ... I'll read you the title of the study. It's Fungi Causes Brain Infection and Impaired Memory in Mice. What they're finding out is this. The most common cause of fungus in humans [00:06:00] is something called Candida albicans. You know, we talk about fungal infections, most of the time you're talking about Candida. It's very common. A lot of people have issues with Candida. However, what they're finding out is that Candida can actually cross your blood-brain barrier, and then that will trigger an inflammatory response. As I mentioned, if inflammation is a cause of Alzheimer dementia, then one cause of inflammation is [00:06:30] actual Candida, an actual fungus.
Now, it's interesting that for the longest time ... and still to this date ... there shouldn't be, but there is still a little bit of debate whether or not the brain is sterile. A lot of researchers for the longest time thought that the brain was a sterile environment because the brain is protected by something called a blood-brain barrier. Now, what's interesting ... and the purpose of the blood-brain barrier is to protect the brain from [00:07:00] junk while allowing good things to get through, things that the brain needs, some nutrients that the brain need. Oxygen and stuff like that have to get through. The brain is really well protected by this barrier, but what they're finding out is that Candida can cross it. Now, can Candida cross a healthy blood-brain barrier? I don't think it can, personally. I think that certain things have to happen which we'll talk about in a second, but here's the thing. If fungus, specifically Candida, [00:07:30] can cross the blood-brain barrier and end up in the brain, and trigger and inflammatory response, in order for that to happen, two things have already gone wrong. This is what I want to concentrate on.
There are two reasons why Candida could become a big problem. Now listen, not only can Candida cause a lot of issues digestively, skin ... a lot of skin infections. A lot of these things can be caused by Candida. But it can get into your brain, and it can lead to longstanding [00:08:00] inflammation which can cause some big issues. But in order for that to happen, two things have to go wrong first. Here they are. The first thing is, the Candida isn't killed when it should be. And the second thing that happens, it's allowed, then, to get into the bloodstream, and it's allowed, then, to get to the brain and go through the blood-brain barrier. So, there's two things. It isn't killed when it should, and it's allowed to get into the brain.
Let's talk about why those two things can happen, and then knowing [00:08:30] those two things can help you stop that from happening in the first place. Now, in order to understand how the first thing happens, how does it not killed when it should be, well, how does Candida get into our system? Obviously it gets in through our digestive tract. It gets into our digestive system. That shouldn't happen. Now, it's important to know this. Your stomach obviously contains acid, hydrochloric acid, and a normal stomach has, as [00:09:00] your hydrochloric acid levels increase, your pH decreases. You want a very low pH in the stomach. That's essential because that means that you have a good amount of acid, a good amount of hydrochloric acid. When that happens, when you have enough stomach acid, and your pH is low enough, you will break down the protein in your stomach, and it kills bacteria, viruses, fungus, and all those things that shouldn't [00:09:30] get through there. That's what's supposed to happen.
However, very few people, and especially after the age of 40, very few people have normal amounts of stomach acid. Unfortunately, one of the things that happens as we age is our stomach acid production decreases, and for a lot of other reasons, which I'll get into. So in an abnormal stomach, when you don't have enough hydrochloric acid, your pH increases, [00:10:00] and when your pH is increased, then you're not breaking down protein properly, and also, Candida, bacteria, viruses are able to pass through the stomach and get into your digestive tract, your bowels. Once that happens, then they start to cause some real problems. Then they start to mount a war against your good bacteria, which again we'll talk about in a second.
Now, before I go any further, I just want to share one little FYI with you. The way that the stomach [00:10:30] works is interesting. As you have a higher amount of stomach acid, hydrochloric acid, and your pH decreases, you know what happens? There's a little valve at the top of your stomach. It's a sphincter. When that little valve is open then the passageway between your esophagus and your stomach is obviously open. When it's closed, it's shut off. Think of heartburn for a second. That stomach acid will go up into the esophagus and cause a whole bunch [00:11:00] of discomfort and pain. But, here's what's supposed to happen. This is what absolutely blows my mind when it comes to the treatment of heartburn. As your stomach acid increases, and your pH decreases, that tells that valve to close. It becomes almost like a bow tie around the top. It's like a garbage ... You know those little tags, clips at the top of a garbage that you tie on? That's what happens. It closes. It's a normal thing that happens. Acid increases, pH [00:11:30] decreases, the valve closes, and everything stays in the stomach. The flip side is this. If you don't have enough stomach acid, then your pH increases and that valve stays open.
So, why is that important? Because heartburn is not a problem of too much acid. It's actually the opposite problem. So, it makes no sense to treat ... Now, you can manage, you can get rid of symptoms of heartburn by taking [00:12:00] an antacid or a proton-pump inhibitor, which actually shuts off the production of stomach acid. However, if it doesn't fix the problem, it actually makes the problem worse, because when you take an antacid and you stop that acid production, you are creating an environment in the stomach that doesn't close the valve in the future, but also, think about that, you're lowering stomach acid, you're allowing all that crap, all that fungus, bacteria, [00:12:30] and then your protein isn't getting broken down. So think of all the issues that happen. And I'm going to talk about in a second, how do you know if you have low acid.
Well, let's get into that now because that's a common problem. Well, the first thing, you have low stomach acid if you get heartburn. If you get heartburn, you do not make enough stomach acid. That's a fact. You could take an antacid and temporarily get rid of the symptoms, but I'll tell you, you're not fixing the problem at all. [00:13:00] An antacid, or a proton-pump inhibitor is literally the definition of a Band-Aid approach. It literally is the definition. It's doing nothing to fix the problem. It's only going to create problems more down the road, because we already know antacids affect your ability to breakdown nutrients properly so that's why there's a correlation between antacid use and osteoporosis, for example. There's a correlation between you not getting enough D vitamin. You can't absorb things [00:13:30] properly. We'll do a future episode, my dad and I, on the importance of the gall bladder, which is another thing that's completely gotten wrong in modern medicine.
So, if you're getting heartburn, you do not have enough stomach acid. That's a fact. If you are bloating or you're belching or burping after a meal, you do not have enough stomach acid. That's a big problem. Also, if the food just feels like it's sitting in your stomach, where it just feels heavy, then you don't have enough stomach [00:14:00] acid, as well. Also, some people with not enough stomach acid will get constipated. Other people will get diarrhea. It can really cause one or the other, or neither. You may not get any of them.
Now, here's another thing, and this is a big thing in women, specifically. Hair loss. Women who have hair loss, or their nails break a lot, or they have ... even men, they get those ridges in their nails, well that's an indication that you're not breaking down protein and you're not getting [00:14:30] the amino acids that are protein, and you're not sending them to the areas such as your hair, your skin, your nails, all those things. That's a stomach acid issue. You don't have enough stomach acid. Now, for women, thyroid, hormones can cause hair loss. There's no question. But the two biggest causes of hair loss in women is hormones and not enough stomach acid. Guaranteed.
Think about it. If you get yeast infections, you do not have enough stomach acid. If you get toenail fungus, you do not have enough [00:15:00] stomach acid ... athlete's foot, jock itch, all those things, because how do you think those things get there? It's an internal problem. Now, you can treat it. You can treat the symptoms of it, which is topically, but unless you take care of the actual issue, you're going to have recurring issues over and over and over. So that's important to understand. Those are some of the big symptoms of low stomach acid. And most people over the age of 40 have a decreased production of stomach acid, which leads to a lot of [00:15:30] these things. So again, as I mentioned, one of the problems with Candida ending up in the brain is it's allowed to live when it should've been killed. That's because of low stomach acid. Now, it's also because the gall bladder may not be working, but again, we'll talk about that in a future episode.
But now, once they pass through the stomach ... So, Candida should've been killed, but because you don't have enough stomach acid, once it passes through, well then it ends up into your intestinal tract. But still, there's one more thing that it needs to do. [00:16:00] It needs to get into your bloodstream. How does that happen? Well, that's where leaky gut comes into play. That's why my dad and I talk so much about leaky gut syndrome, because what's happening is the contents of your gut are literally leaking into your bloodstream. That shouldn't happen. You have a barrier there that's supposed to stop Candida from getting through. It's supposed to stop bacteria from getting through, junk from getting through, undigested food from getting through. [00:16:30] But what happens is if you don't have enough probiotics, good bacteria, then your good bacteria are like the little soldiers that ... they're guards. They guard those little holes that allow stuff to pass through the digestive system into the bloodstream. So when you don't have enough probiotics, if your gut microbiome isn't healthy, then your gut is leaky. When your gut is leaky, then Candida [00:17:00] now passes through your stomach into your bowels and into your bloodstream.
From there, they go through one more barrier. They go through the blood-brain barrier. Now, how does that happen? Well, this is where my dad always says, "Leaky gut, leaky brain," because there is a direct connection between your microbiome in your gut, your bacteria content in your gut and your brain barrier. The same probiotics, the same bacteria [00:17:30] that protect your gut lining, protect your blood-brain barrier. So, if you, for example, have had a history of antibiotic use or a lot of different chemicals that we come into contact with, again, they kill all your good bacteria. What happens is, your blood-brain barrier becomes leaky. Your gut becomes leaky.
So now, Candida has passed through your stomach. It's passed through a weakened gall bladder. It's into your [00:18:00] bowels, and it goes through the bowel lining, into your blood, and then ends up eventually into your brain. Once it's in your brain, it causes a low-grade infection, inflammation, and that down the line, leads to dementia or Alzheimer's.
I am guessing that this is a much bigger problem than researchers realize. I think, as time goes on, they're going to discover just [00:18:30] how big of a problem that is. But, in the meantime, they're moving in the right direction because they're starting to say, "Hey, wait, the blood-brain barrier is leaky. The brain isn't sterile." They thought the brain was sterile for the longest time. There's actual bacteria living in there now.
I saw a study earlier linking Candida ... The amount of people with Parkinson's that have fungus infection in their brain is high. So, there's a correlation there, as well. Not every Parkinson's is caused by Candida in the brain, but some [00:19:00] of them might be. And it's the same thing with dementia or Alzheimer's. Not all of them are going to be caused by this because 50% of the people have a problem with insulin. But, there's a percentage of people that have Alzheimer's dementia that is due to the fact that they've had a brain infection for a long time.
So again, what can you do today? If you're listening to this, and you're saying, "Hey, I'm worried about my brain long-term health. I'm worried. I want my brain to live as long as my body can. I want it to be sharp. I want to be able to think [00:19:30] and focus and make decisions and all those kind of things. What can you do?" Well, I would suggest, go to our website first and watch that training video. We break things down very well there. But listen, when it comes specifically to Candida, well, since there's two problems, you got to correct, or you got to support two areas. You got to support the health of your stomach and gall bladder, and your bowels, and you got to protect your microbiome, which is why we're massive fans of digestive enzymes, [00:20:00] well-made digestive enzymes, and also probiotics. That's why we're big fans of probiotics.
Again, when I talk about a well-made digestive enzyme, well you want to have ... Obviously the enzymes that are in there, you want enough protein enzymes and fat digesting enzymes, carbs and starches. You want all those things in there, which is crucial. But, you also want it made in a way that's going to help promote the increased production of stomach acid. You're also going to want, like for example, in our digestive enzyme, we throw a few things [00:20:30] in there to help kill these things. We built our digestive enzyme to help with leaky gut, for example, because we have stuff like oil of oregano. We have different types of nutrients in there that are actually a little bit of ... that kill stuff, because we know that our gut is constantly being attacked by all these bugs and viruses and all that kind of stuff. So you want that, but then you also want a very good probiotic to protect your blood-brain barrier, and then also to protect your gut so that things can't pass from your digestive tract into your blood.
[00:21:00] So again, this study here, in my opinion, is a big study. I'm hoping that it starts to point researchers in the direction of looking at chronic infections because of poor digestion, and the effect it has, not only on our digestive system, but also on the health of our brain. Thanks for listening, and have a great day.
Dr.Martin Sr: Thanks for listening to the Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at info@martinclinic. [00:21:30] com. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It's a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook Live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.