Mast Cell Activity & Candida Connection
Greetings! It’s New Zealand naturopath, Eric Bakker. Author of Candida Crusher and formulator of the Canxida range of products. Thank you to all my subscribers for continuing to give me lots of different kinds of questions. I’ve got a question here from a man in Holland, Paul Lese. Paul is asking me if there’s a connection between mast cell activity or disease and yeast infection.
Mast cells are specific kinds of white blood cells. They were discovered in the 1870s by a researcher. Basically, what he found when he stained a slide of blood a blue color, he found that these things had little dark blue patches in them. What he discovered is these were basically little white cells that were stuffed full of things like little bags inside a bag. These bags secrete chemicals in their own right. Particularly a chemical called histamine.
Histamine is a chemical that can induce quite a lot of different reactions in the body, especially allergic kinds of reactions. You may have heard of the word antihistamine. Antihistamines are prescribed by doctors with an allergic response. If you’ve had a bee sting or if you suffer from sinus problems, sneezing, seasonal allergies and things like that, you would be given an antihistamine. That reduces swelling, burning, stinging, itching, sneezing, those typical kinds of reactions.
When a mast cell releases histamine, it will do so in response to something around that irritates it or that triggers it.
Mast cells typically line areas of the breathing passages of the body. They line around the eyes, around the nose, deep inside the head and the ears, the throat, the genital reason, the digestive tract, the skin. Many areas contain mast cells.
I’ve read a really interesting article here, pretty heavy going, on the internet “Role and Relevance of Mast Cells in Fungal Infections.” This is a 38-page article along with quite a few references. I think it’s got about 138 references, so it’s a good science paper. The paper was really all about bacteria and parasites and there is also a big section in the back there on fungal infections, how they stimulate mast cells. Interesting there the researchers found in the digestive system that the release of histamine increases digestive permeability, i.e., leaky gut. This is quite a well written paper where they’re now actually saying that Candida creates leaky gut. There is certainly a link between mast cell activity and yeast infection.
Candida releases chemicals that upregulate the mast cell response. The mast cell release histamine that will see this as a foreign chemical and, in turn, when histamines are secreted it, in turn, will start upregulating the immune system. Basically, it’s like somebody ringing up the police and then the police find out something bad is going on and they, in turn, could call the armed defender squad. That’s what’s basically happening here. The police being the histamine response and then the histamines in turn calling on higher authorities to deal with these strong reactions. Some of these armed defenders can get a bit trigger happy, if you know what I mean.
I was talking to an interesting patient the other day in America, a black lady, who got pulled over for a very minor infringement. Before she knew it, she was at the police station getting knocked around just for a flat tire. I was quite surprised to hear of such racial prejudice and the over strong reaction by the police, a white Caucasian police, how they handled this incident involving a black person. I was quite disgusted to hear that. You can’t blame the police. There is not blame here. But what I’m saying is it was an overreaction, a very powerful overreaction. That’s what happens with histamine. It’s an overpowering reaction to the body’s response.
In some cases, a histamine response can kill people. Some people can be so sensitive to bee venom that a bee sting can kill them. More people in Australia I’ve read die from bee stings than from snake bites and other toxic animals that they have there. That’s because people swim in pools and they’ll get a bee in the mouth and it will sting them in throat, which is full of mast cells and it’ll cause a huge amount of histamine to get secreted. These are just people like you and I perhaps who just react normally to a bee sting.
Of course, this bee venom in the throat closes off the air way and the person dies. Very strong over production of chemical inflammatory mediators with weird names like interleukin and tumor necrosis factor alpha. There are many different interleukins. You’ve got 4, 8, 6, 12. I think there are dozens of interleukins. Each one of these specific chemicals has its own particular type of inflammatory reaction on the body. It in turn escalate another kind of reaction with names as long as your auntie that you can’t even pronounce. I don’t want to go into all that biochemistry.
The point is the Candid can create the release of histamine from the mast cell. Histamine, in turn, upregulates other responses and so it goes. Don’t forget that there is a powerful relationship with histamine in the gut and leaky gut. There is also a very strong relationship with yeast infection and food allergies. Now you can start seeing where that link is with the leakiness of the gut being stimulated by histamine and its chemical mediators. And then, of course, the gut becomes more permeable. Then when that permeability happens, proteins can leak through and affect the immune system on the other side creating allergic responses.
What we can gain from this is that when we clean up the gut, get rid of this over production of Candida, bring the balance back, get the beneficial bacteria again, reduce the production of histamine, we’re going to get a decrease in leaky gut and an improvement in the allergies that proves what I’ve always said to people. Most people are not allergic to gluten. They just have to basically clean up the gut and then they can eat a wide range of foods again.
Paul, to answer your question. Is there a link between mast cell activity and Candida? There certainly is. Thanks for tuning in.