Candida Albicans is a fungal yeast that is present naturally in the human gut; everyone has Candida albicans living within them to some extent. Our gut is also full of natural bacteria that feed on the yeast and so keep levels to a low number and stop it from becoming a problem.
The yeast becomes problematic when it grows beyond normal levels and spreads throughout the gastrointestinal tract, into the bloodstream and from there throughout the body. The yeast then does something remarkable and changes into fungus.
This fungus now settles itself into the tissue and a fungal colony quickly spreads. The fungus is protected from the environment as it has now left the gut and does not have the challenge of the gut bacteria trying to consume it. The risk for the Candida fungus is the human immune system. The immune system would normally identify and fight off this fungal intruder without too much effort.
Sadly, more and more people suffer from low immune systems due to stress, bad diet or general ill health. This means the immune system is not as strong as it needs to be to fight the Candida fungus colony. The Candida fungus is protected from the immune system attack by its cellular membrane.
This membrane is comprised of a layer formation called chitin. Your own cells when the immune system is strong and healthy fight Candida by producing an enzyme called chitinase which breaks down the yeast cell wall exposing it and making it vulnerable to attack by the body’s immune system. In a system wide infection there is simply too much of the yeast for the body to fight and it is at that point we begin to see symptoms of the yeast infection.