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The Yeast Connection: It's Real!

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To the editors:

Environmental illness is real ["The Yeast of Our Problems," January 22]! My brother had it so bad that when he walked down a detergent aisle in a supermarket it took him two hours to return to reality. Convincing the welfare services community that his problem was real was as difficult for him as finding a physician to treat the web of interacting sensitivities. His illness developed from working in the fumes of a copy shop. Candida infestation followed.

Although we all have intestinal candida albicans (yeast) colonies there is apparently no easily accessible method for determining how strongly they depress us. Here is a simple test.

The herb garlic is as powerful a fungicide as the prescribed drug nystatin, according to at least one account in the Crooks book. On a Friday evening (when no commitments have been made for the weekend) sprinkle a slice of toast with a heaping teaspoonful of garlic powder. I use two or three. Chase it with milk.

If you should, within a couple of hours, find yourself feeling extremely better you just may have a touch of overdeveloped candida.

Garlic is not very social at these levels. Nystatin does not require a prescription, but the powdered form is hard to find. Perhaps the Reader could tell us where to find it?

Wine-brewers use citric, malic, tartaric and tannic acids and urea to encourage yeast growth. Does taking a dose of soda for a sour stomach discourage candida? Does gorging on vitamin C encourage it?

Honey contains yeast inhibitors so strong that mead-makers have to use additives to get beyond the 3 percent alcohol level. Does switching from sugar to honey stifle candida? Has the inhibitor been isolated?

Perhaps a high-school science fair researcher can find the answers to these questions.

Dan Stevens

Chicago

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