Candida albicans is a normal microbe that colonizes on the skin and mucosal surfaces in most healthy people. While some patients may initially respond to diet and antifungal interventions, relapse is common.

As with bacterial pathogens, Candida alibicans as well as other Candida species and fungi typically live within biofilm. A biofilm is a gathering of microorganisms encased by a protective matrix. Candida and other microorganisms primarily live in biofilm because it affords them protection from competitors, preditors, antimicrobials, host immune responses, and toxins. Biofilm formation is a requisite part of Candida colonization on mucosal surfaces and skin. Candida remains highly immunogenic within biofilm, stimulating host defense immune responses as well as generating allergic and autoimmune reactions.

Treatment aimed at disrupting Candida and biofilm formation hold great promise for improving treatment responses for people with Candida and fungus related issues. Nonpharmaceutical approaches to Candida biofilm involve using enzymes, chelating agents, and probiotics available as nutritional supplements together with naturally occurring antimicrobial agents.

Enzymes that disrupt the components of biofilm are effective antibiofilm agents. Specific enzymes such as beta-gluconase, chitinase, and cellulase have powerful anti-candidal biofilm activity. Protease-peptidase complexes with high DPP-IV activity facilitates breakdown of the biofilm matrix and protein components.

Metals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron are critical to biofilm formation and maintenance. EDTA is a powerful chelator that has well established antibiofilm activity. EDTA also causes structural cell damage to bacterial cell walls making them more permeable to antimicrobial agents. It has been shown to inhibit biofilm formation by Candida albicans. The combination of EDTA with enzymes synergistically disrupts fungal biofilms potentially facilitating their eradication.

Saccharomyces boulardii has been used worldwide for 60 years for a variety of indications such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Recently, S. boulardii has been found to significantly inhibit Candida adhesion, growth, and biofilm formation. S. boulardii’s ability to disrupt critical aspects necessary for Candida colonization makes it an important addition to the therapeutic toolkit for treating people with fungal-related diseases.

Lactobacillus probiotics have been shown in human studies to promote clearance of Candida associated with gastrointestional inflammatory disorders.

Concurrent use of enzymes with naturally occurring antimicrobial agents and aggressive probiotic support are part of a comprehensive approach to disrupting candida biofilm and shifting the balance to healthy biofilm communities. To learn more about how to effectively treat Candida biofilms, contact Dr. Jurgelewicz at 215-867-9233.


Candida, Fungal-Type Dysbiosis & Chronic Disease: Exploring the Nature of the Yeast Connection. Stephen Olmstead, MD, Dennis Meiss, PhD, and Janet Ralston, BS.

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