Candex May Help with Sugar Digestion

Epiphany Regarding Increased Sugar Tolerance in My Daughter

First of all, I want to express my sincere sympathy for those families suffering as a result of the Sucraid shortage. Our family has a high enough sucrose tolerance that we are able to use enzyme supplements from various nutritional companies to offset any excess sugar consumption. Though we all experience mild to moderate symptoms when we eat foods containing added sucrose (mostly cane sugar as we avoid high fructose corn syrup when possible). I won’t pretend to relate to those who have ZERO TOLERANCE TO SUGARS, even in natural foods such as fruit or root vegetables.

However, I wanted to share a ray of hope! My oldest daughter, diagnosed with CSID at 14, has always had very low sugar tolerance. She is still able to have some starches and grains in moderation, so she can take in enough carb-based calories. One of her chronic symptoms associated with CSID is recurring yeast infections. Since this form of yeast (Candida albicans) thrives on starch and sugar, I believe finding a way to minimize the overgrowth of this yeast could help curb this issue.

She is currently 22 years old a pregnant and I was concerned that she wouldn’t be getting enough calories once typical cravings set in. For us, I’ve noticed a pattern that leads to craving food we shouldn’t eat the more we partake in sugary or starchy foods. It’s actually not just a theory — sugar is an addictive substance. Especially the processed, white form.

Candex Enzymes for Intestinal HealthAnyway, before I go off on an anti-sugar rant, my daughter is an adult and makes her own choices. But I recently learned of a supplement, containing mostly enzymes, that supports digestive health by targeting the specific types of cells that make up Candida albicans. As a bonus, this supplement also contains Amylase, Invertase, and Glucomylase.– the enzymes that break down different forms of sugar!

CANDEX is manufactured by Pure Essence Labs and sold through various online retailers including Energetic Nutrition (my former employer and currently still a freelance client – but I get no form of compensation for mentioning this product).

After checking with her doctor and getting approval to take while pregnant, my daughter started taking Candex about a month ago. In a totally unrelated conversation a little over a week ago, she asked me if I’d ever heard of someone with CSID who experienced a higher tolerance to sugar while pregnant.

I told her honestly, I hadn’t been in touch with many adults with CSID or discussed their diets in enough detail to know. Then it occurred to me that she had been taking Candex (be it not consistently and not even on an empty stomach as recommended by the manufacturer). This is totally theory based on one individual, but this supplement may actually be helping my daughter to have a higher tolerance to sucrose! She had also lost weight in her first trimester but has gained 6 pounds in the past month.

Now, I don’t condone or encourage regular consumption of sugary foods – especially when the food itself only offers empty calories and no nutritional value. But I would like to offer this as a possible help in assisting with sucrose digestion.

Can Candex HELP THOSE WITH CSID?

The only way to know the answer to this is for others to be willing to try it. If the manufacturer can claim it is safe for pregnant women and children (note this is not a medical claim as they are not citing a specific disease), there is theoretically little risk.

However, I can only say that Candex appears to be helping in my own family. But if – and this is a BIG IF – others were willing to try it after consulting their health care provider or dietitian, and then to share the result in a comment on this blog, then maybe the answer could help others.

Side Note on the Differences Between FDA-Approved Drugs and Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements (such as Candex) are not approved by the FDA. One reason being the loopholes supplement companies would have to jump through (current Sucraid shortage point in case) to get approval. Another being that the natural ingredients that comprise supplements vary due to them being – well – natural  and not created in a lab. And a third reason is that the FDA only approves DRUGS used to treat disease or symptoms of disease. They don’t approve natural remedies that can help prevent imbalances that may lead to disease, or bring a body back into balance after experiencing illness or stress. FDA approval does NOT mean that the drug is safe or doesn’t have side-effects. It means that they have determined the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks or side-effects in taking it.

With that said, there are many nutritional supplement companies out there that have gone above and beyond in order to show consumers that they can manufacture products of high-quality and with safety standards. This means using pure ingredients, minimal fillers or additives, and testing for quality. But no matter how many trials or scientific studies may indicate a certain supplement may help with a specific health issue, they are not permitted to make a medical claim in describing their product.

This is a nutshell explanation and is actually very complicated. But I’ve spent the better part of the past year having to re-write product descriptions for Energetic Nutrition to comply with this standard of DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act). I have yet to finish revisions on this blog as a result, but I wanted to explain that any vague or non-specific descriptions are a result of this Act.

Your thoughts?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about taking supplements for digestive health. Regardless of how well we curb our children’s or our own diets to compensate for CSID, taking something to help support healthy digestion, or assist our bodies in reducing symptoms associated with poor digestion, seems like a smart choice to me.

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Digestive Enzyme Deficiency Support

During the better part of the past year, I have had the privilege of working for an online retailer of various brands of high-quality supplements. Part of my job has been to write or rewrite their blog content and one of my first projects was to write a blog on digestive enzyme deficiency. My boss was eager for me to share my knowledge related to CSID with their general readership and we both learned a lot in the process.

I have posted the first part here with a link to read the entire article on the Energetic Nutrition blog.

Finding Support for Digestive Enzyme Deficiency

More than Occasional Tummy Troubles

A healthy, fully functioning digestive system provides essential detoxification, immune system support, and energy from the proper breakdown of food. It is a well-known fact that over 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract.

Many times symptoms of compromised digestion do not become apparent until disease or chronic illness are present.

If the digestive system is unable to function properly, various symptoms can surface from something as simple as occasional stomach ache, acid indigestion, or flatulence to more serious chronic conditions such as food allergies or digestive disease.

When digestive problems begin to interfere with everyday life, a quick, over-the-counter solution may be the first line of defense. However, these remedies often only cover up symptoms and do not address the root of digestive distress. For long-term results, adding digestive enzyme supplements can provide the body with added digestive support in addition to alleviating symptoms.

CONTINUE READING AT ENERGETIC NUTRITION/BLOG

Managing CSID when time and money are limited

Challenges of CSID during life changes

Over the past 18 months or so, our family has endured many challenges. Sticking with the ideal food and supplement choices has not only been hard, but impossible at times. I’ve had to allow compromises, only to see my children or myself suffer as a result. And as much as I want to be that “perfect” example for all those parents or adults out there struggling with a recent CSID or GSID diagnosis – I also want them to know there will always be challenges.

Yet, because of all the knowledge and experience I have gained from trial and error, and understanding from resources that focus on providing our bodies with digestive support – I am hopeful that in time we will get back on track.

I am also learning how different each CSID case is – along with how close relatives may experience various levels of carbohydrate intolerance, autoimmune diseases, or mild digestive upset. As of today, 4 of my 5 children as well as my husband recognize associated symptoms when they choose to partake in food containing sugar, starch, or dairy products. In June, my 17 year-old son, Dawson, received a Celiac Disease diagnosis after several unexplained events related to inflamed joints. (See Our CSID Story and scroll down to 1999 to read how we’ve had warning signs since he was young). I will write a separate post about the challenges and blessings that have resulted from this diagnosis. Ultimately, we are learning that our entire family should avoid sugar (processed, artificial, or corn syrup based), starch (from wheat and most grains), or dairy (except grass-fed organic on occasion) as much as possible.

And this is really the purpose behind my blog and my book A Place to Start Without Sugar or Starch. It’s about knowing we are not alone in this daily battle. It’s about understanding we will fail at times, but that it is possible to gain ground again and seek out the resources and answers that can provide a lifestyle of true health and wellness again

Here are my most recent tips to providing CSID-friendly meals while on the go and on a tight budget!

Tips for quick and easy CSID Meals

For some of these meals, a digestive enzyme may be required to help the individual process any naturally occurring sugars or starches. Choose one options per bullet point and modify them as needed.

Breakfast

  • Nitrate-free bacon with a semi-ripe banana, one slice of gluten-free toast (Schar brand is also egg free!)
  • Sweet potato (we use the light ones with white flesh) hash browns with chopped tomatoes and egg prepared as desired
  • Gluten-free, non-GMO cold cereal with unsweetened almond milk (digestive enzymes recommended)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Rice Farina (super excited to have recently discovered this as Cream of Wheat used to be our favorite years ago!) NOTE: This contains approximately 32 grams of starch per 1/4 cup, yet for unknown reasons everyone in our family seems to tolerate any food derived from brown rice very well.

Lunch/Snack

  • Raw almonds
  • KIND bars granola bars (gluten-free and non-GMO)
  • Unsweetened applesauce or semi-sweet fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, or red pears.
  • Nitrate-free, gluten-free lunch meat sandwich on gluten-free bread (we use smashed avocado in place of mayo due to Parker’s egg white allergy)
  • Tuna salad (albacore, wild-caught tuna blended with avocado, olive oil, sea salt and a dash of white vinegar on a bed of romaine lettuce with black olives and grape tomatoes)
  • Non-GMO peanut or almond butter sandwich or cup with celery. We use Simply Fruit jam or honey.
  • Non-GMO chips (moderation recommended if they contain corn ingredients)
  • Fresh bite-sized, non-starchy veggies such as sugar snap peas, celery, cucumber

Dinner

  • Brown rice pasta with organic spaghetti sauce (if buying jarred sauce, check ingredients carefully), with ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef
  • Sweet potato skillet (1 pound ground turkey, beef, or leftover chicken plus 2-3 white sweet potatoes shredded or sliced and cooked until crispy, and a steamed vegetable such as green beans or broccoli). On occassion, we use brown rice in place of sweet potatoes.
  • Crockpot chicken with fresh rosemary, sea salt, and pepper. Add carrots, red potatoes, or non-GMO brown rice. Add sliced oranges or fresh cranberries if desired.
  • Most Thai or Asian meals are easy to duplicate at home and many Thai Kitchen products and recipes are suitable.
  • White bean turkey chili

 

New Enzymes with Sucrase!

My sister came across these while doing research for her nutrition class. We are giving them a try now that Parker’s eczema is under control. Although he still showing some symptoms, we believe it’s mostly environmental. As of yesterday this will be the only digestive support he will take until the bottle is gone.

I will continue to give Parker his antihistamine at night, and apply the prescription ointment for topical treatment. For the record here is a picture I took of him yesterday when we were baking gingerbread cookies gluten free of course.

They are available through various Amazon sellers. Simply search: “Klaire Labs Vital-Zymes chewable”

As you can see he still has some irritation around his eye and some spots on his neck…but huge improvement over all.

Enzymes for Carbohydrates Update

Parker and I are now in week two of using the Kirkman Isogest for assisting us in digesting carbohydrates (specifically starch) with our meals. To date we have used it with pasta, cereal, rice, sprouted grain bread and even Girl Scout Thin Mints!

As long as we keep the servings small (actual serving sizes) we are having no issues with belly pain, gas or other symptoms.

When I emailed the chemist at the Kirkman labs, he informed me that he knows of several CSID families who use Isogest successfully. As I mentioned in a previous post on Enzymes, the main reason why this enzyme therapy is not referenced for use by those with CSID, is that they do not have the funding to conduct the necessary studies to achieve FDA approval. He also said he would be willing to donate several bottles to parents with CSID children in trade for providing data and feedback regarding the successful use of their product. If you are interested in recieving a free bottle of Isogest to try with your child and you understand Kirkman can make no claims of guarantee or possible side affects and are willing to try it at your own risk, please let me know right away. If I can gather 12 parents, we might be able to use our results and apply for a research grant to fund an official study to approve Isogest for CSID.

In addition to the Nature’s Sunshine Enzymes I have listed on the sidebar, the Kirkman Isogest appears to serve the similar purpose of of assisting with carbohydrate, or isomaltase digestion.

In this day and age where making all food from scratch is not realistic, being able to choose the least-processed food without concern for starch is sure making my life easier! I would love your feedback regarding your own experience (and your child’s) using Isogest or the Nature’s Sunshine Enzymes. Regardless of enzyme levels, these supplements can assist your body in digesting carbohydrates, relieving digestive stress and broadening the types of foods you can eat.

One more wonderful advantage to these supplements in comparison to Sucraid (which should still be taken with foods containing sucrose), is that they do not need to be refrigerated! Though I store mine in the fridge to maintain freshness, throwing a few capsules in my purse during a day out is so much easier than toting around a cooler with ice!

Enzymes for Starch and Other Digestive Support Products

Nature’s Sunshine specializes in supplements for digestive health. The label on their new and improved FOOD ENZYMES claims they can assist in digesting up to 30 grams of carbohydrates per meal! This is great news for CSID families! However, as with all supplements, the only way we will really know if they work is to give them a try. Please see the links to these enzymes and other supplements mentioned on this post to the left of this page.

Nature’s Sunshine is also the company I order chlorophyll, aloe vera juice and probiotics from. Once you select the link to any of these products by clicking on their name above or on the left side of this page, you can search for the remaining products after you are redirected to the Nature’s Sunshine website. If you choose to order more than $40 worth of products, you will receive the membership pricing.

SPECIAL NOTE: The links provided from this blog will automatically generate my member number as your sponsor. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please let me know. Since Nature’s Sunshine distributes its products through representatives and is not available in stores, it is considered a direct marketing company. All this means is that instead of investing in advertising or marketing to large stores, it compensates those who bring them business and invests would-be-advertising dollars into creating higher-quality products. I have never come across a product on a store shelf that compares to the quality of Nature’s Sunshine or other direct-marketing health company’s products, such as Shaklee (where I purchase multi-vitamins and cleaning products). Just to be clear, this is not a solicitation or an attempt to make money for my own gain. This is just the best way to pass on quality products to you based on what my family has experienced! There are no added sugars, fillers or starches to these supplements, a factor difficult to find on most store shelves.

The combination of the chlorophyll cocktail and marshmallow root capsules were key in bringing healing to Parker’s irritated and inflamed digestive system. The fact that he recovers in 48 hours or less from vomiting or diarrhea associated with ingesting harmful foods by accident, is all the proof I need regarding the effectiveness of these digestive support supplements.

As always, I encourage eating healthy whenever possible. However, I understand that there are times when time, money or other circumstances call for compromising the food we feed our children. By including these supplements on a daily basis, you will be doing your part to keep your child’s digestive system strong during moments you cannot control what he or she eats.

Please do not use these products as license to allow harmful foods on a regular basis, as you will simply be wasting your money and compromising your child’s long term health and eating habits. I say this as a mother who has let her guard down, failed to curb poor eating habits, and witnessed my children suffer as a result.

When I fail, I take a deep breath and start over again. Each time I grow more resolve, discover additional solutions, and reap the reward of a healthy family!

Enzyme Levels and Enzyme Digestive Support for CSID

Small Bowel Biopsy Results and Suggested Supplements

Here are the results from my own children’s small bowel biopsies. This is the test that confirmed their CSID diagnosis. If your child has had the small bowel biopsy, ask your doctor for the results so that you can compare them to normal levels.

Function of Lactase

Lactase’s primary function is to break down a type of sugar called lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. As a large sugar compound, lactose cannot be absorbed naturally by your body. In order to metabolize this form of sugar, your body needs lactase to break down lactose into two smaller particles called glucose and galactose. These smaller sugar molecules are more easily absorbed by the cells in your intestine. Without lactase, lactose remains in your digestive tract and cannot be used by your body. http://www.livestrong.com/article/390563-what-are-the-functions-of-the-enzyme-lactase/#ixzz1khYBw3Sn

Functions of Maltase and Sucrase

There are a series of special enzymes that are necessary for the breakdown of specific things. Maltase, invertase, sucrase and diastase are all enzymes that break down specific sugars we ingest. Maltase and diastase break down malt sugar—the kinds of sugars you find in malt liquor and other malted foods. Invertase and sucrase also break down sugar but are better able to break down sucrose or table sugar. Those of us with a high sugar intake especially need these enzymes available. If they can’t do their job, the bacteria in our gut are the only things that have the advantage. Stomach cramps, bloating and gas can result if the sugar-digesting enzymes are inadequate.
Read More: http://www.beta-glucan-info.com/digestive_enzyme_facts.htm

Normal and Abnormal Ranges for Each Enzyme

Lactase: Normal Range 16.5- 32.5, Abnormal is less than 16
Sucrase: Normal Range 29-79.8, Abnormal is less than 25
Maltase: Normal Range 98-223.6, Abnormal is less than 100
Palatinase: Normal Range 4.6-17.6, Abnormal is less than

My son, Parker’s test results at 18 months old (2005):
Lactase: 30.4
Sucrase: 6.6
Maltase: 39.0
Palatinase: 0

My daughter Elora’s test results at age 15 (2008)
Lactase: 21.1
Sucrase: 2.3
Maltase: 50.4
Paltinase: 2.3

Currently, they are both able to tolerate some starch from various sources but an excess of grain-based starches or legumes eventually leads to signs of inflammation and struggling immunity. Only when they are taking digestive and systemic enzymes on a regular basis, are they able to succeed including small portions of high-starch-based foods without symptoms.

Enzymes our Family Has Used with Success Include:

Digestive Enzymes

Carb Digest with Isogest appears to assist with the digestion of disaccharides, the primary deficient enzymes for those with CSID. I have contacted an expert from their company about determining the safety of this product for children. If you have used this product, please let me know if it works! This could be a great Sucraid substitute or complimentary enzyme therapy.

Vital-Zymes™ Chewable contain a full-spectrum of digestive enzymes focused on carbohydrate digestion plus enteric-coated serratia peptidase, a systemic enzyme that may help with supporting various healthy inflammation responses.

Vitazym Digest for those who will and can swallow capsules, or if needed, sprinkle half to one capsule on food. This formula includes a total of 18 enzymes to support digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Consult your medical practitioner regarding proper dosing for children.

Systemic Enzymes

For more on Systemic Enzymes, see the blog post I wrote for Energetic Nutrition HERE.

Vitalzym Extra Strength™

Fibrenza™