How to Effectively Test for Candida : Exclusive Renegade Health Inteview with Dr. Jeffrey McCombs

Tuesday Jun 28 | BY |
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Candida is a topic that I love to talk about…


Because those little guys and I were pretty close for a while a few years ago. Man, what a trip.

In today’s interview, Dr. Jeffrey McCombs talks straight about candida. What I like about the Doc is that he actually knows the number of studies that have been done on candida from the science literature. This is a guy you want to listen to.

In this interview, Dr. McCombs will cover what candida is, when it becomes problematic (it’s always in our bodies), how to test for candida effectively and if all of your (or part of you) can so alkaline that candida can form.

Listen to Part 1 here:


Click the play button to start the call:


Here are my notes on Part 1 of the interview with Dr. Jeffrey McCombs…

1. Candida’s not all bad.

In fact, we may need some of it.

Candida, as shown in studies done in organisms is shown to have two positive roles. First, it breaks down dead cells for removal from the body and secondly, it’s been shown to transport nutrients to tissues. So, just like healthy bacteria release metabolites that are healthy, it’s possible that candida does as well – or at least something similar.

Candida becomes a problem when it turns from it’s yeast state into a fungal infection, but not until then.

2. If your gut is too alkaline, you are asking for a candida overgrowth.

Alkalize, alkalize, alkalize… to get rid of candida right?

Well, yes and no.

You can alkalize your body and blood, but don’t alkalize your gut.

If you do, your chances of getting a candida overgrowth or a bad bacterial infection increase dramatically.


Because the pH in your gut needs to be acidic to fight off infection and balance the flora in your gut.

Too little HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach or too much bile in your small intestines both can drive up the pH in your gut to levels that are too high to maintain balance in your flora.

3. Addressing candida on just one level is not effective.

I think you may know this, but repeating it is worth both of our effort.

If you just address getting rid of the fungus, or just address the immune system or just address the food you eat, you will not get rid of your candida overgrowth.

Proper and effective treatment requires all these practices.

4. How to test for candida effectively.

I get this question a lot.

“How do I test to see if I really have candida.”

Good news is that it’s possible, but not super-straightforward.

Relative accurate confirmation of candida includes a combination of immunoglobulin / blood testing, an organic acid panel (urine), a fecal test and your symptoms.

Combined, you should be able to pretty accurately determine if you have candida.

On the other side, I hear a lot of this as well…

“I’m positive I have candida.”

I always ask why and about 50% of the people tell me, “because I’m sure of it.”

I don’t think this is an effective way to start treatment – blindly.

So the best way to go about this is to gather all your symptoms, get some tests and see what you come up with.

I was able to determine that I had candida by symptoms, examining stool and an immunoglobulin blood test.

You probably will be able to determine for yourself as well.

5. Candida like to eat (what?)…

An interesting point made by Dr. McCombs is that candida love to eat iron. They need it to live.

How do they get it? Those little buggers break open cells or destroy tissue to rob them of their iron.

Pretty nasty, right?

Anyway, just some thoughts (meaning only theory), but I wonder if some anemia is caused by candida or other fungal infection. This definitely needs more investigation, but certainly something to think about and dig around about.

6. The difference between plants and modern medicines.

LOL, this is not going to turn into a lecture on plant vs. modern medicines. You probably could give that one yourself.

One interesting point brought up in our discussion, about this topic, was the difference between how herbs or plants deal with fungus and how modern medicines do.

Modern meds tend to be fungicidal – meaning they kill fungus. This may sound pleasing to those who have fungus, but the danger is that fungicidal medications can create strains that are resistant to them.

Plant medicines tend to be more fungistatic – meaning they inhibit the grown to fungus, but generally don’t kill it off. This means they’re still effective, but they do what they do differently.

First off, candida does not tend to become resistant to fungistatic herbs, so the fact that you need to rotate herbs for them to be effective (since the yeast will become resistant) may not be true.

Secondly, all plants have more or less fungistatic compounds, so the more plants you eat, the less likely fungus will grow inside of you.

Thirdly, instead of killing off the yeast, fungistatic herbs work to keep it at bay until it’s life cycle is over – which is a little longer, but more gentle approach.

Tomorrow, I have Part 2 for you. In this final 22 minutes, Dr. McCombs shares effective treatments for candida including foods and herbs as well as talks about whether or not the candida “spit” test is good or garbage.

I want to know your thoughts: What do you think of Dr. Jeffrey McCombs’ talk on candida so far?

To read more about Dr. Jeffrey McCombs and his work, please visit

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. oreganol says:

    Interesting. I’ll listen to the audio later. I think it’s great how you keep pointing out that we need to test to know where we’re at. I always assumed I was ok, until I tested and realised that I wasn’t. I’m back on track now though.

  2. JT says:

    Does Dr. McCombs do live talks regularly and does he travel much to do so?

  3. lisa says:

    just venting on my soap box… i have this hang-up about people calling themselves ‘dr.’ why is it that doctors don’t call themselves dr., but just let their credentials speak for themselves, the little initials after their names. others try and emphasize this to give themselves an aura of doctorness. sorry for the offense. just bugs me.

  4. Veronica says:

    He’s a chiropractor that talks about Candida? There’s a big difference between a chiropractor and a real doctor in terms of schooling.

  5. JC says:

    Actually, Chiropractors have Doctorate degrees in Chiropractic. Their “little initials” are Jane Doe, DC (doctor of chiropractic).
    The schooling of a chiropractor is very similar to that of a “real” doctor in terms of the study of the anatomy and physiology, but differs in the study of how to perceive and treat disease.
    But, in the sense that they have doctorate degrees, they are “real” doctors. In the sense that they are trained to view people as a whole entity with a mind, body and a spirit which work together, each part affecting the whole, they may be more of a real doctor than any MD I’ve ever met.

    And I’ve met plenty, a few good ones, but mostly pill/surgery pushers, and even a few who have sacrificed their integrity, my health and the health of my children either to please whomever was their boss, or to continue to believe the pack of lies they were taught to believe in a desperate attempt to not be forced to believe that the quarter million dollars they spent on their education is not wasted. If that is what passes for a “real” doctor, then I’ll pass.

  6. Amber says:

    I’ve been out of it for a while do to my work on healing and curing candidae in my self.
    Interestingly I am also severly anemic, I had not heard that it ate my iron. Thank you for adding another aspect of my healing equation. I have had it for 8 or more years..
    I am winning with an all out approach… Thanks to my naturopath Dr Barlow for confirming my own knowledge on what I am dealing with and how to treat it!

    Thanks to YOU for the iron info!

  7. Richard says:

    Could you explain the difference between canida fungus and mold in the body. I get different results muscle testing when I use the two diffent questions; candida vs mold?

  8. Laurie says:

    Can anyone recommend a good contact for blood testing in Los Angeles, preferably on the westside, say, santa monica? Thanks, Laurie

  9. zyxomma says:

    Candida itself is not the problem. The problem is OVERGROWTH, when it escapes the large intestine, which is where it belongs. Health and peace.

  10. Purna says:

    QUite a few chiropractors come from a holistic background, as does mine. I’ve actually learned a great deal from him, so if you are uncertain about this talk, do take it seriously or at least consider it.

  11. A says:

    You asked how do we know we have candida? Well I know from the itching burning and cottage cheesy discharges. Sorry for the grossness. Everytime I go to the gyno I am positive for yeast. They always want to give me Dyflucan but I never get the prescription filled. I have been working on treating myself naturally for years now and am just starting to see symptoms subside a little. But they are not completely gone. I am glad to hear that herbal treatment do not need to be rotated. I have purchased so many and was actually going to try this…still might LOL! Just learned about Pau Darco tree bark tea. The McComb plan sounds great but is so expensive… nearly $600!

  12. Patricia says:

    This queston is for Kevin or Dr. McCoombs. About a year ago we bought a machine that changes household drinking water to a more alkaline content. Would this cause stomach acid to become more alkaline over the length of a year? Thanks very much for your input and advice.

  13. A says:

    You asked how do we know we have candida? Well I know from the itching burning and cottage cheesy discharges. Sorry for the grossness. Everytime I go to the gyno I am positive for yeast. They always want to give me Dyflucan but I never get the prescription filled. I have been working on treating myself naturally for years now and am just starting to see symptoms subside a little. But they are not completely gone. I am glad to hear that herbal treatments do not need to be rotated. I have purchased so many and was actually going to try this.. still might LOL! Just learned about Pau Darco tree bark tea. Over these years I have made considerable permanent changes in my diet including no milk, cheese, bread and no sugary drinks. I drink about 60-90 oz of water a day and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. The McComb plan sounds good but is so expensive … nearly $600! One thing for sure, this candida thing is one hell of journey. Kevin, how long were you sick with candida and what did you do?

  14. Karen says:

    I had Candida for over 5 years. Finally healed with the low fat raw vegan diet. Never felt better in my life. Check out Dr Graham’s book The 80/10/10 Diet. If followed correctly, Candida usually subsides within days. Could be a bigger issue besides diet, but it worked for me.

  15. BN says:

    Thank you JC for your response to Lisa and Veronica. As the wife of a chiropractic physician, I didn’t know there were still people out there that did not understand that DC’s are more of a “doctor” than MD’s these days. Last time I checked the stats still showed that the medical curriculum spends a whopping 0 to 1 hour on nutrition. After my father had a heart attack, we could only find 1 MD that understood the benefits of fish oils with heart arrhythmias and that any heart patient put on statins and blood pressure drugs need to be giving their patients CoQ10 because of the known and proven deficiencies caused by these drugs. While in the office, I counted 10 drug company reps coming through to meet with the “doctor” to push their wares. More and more “real doctors” are showing up in nutritional seminars because their patients are losing confidence in them and demanding they become current. The chiropractic physician focuses on the health of the whole body while the doctor of medicine focuses on pushing unnatural responses within the body by synthetic means. This unnatural push always creates side effects and nutritional deficiencies. Emergency medicine is very effective, but the treatment of chronic illness by means of medicine is a failure. The chiropractic physician has the best answer to chronic illness and prevention.

  16. Anne says:

    I agree with the thought that anemia can be a sign of candida. I’ve had iron deficiencies on and off (more on than off) and they never seemed to have anything to do with the amount of iron I was ingesting.

    Yes if the fungus thrive with iron and robs the body of it, it could account for iron loss but I think people affected by candida also have symptoms of malabsorption so that would account for some of that too.

    With various tools (body ecology diet, fermented veggies, coconut kefir and a NO sugar/fruit diet, exercise and a host of supplements and other healing methods) I am getting better and each blood test I get my ferritin levels seem to go up. They’ve gone from way below the norm in Feb to normal but still relatively low on the grand scale of things in my two blood tests in May. However I haven’t supplemented with iron at all so this is coming either from the better absorption or less robbing from the critters and possibly both.

    Interesting talk. I look forward to tomorrow’s.

  17. Dominic says:

    Is Candida CLOSELY associate with GERD and other annoying GI issues? So can an over growth of candida cause major GI issues?

  18. Joanne Venable says:

    THANKS so MUCH for Interviewing Dr. McCombs and for his GREAT “detailed” EXPLANATION of the “morphing” of “CANDIDA” from a YEAST to a FUNGUS ~!! I’ve just “heard” Dr. Tullio Simoncini, the Italian Oncologist, speak on “YOU TUBE” VIDEOS about his RESEARCH & TREATMENT of CANCER …. using BI CARBONATE OF SODA … and … his “claims” & “videos” of (CANDIDA) “FUNGUS AS THE CAUSE OF CANCER” ~ !!
    Q: COULD DR. JEFFREY MC COMBS PLEASE “ADDRESS” DR. SIMONCINI’S THERAPIES & CLAIMS ~ (as “ACID” environments are said to be REQ’D. for CANCER & other ILLNESSES … and … BICARB could serve as a strong “ALKALINE” SUBSTANCE) ~ ??

  19. kt_mm says:

    Thanks for this interview. As for those who wonder why a chiropractor is talking about candida, they really should listen to the audio where the doctor explains it. I can’t wait for part two!

  20. Audrey Dexter says:

    I’ve dealt with candida over the past 5 or so years. Had a bioscan (put hand on cradle & computer reads info in your body through electrical energy) & it confirmed the candida
    which I knew I had. (achy joints, ringing in ears, itchy thighs, etc… 🙂 Followed The Body Ecology Diet not perfectly but pretty closely, took probiotics (not much luck with the fermenting) & Yeast Beaters herbal product available at The lady who created it says you don’t have to follow a really strict diet, that the product will work regardless but I’d had it for so long, I wanted to be sure, so I followed Body Ecology. Took for 6 weeks (1 week for each year of the problem): Yeast Beaters, the Glutamine she sells, & then probiotics- as she recommends. Very affordable. Her cookbook on that site is awesome too! Had another bioscan several months later & no sign of candida. Woohoo! I take pau d’arco on & off to keep things under control.

  21. Dr. Jeff says:

    Thanks again to Kevin for having me on the show!
    I thought that I’d take a few moments to answer some of the questions and comments that are listed here.

    #2 JT
    I haven’t been traveling much to talk about candida lately, but I do enjoy talking about it and helping to clear up common misconceptions, and add clarity to the conversation.

    #3 Lisa
    It’s a degree that should probably be earned more by how effective we are as doctors, rather than which exams and state boards we pass. I personally don’t care about the title so much as how much I can help someone.

    #7 Richard
    Molds and fungus can look identical in their forms. The type of mold or fungus and their effects is what will generally distinguish them. Fungal infections tend to be more common. Muscle testing is a tricky thing and the clearer you can be in phrasing the question, the better the answer you’ll receive. When checking for candida, you need to distinguish between fungal and yeast. Fungus and mold should produce separate responses. I believe that you have to be willing to wrong, when it comes to muscle testing, otherwise the muscle test will always validate your belief.

    #8 Laurie
    We’re located in Los Angeles, near Marina del Rey. You can get blood testing through Labcorp in Santa Monica, but you’ll need a requisition form from your doctor, and you’ll only be able to get Candida antibodies, which tends to be the least sensitive of the tests out there. Your doctor can order these panels from the various labs:
    Metamatrix Microbial Panel
    Genova Labs Candida Immune Complex and Antibodies
    Great Plains Labs OATS tests

    #12 Patricia
    Alkaline water shouldn’t be an issue. The alkaline water should cause a degree of rebound increase in the stomach’s HCL(hydrochloric Acid) levels when you drink it as a healthy stomach and intestinal tract will work to maintain balance. If your HCL levels are low, then this may have an impact, but I have yet to see where this was a major issue with anyone.

    #16 Anne
    An iron deficiency can be caused by an imbalanced intestinal ecosystem, which fungal candida is usually a part of. This effect is created by antibiotics, predominantly. Destroying the bacterial flora can cause a loss of bacteria that help synthesize B vitamins and secrete acids to maintain the intestinal pH at a slightly acidic ratio. B vitamins play a role in the formation of HCL in the stomach. Without proper HCL levels, we can lose absorption of iron, iodine, protein, B12, Folic Acid, Zinc and other minerals, etc. You can become anemic from the loss of absorption of iron, B12, and Folic Acid. All organisms of the gut require iron. Fungal candida has the ability to escape the gut and set up throughout the body. In the absence of a readily available source of iron, it can vampire it from red blood cells and other tissues. An iron deficiency is more likely due to the overall imbalance of the intestinal tract and loss of proper HCL levels in the stomach.

    #17 Dominic
    The association of Candida with GERD is primarily through the mechanism discussed above, as a result of antibiotic use and the loss of proper HCL levels. Traditionally, GERD and acid reflux have always been treated as a deficiency of HCL, not an excess. A deficiency creates cycles of over- and under-production. Normalizing the proper levels eliminates the cycles. Through Direct to Consumer marketing, pharmaceutical companies have created the belief that it is due to excess acid in the stomach, which is wrong, but sells pills that only perpetuate the cycles. Candida overgrowth primarily causes extra-intestinal problems and contributes to intestinal imbalances.

    #18 Joanne
    I’m not sure of the exact mechanism behind Dr. Simoncini’s success with the use of bicarbonate of soda in treating fungal “cancers”. It may be due to disruption of certain mechanisms within the candida cell wall or from disruption in the flow of substances across the cell wall membrane via the sodium-potassium pump. I would guess that it’s the latter. If so, it’s related to amounts of sodium present and their direct application which would be different than an environmental pH that is predominantly alkaline. If anyone can refer me to more detailed information on amounts and procedures, I would appreciate it.

  22. TRS says:

    Wow, this is all so complicated. I just want the easy, straightforward, doable answer. I don’t completely understand why there is so much disagreement about nutritional topics such as candida. I guess because everyone is different…?

    So, I was listening and reading and hopefully I didn’t skip it but how do you test for candida reliably? What specialist is best to seek out? I’ve been trying for so long to do Body Ecology and eat raw superfoods. I mean I eat them but then I eat other stuff that probably makes them less effective.

    Unfortunately I don’t have $600 right now to spend on this program, or the energy to figure it all out. Maybe in the future I can do that. I do feel better when I have fermented foods, personally. I don’t have a scientific explanation but I do feel better.

  23. Ross says:

    Hi Kevin & Dr McComb: thanks for great sessions on this clever organism. No wonder I am battling it after heaving heavy-duty antibiotics 2 years ago for a recurrent ear infection.

    How do I create and maintain slightly acidic intestinal tract? ie to keep C.albicans in its yeast form.

    Presently first thing in the morning * drink a glass of water with 2 teaspoons of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar & a glass of lemon water plus cutting out all obvious sugars at present.



  24. @Dr. Jim
    Regarding Dr. Simoncini; all the information you need is here on his site:
    Another article about cancer and candida as a fungus:
    Hope those answer (some of) your questions! Thank you for your information, there’s too much disinformation out there! =)

  25. Oops, sorry, that should have read;
    @Dr. Jeff (& Kevin)

  26. Great information…there is so much out there! I was diagnosed in April with Candida via a Chiropractic Physician after jumping from doctor to doctor who utilized blood testing and the muscle testing. I had been treated in Jan & Feb of 2012 for severe ear infections with large quantities of Antibiotics and Prednisone which made me feel wretched to say the least. Once the ear infections cleared up I had so many symptoms I jumped from doctor to doctor with no real answers and feeling like I has some horrible scary untreatable illness or death sentence!

    I finally decided to seek less conventional treatment even though I was skeptical being from a former pharmaceutical sales background and I gotta tell you, the chiropractor helped me more than all of the ten doctors combined. I had been to walk-in-clinics, my primary doc, ear nose and throat , emergency room and allergist to name a few.

    I’ll be the first to tell you we need doctors as well as chiropractors in this world but I do believe that our conventional way of treating patients is a thing of the past. Both Holistic and Modern Medicine should be combined as a way of treatment and a way of promoting good health but also to prevent problems such as Candida overgrowth. My husband and I have spent thousands of dollars trying to beat this critter with all types of approches and am still hanging on for dear LIFE!!! : o ) WHEW, this is a tough thing to beat. I am committed to getting well and helping others from my experience. Again, great information, thanks, see you both tommorow!

    P.S. Forget Titles! We all need to be conscious of what we put in our bodies and what we tell people to put in their bodies.

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