The success of antifungal drugs may have fed a myth. In some cases anti candida therapuetic agents such as Nystatin seem to work only in very high doses (10 to 100 times the usual dose). This has led to the speculation that it may be helping by some other mechanism than just that of eradicating the yeast micro organism possibly by blocking bowel permeability.
One thing is certain. There is virtually no correlation between candida in the stool sample and the existence of the "yeast syndrome". Indeed, Candida albicans is rarely identified in specimens. This is hardly surprising if we are looking for the wrong culprit.It is true that anti candida treatment can be highly effective in selected individuals, so clearly a genuine causal agent exists. But that doesn't prove that candida is to blame. Other possible flora incluce the yeasts of the genus saccharomyces (food yeasts), the bacteria torulopsis glabrata and, most fascinating of all, sarcina ventriculata. Historically, this latter is an important organism. In the old days, when surgeons operated in frock coasts and quite often smoked a cigar at the same time, occasionally they would literally blow up the patient! As the alcoholic gases generated by sarcina were released from the patient's stomach when cut open, the cigar would ignite the fumes and a fireball was the disastrous result.
These "on board breweries" are probably quite common. Dr Keith Eaton has postulated that so called "spontaneous combustion" may be due to this microbe. By that he means those numerous puzzling cases documented of human beings literally vanishing in a sheet of fire, for no apparent reason.
Just as candida isn't the only possible pathogen, so ordinary ethyl alcohol isn't the only potential product of fermentation. Many other products can result from the breakdown of sugars and starches, including short chain fatty acids, such as acetate, proprionate, succinate and butyrate, and other alcohols, such as iso propanol, butanol and 2, 3 butylene glycol. Testing for these substances is now available commercially in the UK, at Biolab UK (The Stone House, 9 Weymouth St, London W1N 3FF).
If the body's detoxification pathways are blocked due to a toxic overload, other unwanted metabolites are produced epoxides, aldehydes and even chloral hydrate, an ingredient of the classic "Mickey Finn". Typically, this chemical produces a tired and "spacy" feeling, and is one reasons these patients become intolerant of alcoholic drinks. These by products have other ill effects on the patient, since most are quite toxic.