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William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.
(also called monilia) is a fungus normally present in the mouth,
intestinal tract and vagina. Under certain conditions, it can
infect the surface of the skin or mucous membranes. Such infections
are usually minor, but but
serious and deeper infections can occur, in patients whose
resistance has been weakened by other illness. Systemic infection
(candidosis) is a very serious problem that can involve endocarditis,
septicemia, meningitis, and pyelonephritis. On the other hand,
"Candidiasis hypersensitivity (CH)" is an unrecognized
medical condition promoters have linked to real (e.g., AIDS, rheumatoid
arthritis, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, chronic fatigue
syndrome) and imagined conditions (e.g., "allergies,"
"hypoglycemia," amd "dental mercury poisoning").
The leading promoters of "candidiasis hypersensitivity"
are C. Orian Truss, MD, of Birmingham, Alabama, and William G.
Crook, MD, of Jackson, Tennessee. As their ideas became widely
publicized, the health-food industry began producing "anti-Candida"
One company, Nature's Way, even published
a "yeast test" in ads for its product Cantrol
that asked readers to self-diagnose a "yeast problem."
They were asked to check "yes" or "no" to
Take the Yeast Test
- Do you feel tired most of the time?
- Do you suffer from intestinal gas, abdominal bloating or
- Do you crave sugar, bread, beer or other alcoholic beverages?
- Are you bothered by constipation, diarrhea, or alternating
constipation and diarrhea?
- Do you suffer from mood swings or depression?
- Are you often irritable, easily angered, anxious or nervous?
- Do you have trouble thinking clearly, suffer occasional memory
losses, or have difficulty concentrating?
- Are you ever dizzy or lightheaded?
- Do you have muscle aches or stiffness with normal activity?
- Have you had a unexpected weight gain without a change in
- Are you bothered by itching or burning of the vagina or prostate
or a lost of sexual desire?
- Have you ever taken antibiotics?
- Are you currently or have you ever used birth control pills?
- Have you ever taken steroid drugs, such as cortisone?
If you answered 6 or more questions with a "yes,"
you may have a yeast problem. Read about how Cantrol can
In 1990 Nature's Way signed an FTC consent
agreement not to misrepresent in advertising any self-diagnostic
test concerning yeast conditions or to make any unsubstantiated
representation concerning any food or supplement's ability to
control yeast conditions. As a penalty, the company paid $30,000
to the National Institutes of Health for research in genuine candidiasis
Bogus "Candida" products are prescribed
by nonmedical practitioners (e.g., chiropractors, naturopaths,
"nutritionists") and maverick medical doctors who may
call themselves "clinical ecologists." The latter claim
that candidiasis is an underlying cause of "environmental
illness" -- an unrecognized medical condition that they postulate
Promoters say that 30% of Americans are
sufferers, but what passes as CH is generally indistinguishable
from common psychophysiologic disorders. Somatization explains
why many favor a diagnosis that permits them to blame factors
outside of themselves for their unhappy lives. Society's tendency
to stigmatize people with psychological problems encourages the
denial of psychiatric disorders. Stewart (Stewart, 1990*) found
that about 60% of sufferers are amenable to treatment, but the
others refuse to relinquish their diagnoses for self-serving reasons
. NCAHF advises consumers to avoid practitioners who promote
the notion of CH, and the purveyors anti-candida products. Misdiagnosis
can delay proper care, and improper prescriptions can expose patients
to unnecessary medical risks .
- FTC charges Nature's Way products ads for "Cantrol"
were false and unsubstantiated; company to pay $30,000 for medical
research, under consent agreement.
FTC News Notes, Jan 29, 1990.
- Stewart DE. Emotional disorders misdiagnosed
as: environmental illness, candidiasis, CFS. International Journal
of Mental Health 19:56-68, 1990.
- Haas A and others. The "Yeast Connection"
meets chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. New England Journal
of Medicine 314:854-855, 1986.
Other Resource Documents
- Allergic to life: psychological factors
in environmental illness (Simon) Am J Psychia 1990;147:901+
- Allergy-related quackery (Jarvis) NY
State J Med 1993;2:100+
- AMA Council on Scientific Affairs Report
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (Shafran) Am
J Med 1991:90:730+
- Candidiasis hypersensit syndrome; Amer
Acad Aller & Immunol position statement J Aller Clin Immunol
- Clinical ecology: science or delusion?
(Barrett) ACSH News & Views 11/87
- How bad science wins big judgments (Huber)
- Immunologic, psychologic factors in multiple
chemical sensitivity (Simon) Annals Int Med 1993;19:97+
- Junk science in the courtroom (Huber)
- Neurasthenia and chronic fatigue synd:
role of culture in diagnosis (Abbey) Am J Psychia 1991;148:1638+
- (Rea, William) Is the 20th Century making
you sick? (Whitley) D Magazine 8/90
- Randomized, double-blind trial of Nystatin
for candidiasis (Dismukes) New Engl J Med 1990;323:1717+
- Unproven allergies; an epidemic of nonsense
(Barrett) Nutrition Today Mar-Apr, 1989
- Wrongful death, treatment of paranoid
schizoph by 'clinical ecology' NY Jury Verdict Reporter
- On yeast infections and other female irriations
(Zamula) FDA Consumer Jul-Aug, 1985
- Yeast infections among patients w/chronic
fatigue (Renfro) Amer J Med 1989;86:165-8
- Barrett S. The Health Robbers.
Amherst, NY: Prometheus. 1993.
- Barrett, Jarvis, London, Kroger. Consumer
Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions. Brown & Benchmark,
1997 (A college textbook)
- Barrett & Herbert. The Vitamin
Pushers. Prometheus, 1994.
- Butler K. A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative
Medicine." Prometheus, 1992.
- Consumer's Reports Books Editors (Barrett)
Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds. Consumer's Union, 1990.
- Tyler V. The Honest Herbal, Haworth,
- Zwicky, Hafner, Barrett, Jarvis. Reader's
Guide to "Alternative" Health Methods. American
Medical Assoc., 1993.
© 1995 National Council Against Health
Fraud. With proper citation, this article may be reproduced for
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This article was posted
on September 19, 2001.