Antifungal resistance is a growing problem with Candida and infections can resist antifungal drugs, making them difficult to treat. However, natural extracts are promising antimicrobial potentials in the treatment and prevention of various diseases, thanks to their high biocompatibility, low toxicity and broad therapeutic effects. Meanwhile, Candida fungi spp. have the ability to form biofilms on mucous surfaces and epithelial cells as well as in devices implanted in the body, such as catheters and dentures, which are believed to be the basis of the most recalcitrant infections. Due to an even greater resistance of C. spp biofilms. to traditional drugs and the side effects observed with the use of antifungaldrugs, we seek new therapeutic alternatives in which essential oils are being widely investigated and according to the results demonstrated, these are gaining great importance in the context of Candida spp.
Candida spp. and Biofilm
It consists of one of the species of Candida, fungi capable of colonizing the skin, mouth and gastrointestinal system of healthy people, however, also present high pathogenic potential because they are opportunistic microorganisms that may culminate in the development of dermal infections or superficial mucous membranes, such as vulvovaginal candidiasis (CvV), oral candidiasis and candidemia in cases of immunodepressed individuals.
In this context, C. spp. are able to form biofilms, a matrix structure in which microorganisms bind to each other and the biotic or abiotic surface that makes them more resistant to antibiotics and chemicals making them an important virulence factor, since it protects yeast from the host’s immune system response and antifungal agents. These can occur on mucosal surfaces and epithelial cells, as well as on devices implanted in the body, such as catheters and dentures. In addition, the literature demonstrates that the formation of biofilm on the surfaces of mucous membranes is responsible for causing pseudomembranous candidiasis or when located in the natural flora of the vagina, reach high pathogenic potential and, consequently, become responsible for recurrent infections.
Essential oils are natural compounds extracted from aromatic plants and used as natural preservatives or food additives. However, some of these essential oils present antimicrobial activity through mechanisms such as damage to the cell wall or cell membrane and cell lysis, followed by leakage of cellular content.
The Most Talked About: Oregano Oil
Oregano is a plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family, with a large number of species worldwide. It is widely used as an additive in the food industry due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, as well as its antioxidant character. Thus, it has the ability to inhibit biofilm aforeption and the proliferation of C. spp. and mature biofilms. In addition, oregano oil proved effective against double biofilms of Candida albicans and Staphyloccocus aureus at different concentrations.
Although the spotlight is mainly under oregano oil, the nutritionist in clinical practice has in his favor seven essential oils for the management of biofilms as well as fungal syndrome (SIFO). They are the essential oil of lavender (Lavandula officinalis), sage (Salvia officinalis), oregano (O. onites), lemon (Citrus limonum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), basil (Ocimum basili) and peppermint (Mentha piterita).
Since antifungal resistance is a growing problem with Candida and infections can resist antifungal drugs, making them difficult to treat. Natural extracts are promising antimicrobial potentials in the treatment and prevention of various diseases, thanks to their high biocompatibility, low toxicity and broad therapeutic effects. Essential oils are known for their antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, anticancer and immune system modulating activities.
Fungal Dysbiosis: What Do You Need to Know?
Watch the video on the Science Play platform with Nutritionist Karina Al Assal –
It’s Time to Look At the Microbiota: The Importance of Fungi
Article: Essential oils and candida: Hacioglu M, Oyardi O, Kirinti A. Oregano essential oil inhibits
spp. biofilms. Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. 2021 Apr 29;76(11-12):443-450. doi: 10.1515/znc-2021-0002. PMID: 33915040.