Product Highlight: Thorne's Undecylenic Acid (formerly Formula SF722)
Flora, flora, flora. Many studies (as well as our own articles) have shown that maintaining a healthy and balanced intestinal flora is one of the key components of overall well-being. Building on this idea, many healthcare practitioners have now begun to examine the correlations between gut and vaginal flora. Basically, a healthy balance of gut flora has the same corresponding benefits as vaginal flora.
Now, you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Thorne? Well, Thorne’s Undecylenic Acid (formerly Formula SF722) is a fatty acid dietary supplement that supports a healthy balance of both gastrointestinal and vaginal flora. Whether you're curious about how this product works, information on side effects and dosage, or the role that gastrointestinal and vaginal flora play in your overall health, you’ve come to the right place.
Why are gut and vaginal flora so important?
In referring to flora, also known as microbiota, what we are really talking about is the community of microbial cells found in various parts of the body. These are cells that are NOT human cells, but rather, other life forms that live inside of your and on your skin. Altogether, these cells promote your health and well-being. The term “gut flora” or “gut microbiota” is referring to the various microbes that live in your intestines. These microbes are super helpful in that they act as a shield against invasive pathogens that could potentially harm your body via the skin, oral cavity, digestive tract, and vagina. Even more, they play a role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from food, regulate and protect against inflammation, and promote a well-functioning immune system.
In women, vaginal microbiota are vital in the protection against various UTIs (urinary tract infections). In fact, the state of both gut and vaginal flora impacts the introduction and recurrence of UTIs. This is because pathogens have the capability of moving from the vagina to your bladder and, sometimes, your kidneys. Maintaining a healthy balance of both of these areas of microbes is vital in fighting against and preventing such infections.
Gut and vaginal microbiota are also significant to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is mainly based on the idea that the close link between flora and human health begins at the very first moments of human life. According to the Bioscience Institute, the endocrine, metabolic, and immune changes taking place during pregnancy are associated with significant gut, vaginal, and oral microbiota variations. These fluctuations can cause a woman to become more susceptible to invasive pathogens during this vulnerable period in a her life. Hence, the need to stabilize both gut and vaginal flora increases.
The only question is, how can this be done?
How does Undecylenic Acid work?
We already established that Thorne’s Undecylenic Acid aims to fortify and promote healthy vaginal and gut flora. We also just learned exactly how important these two microbiomes are. This may leave you wondering, how does Thorne’s product accomplish this?
The main ingredient is undecylenic acid. This acid is extremely potent - six times more effective than caprylic acid. It has been traditionally used in antifungal medication and is known for preventing the growth of fungus. However, when taken via capsule and introduced among other quality and sustainably-sourced ingredients, undecylenic acid can aid in the optimal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. This is vital to nutrient absorption, nutrient synthesis, production of short-chain fatty acids for colon health, elimination of waste, and proper immune function.
Because of this, Thorne’s Undecylenic Acid has been known to help individuals reap the rewards of a well-functioning digestive system, especially those prone to gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, or other distress after eating.
Undecylenic Acid has also been known to alleviate symptoms associated with systemic Candida - a spectrum of yeast infections caused by different types of Candida. This condition is the most common fungal infection of hospitalized patients in the United States. Some of its symptoms include a fever and chills that do not improve with antibiotics and septic shock. Check out the next section below (Does this product have any side effects?) to read a consumer’s review of Thorne Undecylenic Acid (formerly Formula SF722) in response to systemic Candida also known as candidiasis.
Thorne’s supplements are also carefully tested and perfected. Each product must go through four rounds of testing before being introduced to the consumer. They conduct these tests within two state-of-the-art in-house laboratories that allow them to test raw materials, in-process batches, and finish and ensure product stability.
Does this product have any side effects?
There are no known adverse interactions or contraindications related to this product at the publication date of this article. However, Thorne discourages using this product if you are nursing, pregnant, or trying to conceive. As always, be cautious of taking this supplement if you have a history of hypersensitivity to any of Undecylenic Acid’s ingredients. Lastly, this product should be used with caution by an individual with a history of a peptic or duodenal ulcer.
Thankfully, Undecylenic Acid is dairy free, gluten free, soy free, and derived from natural colors and flavors, so consumers with any of these dietary concerns should still be able to use this product.
Here’s what a customer has to say about their own experience with this dietary supplement:
“I was diagnosed with systemic Candida after 2 decades of eating mostly fast food and having no idea what gut flora was or how it affects your health.
I was given an anti-fungal prescription by my doctor, but the Rx was also poisoned by my liver when taken at dosages high enough to kill my overgrowth. I spent hours and hours reading about what to eat and what supplements kill Candida but weren't harmful to my body.
In about 3-4 days, I could feel a difference. My energy levels started to come back, my strength started to come back, my short term memory even improved. The brain fog I had suffered for months was leaving and after 3-4 weeks, belly fat started disappearing. My uncharacteristic depression that had taken hold of me on and off as a result of my systemic Candida was gone. I also had shortness of breath from the lining of Candida in my lungs and that, too, is gone.”
What is the recommended dosage?
The recommended dose of Undecylenic Acid is five gel caps. Divide the gel caps into 2-3 doses to be taken throughout the day. At first glance this seems like a pretty heavy dosage for someone who is just beginning to use this product. When changing the microbiome, slow and steady is a great approach. Start slowly with 1 capsule 3x per day and build to 3 capsules 3x per day. Undecylenic Acid can cause a die-off or herxheimer reaction as candida yeasts are killed in the intestines.
Whether you are dealing with an overgrowth of candida yeast or other pathogens, it is important to eat a low sugar and low carbohydrate diet. The helpful organisms (probiotics) in your microbiome need fiber, while the bad biotics thrive on alcohol, sugar, and junk carbohydrates.
Your microbiome influences your overall health more than you know. The Microbiome Project continues to discover more and more ways that your flora affects everything from your mood to your digestion. Thorne’s Undecylenic Acid works to promote this flora and alleviate various fungal infections. It is a unique and helpful tool in balancing your microbiome, especially if you have been eating a SAD (Standard American Diet) for some time. Please feel free to check out some of our other blogs on ways to improve your wellbeing or click here to purchase Thorne’s Undecylenic Acid.