With so many people suffering from candida infections every year, there is tons of advice online about what to do and what not to do when it comes to curing them. Unfortunately, a lot of that advice is contradictory, especially when it comes to probiotics and kombucha.
To be safe, people infected with candida should avoid drinking kombucha. Kombucha may worsen candida because the sugar and prebiotics in it provide food to the unhealthy candida bacteria infection, making it grow larger and faster. Kombucha can however, be used to prevent future candida as it supplies the body with probiotics which help keep candida growth in check.
The topic of kombucha and candida is a complicated one. Let’s dive into the intricacies of it in order to get you all the information you need to get rid of candida as quickly as possible, without making it worse
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a probiotic drink made from fermented tea that has become quite popular in recent years due to its great taste and many health benefits such as improved digestion and gut health, detoxification, and immune system strengthening.
What is Candida?
Candida or Candidiasis is a fungal infection that is caused by a yeast called candida. A small amount of candida is always in our bodies, and normally the healthy bacteria in our body keep the candida that lives in the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina under control. But if our body doesn't have enough healthy bacteria at the moment, candida can grow out of control, causing an infection.
What Can Cause Candida Infection
There are a few things that can increase your risk of getting candida.
A high carb, high sugar diet (lots of sugar means more food for candida yeast)
Increased estrogen levels
Anything that can harm your immune system such as excessive alcohol consumption or chronic stress
Antibiotics (can kill healthy bacteria that fights against candida)
Symptoms of Candida
According to Healthline.com, common symptoms of a candida infection are:
Oral thrush (white bumpy lesions and soreness of mouth, tongue, and cheeks)
Can Kombucha Cure Candida?
How Kombucha Can Help Fight Candida
Kombucha is known for being full of beneficial bacteria and yeast, AKA "probiotics." It turns out that these probiotics are part of your bodies natural defense against candida. Studies have found that probiotics protect against candida infections by competing with them for food and space.
Since a bottle of kombucha can have over 4 million probiotics in it, it would make sense to think that we should drink kombucha to help fight a candida infection. Unfortunately, things are not so simple.
How Kombucha Can Make Candida Worse
Although the probiotics in kombucha do help fight against candida infection. Most kombucha also has sugar and prebiotics in it, which can make it worse.
Bacteria and yeast use both sugar and prebiotics as food. This means that by drinking kombucha we are not only getting probiotics into our body that we didn't have before, but we are also feeding the bacteria that are already in our gut and mouth.
The reason that this is a problem is because during a candida infection, we don't have as many beneficial bacteria in our body as usual. So most of the sugar and prebiotics are being used as food by the bad bacteria in our body, such as candida.
So if you do have a candida infection, drinking kombucha which has sugar and prebiotics in it is only adding fuel to the fire.
So Does Kombucha Help Candida?
You can see from the information above why there are a lot of conflicting answers on the internet when it comes to kombucha and candida. On one hand the probiotics in kombucha do help fight candida infection by competing with it for food and space. But on the other hand the sugar and prebiotics in it give the infection food that only makes it grow faster.
To be safe, I would recommend avoiding kombucha during an infection of candida, since the last thing you want to do is make the infection worse. I do however, recommend you use kombucha before and after candida to keep your gut supplied with healthy bacteria in order to prevent future infections.
Other Foods to Avoid During Candida Infection
Any Unnecessary Sugar
As I said earlier, sugar is the primary fuel for yeast. So it would make sense that during a Candida or yeast infection, we wouldn't want to be eating a lot of sugar.
The truth is that the studies on how a low sugar diet fights candida infection are not super conclusive. But even if a low sugar diet doesn’t fight candida infection, I still recommend you avoid eating extra sugar during a candida infection.
Best case scenario the candida goes away super quickly and easily, and worst case is you eat less sugar for a short period of time, which will have a great effect on your health, regardless of whether or not it helps cure the candida.
Other Fermented Foods
A lot of fermented foods are filled with sugar and prebiotics just like kombucha. So if you’re suffering from a candida infection, I would avoid fermented foods such as beer, champagne, wine (I know, candida is no fun), vinegar, yogurt, and sauerkraut to avoid feeding the infection and making it worse.
Foods that can Help a Candida Infection
Coconut oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that have been shown to kill candida yeast, and unlike a lot of other anti-fungal treatments, coconut oil doesn't lead to the development of more resistant strains of candida.
Garlic has a lot of anti-fungal properties. One study gave garlic to mice with candida, and it helped them fight the infection, more than doubling their average survival time.
The jury is still out on whether or not garlic effectively fights candida in humans, but adding some to your diet isn't going to hurt anything.
According to Dr. Amy Myers, "Cloves naturally contain eugenol, a powerful essential oil. Eugenol is an extremely effective anti-fungal when taken internally. It almost completely inhibits the growth of Candida cells."
Ginger fights inflammation and also has some anti-fungal properties.
The oil in lemon has some mild anti-fungal properties, but its main role in fighting candida is supporting your liver as it detoxifies your body.
If you want to learn more about what and what not to eat during a candida infection, you can check out Healthline.com's article on the candida diet here.
Although probiotics can be used to treat candida, I wouldn’t recommend using kombucha to get those probiotics since it is also full of sugar and prebiotics, which can make candida worse.
I do however, believe that when not infected with candida, kombucha can be a great way to supply your gut with a healthy defense of good bacteria to prevent future candida infections.
If you want to learn more about kombucha, how it relates to your health, and even how to brew it yourself, be sure to check out the rest of my website!