Candida albicans is a form of yeast found in various sites of the human body, including the gastrointestinal tract, skin, mouth, vagina, and rectum.
Usually, its growth is kept in check by the good bacteria in your body. But if Candida overgrows, it can cause an infection known as Candidiasis — the most common cause of fungal infections in humans.
Certain strains of probiotics may help control Candida overgrowth. These include:
Below we dive into the science and research behind both Candida and strains that help address the symptoms of a Candida overgrowth.
Best Probiotics for Candida
Probiotics have been shown to prevent and treat Candida overgrowth. But it’s important to know which strains are the most effective for treating Candida so that you can find the right supplement.
Here is a list of good probiotics for Candida.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
This probiotic strain has been found to prevent or minimize the growth, adhesion, and morphogenesis of Candida (Allonsius et al., 2017)
Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii)
This beneficial yeast is believed to reduce the risk of Candida translocating from the digestive tract to other areas and inhibits its growth in the intestines by inducing caprylic acid, an antifungal substance. (Gabrielli, 2018)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14
These strains have evidence for use with both Candida albicans and Candida glabrata and are best used in combination. (Martinez et al., 2009) (Kohler et al., 2012)
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM has been shown to stimulate antibodies to Candida albicans antigens. (Wagner et al., 2000)
Frequently Asked Questions
Will probiotics kill candida?
Probiotics may help to suppress Candida, but you do not want the yeast to die too quickly. When this happens, you'll have a large amount of yeast toxins flooding your bloodstream. This can cause your existing symptoms to worsen. You can prevent Candida die off by taking probiotics in a safe, regular dose.
What is the recommended dose of probiotics for candida?
Typically, you should take a probiotic supplement which contains at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) daily. You should begin to notice improvement within 7-10 days. If you notice bloating or upset stomach after taking probiotics, reduce the dose slightly.
How long should I take probiotics to treat candida?
It can take up to two months to completely eradicate candida with probiotics.
What causes Candidiasis?
Candida overgrowth typically occurs when the body’s level of beneficial bacteria is disrupted, or the immune system is compromised. Factors which can lead to candidiasis include:
- Medications including corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, and antibiotics
- Dietary factors such as alcohol, refined sugar, nutrient-poor foods
- Having a compromised immune system
- Excessive stress
- Medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes
Health Issues Associated with Candida Overgrowth
Candida overgrowth can lead to serious health problems, many of which can be prevented using probiotics. These health issues include:
Oral thrush is a condition caused by the overgrowth of Candida in the mouth. Those susceptible include older adults, infants, and individuals with a weakened immune system. In severe cases, thrush can spread to the esophagus, where it can cause difficulty swallowing.
When an overgrowth of Candida occurs in the vagina, it can cause a yeast infection. Around 75% of women experience a vaginal yeast infection at some point during their lifetime. Yeast infection symptoms include itching and redness of the vulva and vaginal soreness.
The balance of beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria plays a crucial role in your digestive health and your general health. If you develop an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, this can have a negative impact on your digestive processes. It can prevent optimal absorption of nutrients and lead to stomach cramps, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. Candida has recently been associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Chronic Sinus Infection
Your sinus infection could be more serious than you think if it has been lingering for more than a month. The culprit could be Candida. Common symptoms of chronic sinus infection include fever, nasal congestion, tenderness around the eyes, toothache, and runny nose. When a chronic sinus infection is due to Candida, it cannot be treated with antibiotics but will require treatment with an anti-fungal application.
It seldom happens, but if Candida should enter your bloodstream, it can result in severe joint pain. This condition is known as candida arthritis and can cause stiffness, inflammation, and pain in the knee and hip joints. Typically, this only happens if your overgrowth of Candida is not treated in good time. Treatment can be complicated.
What are Probiotics?
Trillions of bacteria reside in the human gastrointestinal tract. While some species are pathogens, most of them are beneficial (commensal) and help with many different biological processes.
You have bacteria living in your intestines from birth. By the time you are an adult, your gastrointestinal tract will contain several trillion of the friendly, which can weigh several pounds.
Probiotics occur in fermented food products such as yogurt, miso, tempeh, and some soy drinks. Some health foods also have probiotics which have been added during preparation. Probiotics are also available in capsule form as a daily supplement.