Candidiasis (in short, Candida) is a fungal infection caused by the outgrowth of naturally occurring yeasts. This fact raises questions about the safety of probiotic bacteria and yeast cells;
Can these microbes also grow excessively in the body and contribute to an irritating infection?
Fortunately, the answer is no, and probiotics actually have a reverse effect. Clinical studies show a strong but positive correlation between probiotics and Candidiasis.
Next, in the article, I have explained why probiotics do not aggravate Candida but, instead, have been proven beneficial against it.
So, keep reading to clear your concern about if your probiotic supplement would make you suffer from the infection or make it worse;
- Probiotics do not infect body walls or contribute to Candida.
- Friendly strains, however, can mitigate the symptoms by fighting and killing Candida germs.
- Multi-strain supplements containing both bacteria and yeast species like Biotics 8 or Probulin Total Care Immune are most effective against Candida.
Are Probiotics Bad for Candida?
Probiotics are not bad for Candida. Friendly bacteria do not aid the fungal growth or become infectious like Candida.
In contrast, they can prevent Candida growth and help treat infection by inhibiting pathogenic growth and killing the existing fungal colonies. (details given below)
Should You Take Probiotics With Candida? – 5 Reasons Why
Probiotics will help you get rid of fungal infections like Candidiasis in the following ways;
1. Probiotics Inhibit Formation of New Candida Colonies
Probiotic strains compete with Candida cells for food and space.
Candidiasis occurs when your gut microbiome is damaged (dysbiosis), and Candida yeast can utilize more food from your gut.
However, when you take enough probiotics through food and supplements, harmful yeast cells are deprived of food and habitat.
2. Probiotics Confine and Deactivate Candida Cells
Besides utilizing the resources, probiotics encounter pathogenic bacteria physically. They surround and confine the pathogenic yeast, reducing its ability to move, grow and cause an infection.
When 1 or a few cells are surrounded by probiotics, they are easily killed by anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory secretions of friendly bacteria.
3. Probiotics Don’t Let Candida Species Stick to the Lining
Another way probiotics reduce Candida growth is through the secretion of short-chain fatty acids. Candida strains can’t stick to or form colonies on the body tissues properly in the presence of these acidic metabolites.
Without anchoring support, the pathogenic yeasts keep floating in the intestine and are eventually expelled from the body with feces.
4. Friendly Bacteria Fight and Kill the Fungus
Probiotics secrete organic acids and anti-inflammatory substances, making survival difficult for the fungus.
Especially Lactobacillus secretions are a tough weapon against Candida, as this fungus can’t survive in acidic environments.
That is why L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilous, and L. reuteri. are often recommended with Candida medicines because they kill the existing fungi besides preventing the formation of new colonies.
5. They Will Reduce the Inflammation
Probiotic therapy is effective against Candida and other infections due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
They secrete protective compounds like inflammation-reducing cytokines to soothe the infected epithelium of the mouth, skin, or vagina. Resultantly, itching, pain, and burning sensation from Candida infection is reduced.
How Long To Take Probiotics For Candida?
Symptoms usually start to disappear in 3-4 weeks, but to be on the safe side, you should take probiotics for at least 2 months.
If you are concerned about how long probiotics can be used safely, the answer would be you can use them for life!
Long-term probiotic use is associated with no harmful events, but it will keep your gut healthy and restrict the C. albicans from multiplying excessively.
Can Too Many Probiotics Cause Candida?
No, taking too many probiotics cannot cause Candidiasis.
Probiotics have a strong safety profile, and it’s rare to overdose on these supplements as your gut can accommodate trillions of microbes.
Only in rare cases taking a high CFU probiotic supplement can cause side effects like GI distress, as I have explained in my article about overdosing on probiotics here.
However, even if you consume copious amounts of probiotics, you won’t get Candidiasis because it is only caused by Candida strains.
Other species like Lactobacillus or Saccharomyces can’t cause this infection and, in fact, play against the causative agent.
Anti-fungal and Probiotics Together – Is It a Safe Combination?
Probiotics and anti-fungal medicines can be safely taken together. They go hand in hand with treating fungal diseases like Candida.
The probiotic-antifungal combo is also proven beneficial in a research trial.
For instance, 55 women with vaginal Candidiasis took part in a controlled trial in Brazil.
In this study, one group was treated with anti-fungal medicines only, while the other group was also given a probiotic supplement containing L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri.
Infected tissues healed sooner in women supplemented with probiotic capsules.
Ladies sharing their experiences on Reddit also confirm the efficacy of these Lactobacillus strains in addition to anti-fungal ointments to keep vaginal Candida growth under check.
Best Probiotics For Candida
When looking for Candida probiotics, make sure that you choose a supplement with one of the following strains, as they have proven efficacy against the infection;
Saccharomyces boulardii Fight Candida Hand in Hand
According to the 2020 edition of the Journal of Fungi, taking yeast probiotics can help reduce Candida in several ways.
According to this study, Saccharomyces boulardii has defensive properties against fungal infections.
As Saccharomyces yeast cells are as big as the infecting fungal cells, they can fight the pathogen better than smaller bacterial strains and be the strongest candida killer.
That’s why yeast supplements like Optibac Saccharomyces boulardii are the best probiotics for fungal infections.
Lactobacillus Strains (L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilous, L. paracasei and L. reuteri) Make Environment Unsuitable for Candida
Lactic acid bacteria are the first choice of physicians against Candida because their acidic secretions make it harder for the infecting fungus to flourish.
- L. acidophilus is especially known for this acid-producing capacity. It is even named after this feature.
That’s why you will find it in every probiotic supplement formulated for vaginal health.
- L. paracasei inhibits colonization in Candida albicans, limiting the growth of fungus. This strain is especially useful for oral infection from Candida.
- Also, in the above section, I mentioned how L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri increase the efficacy of anti-fungal drugs to cure vaginal Candida.
Multi-strain Candida Probiotics Provide All-rounder Protection
Though supplements containing a single strain or species work well against Candida by reducing inflammation and enhancing immunity, products with multiple strains work best.
Journal of Food & Nutrition confirms that supplements with Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces strains are useful in curing oral, gastrointestinal, vaginal, urinary tract, skin, and blood Candidiasis.
Simply put, if you want to kill the infectious fungus in your body and keep it away forever, multi-strain supplements like Biotics 8 and Probulin Total Care Immune are the best probiotics for Candida and leaky gut.
How long does it take for probiotics to help Candida?
The time required to cure Candida with probiotics varies from person to person, depending upon their gut microbiota condition and the intensity of Candida outgrowth.
Nonetheless, most people experience significant relief in symptoms within 2-4 weeks with probiotic supplements.
Can probiotics aggravate Candida?
No, probiotics do not aggravate Candida.
In fact, the friendly bacteria play against the infecting yeast and help you avoid and cure Candidiasis.
Can prebiotics make Candida worse?
It is feared that prebiotics will also feed the harmful bacteria in addition to the friendly microbes, and microbial dysbiosis may worsen.
However, very limited scientific evidence is available to prove or disprove this fear, but a few pieces of research performed using the symbiotic mixtures report a better cure rate for Candida than using probiotics only.
Can probiotics reduce Candida?
Yes, probiotics can reduce candida outgrowth in the vagina, mouth, or on skin. Their efficacy is proven by science and user feedback.
For example, many people expressed in this Reddit thread how probiotics have helped them against different types of Candida infections.