Candida overgrowth involves an imbalance of bacteria and yeast in your body, but prebiotics and probiotics may help to reverse and prevent this. Here’s how this can help you manage Candida overgrowth.
Candida albicans is a type of yeast, or fungus, that grows naturally in the body. Unfortunately, though, C. albicans can sometimes grow out of control and start causing health problems. Overgrowth of C. albicans in the mouth and nose causes a condition called thrush, which is fairly common in children, while overgrowth in the genital areas (especially in women) causes yeast infections.
However, C. albicans can also grow out of control in your digestive tract and other areas of your body, leading to some health complications. This is known as “Candida overgrowth.”
Fortunately, prebiotics and probiotics offer promise in managing Candida overgrowth by helping to rebalance the ratios of bacteria, yeast, and fungi in the digestive tract.
This article reviews what prebiotics and probiotics are, how they can help with Candida overgrowth, and how to add them to your diet.
What are prebiotics and probiotics?
Prebiotics and probiotics have grown in popularity in recent years, but you may still be curious about what they are. Both of them work to improve your gut health, which can affect not only your digestion but also your overall health—including brain function, immune health, hormonal balance, and more.
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that can take up residence in your digestive tract after they’re consumed.
Billions of these bacteria already live in your gut, but due to several factors—including Candida overgrowth—the ratios of these bacteria can become unbalanced, with one or two strains “crowding out” the other types of bacteria. This can lead to digestive issues like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea and may eventually affect your overall health as well.
Probiotics, however, can help rebalance the levels of bacteria in the gut by encouraging further growth of healthy and beneficial strains of bacteria.
On the other hand, prebiotics serve as food sources for the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. Fiber, the part of plant foods that’s indigestible for humans, is considered a prebiotic. The bacteria in your gut can partially digest fiber, which is part of the reason why fiber intake is so important for overall health. Prebiotic fiber allows healthy and beneficial strains of bacteria to continue to colonize, grow, and flourish in your digestive tract.
In combination, prebiotics and probiotics can reinforce the healthy bacteria in your gut, helping them grow and overtake the harmful overgrowth of C. albicans and return it to a healthy level.
How to add prebiotics and probiotics to your diet
Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods and drinks like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Prebiotic fiber can be found in any natural fiber-containing foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Alternatively, you can also choose probiotic supplements, prebiotic supplements, or combination supplements that contain both. For instance, Medlixr’s Candida Balance contains live probiotic Bacillus coagulans cultures. In addition, it contains powdered Reishi mushroom, which—along with its many
other benefits—can serve as a prebiotic food source for healthy bacteria.