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Cultures for GI Health

The best probiotics for
candida overgrowth

As part of an integrated treatment protocol, probiotics can be an effective tool against Candida overgrowth. In this article, we will explore how to select the best probiotics for Candida overgrowth.

Candida is a family of yeasts that live in the human mouth, throat, skin, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive system. As part of a healthy microbiome, candida is maintained in its optimal balance.

However, when the immune system is weakened because of nutritional deficiencies, exposure to toxins, stress, or overuse of pharmaceuticals, candida can multiply and become a powerful toxin in the human body.

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Healthcare facilities in several countries have reported that a type of yeast called Candida auris has been causing severe illness in hospitalized patients. In some patients, this yeast can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, causing serious invasive infections. This yeast often does not respond to commonly used antifungal drugs, making infections difficult to treat.


– The Centers for Disease Control


Candida is a highly opportunistic microbe that uses any weakness in the immune system to crowd out other species making it very difficult to contain once it spreads. Successfully treating candida overgrowth is a balancing act. 

There is a new drug-resistant strain circulating named Candida auris

Specific strains

Not all bacterial strains are equally effective, so it is critical to select supplements that have a combination of the most effective probiotic strains.

Probiotics can Help

Probiotics have a demonstrated ability to prevent and treat Candida overgrowth. It is believed that the production of antifungal compounds, increased peristalsis, changes in intestinal pH, competition for nutrition, increased cell renewal and healing postbiotic outputs explain the effectiveness. However, selecting the best probiotics for Candida is a trial and error process, which requires diligence.

A List of

Conditions that promote Candida overgrowth

In healthy individuals, Candida yeast strains are contained by multiple beneficial bacteria strains. However, when microbiome balance is disrupted by antibiotics, other medicines, body chemistry changes, or excess sugar consumption (Candida’s favorite food), Candida strains are activated and become dominant in the body’s ecosystem.

In that form Candida becomes toxic and is capable of invading almost every major organ system and creating havoc.

Conditions that promote Candida
overgrowth include:


  • Long-term use of antibiotics
  • Frequent use of broad-spectrum antibiotics 
  • Infections that diminish the immune system, creating an imbalance in intestinal flora.
  • Poor diet
  • Stress or trauma
  • Birth control pill use and hormone replacement therapy
  • Overuse of Painkillers
  • Regular use of cortisone-type drugs
  • Stimulants and depressants 
  • Diabetes 
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating disorders 
  • Not being breast fed for the first six months
  • Aging
  • Vaccinations and immunizations
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Humid climates.

Common signs of Candida
overgrowth include:


  • Gas, bloating, heartburn and indigestion
  • Bowel irregularities, constipation or diarrhea
  • Food cravings especially for carbohydrates or sweets
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Menstrual problems and PMS
  • Dry, itchy skin or hives
  • Finger or toenail fungus
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Itching or redness in body creases
  • Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
  • Weight imbalances
  • Premature aging
  • Chemical sensitivity (especially colognes or fabric dye)
  • Allergies
  • Oral thrush
  • Chronic sinus infections
    And many more…

A List of

Symptoms of Candida

Candidiasis is the most commonly treated yeast infection but it is also one of the most difficult to manage. It manifests in a wide variety of clinical and subclinical symptoms.

Many of the symptoms are similar to other diseases, making the diagnosis of Candida more challenging.


A Multi-pronged Approach is Best

Probiotics can have the quickest impact on Candida when used in conjunction with other therapeutic modes including:

Dietary Changes

Changing your diet is also recommended to control Candida. Your diet should exclude fruit, sugar, and yeast. Especially at the beginning of the treatment, it is critical to be very disciplined. Adding supplemental fiber is also indicated to keep the “die-off” toxins moving through the digestive system.


Natural antifungal and antibacterial agents are garlic, olive leaf extract, oil of oregano, pau d’arco, uva ursi, goldenseal, caprylic acid, and citrus seed extract. 

When natural options do not suffice, antifungal prescription medications like Nystatin, Diflucan, and Nizoral can be indicated. These medications come with some potential side effects.


Fibers such as flaxseed powder and psyllium husk are also beneficial to keep the toxins moving out of the body.


Avoid antibiotics and cortisone, if possible, as these will inhibit the body’s own immune function.

As always with any medical condition, if you suspect you may have candida overgrowth please consult a licensed physician as soon as possible.

What is Candida Die-Off?

Candida in its invasive form is highly toxic to the human immune system. An active infection can cause a variety of symptoms. Not surprisingly, as these microorganisms start to perish there is a resurgence of symptoms known and the Herxhimer effect.

The Symptoms of Candida die-off include:

  • headache
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • cravings
  • congestion
  • gastric distress
  • fever
  • achy muscles
  • insomnia
  • anxiety and depression
  • rapid heart rate
  • skin rash
  • flushing
  • a mild drop in blood pressure

While these symptoms are uncomfortable, they are normally temporary and will dissipate with time.

Home remedies include:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help move the die-off out of the body
  • Get enough rest
  • Control itching with a soothing bath and keeping the skin moisturized
  • Lower a fever by keeping cool with compresses

Some of the medications used to treat fungi are strong and may cause allergic reactions.

If you experience face, neck or tongue swelling, these are signs of anaphylaxis and require immediate medical treatment.

Antifungals can also cause severe skin reactions with blistering and peeling.

Finally, rarely these drugs can cause liver damage and jaundice. If you notice a yellowing, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine or pale stools, contact your physician. 

Strains that Combat Candida Overgrowth


L. plantarum clings to the intestinal wall, protecting the gut mucosa which facilitates gut healing. It controls E. coli and Candida albicans. It is an excellent choice for anyone suffering from irritable bowel disease or colitis. L. plantarum is observed less in those who eat the standard Western diet filled with sugars and fats, so supplemental sources are important.


L. paracasei is commonly found in dairy products that boosts immunity and reduces allergies. This strain also has powerful antibacterial properties and can impede the growth of common pathogens including E. coli and Candida albicans.


L. acidophilus produces lactic acid as a byproduct of its metabolism. This helps to regulate acidity in your gut, boost your immune system, and prevent Candida albicans from switching to its fungal form (an alkaline environment prevents this).

It is perhaps the most well-known and well-researched of probiotic bacteria. L. acidophilus is one of the most effective agents in the battle against Candida and has been shown to significantly slow the rate at which the yeast grows.

additional beneficial strains

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

The short chain fatty acids L. Rhamnosus produces nourish the cell walls of the intestines, preventing the adhesion of toxic yeasts and bacteria. Additionally it supports the growth of other beneficial bacteria. (Allonsius et al., 2017)

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (boulardii)

This beneficial yeast, used in wine and bread making, is believed to prevent the colonization of candida. (Gabrielli, 2011)

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14

In combination, these strains interfere with candida growth. 

Managing Choices

Selecting The Right Probiotic

Generally speaking, the best probiotics for Candida overgrowth will be a multi-spectrum supplement. Try to find one that contains as many of the above strains as possible.

Other Ingredients

It is critical to ensure that the supplement selected does not have additional ingredients that interfere with your immune response while battling Candida. If you know you are allergic to any ingredient in the supplement it is best to move on to another more suitable one.

Enough CFUs

Rebalancing the intestinal flora from Candida overgrowth will require a higher potency probiotic, however, you will need to do this under medical supervision, as there are likely to be some uncomfortable side effects.

FAQs Candida

This is a selection of the most frequently asked questions about the best probiotics for Candida.

Candida symptoms are many, as indicated earlier.

You can identify candida overgrowth and monitor your treatment by having your doctor order some simple lab tests. Common diagnostic tests to determine the presence of candida and leaky gut include the following:

  • Candida Immune Complexes is a blood test that has been proven to be effective in the detection and monitoring of candida overgrowth (Candidiasis). 
  • Intestinal permeability testing for leaky gut syndrome 
  • Digestive stool analysis and culture.

These tests help health care practitioners detect candida overgrowth, measure your resistance levels and determine your digestive efficiency and the presence of leaky gut. Food allergy screening (including IgG), which exposes delayed or hidden food responses, gluten sensitivity screening, and immune profiles further refine the therapeutic program.

It is important to seek advice to determine the best probiotics and other protocols for Candida overgrowth.

Candida is very complex and creates havoc in the intestinal and vaginal flora. Sometimes the best way to combat it is by outsmarting it. The more imbalance that exists the greater the symptoms (as indicated above).

A detailed assessment of the microbiome is needed to select the best probiotics for Candida overgrowth.


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.

Typically, you should take a probiotic supplement which contains at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) 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.

It can take up to two months of potent probiotic supplementation to completely eradicate candida.


G. Samonis, M. E. Falagas, S. Lionakis, M. Ntaoukakis, D. P. Kofteridis, I. Ntalas, S. Maraki

Saccharomyces boulardii and Candida albicans experimental colonization of the murine gut

May 2011

Camille N. Allonsius, Marianne F. L. van den Broek,  Ilke De Boeck,  Shari Kiekens, Eline F. M. Oerlemans, Filip Kiekens,  Kenn Foubert, Dieter Vandenheuvel,  Paul Cos, Peter Delputte, and Sarah Lebeer

Interplay between Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Candida and the involvement of exopolysaccharides

Aug 3 2017

Peter G. Pappas, Carol A. Kauffman, David R. Andes, Cornelius J. Clancy, Kieren A. Marr, Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner, Annette C. Reboli, Mindy G. Schuster, Jose A. Vazquez, Thomas J. Walsh, Theoklis E. Zaoutis, Jack D. Sobel

Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Candidiasis: 2016 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America

Dec 15 2015

Claudia Spampinato and Darío Leonardi

Candida Infections, Causes, Targets, and Resistance Mechanisms: Traditional and Alternative Antifungal Agents

Jun 26 2013


The information on this website is NOT medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before making any changes please seek advice from a medical professional.

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