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Yeast Overgrowth 101

What is candida?

Several species of fungi (including candida) are native to healthy gut and vaginal microbiomes. However, dysbiosis in these microbial ecosystems allows certain yeast to overgrow—like weeds overtaking a garden.

Candida albicans is a common opportunistic yeast that causes vaginal infections, oral thrush, and gut issues.

It grows a biofilm complex and root-like hyphae that can penetrate through the intestinal wall, which increases gut permeability (a.k.a "leaky gut"), releases fungal metabolites into the bloodstream, and causes systemic inflammation.

What Contributes to Overgrowth?

Yeast overgrowth results from a diet high in sugar & refined carbs, impaired upper digestion, repeated antibiotic use, alcohol consumption, estrogen dominance, chronic stress, or a compromised immune system.

Candida infection also closely correlates with Celiac disease because the proteins in gluten are very similar to those found in the cell wall of candida. The immune antibody response to candida is almost identical to the gut-damaging autoimmune reaction triggered by gluten.

Support Microbial Balance


starve this sugar-loving yeast by minimizing high-sugar fruits, added sweeteners, & refined grains


Lactobacillus bacteria compete with candida (found in fermented foods and probiotics like L. casei Shirota, L. acidophilus La5, L. acidophilus GG)


candida detox protocols typically involve a combination of anti-fungals (garlic, oregano, thyme, pau d'arco, caprylic acid), biofilm breakers (ACV, garlic, NAC), & binders (activated charcoal, chlorella)

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Aaron, L., & Torsten, M. (2020). Candida albicans in celiac disease: A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Autoimmunity Reviews, 19(9).

Aminzadeh, A., Sabeti Sanat, A., & Nik Akhtar, S. (2016). Frequency of Candidiasis and Colonization of Candida albicans in Relation to Oral Contraceptive Pills. Iranian Red Crescent medical journal, 18(10), e38909.

Anti-Candida Food Plan. Institute of Functional Medicine. Retrieved from:

Atiencia-Carrera, M. B., Cabezas-Mera, F. S., Tejera, E., & Machado, A. (2022). Prevalence of biofilms in Candida spp. bloodstream infections: A meta-analysis. PloS One, 17(2), e0263522.

Jawhara, S. (2022). How Gut Bacterial Dysbiosis Can Promote Candida albicans Overgrowth during Colonic Inflammation. Microorganisms, 10(5), 1014.

Hilton, E., Isenberg, H. D., Alperstein, P., France, K., & Borenstein, M. T. (1992). Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis. Annals of internal medicine, 116(5), 353–357.

Manzoni, P., Mostert, M., Leonessa, M. L., Priolo, C., Farina, D., Monetti, C., Latino, M. A., & Gomirato, G. (2006). Oral supplementation with Lactobacillus casei subspecies rhamnosus prevents enteric colonization by Candida species in preterm neonates: a randomized study. Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 42(12), 1735–1742.

Otašević, S., Momčilović, S., Petrović, M., Radulović, O., Stojanović, N. M., & Arsić-Arsenijević, V. (2018). The dietary modification and treatment of intestinal Candida overgrowth - a pilot study. Journal de mycologie medicale, 28(4), 623–627.

Paniágua, A. L., Correia, A. F., Pereira, L. C., de Alencar, B. M., Silva, F. B. A., Almeida, R. M., & de Medeiros Nóbrega, Y. K. (2021). Inhibitory effects of Lactobacillus casei Shirota against both Candida auris and Candida spp. isolates that cause vulvovaginal candidiasis and are resistant to antifungals. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 21(1), 237.

The Anti-Candida Diet: 11 Simple Rules to Follow. The Candida Diet. Retrieved from:

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