The term Candida refers to a fungus which can cause certain types of infection in the human body. Here is a look at the causes and symptoms of a Candida infection, accompanied by summations of several natural supplements that can help prevent and/or treat Candida.
What Is a Candida Infection?
A Candida infection, also known as candidiasis, is a fungal infection that can occur in various places in the body. The most common type of Candida infection is a vaginal yeast infection. However, both men and women can experience a Candida infection.
Some might be surprised to find out that the Candida fungus lives in the body full-time. However, a Candida infection occurs when the amount of Candida in the body has grown to such excess that the body's microbiome is thrown off-balance, and symptoms occur. Candidiasis, then, is an overgrowth of the Candida fungus.
There are three primary types of Candida infections. Vaginal yeast infections are the most common, and occur in about 75% of women at some point in their lifetime. Next is thrush, which is a Candida infection in the mouth and throat; This is most common in children, older adults who have dentures, and people with weak immune systems. The third type is invasive candidiasis, which is a severe Candida infection of the entire body. The second part of this blog addresses the first two types only.
There are typical symptoms common to the different types of Candida infection. These include itching, blisters, white patches on the skin, rash, pain, and vaginal discharge during a yeast infection. Over-the-counter medications are commonly prescribed for Candida infections.
Natural Supplements for Candida Infections
Certain natural supplements, including herbs and other compounds, can be used to prevent and/or treat a Candida infection. These are separate from OTC meds offered at your local pharmacy, but they can be just as effective, if not more so. These supplements are potentially useful for thrush and/or vaginal yeast infections.
Caprylic acid is a naturally-occurring fatty acid. Caprylic acid has potent anti-fungal properties that are comparable to prescription medications. It has been shown to invade and help destroy Candida albicans cells from the inside. This effect of taking caprylic acid can contribute directly to a reduction of symptoms of a yeast infection. This makes caprylic acid one of the natural substances that can best target an overgrowth of Candida.
Turmeric is a powerful spice that has potent anti-fungal properties (in addition to a host of other benefits). This is because of its active ingredient, curcumin. Its effects are strong enough that it has been shown to halt the growth of Candida albicans in the body.
Oregano oil is another potent, plant-based anti-fungal substance. The phenols contained in oregano oil have been shown in some studies to halt the growth of Candida albicans. One study concluded that oregano oil is more effective than clotrimazole, a prescription antifungal medication, at damaging the Candida cells in vaginal yeast infections.
Berberine is an herb that is known for both its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Berberine works in the body by activating an enzyme known as AMPK, which bolsters the immune system's ability to fight disease. It is most effective when taken alongside other antifungal substances.
Betaine hydrochloride (HCL) is a compound that supports hydrochloric acid, which is a primary substance in stomach acid. Betaine HCL can be very helpful for individuals with low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) and who have an overgrowth of Candida. Betaine HCL bolsters the amount and efficiency of hydrochloric acid. This acid is an important part of the immune system in that it combats foreign microorganisms.
If you or a family member experience a yeast infection, or the similar condition known as thrush, then consider these supplements described above. Their antifungal potency could make a huge impact on a Candida infection. It is recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider before trying any of these supplements.