Sufferers of Candida Related Complex take a wide range of supplements to help with their treatment, and we often get emails from readers asking about specific vitamins or herbal remedies. One particularly common question is, “Why does this supplement contain alcohol?”
As you know, alcohol is one of the major foods to stay away from on the diet. There are at least 7 different ways in which alcohol can worsen a Candida overgrowth. The most important of these are a weakened immune system and destabilized blood sugars. So is it a contradiction that many Candida supplements contain alcohol?
If you have a supplement that contains alcohol, you probably don’t need to worry. Generally, the amounts of alcohol used in the formulation are tiny, and the beneficial effect of the herbs in the treatment will usually outweigh the small chance of the alcohol affecting your digestive system.
Alcohol is used primarily as a solvent in herbal supplements. Natural herbs can contain tremendously powerful compounds, but how do you access them? Manufacturers usually want to isolated the beneficial compounds, as these tend to be much more potent than eating the whole plant. Using alcohol as a solvent allows manufacturers to safely extract the beneficial compounds from the herb, without using more toxic solvents.
Alcohol is also used as a preservative in many supplements. You will often see alcohol or ethanol listed on the ingredients labels for herbal medicine. However, the amount of ethanol is usually very small. In fact, when you take the recommended dosage of those medicines, the amount of alcohol that you are consuming is probably tiny. The beneficial effects of the medicine itself will far outweigh it.
For lots more information on how to choose effective, non-toxic supplements for your Candida treatment plan, take a look at the Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program that I co-wrote with Dr. Eric Wood. It contains a hug amount of information on diagnosing and treating Candida Related Complex.