Probiotics are possibly the most important part of your Candida treatment program. A good, natural probiotic, combined with the correct diet and natural antifungals, can slow down and even reverse Candida overgrowth, which can hinder immune system function and cause mood disorders, fatigue, and a myriad of health issues.
Probiotics fight Candida in a few different ways:
- They restore and balance your intestinal system by replacing the good bacteria that were lost when your Candida overgrowth started.
- Probiotics keep your Candida under control by inhibiting its growth (and reduces the chance of overgrowth occurring in the first place). Research suggests that this is thanks to antifungal substances such as lactic acid that are secreted by the bacteria.
- Lactic and acetic acid released by the bacteria help maintain your stomach acidity.
If you are following our Candida treatment program and have reached the point where you need to add probiotics, there are a few options:
- Take some probiotic supplements (like the Balance One probiotic, a probiotic developed just for Candida).
- Eat lots of foods with probiotics.
- Combine probiotic foods and supplements. Fermented foods are naturally probiotic and contain lots of beneficial bacteria, but supplementation can help to increase the number of strains and CFUs that you are consuming.
5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Probiotic
There are thousands of commercial probiotics on the market, all with varying potency and different ingredients. So how do you choose between them? Here are a few questions to ask when choosing the best probiotic for yeast infections and Candida.
1. HOW MANY BILLION BACTERIA ARE THERE PER CAPSULE?
You can buy probiotics with anything from 250 million to 100 billion Colony Forming Units (CFUs) per capsule. As a general rule, the more bacteria the better. However, if you are just starting your treatment it’s advisable to begin with a lower quantity.
It’s important to note that soil-based probiotics generally have a much lower bacteria count, as they are much more resilient and survive the journey to your gut much more easily.
2. WHICH STRAINS OF BACTERIA DOES IT CONTAIN?
There is a great deal of variety between probiotics. Natural probiotics tend to contain a large number of friendly bacteria (often many billions per dose), and several different strains. Here are some of the strains you should look out for:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most popular strain of probiotic. Research has shown that it enhances immune system function and can help to reduce the duration of a Candida overgrowth, too.
- Bifidobacteria bifidum is another well-researched strain that helps with digestion, supports the immune system, and aids in the synthesis of B vitamins.
Note: Lactic acid-based bacteria is not generally present in soil-based probiotics. A soil-based probiotic like Prescript-Assist contains 29 different soil-based strains that can’t be found in a regular, lactic acid-based formulation.
3. HOW MANY DIFFERENT STRAINS OF BACTERIA ARE THERE?
There are probiotics that contain a single strain, and others with 15 different strains or more. Many health professionals believe that more strains will give your immune system a better chance of getting your Candida overgrowth under control, but this is really about finding what works for you.
As long as the probiotic contains a few of the most potent strains (including L. acidophilus and B. bifidum), and at least 5 individual strains in total, it should work reasonably well.
4. ARE THERE ANY INGREDIENTS OTHER THAN PROBIOTICS?
Some types of probiotics contain ‘prebiotics’, which are non-digestible foods that feed the probiotics. Inulin is one example. Not all probiotics contain these, and most of the time your normal diet will provide all the prebiotics that you need. Chicory coffee is also a good source of Inulin. As well as being caffeine-free, this is a great beverage to drink while on the Candida diet.
5. DOES IT COME IN CAPSULE OR POWDER FORM?
Probiotics can come in capsule or powder form, but capsules are usually best. It’s important that the probiotic has some kind of delivery system to transport the bacteria into your gut.
How And When To Take Probiotics
Many people erroneously believe that it is best to take probiotics on an empty stomach. Consuming probiotics with food, however, reduces the acidity in your stomach, and allows more of the probiotic bacteria to pass through to your gut, unharmed.
To give your probiotics the very best chance of passing through to your gut, take them within 30 minutes of consuming foods or beverages which contain fat.
Tips To Remember Before Starting Treatment
You’ve likely lived with Candida for years, and jumping into it without the correct preparation can make treatment more difficult. Here are some tips to ease into – and stick to – your Candida regimen:
- Don’t cut all ‘junk food’ out of your diet immediately. Like any addictive substance, withdrawal is always a risk. Slowly remove these foods in the weeks leading up to treatment.
- Caffeine is extremely addictive, but quitting ‘cold turkey’ can cause adverse reactions. Slowly reduce the cups of tea, coffee, and caffeinated soda in your diet before treatment begins. Even better: your immune system and adrenal glands will function far better!
- As you may well know, antibiotics are the biggest culprit behind the creation of Candida. If you’re taking them – as well as PPIs and oral contraceptives – ask your physician if it’s safe to stop taking them.
By making a conscious effort to remove these unhealthy substances, you’ll be reinforcing great lifestyle choices and lessening the potential for Candida Die-Off.
What Is Candida Die-Off?
At the beginning of their treatment, some users find themselves suffering from chills, nausea, bloating, itching, and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms. This is related to something called Herxheimer reaction, otherwise known as “Candida Die-Off”.
During this period, your regimen and probiotics help to starve and kill Candida cells, which in turn release toxic byproducts into your bloodstream. If cells die in huge numbers, these toxins are released much faster than your detox pathways can manage.
These symptoms are typically amplified versions of your regular Candida symptoms. If you do experience Die-Off, there are some simple ways to reduce these effects and get through your treatment more easily.
Can I Prevent Candida Die-Off?
Our treatment program contains a detailed list of ways to curtail Die-Off symptoms.
- Ease into your treatment. By giving your body time to acclimate, you allow a healthier, more successful response.
- Increase water consumption to flush out toxins caused by the Candida Die-Off.
- Rest if you feel tired. Remember: the removal of Candida is taxing on your system, causing stress and even adrenal fatigue. Listen to your body and be kind to yourself!
- Start with a lower dose of probiotics. Once you feel comfortable that the probiotics you’ve chosen aren’t causing a more severe Die-Off reaction, you may increase the dosage based on your treatment.
Find The Perfect Probiotic For Your Needs
Choosing a good probiotic is not always easy. In our Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program, we have included a more detailed guide to finding a probiotic that will work with your custom Candida treatment to beat yeast infections for good!