Why Kombucha and Candida Don’t Mix
This post is dedicated to everyone who has battled Candida and who wants to do everything possible to avoid making things worse. Although Candida in small quantities is a beneficial yeast our body requires for balance, the high sugar content of the Standard American Diet (SAD) often feeds Candida so that it grows like crazy and overtakes the digestive system and other body systems. (See The Top Six Ways to Maximize Digestion for more info.) Please visit my Series on Candida for more information on Candida. Today, let’s address why Kombucha feeds Candida and should be avoided at all costs by anyone who suffers from or is prone to Candida overgrowth. Kombucha has become a popular drink in the US, but many myths exist about its health benefits. For Kombucha proponents, let me say that I recognize the health benefits of Kombucha, but believe its high fungal content is detrimental for most people in the US due to their dietary habits. I know this is not a popular opinion, but it’s one that physiological and chemical data supports. The belief that Kombucha actually helps kill Candida is wrong. The top three reasons Kombucha feeds Candida and does not control it are:
Definition of SCOBY:
Kombucha is brewed using a starter culture called a SCOBY. SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Did you catch that last word? YEAST? Kombucha is a culture specifically designed to promote the growth of yeast. Anyone trying to control yeasts and Candida in their system should therefore avoid it.
Most fermented foods have a high acidity that kills yeast. Kombucha never achieves this level of acidity. Similar to vinegar, Kombucha has an acidity level and fungal content that strongly increases the growth of Candida and other biological yeasts. If you put yeast in a petri dish and add Kombucha, the yeasts grow at an amazing rate. The same thing happens in your body. Enough said. A study at Cornell University confirmed that Kombucha stimulates the growth of Candida, but decreases the growth of other infective organisms. Again, Kombucha does have some beneficial properties, but only for people whose diets are not high in sugar or who do not have pre-existing Candida overgrowth.
Excessive use of fruit juice for flavoring:
In the US, most people can’t tolerate the taste of pure Kombucha and therefore dilute it with high levels of fruit juice. The sugars in the fruit juice (fructose, especially) provide plenty of “food” for Candida to thrive on. Per the previous points, plain Kombucha feeds Candida enough that adding fruit juice merely adds fuel to the fire. Having said all that, let me say that how you feel is the best measure of whether or not Kombucha is a good idea for you. Most people I’ve worked with find that their Candida symptoms and issues greatly decrease or even disappear once they remove Kombucha from the equation. If you love Kombucha, I recommend substituting coconut water kefir for it. Coconut Water Kefir is very easy to brew and provides high levels of antifungal probiotics. It is a much better option than Kombucha. Ok … what’s your opinion? We may have to agree to disagree, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!
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