[updated April 2019]
Probiotics are acknowledged as very healthy for anyone – but for Candida patients, they are especially important to repopulate the gut immune system with healthy bacteria.
Unfortunately, probiotics are the wild west of medicine – no one seems to be able to say with authority which ones are effective and which ones are a waste of money.
I have been doing my own research on the probiotics available and believe some are of greater value to my Candida patients.
When You Were Young…
First, some embryology: when you were in your mother’s womb you had a sterile gut; this means no bacteria were present. During a normal vaginal delivery, you were exposed to Bacteroides, a bacteria in the vaginal tissue and along with your mother’s breast milk (colostrum) your digestive immune system began to evolve.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the past few decades was delivered vaginally (Caesarian sections) and not many babies were breastfed for a very long period, if at all. Add to this our poor Western diet laden with sugar and processed foods, and our gut is out of balance. Also, antibiotics and hormones (like the birth control pill) created drastic changes in gut immunity. Hence, many women and even men are Candida victims.
What Are Probiotics
Trillions of bacteria live in our gastrointestinal tract – most of which are helpful to us. Probiotics are the “friendly” or “good” bacteria and the more of these strains we have, the better. Eating certain foods such as yogurt introduce probiotics naturally in our body but our stomach acids can kill the bacteria before they have a chance to benefit us.
Probiotic supplements are designed to guard against belly acids making them a more effective method of getting more good bacteria in our body. When gut bacteria is imbalanced it leads to inflammation which promotes conditions like candida yeast overgrowth and leaky gut.
How Probiotics Help
The good news is that immune balance can be restored through proper medical treatment for Candida with the help of probiotics. I have discussed in prior posts treating Candida through a special diet and the use of anti-fungal medications. Now, I want to discuss the key elements in a probiotic that will aid in restoring the “good” bacteria to your gut.
What is a “Good” Probiotic?
A good probiotic should contain not one, but multiple strains of good bacteria. The list of good bacteria to look for are: Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus helvecticus, Saccharomyces boulardi (Brewer’s yeast), Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria are literally a mouthful to say or swallow.
In addition, you want your probiotic to also contain a pre-biotic. Pre-biotics are molecules that help the reproduction of healthy bacteria. Essentially, they assist the probiotic to do its job.
The final key element of a worthy probiotic is for it to contain an enteric coating. For a probiotic to function it has to survive the acidity in the stomach and reach the intestine to replenish the good bacteria.
My recommendation for the best probiotic for Candida patients, and everyone else is Visbiome High Potency Probiotic 112.5 billion live bacteria or Primadophilus. They both meet all the above criteria.
Fermented foods, such as yogurt may be beneficial in patients looking for probiotics who do not have Candida. However, I don’t recommend these foods to Candida patients because of the added sugars, the natural sugar, and the lactose in the milk itself.
Here’s to feeling better!
– Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC
About the Author – Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. is a Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist based out of NYC. He graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine and completed training at the Robert Cooke Allergy Institute in New York City. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the author of Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution: The Ultimate Program for Reversing Your Symptoms One Drop at a Time. Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. has also been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fitness Magazine, Dr. Oz and News NY 1. Dr. Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Smartest Doctor in the Room – a combination of a lively, personal and in-depth interview with top healthcare specialists.
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.