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What Is the Connection between Nutritional Yeast and Candida?

By Jennifer Leigh
Updated Feb 10, 2024
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Essentially, nutritional yeast and candida are both forms of yeast that perform different functions within the body. Some people believe that the connection between the two is that nutritional yeast should not be taken by individuals with candida, but when taken correctly, nutritional yeast does not contribute to additional candida being formed in the body. While candida can cause extremely irritating symptoms in those who experience overgrowth, the combination of nutritional yeast and candida can be a part of a balanced diet that helps to stave off unhealthy candida overgrowth.

Nutritional yeast has been thought to cause candida overgrowth in certain individuals when nutritional yeast is taken as a supplement, but individuals studying nutritional yeast and candida have not found this to be the case. Candida thrives on sugars found in foods and not yeast, so an individual who takes nutritional yeast as a supplement should not experience further problems. The active properties of nutritional yeast are removed prior to it being sold, so it does not cause different types of yeast growth within the body. There are healthy and unhealthy varieties of yeast, and nutritional yeast is thought to be a healthy variety when comparing nutritional yeast and candida.

Candida is a pathogenic yeast that can cause problems including thrush, vaginal candidiasis, and oral candidiasis if it becomes overgrown. Nutritional yeast is a type of deactivated yeast that is consumed by people who wish to add protein and vitamins to their diet, such as vegans and vegetarians. Certain foods should be avoided to help reduce the amount of candida in the body, and these include fruits, processed meats, and dairy. Fresh vegetables, whole grains, and dietary supplements that contain probiotics can be helpful, including nutritional yeast for protein and B vitamins.

Nutritional yeast is not to be confused with other varieties of yeast that can cause additional problems in individuals dealing with candida. Brewer's yeast, ale yeast, and baker's yeast are generally not recommended for a person with this condition. These types of yeast can be easily found and are used in many types of foods, and individuals looking to avoid furthering candida growth should avoid them. Nutritional yeast is found in certain food items, such as milk kefir and coconut kefir, as well as in packages of flakes or granules. Milk and coconut kefir can be consumed to help prevent candida overgrowth, and packaged nutritional yeast can be sprinkled on foods or used during cooking to provide flavor and texture.

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Discussion Comments

By anon970475 — On Sep 18, 2014

I would really would love to see your sources for "individuals studying nutritional yeast and candida have not found this to be the case." This supports what I have always thought, but would love for you to post your bibliography.

By fBoyle — On Feb 05, 2013

I take nutritional yeast regularly, as advised by my doctor, even though I have candida. My doctor said that nutritional yeast is rich in protein and B vitamins, both of which I need more of in my diet.

When I asked him how it would effect my candida infection, he said it will have no effect since it is gluten and sugar-free.

I get my nutritional yeast from the health food store.

By donasmrs — On Feb 04, 2013

@turkay1-- I think people confuse regular yeast with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is deactivated, which means that the fungi inside is not alive. So there is no reason that it would aggravate candida.

The conflicting opinions probably arise from people who do not know the difference between these two. Regular baking yeast used in breads and such have live fungi that can aggravate candida.

By candyquilt — On Feb 04, 2013

I've been avoiding nutritional yeast for years because of a systemic candida infection. Every single person I've spoken to about my candida have told me to avoid it. I'm so upset that the misinformation of nutritional yeast feeding candida is spread like this.

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