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Does sugar cause yeast infections? If so, how?

7210-mind3Q: Does sugar cause yeast infections? If so, how?

A: Candidiasis, or “thrush,” is a fungal infection resulting from the genus Candida. You are probably referring specifically to vaginal yeast infections (Candidal vulvovaginitis). Candida are naturally occurring fungi on the human body. Our immune system and other microbial competition limit their growth and prevent an infection such as thrush; however, a disturbance in the functioning of the immune system can leads to an increased risk of thrush. It can be an infection, a drug or a physical condition. Examples include bacterial or viral infections, douches, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, diabetes and other assorted immune-compromising disorders and drugs.

Some studies have linked a higher carbohydrate load to increased risk of Candida, but more research is required, as the causal mechanisms are not well understood. Carbohydrate is basically a long-chain sugar molecule, so there may be a plausible case for implicating sugar consumption with an increased risk of a candida infection. Regardless, though, sugar is bad for you in many other ways, so cut back on it as much as possible.


Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MPH athlete,  IM


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