All high-quality probiotics may help prevent candida, but if you are looking for the best probiotic for candida, there are many factors to keep in mind as we will review here.
Candida infections come in many forms, including thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and candida overgrowth in the gut.
Regardless of their form, candida overgrowth is a sign of a weakened immune system, imbalanced diet, inadequate gut probiotics, or are a side effect of common medications like antibiotics.
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Table of Contents
Best probiotic for candida overview
Not surprisingly, there are many types of probiotic bacteria that can help fight against candida strains. Here are some highlights of these strains and what they do to fight candida overgrowth.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus given with Lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactoferrin helps to greatly reduce yeast infection recurrence.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus + lactoferrin: this combination of probiotics with lactobacillus acidophilus and lactoferrin dramatically reduced the recurrence of vaginal yeast infections after 6 months of treatment compared to placebo.
- Lactobacillus reuteri reduces the growth of Candida albicans in early research.
- Lactobacillus plantarum decreases candida biofilm and also helps prevent the recurrence of yeast infections.
- Lactobacillus paracasei reduces Candida growth as much as fluconazole and has immune-enhancing effects and postbiotic effects.
- Bifidobacterium lactis: good for reducing oral candida growth and gastrointestinal candida in early research.
- Bacillus subtilis preliminary research shows a reduction in oral yeast or thrush growth, reduces yeast biofilms, and makes postbiotics that reduce candida growth.
- Multi-strain probiotics reduce the growth of oral candida in denture wearers.
- Saccharomyces boulardii is also known as a beneficial yeast. This probiotic reduces the growth of candida, reduces the biofilm of candida, and prevents candida from entering the bloodstream.
How to choose the best probiotic for candida
When you are looking for the best probiotic for your individual needs, here are the factors you will want to keep in mind.
Potent yet gentle
High strength: The strength of probiotics depends on two factors. Broad-spectrum probiotics are going to have multiple strains of probiotic bacteria, often containing ten or more types of probiotics. A strong probiotic will also have a lot of colony-forming units (CFU), with many containing up to 100 billion CFUs. For the best antifungal effect, you will want to have the highest amount of CFU possible.
Postbiotic effects: Beneficial bacteria from probiotics help the body make postbiotics. Postbiotics are substances that are made from probiotics that can reduce the growth of candida and other harmful organisms.
Include prebiotics: Research is emerging that shows that prebiotic fibers help healthy probiotics thrive, both in number and diversity, in the gut. Prebiotics likely reduce the growth of candida too. However, not all people tolerate prebiotics, so choose what works best for you.
Contains lactoferrin: Lactoferrin helps fight candida Albicans infections according to both clinical research and animal research. Usually derived from dairy, lactoferrin is safe for most people but should be avoided if you have a dairy allergy.
For people who are sensitive to probiotics: choosing Bacillus strains of probiotics is often best for people who don’t tolerate other types of probiotics. People also find that Saccharomyces boulardii is a good choice if you are sensitive to common probiotics.
Third-party testing should be conducted on the best probiotics. One way to tell if your probiotic is independently tested is when it contains Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), or GMP certification on the label.
Brand reputation is important to consider as well. For example, if the brand gets over 4.5-star reviews from hundreds of happy customers, you can consider the brand reputable. Another way to tell that your probiotic brand is reputable is if they offer 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Another sign is that probiotics are formulated by doctors who are experts in digestive health.
Free of harmful additives: high-quality brands will be free of harmful fillers and additives. They should also be free of major allergens like soy, gluten, wheat, or dairy. Safe additives include l-leucine, which is an essential amino acid, and cellulose, which is dietary fiber. Gellan gum is a natural substance found on water lilies and magnesium stearate is a safe additive as well. Silica is naturally found in foods and is also considered safe.
Shelf-stable: Probiotics that are shelf-stable are more likely to maintain their quality for longer. They are more portable and are easier to fit into your life. In my experience, probiotics that require refrigeration are less likely to be taken because they are out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
A note about probiotic cost
Cost may be on your mind when you buy anything, but keep in mind, that you do get what you pay for when it comes to probiotics. A quality product is going to often cost more than a lower quality brand. Typically, the price of the more concentrated brands that have the strains you want is going to be an investment. A nice value-added to many brands is free shipping.
Does enteric coating matter?
On the other hand, enteric coating or delayed-release probiotics are usually not necessary. You have trillions of bacteria that live in your gut and most survive the acidic stomach or bile that they are exposed to in the intestines.
Spore-based or soiled-based probiotics are especially resilient and can thrive in any gut condition.
Additionally, food-derived probiotics help the gut, and they don’t have a capsule at all!
Best probiotic for candida brands
Amy Myers Probiotic 100 Billion: with over 500 highly-praised 5-star reviews, this probiotic stands out as the best probiotic for candida. It is a broad-spectrum supplement with 14 probiotic species, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacillus reuteri.
The Amy Myers brand is also a third-party certified GMP company. You can also find the Candida Breakthrough Kit which includes this probiotic along with caprylic acid and Candifense.
While this brand is more expensive than most, it has overwhelmingly good reviews from satisfied customers. This is because it has the highest amount of probiotics at 100 Billion CFU’s. It is also doctor-formulated by Dr. Myers.
Other ingredients include microcrystalline cellulose plant fiber, gellan gum, and hypromellose (plant fibers), magnesium stearate, and silica. It is free of allergens including, wheat, dairy, gluten, soy, and is free of GMOs.
This brand also has the best return policy with a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Best probiotic for vaginal yeast infections
Gastro Armor by Sovereign Laboratories Contains the research-backed Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and lactoferrin from its bovine colostrum. It is also enteric-coated. While this doesn’t contain the highest concentration of probiotics at 5 billion per serving, this is the only probiotic on the market that contains lactoferrin from colostrum and the clinically verified spore-based probiotic called Lactospore®.
Because this product contains spore-based probiotics called Bacillus coagulans, a lower concentration can be used and still achieve the best benefits for candida.
That is why it is the best probiotic for yeast overgrowth.
Another great feature of this product is that it contains Hidrox®, which is an antioxidant derived from pressed olives. This antioxidant may help provide neuroprotection.
Of note, this product does not contain prebiotics, which is important for people who are sensitive to prebiotics.
Another perk is that Gastro Armor product has a 45-day money-back guarantee return policy too. Other ingredients include gelatin and silicon dioxide. This is a favorite of mine because it is so gentle and has a nice minty taste.
Best spore-based probiotic for candida
Klaire Labs Biospora is shelf-stable, and because it is spore-based, you don’t need as high of concentration as you would with other probiotic brands. For many people, it is easier to tolerate than Lactobacillus strains.
Companies that make GMP certified spore-based probiotics are very difficult to find so this is one of the only brands that meet high-quality specifications.
This product has overwhelmingly positive reviews for improving digestive issues as well.
One important note is that if you have histamine intolerance, you may want to look for a different product because some reviewers did say that their histamine issues flared up a bit with this.
Best value probiotics for candida
Seeking Health Probiota 12
Seeking Health Probiota 12: is one of the most broad-spectrum probiotic and it is also inexpensive with great reviews. Contains 7 lactobacillus species, 4 bifidobacterium species, and 1 Streptococcus species for a total of 26 billion probiotics per serving.
These include Lactobacillus rhamnosus (Lr-32), Lactobacillus plantarum (Lp-115), Lactobacillus acidophilus (La-14), Lactobacillus casei (Lc-11), Lactobacillus salivarius (Ls-33), Lactobacillus bulgaricus (Lb-87), and Lactobacillus paracasei (Lpc-37). The Bifidobacterium species are Bifidobacterium bifidum (Bb-06), Bifidobacterium infantis (Bi-26), Bifidobacterium breve (Bb-03), Bifidobacterium lactis (Bl-04), and Streptococcus thermophilus.
The Seeking Health brand is third-party-inspected for purity and quality and is GMP certified. It is also free of harmful additives and fillers, with only gellan gum, vegetable fibers, and L-leucine.
Another perk of this brand is that it is doctor-formulated by Dr. Lynch.
You can find this product on Amazon. But, you should know that you can get the product at a much better price directly from the company.
NSP Nutrition 40 Billion
Another very cost-effective probiotic is called NSP Nutrition 40 billion which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, and also contains the prebiotic fructooligosaccharides and marine polysaccharide complex.
Other ingredients are safe and include rice and L-leucine with the vegetable fiber cellulose.
NSP Nutrition brand is GMP certified and is 100% satisfaction guaranteed as well with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best for people who are sensitive to probiotics
Seeking Health ProBiota Bifido
Probiota Bifido by Seeking Health: Acid-resistant for those sensitive to Lactobacillus probiotics. Probiotic Bifido contains 7 Bifidobacterium strains and 12 billion CFUs, including Bifidobacterium longum (Bl-05), Bifidobacterium bifidum/lactis (Bb-02), Bifidobacterium infantis (Bi-26), Bifidobacterium bifidum (Bb-06), Bifidobacterium lactis (Bl-04), Bifidobacterium lactis (Bl-07), and Bifidobacterium breve (Bb-03).
While some brands contain Bifidobacterium strains, most also contain a blend with Lactobacillus. Or, other brands often contain fewer strains than the Seeking Health brand. That is why the Probiota Bifido stands out as the best in its category.
Additionally, many people who have histamine intolerance find that this probiotic is very easy to take. This is because it also helps with IBS symptoms, including diarrhea, according to reviewers.
Formulated by Dr. Lynch, this brand is also designed by a digestive health physician.
Best Saccharomyces boulardii probiotic
Klaire Labs Saccharomyces Boulardii One of the benefits of using S. boulardii is that it is very well-tolerated by most people and it doesn’t colonize.
This means that it works directly on fighting candida, but won’t change the diversity profile of your gut.
Additionally, you can use lower doses of probiotics with this strain. Klaire Labs Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic brand that is free of harmful additives and fillers and contains 3 billion CFU of S. boulardii. The company is GMP certified as well.
Of note, Saccharomyces boulardii is usually not found with other probiotic group supplements due to its stability within probiotics.
This is why you find this probiotic as a single-strain product.
What Is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast (fungus) that naturally lives in our bodies. When someone has candidiasis, this means that there is an overgrowth of candida yeast.
Often, this is due to imbalances in the immune system, which includes the gut microbiome.
The most common strain of yeast overgrowth that causes yeast infections is called Candida albicans.
Types of candida infections
There are many types of candida that live in many different parts of the body according to the CDC.
Common places for candida to become overgrown in the mouth, the skin, the digestive tract, the urinary tract, and the vagina.
What is Candida biofilm?
When bacteria or yeast form a protection around themselves, this slimy coating is called a biofilm. The biofilm helps to shelter the yeast and makes them harder to kill.
You may recall having a slimy coat in your mouth after eating sticky, carbohydrate-rich foods. This sticky feeling is actually a biofilm of bacteria and/or yeast.
While research on biofilms is emerging, probiotics may help to break down this protective barrier, which then helps probiotics to kill the candida. This beneficial effect of probiotics makes the possibility of probiotics as a tool against candida even more intriguing.
Symptoms of Candida yeast overgrowth
Fungal infections like candida overgrowth come with a variety of symptoms in tissues. In this next section, learn about the symptoms of thrush, vaginal yeast infections, small intestinal fungal overgrowth, and candida of the skin.
Additionally, find out which probiotic strains are best for each condition.
Thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, has symptoms of a white coating on the tongue. The white spots can also be found on the gums and on the tonsils.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, thrush can also result in redness in the mouth, pain, and cause people to lose their sense of taste.
Do probiotics help oral thrush? Research indicates that they do.
The best probiotics for oral thrush are likely most Lactobacillus strains, and others including Bifidobacterium lactis, and Bacillus subtilis. Probiotics seem especially beneficial for thrush when using multi-strain probiotic combinations according to a Cochrane review.
Vaginal Yeast Infections
Vaginal yeast infections are very common and have very uncomfortable symptoms, including burning, redness, pain, rashes, and a white, cottage cheese-like discharge. According to the Mayo Clinic, around 75% of women experience this painful infection.
Just like other types of candidiasis, vaginal yeast infections are caused by poor diets, medications, pregnancy, birth control, antibiotics, and compromised immunity.
The best probiotics for this type of yeast infection include multi-strain probiotics. Using probiotics via vaginal suppositories is also helpful according to research. For example, for women with recurrent vaginal yeast infections, suppositories of 2 probiotic strains were very effective for vaginal candidiasis.
For the best probiotic therapy for yeast infections, look for Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus combined with lactoferrin, which is derived from bovine colostrum [R]. This combination seems to have the strongest antifungal effect for yeast infections. A probiotic combination that fits the bill is called Gastro Armor.
The best way to get lactoferrin is through its source, which is bovine colostrum.
Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO)
The gastrointestinal tract can also be a source of candida infection, although less research has been dedicated to this area.
Common symptoms of SIFO include indigestion, belching, bloating, gas, and other typical irritable bowel symptoms like diarrhea or constipation.
Medications like stomach acid-blocking medications and antibiotics put people at risk for gut candida overgrowth. Additionally, people with leaky gut are at increased risk for fungal infections like candidiasis.
Candida itself may cause a leaky gut too.
When people eat a lot of carbohydrates, they are also more likely to get yeast overgrowth in the intestines according to Healthline.
Candida of the skin
Skin candida can occur for the same reasons that other types of candida overgrow: too much sugar, antibiotic use, compromised immune function, damp skin, and obesity according to Healthline.
The symptoms are typically redness and itching of the skin and can include redness and blisters.
Diaper rash can be caused by candida too. As you might imagine skin candidiasis tends to appear on the body where there are skin folds or where moisture is held close to the skin by clothing.
The best probiotic strains for candida overgrowth are going to be similar to those for oral thrush and yeast infections. But keep in mind, that little clinical research has been conducted to see whether probiotics help with these types of skin infections.
What causes candida infections?
Beneficial bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal system and skin help prevent candida. Additionally, a healthy immune system keeps candida growth in check.
Alternatively, when you have an imbalance in your diet, and eat a lot of processed foods, such as bread, pasta, refined grains, and snacks, you set yourself up for a higher risk of candida infection.
A big culprit in the diet is having a lot of sugar, which can make yeast like candida start taking over.
The use of antibiotics can cause candida infections too because it kills off both good and bacteria in the body that fight candida overgrowth.
Immune-suppressed people, such as people undergoing chemotherapy or people getting treatment for autoimmune disease are also at risk for candida infections.
Are there any dangers of probiotics?
Probiotics are natural compounds that naturally reside in the body. For the majority of people, probiotics are quite safe.
Some people can have temporary increases in symptoms of gas, bloating, or GI discomfort for several days. If this continues, it is best to decrease the dose or try different probiotic strains, such as Bacillus strains or Saccharomyces boulardii.
People with critical illness or severe immune compromise should avoid probiotics according to the Cleveland Clinic.
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Probiotics in foods
While supplements can help prevent and treat candida infections, a good long-term strategy is to incorporate probiotic foods into your diet as well.
A list of some easy-to-make probiotic foods include:
- Raw sauerkraut
- Fermented carrots
- Fermented pickles
- Fermented asparagus
- Raw apple cider vinegar with the mother
- Fermented rice
Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only. While The Healthy RD’s posts are backed by research, you are unique, so you must seek care from your own dietitian or healthcare provider. This post is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of the new book Gut Fix and The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.