Yeast infections are uncomfortable and bothersome, but they rarely cause serious harm. They occur when Candida albicans -- yeastlike fungi -- overgrow in your mouth, vagina or another area. If you're prone to yeast infections, discuss any complementary and alternative treatments with your health care provider. Drinking certain fruit juices may help prevent candida from growing and causing an infection, but juice doesn't replace medical treatment.
Lemons are more valuable than just providing a refreshing drink on a warm summer day. They contain strong antimicrobial properties, and researchers are finding that they may fight yeast infections. A yeast infection in the mouth, medically known as thrush, commonly occurs in people with compromised immune systems like HIV patients. In a small study consisting of 83 HIV patients, lemon juice effectively combated thrush. The study was published in the March 2009 issue of the journal Phytomedicine.
Scientists published preliminary research showing polyphenols called proanthocyanidins found in cranberry fruit and juice inhibit candida. In the study, researchers sought to determine whether cranberry helps fight urinary tract infections. They found that cranberry polyphenols prevented candida from forming a biofilm to cling to and multiply on. Cranberry showed significant anti-yeast activity in the test tube experiment using artificial urine. While this preliminary evidence is promising, well-designed human studies are needed.
The juice of the tropical fruit noni is sold as a ready-to-drink beverage. The fresh fruit is less accessible, but some exotic fruit markets may carry it. A study evaluated the antifungal potential of a juice extract from noni on candida cultures. The authors report that noni exhibited antifungal activity against candida, suppressing growth to different extents depending on the dose. So far, only test tube and animal experiments have been carried out, so more research is needed. The study was published in the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics in September 2009.
Things to Consider
Sugary foods may promote candida growth. For this reason, choose unsweetened juice and avoid adding sugar if you juice the fruit yourself. Lemon is sour, but diluting fresh-squeezed lemon with water helps. Discuss it with your doctor before drinking juice to prevent yeast infections. Certain juices have substances that may decrease or increase the effect of medications. Noni juice is very high in potassium, which is unsuitable if you follow a low-potassium diet due to kidney issues.
- Phytomedicine: Treatment of Oral Thrush in HIV/AIDS Patients With Lemon Juice and Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon Citratus) and Gentian Violet
- The Journal of Anti-Microbial Chemotherapy: Cranberry-Derived Proanthocyanidins Prevent Formation of Candida Albicans Biofilms in Artificial Urine Through Biofilm- and Adherence-Specific Mechanisms
- Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics: Antifungal Activity of Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract Against Candida Albicans