Does Greek Yogurt Fight Candidiasis?

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Yogurt may help reduce the risk of candidiasis. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Greek yogurt is high in calcium and protein and low in carbohydrates and sodium. Like other yogurt, it is a healthy choice to add to a balanced meal plan. It also contains beneficial lactobacillus, which are organisms that may help to prevent or treat yeast infections, or candidiasis. However, this has not yet been proven scientifically.

Yeast Infections

A yeast infection is a common fungal infection caused by the yeast candida albicans. For this reason, it is referred to as candidiasis. It typically occurs in warm, moist areas of the body, such as the mouth, the intestines, damp areas on the skin, and the vagina. Though this infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can spread from one sexual partner to another in some cases.

Causes

Candidiasis can occur for many reasons, including pregnancy, stress and illnesses that weaken your immune system. It can also be caused by taking antibiotics that prevent yeast from growing out of control, which can also destroy healthy colonies of bacteria. The TeensHealth website notes that if your blood sugar is chronically high due to eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, or if you have uncontrolled diabetes, you may be at higher risk for a yeast infection. Some women may be prone to yeast infections just before they begin their monthly menstrual cycle because the hormonal changes increase the risk of yeast growth. In addition, wearing tight clothing or underwear that is made of nylon and keeps the body moist may also increase the risk of a yeast infection.

Yogurt

Greek yogurt and other types of yogurt contain healthy lactobacillus bacteria. Cultures of this organism are used to curdle milk and to form yogurt. MayoClinic.com reports that lactobacillus in yogurt may help to prevent or treat yeast infections. In the case of the vaginal yeast infections, lactobacillus can also be used intravaginally. The lactobacillus in yogurt can form healthy bacterial colonies in the body that help to fight the overgrowth of yeast. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence for this home remedy to treat candidiasis, and it is not known if Greek yogurt is better for this than other types of yogurt. If you have a yeast infection, it is important to consult your family doctor.

Benefits

Though it is not known if Greek yogurt contains more lactobacillus than other types, U.S. News Health reports that it does contain approximately half as many carbohydrates as regular yogurt. This may be beneficial to individuals with any type of candidiasis because yeasts feed off the carbohydrates you consume. However, this benefit of Greek yogurt has not yet been scientifically confirmed. In addition, Greek yogurt is also high in protein; a six-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams. This is equivalent to the protein found in two to three ounces of lean meat, and eating it helps to promote a feeling of fullness. On the other hand, Greek yogurt does have a higher fat content than regular yogurt, and it is best to eat fat-free or low-fat versions.

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