Candida is a fungus or yeast that can grow inside the gut flora of the intestines due to overuse of antibiotics and other environmental factors. In some natural and alternative healing circles, kefir for candida treatment is quite popular to promote healthy gut flora and to diminish any yeast overgrowth. It is thought that the probiotics in kefir help stabilize the healthy bacteria in the body and kill any harmful bacteria that might be triggering the infection. Some studies have shown that a particular type of probiotic bacteria is helpful at diminishing yeast overgrowth; however, specific studies on the effects of kefir for candida are minimal and do not suggest the reliance on a sole treatment for the disorder.
Since candida is categorized as a yeast or bacterial infection that largely inhabits the gut flora within the intestines, many natural therapies focus on replenishing the gut flora with probiotics. Probiotics are generally referred to as the good bacteria within the intestines, that help strengthen the immune system and fight off foreign invaders. Kefir, a fermented beverage that is much like a drinkable yogurt, contains plenty of natural probiotics that can promote these functions within the body. It is thought that the probiotics present within the drink can help fight off the bad bacteria associated with candida and yeast overgrowth.
Other than a poor diet and overall unhealthy lifestyle, the overuse of antibiotics are often a general mechanism for which yeast overgrowth can occur. Using probiotics to combat the effect of antibiotics can be helpful, as probiotics will help replenish the gut flora with new healthy bacteria that is needed for proper immune system support. Kefir for candida is popular for this very reason, since most kefir beverages contain a good source of necessary probiotics. It is clear, however, that the use of kefir for treating candida should not be used as a sole treatment, as other proven conventional therapies may be even more helpful.
One probiotic strain called saccharomyces boulardii has shown some effectiveness in decreasing levels of candida within the body. This may go to show that the use of kefir for candida can be helpful by providing this certain type of good bacteria. More research is still needed to find if the amount of this bacteria strain within major kefir beverages is significant enough to fight off a yeast overgrowth. Unsweetened kefir is thought to be the best source of this probiotic if using for candida, because sugar can feed yeast and exacerbate the problem.