≡ Menu

Candida and pH

The pH level of the body is believed to be a major contributing factor in Candida. We explore the most effective way to balance pH in this question from a site visitor.

Hi Cynthia,

I was wondering if balancing my pH would help with Candida. I tested my pH and it is very low-5.5 approx. I read that chicken is very acidic. -Susan

There is great confusion in the field in regard to pH and Candida yeast; some people say yeast will thrive in an acidic environment and other people say it will thrive in an alkaline environment. If you read this post a few years ago, you would know I used to be confused on this topic myself. I updated this page later to clarify this issue.

While it is true that an acidic body (acidosis) can lead to a variety of health conditions like osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, muscle loss, high blood pressure, kidney stones, cravings for sugar and carbs and more, in regard to Candida we are talking about the pH level in the “gut.”

Yes, your “blood” pH should be slightly alkaline for optimal health. However, the pH of your “gut” should remain acidic to function properly. It is acid that keeps pathogens like Candida yeast from growing out of control. Thus, the word “acidophilus.” It is the acid in the dophilus that is important for helping to eliminate yeast overgrowth. Acidophilus is acid forming; e.g. lactic acid and acetic acid. Acid in your stomach and your intestines is your first line of defense against pathogenic intruders.

When you take antibiotics, it kills off your acid forming bacteria and makes the environment too alkaline, which is why antibiotics promote Candida overgrowth. So not only do antibiotics directly eliminate the good guys that help keep Candida from taking over, they also change the pH in your digestive system to one that is more hospitable for yeast and other pathogens.

Different parts of the body have a need for different pH levels. In a healthy body, body tissue and blood pH runs about 7.3 or 7.4, which is slightly alkaline; while an empty stomach is somewhere between 1 and 3, which is highly acidic; and the small intestine ranges between 6 and 6.5, which is slightly alkaline; while the colon runs between 5.5 to 7, which is slightly acidic; and the vagina is typically between 3.8 and 4.5, which is moderately acidic. However, there is variation even within these parameters; for example, the pH may be different in different areas of the small intestine like the duodenum and the caecum.

All species of Candida can survive in a wide range of pH levels. Candida Albicans has been found to thrive in everything from 2 to 10. However, studies demonstrate that it needs an alkaline environment to change from its yeast form into the pathogenic fungal hyphae form. In the vagina, yeast and other pathogens like bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis will flourish in a pH that is higher than 4.5.

Some of the toxins that Candida emits, like ammonia, are actually used by the yeast to alter the pH in the environment it is in so it will be more alkaline, which then allows it to morph into hyphae form. If the environment is too acidic, Candida will simply release ammonia to create the conditions that it prefers. Thus, once again illustrating the astounding abilities of Candida to adapt and survive.

pH is a very important factor for other microbes as well. For example, E-coli becomes pathogenic in an alkaline environment, but in an acid environment it is beneficial and helps produce vitamin K. Many other microbes have this same ability to alter pH and some microbes like H. pylori may even become resistant to and survive in an acid environment.

A diet that is void of animal protein and high in fruits will also make the gut too alkaline and encourage yeast overgrowth. Additionally, as we get older, our ability to produce hydrochloric acid diminishes, thus making the environment more alkaline.

Since it is primarily sugar, grains and processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, caffeine, and alcohol that are responsible for acidosis, my version of the Candida diet, which is basically a Paleo Candida Diet, will promote just the right blood pH. Yes, meat is acidic, but low-starch vegetables are alkaline, and when they are eaten with the meat, they neutralize the acid. If you follow the Paleo Diet diet, it will correct blood pH problems naturally. No other steps are typically needed.

The Paleo Candida Diet will also help promote just the right pH for your stomach, small intestine, colon and vagina. However, a few other steps may be necessary as well, which include taking acidophilus and other healthy bacteria, avoiding antibiotics unless necessary to save your life, supplementing with vitamin C, and avoiding acid blockers, antacids, and chlorinated water. All of which, you should already be doing to address Candida overgrowth. Some people may need to supplement with hydrochloric acid if they are deficient.

Best Regards
Cynthia

References

Slavena Vylkova, Aaron J. Carman, Heather A. Danhof, John R. Collette, et, al. The Fungal Pathogen Candida Albicans Autoinduces Hyphal Morphogenesis by Raising Cellular pH.doi: 10. American Society for Microbiology, May 2011 mBio vol. 2 no. 3

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • John Palmer January 31, 2010, 10:50 pm

    When starting out on the curing Candiasis journey, I thought there was a single cure so became a raw vegan and whilst that helped my wife and her asthma, it did little for my problem. It may have actually exacerbated my situation.
    In my case I have found that good quality coconut oil has helped control but certainly not cure.
    Currently I am using the Mediterranean diet which is a combination of raw and cooked food and suits me.
    My experience confirms that one cure doesn’t fit all as I am A negative and my wife O blood types which may be a starting point for someone on the journey. She loves beef but I don’t like beef and I have Candida and she doesn’t. It may even be blood type related but doubt that the answer is that simple.
    John

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins February 1, 2010, 1:35 pm

    Hi John,

    No addressing Candidiasis is never that easy. It is a very complex condition that involves many variables. Diet and antifungals are the two most important, however all the other issues must be addressed as well. A raw vegan diet is never the answer for anyone with a Candida problem because it is too high in complex carbohydrates. Some of you may want to read this page on the vegetarian diet issue

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/candida-diet-and-vegetarians/

    Coconut oil is an effective antifungal for some people, but not others. It depends on the strain of Candida, how severe overgrowth is and whether their strain is resistant. Like all antifungals, Candida will get resistant to coconut oil over time, if it is not alternated.

    Anyone with a gallbladder problem should avoid coconut oil, as the high fat content often leads to gallbladder attacks.

    I can’t eat coconut oil, because I have a very temperamental gallbladder and it gave me a severe gallbladder attack so bad it put me in bed with extreme pain and nausea.

    As I shared recently in my post on the eat right for your blood type diet, I didn’t find that approach to healing to be an effective and reliable tool at all.

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/should-you-eat-right-for-your-type/

    The bottom line is that different things work for different people.

    I also want to add, that if one partner in a relationship has Candida, usually both partners have it, as it is transmitted through sexual intercourse. They pass it back and forth between them.

    Best
    Cynthia

  • David Ewing January 23, 2017, 1:56 pm

    I have for 4 months now been catheterized. doctors refuse to listen when I tell them I have a candida overgrowth. Now on the 4th round of antibiotics this time ciprol 500 mg 20 tablets one every 12 hours. I have made up my mind that I must take matters into my own hands, and learn all I can asap. My wonderful wife is a Russian sports champion with a university education in sports medicine, unfortunately I have not found a Russian translation for candida. I have started to take probiotics and some other supplements. the net result is that I have in fact lost weight in the belly area. however can not pass urine without a catheter….Odd enough urine passes around the catheter during the day but not at night. Stones? and lately blood passes around the catheter as well. sometimes a discharge that looks like semen alternates with the blood.

    I am on a fixed income pension of 1400 a month and rent here is 800 so I have not much room to maneuver.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice and thank you in advance

    David

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins January 27, 2017, 1:52 pm

    Hi David,

    I have hundreds of pages about Candida on this website that you can read for free. Use the search function to find them. You may also want to consider the following eBook.

    http://www.holistichelp.net/candida-secrets.html

    And I suggest you find a doctor who practices functional medicine.

Leave a Comment