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Can Red Yeast Rice Cause Candida Overgrowth?

Hi Cynthia, I have been taking Red Yeast Rice for my elevated cholesterol for a number of years and now have a pretty severe yeast infection. Should I not be taking this supplement? Thanks,Betsy.

Hi Betsy,

I couldn’t say whether the red yeast rice caused the yeast infection, but it would probably aggravate or perpetuate a problem that exists.

Red yeast rice is created by fermenting rice and producing a strain of yeast on the rice. So we are talking about ingesting a fungus. For that reason, it’s not a product I would take. Fermented products tend to be problematic for most people with a Candida problem.

It is unlikely that red yeast rice was the sole cause. A diet that includes sugar, white flour and other refined foods, antibiotics, the birth control pill and environmental toxins would be the main contributors. However, since you now have a yeast problem, then the red rice yeast will probably need to be discontinued.

Other natural therapies that are effective for reducing cholesterol include walnuts, pantethine and garlic and these substances wouldn’t feed Candida. Removing sugar from the diet will help not only with the Candida but the cholesterol as well. So you may want to talk to your physician about incorporating these steps into your cholesterol management plan.

Best Regards

5 thoughts on “Can Red Yeast Rice Cause Candida Overgrowth?”

    1. Admin - Cynthia Perkins

      Very high doses of niacin are commonly used to lower cholesterol. Additionally, most important of all, is to change the diet. Get rid of all the sugar, refined foods, grains and starchy foods. Reduce butter and dairy. Eat organic, grass-fed beef and buffalo, free-range poultry, eggs, Wild fish, low-starch vegetables and a small amount of nuts, seeds and fruit. Check out the Paleolithic diet page



  1. What about flax oil? My doctor recommended it & red yeast rice. However, I, too have a problem w/yeast infections (I’m over 60) so I am discontinuing that.

  2. Also, i was wondering about your comment about avoiding dairy products…my doctor told me that eating yogurt on a regular basis could help to prevent yeast infections…?

    1. Admin - Cynthia Perkins

      Hi Carmen,

      If you’re taking flax oil for the omega-3s, flax oil is not the best source of omega-3s because it comes in a form known as ALA. The body needs EPA and DHA forms. The ALA in flax must be converted in EPA and DHA and many people just don’t make this conversion very well. Even when the conversion is made properly, a lot is lost. Omega-3s are best derived from fish and grass-fed beef.

      Additionally, flax is high in phytoestrogens, so people who are estrogen dominant, which is a large part of the population, do not need all those extra estrogens.

      As far as yogurt goes, yes some yogurt contains healthy bacteria, which can benefit yeast infections. However, yogurt also contains lactose, which is milk sugar, which can feed the yeast. But yogurt in small doses can be consumed by some people. On the other hand, many people are lactose tolerant or dairy intolerant. Additionally, the amount of bacteria that is present in yogurt can be minimal depending on the brand. There is no harm in an occasional serving of yogurt, but you’re better served using a probiotic to get your healthy bacteria.


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