Why Kombucha and Candida Don’t Mix

This post is dedicated to everyone who has battled Candida and who wants to do everything possible to avoid making things worse. Although Candida in small quantities is a beneficial yeast our body requires for balance, the high sugar content of the Standard American Diet (SAD) often feeds Candida so that it grows like crazy and overtakes the digestive system. Candida overgrowth is a serious problem that also creates systemic problems. I will write more about Candida in a future post. Today, let’s address why Kombucha feeds Candida and should be avoided at all costs by anyone who suffers from or is prone to Candida overgrowth.

Kombucha has become a popular drink in the U.S., but many myths exist about its health benefits. For Kombucha proponents, let me say that I recognize its health benefits, but feel strongly its high fungal content is detrimental for most people in the U.S. due to their dietary habits. I know this is not a popular opinion, but it’s one that physiological and chemical data supports. The belief that Kombucha actually helps kill Candida is wrong. Period. Cornell University did a study on Kombucha and found it did indeed increase the growth of Candida, it decreased the growth of other infective organisms. Again, Kombucha can have health benefits, but not for anyone with Candida overgrowth. Some experts estimate that 80-90% of people in the U.S. have Candida overgrowth.

The top three reasons Kombucha feeds Candida and does not control it are:

  1. Definition of SCOBY:Kombucha is brewed using a starter culture called a SCOBY. SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Did you catch that last word? YEAST? Kombucha is a culture specifically designed to promote the growth of yeast. Anyone trying to control yeasts and Candida in their system should therefore avoid it.
  2. Low acidity: Most fermented foods have a high acidity that kills y
    Mature kombucha
    Mature batch of kombucha

    east. Kombucha never achieves this level of acidity. Similar to vinegar, Kombucha has an acidity level and fungal content that strongly increases the growth of Candida and other biological yeasts. If you put yeast in a petri dish and add Kombucha, the yeast grows at an amazing rate. The same thing happens in your body. Enough said.

  3. High use of fruit juice: In the U.S., most people can’t tolerate the taste of pure Kombucha and therefore dilute it with high levels of fruit juice. The sugars in the fruit juice (fructose, especially) provide plenty of “food” for Candida to thrive on. Per the previous points, plain Kombucha feeds Candida enough that adding fruit juice merely adds fuel to the fire.

Having said all that, let me say that how you feel is the best measure of whether or not Kombucha is a good idea for you. Most people I’ve worked with find their Candida symptoms and issues greatly decrease or even disappear once they remove Kombucha from the equation.

If you love Kombucha, I recommend drinking coconut water kefir instead. Coconut water kefir is very easy to brew and provides high levels of antifungal probiotics. It is a much better option than Kombucha.

Ok… what’s your opinion? We may have to agree to disagree, but I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks!


By IndyHealer

Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Nutritionist with a burning passion for helping others achieve wellness using an integrative approach combining mainstream medicine with natural modalities. She has over 20 years of experience in natural medicine, has multiple certifications, and is currently completing a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. She is part of the practice of The Logan Institute for Health & Wellness in Fishers, Indiana. She is available for consultations in person or over the phone and can be reached at 317.598.4325.

6 replies on “Why Kombucha and Candida Don’t Mix”

In reading the Cambridge article provided, it stated Candida albicans growth was not “inhibited” by kambucha. In fact C. albicans was a very small piece of this journal, more of a side glance. What this article did show, is that it was a very effective immunity booster. Just because it doesn’t “kill” candida does not mean it isn’t benifitial. Sugar through the process of fermentation is broken down by the scubby leaving a byproduct of an unsweetened acidic beverage (yes fruit is added by choice) wouldn’t balancing your system with an acidic agent benifit the intestinal balance of your gut as a person who struggles with candida?

Thanks for an interesting article.
That study, I had a brief look at it. I didn’t see any mention of S.Boulardii yeast. There are two different types of Kombucha. Top yeast and bottom yeast. Top yeast is the S.Boulardii kind. Its this kind which is effective in displacing the Candida albicans. Bottom yeast is Torulaspora delbrueckii.
Do you have any comment on this? I’ve read some wildly conflicting reports including anecdotal evidence that people have been healed of Candida through Kombucha, but also the other side of the coin too.
For me, I am brewing some right now. I am concerned about the sugar content and hoping to get my ferment down to Ph3 to get as much of that sugar converted as possible.

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