The Connection Between Candida and Mental Health: What You Need to Know

Candida is a type of yeast that is naturally present in the body, but when it overgrows, it can cause various health problems. One of the most surprising connections researchers have found is the link between candida and mental health. In this article, we will explore the latest research on this topic and provide tips on managing candida overgrowth.

What is Candida?

Candida is a type of fungus that is found in the mouth, gut, and vagina. Usually, it is kept in check by the body’s immune system and other microorganisms. However, when the balance is disrupted, candida can overgrow and cause infections.

Some common causes of candida overgrowth include:

Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Candida overgrowth can cause a range of symptoms, including:

The Link Between Candida and Mental Health

Researchers have found a strong connection between candida overgrowth and mental health. In a 2014 study, scientists found that patients with major depressive disorder had higher levels of candida antibodies in their blood than healthy controls (Severance et al., 2014). Another study found that mice infected with candida exhibited depression-like behavior (Gareau et al., 2011).

So how does candida affect the brain? One theory is that candida overgrowth can lead to increased inflammation in the body, affecting the brain. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety (Schiepers et al., 2005).

Candida overgrowth can also affect the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. For example, candida can reduce the production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood (Maes et al., 1999).

Managing Candida Overgrowth

If you suspect candida overgrowth, seeing a healthcare provider for a diagnosis is essential. They may recommend a combination of dietary changes, supplements, and medication to manage the condition.

Here are some tips for managing candida overgrowth:

  1. Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrate intake: Candida feeds on sugar, so reducing your intake can help to starve it.
  2. Increase fiber intake: Fiber can help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can help to keep candida in check.
  3. Take probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to restore the balance of microorganisms in the gut.
  4. Take antifungal medication: In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend an antifungal medication to kill off the candida overgrowth.
  5. Manage stress: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to candida overgrowth, so finding ways to manage stress is essential.


Candida overgrowth is a common health problem that can cause various symptoms, including mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The latest research has shown a strong connection between candida overgrowth and mental health, suggesting that managing candida overgrowth may be essential in addressing mental health issues.

By making dietary changes, taking probiotics, and managing stress, individuals can take steps to manage candida overgrowth and promote overall health and well-being. Consulting a healthcare provider for a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan is essential.


Gareau, M. G., Silva, M. A., Perdue, M. H. (2011). Pathophysiological mechanisms of stress-induced intestinal damage. Current Molecular Medicine, 11(3), 155-164.

Maes, M., Leunis, J. C. (1999). Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria. Journal of Affective Disorders, 55(1), 87-94.

Schiepers, O. J., Wichers, M. C., Maes, M. (2005). Cytokines and major depression. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 29(2), 201-217.

Severance, E. G., Gressitt, K. L., Halling, M., Stallings, C. R., Origoni, A. E., Vaughan, C., … Yolken, R. H. (2014). Candida albicans exposures, sex specificity and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. npj Schizophrenia, 1, 14018.

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