An imbalance like Candida overgrowth can lead to digestive problems, weak immunity, low energy levels, frequent yeast infections, and more. A low-sugar diet is generally accepted as one of the best ways to combat candida overgrowth, but antifungal or antifungal supplements can also boost your defenses against this fungus.
Over the past decade, yeasts such as candida albicans have begun to develop resistance against prescription antifungal treatments, with the result that people have increasingly turned to natural antifungals. These tend to be well tolerated, have fewer side effects, and are still very effective.
The 8 Best Antifungal Supplements to Fight Candida
These are the top antifungal supplements to consider when fighting candida.
Caprylic acid as a natural antifungal
Coconut oil is made up of three fatty acids: caprylic, capric, and lauric acid. Of these, caprylic acid is its most important active ingredient. Caprylic acid is known for its ability to kill candida cells and also to restore normal levels of acidity in the gut. Taking caprylic acid during treatment can restore the shape of the intestinal tract and help prevent candida colonies from growing back.
Studies have shown that the potency of caprylic acid is similar to that of prescription antifungals.
It works by interfering with the cell walls of this fungus. Its short chain length means that it can penetrate the fungal cell wall with relative ease. Then it inhibits the growth of yeast by joining the cell membrane and causing it to break down. This effectively destroys the yeast cell and may even prevent it from coming back.
A study found that the fungicidal effect of caprylic acid on Candida albicans was “extremely powerful.” More recent studies have found that oral caprylic acid supplementation reduces Candida symptoms more quickly and efficiently than some pharmaceutical antifungal medications such as Diflucan.
Undecylenic acid is a lesser known treatment for topical yeast infections, but it is becoming more popular. It is an unsaturated fatty acid derived from castor oil that was discovered in 1877 when scientists distilled the by-products of castor oil.
Since then, undecylenic acid has been recognized as a powerful antifungal agent that can help with persistent candida-related infections such as athlete’s foot and intestinal candida overgrowth. Some studies have even shown that undecylenic acid is around six times more effective than caprylic acid.
The fungicidal actions of undecylenic acid come from its organic fatty acid components. It is believed to inhibit the growth of candida albicans hyphae and the formation of biofilms. These factors play an important role in the development of skin infections and also in the ability of candida to spread throughout the body
Oregano leaf extract as an antifungal
Numerous studies have reported the efficacy of oregano oil’s ability to fight candida infections. This extract has been shown to completely inhibit the growth of candida albicans and prevent it from coming back.
Oil of oregano contains two natural antimicrobial agents, carvacrol and thymol. These agents work to combat candida overgrowth by reacting with water in the bloodstream, effectively dehydrating and killing yeast cells.
Other studies report that each of the main components of oregano extract has potent antifungal activity. This includes terpenoid phenols carvacrol, thymol, and eugenol. These powerful terpenoid phenols are effective not only in killing planktonic cells, but also in candida albicans biofilms that are resistant to many pharmaceutical antifungal drugs.
Of these active compounds, carvacrol appears to be the strongest; Studies show that it remains effective regardless of the maturity of the biofilm.
Oregano leaf extract is such a powerful antifungal ingredient that any good candida cleansing formula should contain it.
Berberine is the active ingredient in barberry, Oregon grape, and goldenseal. It has been shown to have a number of powerful therapeutic actions as an antimicrobial agent. Berberine has also shown antifungal action against yeast and fungal infections such as candida overgrowth.
One of the most important actions of berberine is its ability to prevent the spread of drug resistant yeast and fungal organisms.
A 2016 study found that berberine has antifungal activity against several types of yeast, including fluconazole-resistant candida. When the researchers treated fluconazole-resistant samples with berberine, it destroyed fungal or yeast cells by breaking down their plasma and mitochondrial membranes. Berberine can also be used in conjunction with fluconazole to enhance its overall antifungal activity.
Berberine can also be used as an immune booster to treat colds and flu, as well as to speed recovery from an infection. Its ability to activate macrophages (white blood cells) has been shown to improve the body’s overall defense system, allowing it to fight not only candida infection but other invading pathogens as well.
Betaine hydrochloride supplements are often used by people who have a low level of stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). Hydrochloric acid serves many functions. It is the main digestive juice involved in the breakdown of proteins so that the body can absorb amino acids properly.
It also acts as a protective barrier in your stomach and a crucial part of your immune system, eliminating any potentially harmful microorganisms that may be present in the food you eat.
When the body doesn’t make enough hydrochloric acid, candida is more likely to grow and spread throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
Betaine HCL also has an important role to play in antifungal formulations. Other antifungals such as undecylenic acid require an acidic environment (found naturally in a healthy gut) to maximize their antifungal activity. Combining your undecylenic acid with Betaine HCL will provide you with the optimal environment to fight yeast and fungi like candida.
While many people believe they suffer from excessive heartburn, the opposite is often the case. Proper levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach eliminate many pathogens that would otherwise enter the intestinal tract and potentially lead to serious health problems. That is why Clostridium difficile, a common bacterial infection after taking antibiotics, is also linked to the overuse of antacid medications.
Without the proper HCL, your liver and gallbladder will not be able to function effectively and your digestion will also suffer. Over time, this can lead to nutritional losses of fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and proteins that are necessary for proper immune function.
Your own dose of HCL will depend on your own needs, so you’ll have to experiment to see what works for you. This can mean some trial and error until you figure out the correct dosage.
NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is a complementary form of cysteine, a semi-essential amino acid. NAC is a particularly powerful antifungal treatment that can break down candida biofilms.
Yeasts like candida albicans are protected by a type of shield known as a biofilm. This biofilm makes it even harder for yeast to get rid of, as antifungals often can’t get through it. One study showed that treating patients with antifungal drugs Nystatin and Diflucan can be successful, but only until the candida biofilm has developed. Then the drugs became much less effective, and within 72 hours, the biofilm made the candida cells highly resistant.
Although many herbal antifungals such as oil of oregano , black walnut, garlic, and berberine can be helpful in treating candida; these alone are not enough to kill him completely. In order for antifungals to do their job properly, they can be combined with a biofilm disruptor, such as NAC.
NAC is also effective in treating numerous bacterial infections, especially those of the upper respiratory tract. In fact, its effectiveness in eradicating the biofilm in the bacteria that cause bronchitis is what prompted researchers to test NAC in patients with candida. NAC was found to reduce biofilm mass when used alone, but is even more powerful when used in combination with ketoconazole combinations. It also appeared to inhibit the growth of candida albicans and prevent it from spreading.
Garlic extract as an antifungal
Garlic is one of the most researched herbs in the world, and one of the most powerful. There is a large body of scientific evidence supporting its use as an antifungal, particularly against candida albicans.
One of the most important antifungal agents in garlic is garlic, an organo-sulfide compound that has been shown to eliminate a variety of fungal infections. Ajoene is made from a compound called allicin and an enzyme called alliinase. When garlic is minced or crushed, allicin and allinase bind to form the powerful antimicrobial agent ajoene.
Much research has found that ajoene has the strongest activity of all garlic compounds in inhibiting the growth of candida albicans. One study showed that garlic markedly inhibited candida growth when disease samples were treated with aqueous garlic extract. This was later supported by further research showing that garlic has the power to stop the growth and spread of candida albicans.
Although the antifungal properties of ajoene are well documented, its exact mechanism of action is less clear. As with other antifungals, scientists hypothesize that ajoene works by disrupting the cell walls of candida yeast cells and thus preventing them from working properly.
A typical recommendation is to take two or three antifungals at the same time, as this helps prevent candida from adapting to just one ingredient. Garlic works well when used in combination with other natural antifungals.
Olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract is derived from dark green olive leaves and contains an active ingredient called oleuropein.
Research has shown that oleuropein has an incredible array of health properties including antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, and antiviral.
In addition to being a natural and effective antifungal, olive leaf extract has antiparasitic properties. It also appears to contain almost twice the antioxidant capacity of green tea, vitamins C and E, and grape seed extract. A 2015 study on fresh olive leaf extract showed that it exhibited antifungal activity against candida yeast.