There is no scientific evidence because there are hardly any open lines of research, but in clinical practice it is observed that a diet with sugar restriction, together with conventional treatment, contributes to improving the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis, a fungal infection that can be recurrent
And it is these patients with recurrent episodes of vaginal candidiasis to whom some gynecologists and nutritionists recommend a diet low in sugar, in addition to antifungal treatments and hygienic measures, especially in summer since swimming pools and beaches cause infections.
“Although I warn you that there is no scientific evidence, I suggest that stopping some foods can improve symptoms. It is about avoiding foods rich in sugars and some derivatives of wheat ”, explains to EFEsalud Dr. Francisco Carmona, head of the Gynecology Service of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.
He also advises temporarily putting aside dairy, in case it affects lactose, and meats, especially red meats, which can carry anabolic components that affect the hormonal system.
This change in diet must be associated with conventional treatment with antifungal drugs and, in some cases, there are also those who prescribe oral probiotics, although there are no studies that have shown a direct benefit.
“Nothing that could harm is being recommended, it is not harmful to restrict certain foods on time. There are indications that it may be beneficial, ”says Dr. Carmona, also a tenured professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona.
Ana Molina, who has a degree in Pharmacy and specializes in human nutrition and dietetics at the head of AM Nutrición Integral, is of the same opinion. She considers that a diet low in sugars is perfectly compatible with conventional treatment for recurrent candidiasis.
“I have seen it in my office, in the first week the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are reduced, especially the itching,” the expert assures EFEsalud.
Candida, one more fungus of our microbiota
Candida is a fungus that is part of the microbiota of our body and is present, in balance, in the oral, vaginal and digestive mucosa, especially Candida albicans, the most common type.
There are factors that disrupt this microbiotic balance and by increasing the amount an infection occurs: taking antibiotics, pregnancy, diseases that affect the immune system, stress … are some of the causes.
Itching, abnormal vaginal discharge or painful urination are some of the symptoms caused by vaginal yeast infection.
“The most characteristic of candida is that it ferments sugars and carbohydrates, this being its main food substrate to reproduce… ..Without being a substitute for treatment, leaving them without substrate, reducing sugars, carbohydrates and fermented it will be a good way to avoid their proliferation and prevent future complications “, says Ana Molina in her book” The healthy of foods “(edited by Cajamar).
For this reason, the nutritionist prefers to eliminate yogurt from the diet since, although it is a natural probiotic that regenerates the microbiota, it contains sugars that are fermentable and not only due to lactose, but also due to added sugars and sweeteners. “Oral probiotics do not contain these sugars and therefore would not pose a problem for yeast infections, although their benefit is not scientifically proven,” she says.
Tips for yeast infection
For this reason, the nutritionist recommends avoiding in the daily diet “fermentable foods, because fungi ferment in sugar and causes candida to grow” and recommends taking those with diuretic power that help reduce the infection. She also cautions about high glycemic cereals.
These are the tips that Ana Molina includes in “What is healthy about food”:
Foods to eliminate:
Sugars: white, brown, honey, syrups, saccharin, malt and dextrose
Yeasts: bread, vegetable stock tablets, dried soybeans, all dairy
Fermented: alcohol, yogurt, miso, tempeh, vinegar, soy sauce
Fruit and fruit juices (especially in the acute phase, as symptoms improve, those with lower sugar content may be included)
Peanuts and pistachios
Mushrooms, mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potato and pumpkin
Tea and coffee (including decaffeinated, as it preserves approximately 10% caffeine)
Very hot spices
As general guidelines:
Drink 2 liters of water a day, and infusions freely, especially chamomile
Eliminate sugar and introduce as symptoms disappear
Eat five times a day to avoid spikes in blood glucose. Of these five, at least three must carry proteins to regenerate the vaginal and intestinal mucosa.
Have vegetable broths prepared and drink them during the day (it is the best vitamin supplement): onion, leek, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and turnips, for example.
Increase the consumption of artichokes, endives, endive, watercress, asparagus, alfalfa, chamomile, fennel, cumin, ginger, basil, rosemary and pine nuts.