Candida Causes Acne: What Does The Science Say?

Candida Causes Acne: What Does The Science Say?

Should I be concerned about Candida? Can it cause my acne? And if so, what I can do about it. In this post I’ll see what science has to say about these questions.

What is Candida overgrowth syndrome?

Candida is yeast that almost all of carry in the skin and the digestive track. While it’s normally harmless when the opportunity rises it can turn pathogenic. The proponents of the Candida overgrowth syndrome say that under certain conditions it can overwhelm the probiotic bacteria in the gut and take over.

Toxins produces by Candida corrode the gut wall, and this leads to development of leaky gut syndrome. The yeast can then leaks into the bloodstream and spread all over the body. This is called system Candida infection.

The claim goes that Candida, and the toxins it produces, causes a wide range of symptoms. These can include tiredness, skin problems, muscle pain, memory problems, irritability and many, many other things.

Though you see these claims repeated on tens of thousands of health websites, they are unlikely to be true. For the simple reason that most people with systemic Candida infection are dead.

Systemic Candida infection has 50% mortality rate

Many alt-med practitioners charge that doctors and skeptics are uneducated and ignorant of the problems Candida causes. This isn’t exactly true. Modern medicine is very familiar with systemic Candida infections, a condition called candidiasis.

The reason most doctors ignore the alt-med claims is that systemic Candida infections are very rare. They usually occur only in people with severely compromised immune systems (such as HIV patients or people undergoing chemotherapy). Systemic Candida infections have a horrific mortality rate, up to 50%. And people often die within a week of being infected.

Studies find no evidence for Candida syndrome

Some people claims that a milder, subclinical form of systemic Candida infection exists. Yet others claim that the wide range of problems is caused by Candida toxins leaking out of the gut. Sometimes these are referred as Candida syndrome or hypersensitivity.

Contrary to claims from alt-med practitioners this has been studies. I found two papers that reviewed the relevant studies. Here are conclusions.

The indications most closely linked to Candida colonization are irritable bowel syndrome and certain allergic reactions, although an association has been proven. There is no epidemiological or interventional evidence for the existence of a general and clinically demonstrable Candida hypersensitivity syndrome.

Yeasts in the Gut: From Commensals to Infectious Agents


The role of intestinal colonization by Candida in Candida-associated vulvovaginitis and IgE-mediated disorders remains contradictory. Nevertheless, neither epidemiological nor therapeutic studies provide evidence for the existence of the so-called “Candida-syndrome” or “Candida-hypersensitivity-syndrome”.

The pathogenetic significance of intestinal Candida colonization–a systematic review from an interdisciplinary and environmental medical point of view

So to date we have no good reason to believe any undiagnosed Candida epidemics exist.

Candida and acne

Just because Candida epidemic is more hype than reality doesn’t mean it couldn’t cause skin problems. There’s a good reason to believe Candida may aggravate acne, eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Studies have compared the prevalence on Candida between people with skin conditions and those with healthy skin. The overall picture is that Candida in the gut and mouth is more prevalent in people with skin conditions.

There are two ways Candida can cause skin problems.

Leaky gut

There’s a clear link between gut and skin health. And we have a good reason to believe Candida overgrowth causes or aggravates gut problems.

  • Candida seems to aggravate inflammatory bowel syndrome. This means it can disrupt the bacterial balance in the gut.
  • People with skin conditions have higher levels of Candida antibodies in the blood. This suggests leakage from the gut, and this probably increases chronic inflammation.
  • Treatment with oral antifungals often helps the skin. This happens even when the drug only targets the digestive system.

Overreaction by the skin immune system

Candida can cause acne and skin problems even in a more direct way. Some studies show that skin patients have stronger inflammatory response against the yeast. It’s like that immune system is primed against Candida and reacts violently when it gets a whiff of it. This initial inflammation can then trigger the acne formation process or aggravate existing acne.

Neither of these points are an absolute proof that Candida causes acne (or other skin conditions). But, I believe, it’s a reason enough to investigate the possibility.

Candida is simple to diagnose and treat

I want to inject a bit of realism here. One problem with natural health discussion of Candida is that they rely on unproven (and essentially useless) self-tests and diagnoses. This can really confuse people.

If you suspect Candida is behind your acne, please talk to your doctors. There are simple and reliable tests for diagnosing it. Sometimes a doctor can even diagnose it visually, but even if not it can be reliably done in a lab.

The same goes for treatments. Effective antifungal treatments exist. You don’t need crazy diets or take herbs months on end.

The point is that there’s nothing fuzzy or ambiguous about Candida. It can be diagnosed and treated quickly and effectively.

It’s still OK to improve your diet and lifestyle

I’ve written about controversial topics on other websites, and experience shows I need to add this preemptive bit. Because sooner or later the true believers will descend here they will draw false conclusions and make straw man arguments. For example, when I pointed out that the spit-test for Candida is dubious (at best), some people accused me of stealing hope from people. How did they reach that conclusion eludes me to this day.

But I digress. None of this means you shouldn’t improve your diet. Many of the diet and lifestyle suggestions Candida proponents make are sensible. It’s a good idea to eat less sugar and carbohydrates for example. But you don’t have to make these changes in the name of treating (probably nonexistent) Candida infection.

You can make these changes because they stabilize blood sugar and lower insulin levels. These things are very good for your skin, and overall health too.


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The proponents of Candida overgrowth syndrome make many extraordinary claims, yet they fall hopelessly short on evidence. To date no convincing evidence exists to support the claim that undiagnosed Candida overgrowth is an epidemic and causes a wide range of symptoms.

The same can’t be said about the connection between Candida and acne. Candida is more prevalent in people with acne and other skin conditions. It can cause problems in the gut, and thus aggravate acne through the gut-skin axis. Similarly immune system in problem skin may react to Candida too aggressively. This causes local inflammation in the skin and possibly triggers the acne formation process.

If you suspect Candida, there are simple and reliable tests for it. And it can be effectively treated with antifungal medications. There’s no reason to resort to dubious self-tests and unproven and restrictive treatments.

About Me

Hi, I am Acne Einstein(a.k.a. Seppo Puusa). I'm a bit of a science nerd who is also passionate about health. I enjoy digging through medical journals for acne treatment gems I can share here. You can read more about my journey through acne and how I eventually ended up creating this.


37 thoughts on “Candida Causes Acne: What Does The Science Say?”

    • Kim, I don’t think I’ve ever tried Candida cleanse specifically. Though I’ve tried many other rather weird things. I’m not saying that ‘Candida cleanse’ couldn’t help acne. In fact it probably will help. But that fact doesn’t say anything about Candida being the cause of acne. Severe carbohydrate, and often also calorie, restriction will reduce insulin, IGF-1 and systemic inflammation levels. All of which are helpful in acne and don’t require Candida as explanation.

  1. Well I had to put in a comment because I believe that I’m a sufferer of candida . I ve been suffering from acne for a while now and I’m 32 years old. I finally realized that every time I eat starchy food I would break out like crazy. But a lot of doctors don’t beleive in systemic candida till now I’m still dealing with the same problem hopefully one day I could find some help.

    • Even I have my doubts of systemic Candida infections. There’s no evidence to say they are real, and there is evidence to suggest they are not real. The fact that you are breaking out after starchy foods doesn’t mean you have systemic Candida infection. It’s possible your body is just sensitive to carbohydrates, or that starches cause gut problems or some other reason.

  2. Hi,
    I took antibitotics, doxycycline to be exact for my acne for about a year. It started to wear off and I began reading about the negative qualities of antibiotics and I am avid about not taking them. A reason which I read and first-hand experienced was when I stopped my skin worsened. My breakouts are especially problematic, because they tend to regrow in the same spots. Before I would consume a lot of sugar…let’s just say I’m an emotional eater. I’m a sensitive dude and I’m always craving cakes. I decided I wanted to do my own research and I changed my lifestyle overall. These past two months I’ve been eating healthy, occasionally giving in :l but the inflammation reduced on my face and scalp. This past month especially, the only sugar I’ve had is fruits and limited too, but my acne persists, luckily, not as strong. I even started taking probiotics and as soon as I did, i broke out with all these white heads. i called the conpany and they told me that means I can have an excess of yeast in my system. That led me to do more research and find out about Candida. I found out how antibiotics can cause it and I even did that spit test. Anyway, I purchased some antifunguls and I’m scared to start the cleanse. I’m scared, because of all the people you mentioned that posted about it and the duration it took to fully get rid of it. I know everybody’s body, but do you know if antifunguls would actually be sufficient? Will it come back or regrow?

    Thank you

    • I’m little confused as to what you are talking about. Where did I say anything that it takes a long time to eradicate yeast infections? All my Candida posts on this site are fairly negative and I don’t believe Candida infections are the cause of acne for most people.

      So your questions of whether the antifungals are enough and whether yeast infections comes back are rather moot. I presume you haven’t been tested for yeast infection? If so, then we don’t even know if you have yeast infection or not. The spit test is not reliable and cannot be used to diagnose anything.

    • Hi Shant,

      I can say with nearly 100% certainty that there is a linkage between your acne and Candida. From my own experience, as a woman who never experienced even mild forms of acne, even during puberty, my acne has cleared completely since doing the Candida cleanse.
      For one year I had suddenly began suffering from random and unexplained skin conditions like dermatitis, acne, eczema that had never before appeared… I experienced fatigue, bloating, abdominal pain. I went to numerous doctors, dermatologists, had ultrasounds and lab tests and not one could explain any of my symptoms. The problem with modern medicine is that it treats the symptoms, NOT the cause.
      When you only treat the symptom, it will never fully rid you of the problem, and may in fact exacerbate further problems or cause adverse reactions. The dermatologists wanted to prescribe a strong antibiotic for the acne – I never filled the prescription – thank goodness! I have undergone the strict Candida cleanse and read numerous medical journals, explored naturopathic medicine literature, and after applying everything that I have uncovered and learned, I have cleared all of my skin symptoms, my fatigue, my abdominal pain etc. The doctors who I saw prior often are irritated that I have cured myself. They cannot understand how without using conventional medicine, their prescriptions, I am fully healed. I am on a program of high potency oregano oil, caproil, milk thistle, pau d’arco, raw psyillium fibre, dandelion root and leaf tea, and avoiding all forms of sugar, eating a max of 150 grams of carbs per day since carbs are converted into sugar by the body which feeds the Candida.
      Something interesting to note, the reason that yeast is present in our bodies is that it plays many functions in the digestive process, however in it’s fungal form (known as Candida) it is actually assists with the breakdown of the flesh post-mortem. The skin form of the Candida fungus known as Malassezia globosa is the cause of dandruff and dermatitis. Logically considering these factors, the fungal form of the yeast on skin will cause a slow breakdown of the flesh (as is it’s purpose when overgrown) and a peeling or flaking as shown with forms of dermatitis.
      My suggestion would be to try an anti-fungal cream on your acne spots, in addition to aloe vera and colloidal silica gel. I used all 3 and found that the acne spot cleared within 1-2 nights.
      However, all of the topical treatment will be for not if you do not maintain a program of killing the Candida and flushing it out using lots of water, herbal teas like dandelion, and liver aids such as milk thistle. A diet rich in cinnamon, a natural anti-fungal agent, garlic, turmeric and without any and all forms of sugar even honey or agave nectar or coconut, and avoid glycemic spikes such as those that happen if you eat a piece of bread. If you find it difficult to not eat carbs, opt for low glycemic versions such as pure spelt, kamut, quinoa that will give you the bulk you crave without spiking your blood sugar levels, an occurrence that facilitates the re-growth of the Candida.
      Something I take issue with is posts like that from the author of this article that say that there is absolutely no connection, so why bother?!? Well, I’ll tell you why you should bother! Why not!?! Does it hurt to take herbal supplements? Does it hurt to cut out sugar? Does it hurt to do a cleanse? Absolutely not. At a point where people are suffering, why not try everything that you possibly can to feel better, to get better and to invariably heal yourself?!? It simply does not make sense to me, logically, that one would and should not try everything possible to heal ones body!
      If it should happen that you do not have Candida overgrowth – Amazing! Celebrate by eating a cupcake. But if it happens that you do, if you notice a drastic improvement as I and many others have, then finally you have a method to heal yourself that modern medicine did not provide.
      To have someone like the author of this article being so negative and dismissive without even so much as adequate evidence to support the claims that are stated as if absolute is detrimental to those searching for answers, to those who are suffering.
      Stick to it, no matter what. There is light at the end of the tunnel! I never lost hope and I am nearly there – 90% better! Friends will tell you to eat the food they do, family will question what you’re doing, and your doctors will be in shock at your positive results just as mine were.
      We are truly our own best advocates! Take your health into your own hands!

      • To have someone like the author of this article being so negative and dismissive without even so much as adequate evidence to support the claims that are stated as if absolute is detrimental to those searching for answers, to those who are suffering.

        What was that crack?? Oh, my irony meter broke again. Candida proponent accusing me making unsubstantiated claims and lack of evidence. I guess you didn’t notice the ‘toggle references’ link at the end of the post that opens up the references section. Or is it because words references and evidence are so alien in the alt-med world?

        If you were to actually read my posts here instead of making stupid accusations you would actually see that what I recommend is not that different from some anti-Candida recommendations. I recommend limiting sugar and carbohydrates, avoiding milk, trying gluten-free, looking into gut problems and drinking green tea, among other things.

        I’m sure your ‘Candida doctor’ would agree with all of the above. I just cut out the other crap they recommend, such as ridiculous Candida cleanses and anti-fungal herbs and supplements. Instead of those, I talk about intermittent fasting (future post) and supplements that have evidence supporting them.

        The difference is that I want to be reasonably sure that what I recommend actually works and doesn’t waste your time and money. Shocking, I know! Quacks and Candida-proponents like to substitute confidence for evidence. If you think that’s a good idea, then by all means have at it.

        Something I take issue with is posts like that from the author of this article that say that there is absolutely no connection, so why bother?!?

        I see you like building straw men. This one is so massive that once it burns you can see it from the moon.

        I can only assume you were in such a rush to demonize me that you actually forgot to read this post. Because that’s the only way you could think this article is dismissive. I wrote that it’s a good idea to change your diet! As I’ve said, I’ve written countless posts on diet on this blog.

        But since I don’t agree with your pet theory on Candida, I guess that means I dismissive and somehow increase your suffering.

        Look, I get it that you were suffering before and now you feel better. Guess what? You are not the only one. I was there too! I used to suffer from a lot of unexplained symptoms before. And just like you, I got rid of them with diet and lifestyle changes. The difference is that I didn’t need ridiculous nonsense to achieve this. Oh sure, I tried a lot of it. A lot. But it became painfully obvious to me that stuff is just outright nonsense. That’s why I decided to use reason and rely on scientific evidence to figure this out.

        But the fact that you or other people are suffering is not a good reason to turn off your brain and abandon logic and reason. Quite the contrary. It’s all the more reason to look at the evidence and apply reason to make sure you find something that works, instead of wasting years running from quack to quack.

        And just because people get better while on those anti-Candida regimens, doesn’t mean their problems had anything to do with Candida. I get emails from people all the time who got over their acne, fatigue and other problems with the basic recommendations I give. These people didn’t take any of the expensive supplements you recommend or follow ridiculously restrictive diets, and yet they got better. No Candida nonsense required.

        • In fact Seppo, I did read your posts, so please do not be as presumptuous as you are negative and dismissive.
          I did not recommend “expensive” Candida cleanses, nor did I suggest “expensive” supplements. I think you just like scaring people with the word “expensive”.
          I suggested cinnamon and oregano oil; I made recommendations for avoiding sugar and adding more bulk fiber like psyllium to ones diet. Are you just angry that I actually make sense? Let’s be honest here.
          Telling people to avoid scientifically proven natural anti-fungal treatments is not assisting them with their health! Caprylic acid is naturally formed in coconut oil. I’m guessing that you didn’t know that clearly. If someone cannot afford the “expensive” pure form, they can buy a massive jar of coconut oil for the cost of a donut and eat with a spoon for the same natural remedy and effect. Buy a bag of psyllium fiber for the cost of a Starbucks coffee and mix it into your water. Where did you arrive at the conclusion that curing ones own body is “expensive”? As though the American health care system that charges $100 for a box of tissue in the hospital… is that not “expensive” enough for you? Or perhaps the doctor visit that arrives at no conclusive diagnosis that costs $200 or the prescription that treats merely the symptom that costs another $50 isn’t “expensive” Seppo??? What la la land are you living in?
          Every single thing that I wrote is based in fact, it can be proven, it has been proven, it can be researched independently of YOU. People are not so stupid to merely take your blind word for it Seppo. They have eyes and they can read for themselves. Why you appear to be angry at the fact that people should take their health into their own hands and be a positive advocate for their own sustained health and well-being is shocking! It is as though you are personally offended that your word is not taken as GOD or that people should begin to wake up to the idea that they are responsible for themselves.
          Simple changes in diet and the addition of proven naturally formed healing tools hurts no one. It has been proven scientifically that cinnamon is an anti-fungal. Is the cinnamon found in the local grocery store too “expensive” for you???? Is not eating carbs and eating more vegetables too “expensive” for you? Frankly, I don’t even know where you began to argue against “expensive” Candida cleanses, because I did not even suggest that! I am not a proponent of “expensive” cleanses (there’s that word again Seppo!), I advocate a knowledge based understanding of the body and how we can assist healing it. Next thing you know, Seppo will be bashing Penicillin – a powerful and famous anti-biotic – because guess what! It comes from a plant genius!
          Silica gel is found in quartz, naturally occurring in the earth, Dandelions are what you see growing if you don’t spray pesticide on your lawn, Oregano is what you use in cooking as a normal spice, and Penicillin an anti-biotic used in conventional medicine is from a fungus. Yes, that’s right, a fungus. You appear to despise plants so much, so I suggest you stop taking the anti-biotic that your doctor prescribed.
          You are negative and dismissive and you should not be talking to anyone about health – you purport to try to help people on this site when in fact you are practically encouraging them to stay ill! Like I said previously, of which clearly you decided not to argue… because YOU CAN’T… is that why should and would people not do everything in their power to get well? You like to pretend that you are so logically inclined and yet the most logical notion of all – that a person who is ill wants to get better and therefore should do everything that they can to do so – you argue against! Will people not read your blog if they get well Seppo? Or perhaps your ego likes the boost when people as you questions as though you are a doctor? Which one is it?
          We are our own best advocates and you are not a positive influence, you are a detriment. Shame on you.

          • Well, there, I stand corrected. I shouldn’t have written expensive supplements you recommend. I should have said about all the expenses Candida ‘patients’ incur once they happen to talk into the office of these practitioners. Many end up several hundred dollars short when you count all the consultation fees, tests, supplements, herbs and cleanses.

            You keep using words like evidence and scientifically-proven (an oxymoron if there ever was one), but I don’t think they mean what you think they mean. So why don’t you put your money where your mouth is. Where is this evidence you speak of? Inquiring minds are boggling to read it.

            It’s not enough to say that I can research it myself. No, you are the one who made the claim, so the proof of burden lies on you.

            You know why I said you haven’t read the post? Because that’s the only way I can see someone claiming the post is dismissive. I said right there in the post that it’s possible that Candida infections in the gut or skin affect acne. And that it’s a good idea to change your diet – even if you don’t have Candida. I also mentioned that if you suspect Candida, then by all means get tested as it can be diagnosed and treated quite cheaply and quickly with conventional medicine (oh, the horror of using conventional medicine *shudders*).

            I did say that systemic Candida infections are unlikely to be the undiagnosed epidemic quacks claim. Simply because there’s no evidence for it. A few studies have actually looked at the possibility and they’ve all been negative, and I referenced those studies in the post.

            You seem to imply that it is a problem for many, many people. You also state that I’m upset “that my word isn’t taken as GOD”, but at the same time you expect others to trust your words without evidence. So please, share this proof and evidence you have. Put me in my place and show, once and for all, how all the doctors and skeptics so wrong about Candida.

            As for the rest of your comment..


  3. You have no clue as to what you are talking about in this article and it is harmful for those who suffer. Until you have truly suffered from Candida overgrowth you will never know. I was diagnosed by 3 MD’s as having systemic candida. Fatigue, pain, acne, itchy skin anus gums, etc, coated tongue, live candida leaving my body with my stools, etc. After many years of deep cleansing, (i refused medicine, doesnt contribute to true health, its just a bandaid) I have finally cleansed my body and regained my health. Sure, we can pull up all the “science” based on 1 part of the whole but it doesnt prove. Experience does though!

    • I’m happy to hear that you are feeling better. I really am.

      I think this quote from Dr. Steven Novella fits here:

      “What do you think science is? There’s nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. Which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?”

      So what you are essentially saying is that we shouldn’t use consistent logic and reason to try and figure out what works and what doesn’t. That we shouldn’t use controls and blinding to rule out bias and other non-specific effects.

      Instead, we should just believe your experience that is:

      1) Anecdotal
      2) Unblinded and uncontrolled, therefore subject to #3
      3) Most likely massively biased. As humans we are hard wired to seek confirmation to our existing beliefs (see confirmation bias, another great article about confirmation bias at
      4) n=1

      This is not the scientific way of doing this. This is the crank way of doing things, because it allows them to promote nonsense science has long since disproved.

      As I said, I’m happy that you got better. I’m not disputing that you suffered a lot before or that you are feeling better now. You just can’t use your experience to prove that you had systemic Candida infection. Maybe you had, maybe you didn’t. We just can’t say based on your experience.

      All we can say is that you suffered before and now you feel better. But we can’t say what happened inside of you that made you feel better.

      As to 3 MDs diagnosing you with systemic Candida infection, I can’t say anything about that without knowing the details. Lot of MDs do stupid and unscientific things, so it by itself doesn’t prove much.

  4. Hi, Lauren. I’m wondering what type of cleanse you did to help rid you of candida? I have been struggling with acne for almost a couple of years now. A friend of mine has talked me into going paleo. In doing so, I was getting almost no carbs. My skin was starting to improve after about 3 weeks. However, In that time, I lost over 14 lbs. I blame that on me not getting enough healthy fats to keep my calories up. Since I lost so much weight, I decided to start weightlifting to put on muscle. I increased my carb intake and started eating 1-2 sweet potatoes a day… and little by little. . My skin Was getting bad again. I also have other symptoms of candida overgrowth such as brain fog, lots of mucus In my throat, hair falling out BY THE ROOTS, mood swings, depression and my bowel movements are EXTREMELY irregular. I wish I knew how to get rid of this! On paleo, I’m also doing the autoimmune protocol and low fodmaps diet as well. The only things I have been eating are meat, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, kale, spinach, bok choy, ginger and sea salt. I cook or steam all the veggies. I’m not eating fruit. In doing this, I am losing weight again! I’m wondering if I can still reduce the candida if I’m only eating about half a sweet potato after a workout? Im also worried about consuming too much fats. Ive been known to chug 4 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil right before bed just to get my calories up. Very sickening! There was also an article that I read about how weightlifting can cause more candida. Does anyone agree or disagree with this? As of a few days ago, I’ve been drinking 3-5 tsps of Apple cider vinegar a day, taking probiotics and cod liver oil. Hasn’t done much for my digestion. I had diarrhea but that’s about it. Sorry for such Personal information, buthow else can I explainwhat I’m going through? Another article I read stated that you shouldn’t eliminate all sugars because candida will travel up your intestines to try and find something to thrive on! Sorry this is all over the place as I am posting this from my phone. So all in all, What do you all suggest? Please email me. thank you very much!

  5. I just read the Lauren and Seppo argument and I accept both of their positions. I think sometimes doctors might use terms to convey a different meaning than what their patients might confuse. So when the doctor says you may have systemic candida they could just mean you have a higher level than normal; or overgrowth. Apparently (and I’ll have to double check) systemic candida in means your basically about to die.

    Secondly, I think Lauren has done proper research, it just so happens here independant diligence has lead me to essentially the same self-treament (Psyllium, Coconut oil and Milk thistle and avoiding carbos for the time being). I’m basically doing an Atkin’s diet on which though is the fad name (again with the labels) its basically eating more vegetables and a fair sized serving of meat.

    Third, Seppo your article made perfect sens to me. I think people have issue with telling their doctor what they believe to be the cause of their ailments because doctors are usually dismissive and really only prescribe patients anything because it gets them back into the office ($$$). Big Pharma and doctors scratch each others backs. Docs get discounts on free samples for things and other perks, while doctors basically usher in new clients (totally another topic I really don’t wish to have, just my opinion).

    Lastly, applying the scientific method has its limits as subjected systems change. In Lauren’s case she sounds to have applied the scientific method quite well in her case. To discount her success would be flying in the face of use of the scientific method. I think to ask Lauren to show scientific proof to her claims an invalid request given that she is a unique system (sorry Lauren) of which these methods worked. Seppo, if you are asking her to somehow conduct a study with different participants who could likely get a distribution like any other study with outliers and percentages, I think that goes beyond the power of her method as there will be variances between people and even inabilities to conduct aspects of her method (i.e a person who gags and simply will not take coconut oil orally).

    Because not only is everyone’s body different, so are the flora and fauna within their bodies, their immune-responses and the list goes on. Applying the scientific method therefore at some point loses it overall effective value when the result of one internal systems of one subject is used across essentially different systems (people). Its also why some people get nervous when they hear something like,” oh don’t worry only 10% of the population will experience such and such effect” because they know (and are evolutionary primed to assume) they may fall in that 10% and therefore would rather not take the risk of trying out an modern medicine approach. People only care about absolutes, “Will X cure Y for ME? Yes or no.” Statistics are a businesses best friend but not on a per individual basis. Ironically that’s where things get murky. People are too different.

    So Lauren’s basic premise is valid sometimes up to the individual to find ways to self-treat using research and the scientific method. Honestly if the medical community hasn’t served a highly reliable study to support any clear claim to any method of treatment its a bit unfair to ask Lauren the same who is independent. Easy enough to respect the method which at the heart of good science. After all even establish scientists execute bad science (bad assumptions, bad method and/or bad execution). I should say the medical community hasn’t provided a 100% patient confidence claim to any prescription or study because again nobody wants to be the outlier.

    Unfortunately modern medicine is a wrapped up in the business model. There is little incentive to provide a cure right off the bat unless in the case of something like Polio it threatens well…everything: human resources basically and even the bosses of the world. So for the small stuff (like acne) they’ll keep the revolving door open. But things like cancer, Polio and kinda sort HIV, they’ll work on those. There is big money in a cure too, at least in the trial stages.

    It’s late. Likely didn’t any sense somewhere in here. If so I apologize.

    • Thanks for your comment, SomeGuy.

      Let me clarify something. I didn’t ask Lauren to conduct any studies herself. What I asked was for her to provide evidence for statements like “It has been proven scientifically that cinnamon is an anti-fungal” and claims that “high potency oregano oil, caproil, milk thistle, pau d’arco, raw psyillium fibre, dandelion root and leaf tea” are effective anti-fungal treatments.

      She also implied that systemic Candida infections are common and massively undiagnosed. I’m curious to know the rationale behind such claims and beliefs.

      Because I did look at the medical literature on this and what I found contradicted what she claims. The problem is that when people ‘do their own research’ they often end up consuming massively unreliable information. When you start ‘researching’ (i.e. type into Google) anything about Candida, the vast majority of the pages are by people actively pushing and selling Candida cleanses and related information. The vast majority of these pages are not based on science or reliable sources. They just parrot the same Candida nonsense found on a million different websites.

      And I’m by no means denying or discounting her results. All I’m saying is that her results (as far as I know them) don’t require Candida to explain them. For many people simply lowering carb intake and doing other things to reduce insulin level will bring similar benefits.

      The problem is that such n=1, uncontrolled experiments can’t say anything about Candida. Without confirmed diagnosis before and after, we simply have no idea whether she even had Candida. Just being diagnosed by a naturopath or some other natural healer doesn’t mean anything since they are notorious for using massively unreliable diagnostic tests. Just earlier this week a woman emailed me telling me a naturopath had ‘diagnosed’ her with Candida based on muscle testing. Muscle testing is beyond ridiculous and has been shown many times to have absolutely no diagnostic value.

      So you see why I’m skeptical of these Candida claims? And why I keep asking for more objective proof.

      I do agree with you that to a degree we are all individuals. And just because a treatment is effective in studies doesn’t mean it’s effective for every single individuals, there will always be individuals that, for whatever reason, won’t respond to the treatment. That said, even if everything Lauren said is true (meaning she had Candida and her improvement was due to eradicating Candida), it’s still doesn’t prove that her method would work for other people. As you said, what works for one may not work for another. That’s why we need studies with larger sample size. So that we can at least estimate the probability of a given treatment working.

  6. u sir are a fool… every time i see another one of your articles, it induces me to near vomiting

    i cannot for the life of me figure out, how u became like u are, i mean, creating a page dedicated to “curing” acne, and yet u dont recognize the role candida plays in it.. fool 🙂 good riddance fool. people have (many many many many many people) cured themselves completely (and yes fool, this is the real cure, not the BS you preach on this site, where a lifetime of struggle is required to keep acne at bay, not even curing it just keep at bay) of acne after getting their candida under control. i still cant believe how deluded u are

    people, if u want to save yourself years of dead end roads following advice of a person who doesnt know a thing about acne (even though he thinks he does), leave this page and dont come back

    sorry for the harsh words everyone, but this was literally the straw that broke the camels back. i stumbled on some of this guys deluded posts before, but this has to be the worst one.. the worst because it directs people away from dealing with the real cause behind most acne (not all, but most)

    • Thank you for your informed opinion. The moment you show me good evidence that the so-called systemic Candida epidemic is the problem alternative medicine practitioners claim it is, I’ll be happy to correct this post. But at the moment there’s no evidence to support it, and good reasons to believe it’s yet another made up disease.

      You talk about lifetime struggle to keep acne at bay (which I don’t agree, none of this is struggle to me), yet you seem to be perfectly ok with people spending years and years on strict anti-Candida diets without seeing any results.

  7. I found this information which makes me very suspicious about the claims that Nick Delgado makes about any of their products that they sell. It seems that one does not need to give away free product to customers to get them to post positive reviews online at amazon.
    See below:

    Now to get your second FREE bottle
    all you have to do is simply use the Estro Block
    as you normally would, then go to AMAZON
    and post an honest review of your experience.
    It can be helpful, interesting, innovative… or not.
    Its up to you. Literary allusions and pop culture
    references are appreciated, but will not get you
    extra bottles. Now just cut and paste your review
    into an email and send it to us so we can confirm
    and… BAM!

    Just like that.

    Are you jumping for Joy yet?
    Its OK, we wont judge you.

    -The Delgado Protocol for Health

  8. I just came across this article and the comments almost more entertaining than the reading. Seppo you’re hilarious. Really, there are some epic responses here(of course clearly to match the level of ignorance in the comments.)

  9. Dear Seppo,

    Here are a few comments regarding your post.

    First of all, I think that your article is biased in a similar way as Lauren’s replies. I do not want to offend you, I just think that it is not possible for a blog post to be unbiased. You present the two reviews that do not prove anything. More specifically, they DO NOT PRESENT EVIDENCE that yeast infections are a real problem or are not. Both papers say that the data are CONTRADICTORY. In the currently scientifically studied medical/biological subjects it is rather rare case that there exist no contradictory data. There are different methodologies/conditions of experiments that may give different results, and often we do not know which conditions are better (corresponding better to the real phenomenon). Scientists are just (subjective) people and especially the reviews can be biased. What I’m trying to say is that science (should be but) is not objective in real world and science papers should be treated critically. Also, no offence (it may be not your case), but it is often that people understand science this simplified way:

    In scientific research there are also trends, connected for instance to the fact that funding of the project is more probable when the topic is “hot”. Example: if we have Ebola threat, the papers presenting Ebola infection epidemics models will be the most popular/cited, and grants in this field will be more probable.

    Therefore, we have some evidence of action of natural remedies against different microorganisms, but these are often from more local, lower-impact journals (e.g. Chinese journal studying impact of local herbs on something) and not many. This is because the subject of natural medicine, similarly like yeast infections, only starts to be popular and it has not been well investigated yet. So we cannot say that something is untrue or true because science did not study the subject. If there is no evidence it may mean not many were interested or believed enough in this subject so far. If there is no scientific evidence it does not mean that something does not work.

    By the way, as an example, cinnamon vs. Candida: 😉

    Of course, there is a lot of quackery around Candida, because usually if something is not proven (but plausible ;)) it attracts many trying to make use of it. However, I think it does not make sense to suggest that ALL of it is quackery. Also, I wouldn’t underestimate so much intuition and `common reason’. Some of the beliefs are just myths and are worth nothing, but there are herbs and natural remedies that really work (see PubMed) and that were first found by people not in the controlled scientific process but by intuitive choices. For most people it does not matter if the cause is CANDIDA or something else, they just care if the protocol they use makes their health better.

    Additionally, what you write is a little conflicted. First you suggest: “Studies find no evidence for Candida syndrome”, then you suggest that there is evidence that leaky gut and candida toxins can affect skin health (for me it could be called… wait… Candida syndrome!). And also you really cannot claim that you are more objective than “Candida advocates” if you give just a few references. That’s fine, but this post is only your OPINION on the subject.

    Another problem with diagnosing yeast infections may be the methods of diagnosis which are often far from perfect, and we may get quite high rates of false positive of false negative results. This is, for instance, a known problem with antibody-based diagnosis of bacterial infections (refs even on Wikipedia: e.g. Bacterial infections are widely studied for a long time, and Candida albicans, probably not so.

    I hope I did not offend you with my opinion.


    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Joanna. I don’t get offended and I welcome all constructive discussion.

      I do agree with many of the points you’ve made. However, I do disagree with the premise of your comment. You seem to think I’m arguing Candida infections aren’t real. My point is that so far Candida proponents have not provided any evidence to support their claim that subclinical systemic Candida infections would be an undiagnosed epidemic and the cause of many health problems. What evidence we have is, as you pointed out, inconclusive.

      I do agree that we can’t rule out the possibility based on the 2 studies I cited. Then again, they are the only studies I’m aware of and both are negative. All the currently available scientific evidence suggest that the ‘undiagnosed Candida epidemic’ is not real. And what evidence do the proponents cite to support their claims. Pretty much nothing, as far as I’m aware of.

      To make matters worse, most of the Candida proponents are alt-med practitioners. These people are more or less openly hostile to science and use treatment methods that are not consistent with what we understand of human anatomy, physiology and chemistry – i.e. not aligned with reality.

      As far as I see it, the conclusion that there is no undiagnosed Candida epidemics is entirely consistent with currently available evidence. The proponents are welcome to support evidence for their claims, but I’m not exactly holding my breath for it to happen.

      This is because the subject of natural medicine, similarly like yeast infections, only starts to be popular and it has not been well investigated yet.

      I wouldn’t say yeast infections haven’t been researched. Typing Candida into PubMed brings up over 54,000 studies.

      Additionally, what you write is a little conflicted. First you suggest: “Studies find no evidence for Candida syndrome”, then you suggest that there is evidence that leaky gut and candida toxins can affect skin health (for me it could be called… wait… Candida syndrome!).

      I make the distinction between local and systemic Candida infections. There is no controversy over local infections, such as in the gut and the skin. These are well-known and I agree that they can contribute to gut problems and acne.

      I’m arguing against ‘undiagnosed systemic Candida epidemic’ claims. Big difference between the two. And the Candida proponents almost never refer to local infections, they always talk about systemic infections being the real problem.

      So we cannot say that something is untrue or true because science did not study the subject. If there is no evidence it may mean not many were interested or believed enough in this subject so far. If there is no scientific evidence it does not mean that something does not work.

      Agree 100%. And I’m not claiming Candida infections are not real or that they absolutely couldn’t play a role in acne.

      All I’m saying is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far we have a lot of claims but almost no real evidence. And what evidence we have suggest there is no undiagnosed Candida epidemic.

  10. One weekend I came down with flu like symptoms. BAD. Eventually went to the ER on Monday, and found out through stool samples that I had C Diff and Salmonella. They put me on antibiotics, which cleared the C Diff, but I had some pretty strange bowel colors months after. Did some low sugar high probiotics and voila fixed.

    Candida after all my research, is the scapegoat for sick people’s problems. OH I’M EATING HEALTHY WHICH CLEARED THE CANDIDA AND NOW I FEEL GREAT. Actually, eating healthy makes you feel great, not curing Candida.

    The fact that the only science trying to cure Candida are herbalists says a lot. And no, I’m not talking about vaginal or thrush yeast infections. I’m talking about the systemic WE’RE ALL INFECTED AND DYING type.

    Fact is all our bodies react differently to different foods. Allergies are a perfect example. Find good wholesome foods and keep the junk to a minimum and you’ll be shocked that you are getting better because you are giving your body nutrients.

    I am a firm believer in probiotics and keeping your gut alive and well with good bacteria, but there is simply zero evidence to support systemic candida. Actually the opposite is true. There was a great article on U.S. News about it

    Look, don’t stop eating healthy and don’t stop whatever makes you feel good. But don’t walk around blaming a disease that frankly isn’t real. If you don’t think big pharma would loooove to make some money off that then you’re wrong. If it was real big pharma would be all over it. But, it’s not so the herbalists who don’t actually have to prove it exists scientifically have a hay day on the vulnerable.

    Enjoy your day and hopefully you can get over the Candida epidemic of the mind.

    • Thanks for the good comment. I especially liked the U.S. News article bit where she showed it’s not possible for Candida in the gut to cause bloating – at least not directly. It sort of supports what I’ve been suspecting for some time now.

      I don’t doubt that people who go to anti-Candida regimens feel better, but it’s probably not because they killed off Candida. Part of it probably comes down to just eating healthier.

      But I suspect many who diagnose themselves with Candida actually have small intestine bacterial overgrowth or other imbalances in the gut microflora. These can cause bloating, digestive issues, and various other problems blamed on Candida. Furthermore, many anti-Candida herbs are effective against harmful bacteria in the gut. Most likely what happens is that these anti-Candida herbs and regiments help to rebalance the bowel microflora and assist in healing the gut. In fact, just 2 days ago I ordered some of these herbs (sold as anti-Candida products) to try to fix my gut issues.

      I of course can’t prove this, but it my mind it’s far more credible explanation than these people healing themselves from systemic Candida overgrowth.

  11. Thanks for writing this. I have been trying to clear acne or pimples on my arms, upper chest and legs. I was on a lot of Topical steroids such as cortisone cream a few years ago for a small bit of eczema. I over used them and it suppressed my adrenal glands and my natural cortisol levels were really low. I basically had a withdrawal reaction. It was really brutal… I am finally almost normal now but I believe the Topical steroids killed a lot of my bacteria and unbalanced my gut causing me to have too much yeast. I can’t stop these pimples. I tried the natural remedies and supplements and diet but the clearing is taking way too long. It has helped but it has taken months so far and I can’t stick to the diet anymore. It’s good to know that I can ask a doctor. I was worried they would laugh at me about it because it’s “Candida overgrowth” or something.
    What is the test called to see if the acne is caused by yeast?

    • It sounds.. dubious.. that topical streoid cream would have such an effect on your gut bacteria. If someone has evidence to indicate otherwise, I would be happy to change my mind, but until that I remain highly skeptical.

      More plausible explanation could be that the streoids suppressed the immune system on the skin and allowed bacteria or fungi to get in, which is what causes your current skin problems. I honestly don’t know, but I’m highly skeptical that topical streoids would have such a drastic effect on gut bacteria.

      There’s no test to check whether acne is caused by Candida. What you can do is talk to a doctor and ask them to check both your skin and gut for Candida. Positive result wouldn’t prove that Candida causes your acne, but at least you know if you have it or not.

  12. I have had an acne problem for the passed two and a half years only on my jaw line …. I believe it is from candida over growth in my stomach …. What would be the best way to treat this?!

  13. Hey,

    Great article. I diagnosed myself with a candida infection back in 2009. So i went on the diet, and at 25 it was the first time since i hit puberty that my skin was clear. After that even a hint of the bad food would make my face and body breakout in terrible cystic acne. My gut was good. i could digest food. I got over my addiction to food. I lost weight, but I have a fast metabolism so I was always hungry. After my dr started me on an anti-depressant I stopped getting hungry and lost a lot of weight. Then after stopping that drug I had a few days of the bad foods, because I was starving again, and since I’ve gained weight that I can’t lose. My body just holds onto weight now, and exercise made me gain more water weight. Like in a week I gained ten pounds. A few times I was able to lose the weight, but each time it came right back despite still being on this diet. Then I was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis. After the first year after my hospitalization I started gaining weight again, and my gut feels like it’s on fire like it did every other time I gained a lot in a few days. I have constipation with UC! I have weight and belly bloat, but at least that one ear of traditional UC I felt better, if that makes since beacuse I wasn’t gaining weight or constipated. But now I’m both with broken out skin. I can’t eat anything without breaking out. I’d be okay with that, except with such a limited diet I want to be then again. I’m still thin, so drs don’t take me seriously, but i can’t exercise and my body is sagging from lack of movement. I’m really frustrated and the consultant at the Humira company advised me to stop taking it beacuse it wasn’t helping. I’m only 32 years old with body wide cystic acne, no energy, fragile hair, UC, scaly spots in my scalp, ears and the side of my face, embarrassing, painful gas, and no definitive reason why my body is just so unhealthy. All my tests say that I am really healthy. I doubt you can help, but I’m basically a prisoner in my apartment. I have no life beacuse I’m so sick.

    • I’m sorry to hear you have to go through all that. I have did some research on inflammatory bowel conditions, but not nearly enough to give you good advice. There’s some research to show that taking turmeric, or curcumin, can reduce inflammation in the gut.

      Intestinal permeability, or leaky gut, also seems to play a role in inflammatory bowel conditions. One thing I recommend for that is Acacia gum, or gum arabica. It’s a slowly fermented fiber that feeds the good bacteria in the digestive system. It specifically promotes butyrate production in the gut, which is an anti-inflammatory and gut-repairing short-chain fatty acid. I use a product called Heather’s Tummy Fiber. It’s cheap and has a neutral taste. I mix a tablespoon in a glass of water and take morning and evening.

      Finally, here’s a review paper I found that goes over various other nutritional remedies for UC.

      EDIT. Just stumbled on a study that showed increasing butyrate in the colon by feeding UC patients oat bran seems to significantly help. Here’s a link to the paper:

  14. BTW, while I originally thought I had a candida infection, I realized after a few trips to the dermatologist recently that the alt health people just gave a name to something. I have gut issues, like many of us do, so that certain foods trigger acne. Simple as that. Eating less sugar, starches, refined foods, and drinking more water is just sound advice. Great article.

    • I’ve come to also suspect this something like this. Many of the symptoms linked to Candida, especially the gastrointestinal ones, could be explained by bacterial overgrowth or imbalance in the digestive system. Anti-Candida diets usually drastically reduce the amount of fermentable fiber in the gut, which drastically reduces the number of bacteria that can live there. Also, many of the anti-Candida supplements also have antibacterial effects. In fact, some of the herbal antimicrobials I recommend for people with gut issues are sold as ‘Candida cleaners’.

  15. Thanks so much for the responses. I’ll read these and look into the supplement you suggested. Thanks

  16. Could you be specific on what exact tests need to be done to diagnose candida, and what are some of the medications that we should expect to be prescribed to treat it?

  17. Just my thoughts.

    I am sure that Candida is in a way real. I started having itchy scalp (almost no dandruf), forehead acne and itchy anus in the last 6 months without looking in internet and knowing what Candida is.
    I tried all types of different acne treatments and the only thing that worked for a while was Zynerit…but like many of you know – the minute I stopped with it, it all started again. Now i’m not sure if it’s exactly what they call Candida, or just some other infection but I will at some point find out. For example, I stopped all antibiotics and cleaning creams and started using Nizoral 2% shampoo as my washing cream and so far it works…which means that that there is some truth in the Candida theory.

    On the other hand, I do think that many of the Candida books, even the bigger ones are a scam. For example take the Candida Crusher – you will find tons of articles about it online but rarely any criticism or even scepticism. If you search for “Candida Crusher Scam” you will see many fake posts and fake websites even redirecting you to their official site.
    Same goes for many other Candida Diets. It’s incredibly rare to find one, where they don’t try to sell you something – a book, a supplement, something. The ones that don’t are just random health sites who have published random Candida materials to fill up their content.
    Another thing that sounds a little dodgy to me is the fact that there is rarely a way to determine if you really have Candida, since the symptoms are way too many and broad. The tests to determine them are also dodgy. Let’s take the Spit test for example – I know plenty of people who don’t have any gut problems who still couldn’t “take” the test. It’s a bit hard to determine what exactly candida is if we don’t have tests at all. From what I can see, the physical symptoms are way too many and there isn’t a test that doesn’t often give at false results…which leaves a lot to imagination and free interpretation. I have seen for example various Question tests regarding Candida and most of them are made in way that almost everybody will test positive – even people who don’t have any problems. Let’s take Acne for another example. How do you determine that the Candida is causing your acne? how is this acne any different? Why is it the Candida, and not just your health habbits?
    Also it’s a bit strange that there are hundreds of sites about candida “Candidacure”, “candidakiller”, “candidacrusher” and all that. They all follow the same route and even use the same type of sell tricks.

    Overall, I think that there is some truth behind the whole Candida yeast infection thingy, but I feel like all the Candida Gurus are either scams or missing something. The link between the gut and our face is clear, i’m just skeptical when it comes to all the cures/diets and especially when it comes to all the syndrome.
    Here for example there is a honest sounding (but simple) story without much scientific facts but without any hidden agenda either.
    I’m sure that there is more that science can discover when it comes to Candida and overall when it comes to our gut but we definitely should be careful who we trust.

Comments are closed.