Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Candida cleanse diet: What does it treat?

What is a candida cleanse diet and what does it do?

Updated: 09-03-2011

Answer

Some complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners blame common symptoms such as fatigue, headache and poor memory on intestinal overgrowth of the fungus-like organism Candida albicans, or yeast syndrome. To cure the syndrome, they recommend a candida cleanse diet, which includes no sugar, white flour, yeast and cheese, on the theory that these foods promote candida overgrowth.

Unfortunately, there isn't much evidence to support the diagnosis of yeast syndrome. Consequently many conventional practitioners doubt its validity. And there are no clinical trials that document the efficacy of a candida cleanse diet for treating any recognized medical condition.

Not surprisingly, many people note improvement in various symptoms when following this diet. If you stop eating sugar and white flour, you'll generally wind up cutting out most processed foods, which tend to be high in calorie content and low in nutritive value. Within a few weeks of replacing processed foods with fresh ones and white flour with whole grains, you may start to feel better in general. That, rather than stopping the growth of yeast in the gastrointestinal tract, is the main benefit of a candida cleanse diet.