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Vinegar and Candida

Vinegar and Candida

The first step to starting the candida diet is getting familiar with what you can and cannot eat.  Resources outlining this information are plentiful and pretty consistent.  There are however a few controversial foods that have caused great confusion for candida dieters.  Vinegar is one of these foods.

When I first started the candida diet I studied several candida diet resources.  I studied these resources until I understood why I could not consume particular foods.  Most resources provided good explanations as to why it was necessary to avoid certain foods, but the reason for avoiding vinegar eluded me.  These resources were consistent in recommending that vinegar be eliminated but the information as to why, was vague.   Till this day I have never found a good reason for avoiding it.   Vinegar is found in many condiments and can be challenging to avoid.  Despite this challenge and not understanding why I had to eliminate vinegar, I decided to eliminate it anyway, just to be on the safe side.

Vinegar and Candida

So what is the relationship between vinegar and candida?  Maybe understanding what vinegar is and how it is made will help us figure this out.  According to Wikipedia vinegar is primarily acetic acid and water.  Acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of alcohol by bacteria.  Fermentation is the process of adding bacteria or yeast to convert sugars into acid.  So vinegar falls into the fermented foods category and historically fermented foods have not been recommended for the candida diet.

Fermented foods are prohibited on the candida diet because they are often developed using yeast.  Avoiding all types of yeast has been a widely held candida diet belief that has recently been called into question.  While vinegar may be developed using yeast, the bacteria which develops in the fermentation process may be beneficial to our health.  This is actually the case with all fermented foods.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) seems to be the mother of fermented foods.  Most new candida diet resources have started to include ACV as an approved food.  ACV is actually encouraged as it is suspected to have antifungal properties that combat candida.  I have been using ACV for 2 to 3 years without any problems.   It is actually my go to remedy for sinus infections.  I use natural, unfiltered ACV because I believe that it contains the most beneficial enzymes and bacteria.  While I use ACV other types of vinegar may also provide health benefits.

I wish I had some concrete scientific studies that I could share explaining the health benefits of vinegar but I don’t.  There have been animal studies and small human studies involving vinegar.  While these studies are promising they are only preliminary and need further investigation.  The benefits of vinegar are grounded in folklore rather than modern science.  This folklore however spans thousands of years.  The Healing Powers of Vinegar by Cal Orey offers numerous first person accounts of people who have successfully treated health problems with vinegar.  There are also numerous vinegar success stories online.

While I believe vinegar may be a beneficial addition to the candida diet, vinegar may not be for everyone.  Some people are extremely sensitive to fermented foods so ultimately you will need to decide if vinegar and other fermented foods are right for you.  If you are not seeing improvement in your candida symptoms while consuming or after adding vinegar or other fermented foods to your diet than you may have to eliminate them.

One thing that I have learned is that candida guidelines while helpful are not be perfect for everyone.  With allergies, food sensitivities and other coexisting health issues it is hard to develop a one size fits all protocol.   Your body is the best judge of what you should be eating, so listen to it carefully.


Apple Cider Vinegar on WebMD
The Healing Powers Of Vinegar
Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect

Vinegar on Wikipedia


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14 comments to Vinegar and Candida

  • I have actually been using apple cider vinegar for weight loss. I read a piece regarding the numerous health benefits that can be gained from drinking it every day, I also noticed it said that it may help with weight loss. Apple cider vinegar works by lowering water retention and rising your metabolic rate, nonetheless I have lost in the region of 4 lbs in about 4 weeks so I have no complaints!

  • Blair

    About white vinegar and candida:
    I’m fighting a candida outbreak right now and have been for over a month in order to keep it under control. Today we went out for lunch, and I made myself a huge salad of all sorts of green leafy veggies, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, etc. I knew to avoid the blue cheese dressing, and I assume that the ranch contains milk, so without thinking I went for the Italian dressing … forgetting of course that a good portion of that salad dressing is white vinegar.

    Tonight, to put in plainly, I’m miserable. My candida was concentrated on my lips, and for the last several hours my lips have constantly burned, they sting, and feel horribly dry no matter what I put on them. Yes, it’s the candida, I know this feeling well. So I’ve gone completely through every bite I ate today, and nothing else could possibly be the cause … other than the white vinegar and possibly a bit of sugar if they used it in their recipe for Italian salad dressing. So if you fighting a candida outbreak, definitely stay away from anything containing vinegar, such as:
    Italian Dressing
    Most steak sauces
    Anything that’s pickled
    Soy sauce
    Green olives: I’ve eaten black olives, and they don’t seem to bother me.
    I think the main thing is what was said above; pay attention to your body and how it reacts to food, especially a food that is new for you while on the candida diet.
    Good luck, and happy eating.

  • I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  • [...] Vinegar and Candida | Yeast Free LivingJan 17, 2010 … Is vinegar allowed on the candida diet? Apple Cider Vinegar seems to be okay for some but what is the science behind excluding vinegar to … [...]

  • This is very interesting. I am researching a diet for a coworker who suspects candida. IBS, gall bladder removed, randomly break out in warts, random skin rashes. fatigue, and gets sick quite often, allergies. Anyone have any input on this case?
    Great information here, strait forward. Much appreciated. I will forward this on to her.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge


  • Kate

    This is great information, I am researching for a coworker. All her symptoms point to candida. IBS, gall bladder, removed, random break out in warts, skin rashes. Ill often.
    I will forward this on to her.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Great info, straight forward,

    p.s. to the moderator, suggestion, I had to write this 3 times, your spam detector kept blocking the post. I didnt include any links. only a web address where it is asked for.

  • drew

    Thank you for posting this. I am starting an anti-candida program this month. This is the second time going through this. I too find myself not quite believing all the things people say to avoid for the same reason as you. I need to understand how these things feed candida or at least feel confident that avoiding them is really getting me somewhere. When I did an anti-yeast program once before, I did not avoid vinegar. It was more of an Adkins style diet. I did see results, but I found it very difficult to stick to the program. This time around, I’m following a a modified version of Dr. Semen’s “Feast without Yeast” program that does forbid vinegar, but allows all sorts of things I never dreamed you could eat without feeding candida like beans. I’m still skeptical, but willing to try it.

  • Tommy

    Vinegar does not contain yeast. At all. In any quantity.

    Additionally, vinegar is an anti-fungal. I don’t know where your getting your info, but you might want to check your sources. There is simply no way that vinegar can help candida prosper.

  • M Beck

    I do agree with Tommy. As a master baker, I know that vinegar kills yeast, and that’s a proven scientific fact. Vinegar is never added to a yeast rising dough, unless one is looking to make flatbread. Though, I do know there is a relevant difference between distilled white vinegar and raw apple cider vinegar, which contains live enzymes, distilled white vinegar does not.

  • Italian dressing usually has some form of sugar in it which I believe isn’t what you want to feed candida. I’m not a doctor or an expert on this, but I think that olive oil and vinegar should be fine as long as no sugar, cornstarch, or other kinds of thickeners are added. Then again, I could be wrong.

  • I concur with those who say that vinegar is not a contributing factor to candida. if there were any yeast particles in the solution, they’d surely be dead after going through the distilling process and then the turning to vinegar. Yeast like acidic environments, yes. but not THAT acidic. Furthermore, your stomach is highly acidic and ingesting vinegar (or anything else) won’t effect the PH of your gut to any notable extent, thanks to the regulatory pathways of your digestive system that are designed to maintain a consistent ph regardless of your diet. (obviously, if you have a digestive disorder, this balance can be altered). But vinegar has a ph of 2.4 or 2.5 ish…too acidic for yeast to be happy with even if you filled your bowels with it. And to the person who said that it caused lip burning…well, maybe your lips were sensitive from the yeast irritation, and the vinegar stung them as you were eating? If you have chapped lips, i would never suggest eating buffalo wings or salt and vinegar chips.

    I assume the logic, though inappropriately applied, is that vinegar’s ph would kill more of the good bacteria in your gut than it would the yeast; thus disturbing the flora balance even more. Again, that doesn’t actually work, since your stomach ph is 1-3 normally. adding vinegar doesn’t make it more acidic–less so in fact.

  • Jamie

    While Apple Cider Vinegar is good at killing candida, it can kill the candida too fast for your body to excrete the toxins. When candida die off, it can release many toxins, and those toxins can over load the body or organs if you kill them off to fast. So, if you plan on using ACV in your candida treatment, use it slowly and cautiously.

  • Thank you all for the great insight about vinegar and candida… I have been living with Candida for quite some time without knowing what I had for several years.. I have been suffering with skin rashes and vaginal infections,, thinking it had to be a simple yeast infection that I could just cure myself by purchasing over the counter meds.. I seem to be getting worse so I looked up some possibilities on line and came across a website full of awesome information about candida and sure enough all the signs and symptoms fit what I’m going through.. I’m now on a candida diet and taking a candida cleanse pill twice a day for a month now. I’m a long way from getting better so that’s why I’m always doing research and came across this site. I will definitely take into consideration the consumption of vinegar !!!! Thank You Stephanie

  • Peter

    I have a question about vinegar. Is it safe to wash vegetables with WHITE vinegar? I usually dip vegetables in boiling water just for a few seconds and then in a bowl with some white vinegar and water I leave them for a couple of minutes. After this I dip them in boiling water again, to get rid of all the vinegar, as I read that you should consume it during that time. Is this good or am I making things worse?

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