As a medical researcher and former yeast infection patient, I am often asked about the connection between vinegar and yeast infections. Most experts agree that eating certain foods encourages yeast growth and increases the chance of an infection. But what about vinegar? Vinegar has been shown to improve the health of many people. So does vinegar cause yeast infections or does it cure them?
Yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of a fungus called Candida. Candida lives in small numbers inside everyone’s body. In small amounts it is beneficial to the body and certainly not dangerous. Candida becomes a threat to the body when it grows out of control in the digestive system and then enters the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, it circulates throughout the body attacking where it finds an opportunity.
Certain foods can create an environment within the body that encourages yeast growth. White sugar, refined white rice and flour, and some highly processed foods encourage the growth of Candida and impair the body’s ability to fight infection.
The body’s pH level also affects the growth of Candida yeast. The pH level, which stands for “potential hydrogen,” is a measure of the amount of acid in the body. The scale goes from 0 (high acid) to 14 (low acid). The pH level of human blood should be between 7.35 and 7.45. Pure water has a pH of 7 which is considered neutral. Even a small change in the pH level can have a significant effect on our health.
The higher the acid level, the easier it is for yeast to grow. Anyone suffering from yeast infections should do everything they can to keep their body’s pH level at the lowest healthy point possible.
Several factors that contribute to high pH levels are:
1. High levels of stress
2. Lack of exercise
3. Excess fat in the diet
4. Excessive consumption of dairy products
5. Not enough fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet
White vinegar is extremely acidic with a typical pH level between 2.4 and 3.4. This extremely high acid level creates an ideal environment for Candida yeast to grow out of control. White vinegar should be eliminated from the diet of anyone who has a yeast infection or is prone to yeast infection. Most other types of vinegar, including balsamic, red wine, and rice vinegar, are also very acidic.
The one exception to the rule is apple cider vinegar which has a pH of 7.5. Often sold in health food stores, unfiltered, unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar can actually lower the body’s acid level. Many researchers believe that a teaspoon or two a day will help prevent yeast infections and improve overall health.
The answer to the question, “does vinegar cause yeast infections?” is yes and no. White, balsamic, red wine, and rice vinegar will definitely cause yeast infections. Natural organic apple cider vinegar will not. This is an example of how important it is to rely only on a well-informed and respected source like YeastFreeLife.com for your natural health information.