Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, are consumed by a large percentage of people on a daily basis. This is often done for the increased energy they provide, with little thought given to the other effects the drinks may have on the body.
If you suffer from yeast infections, have you ever thought that there may just be a connection between the infections and your coffee drinking? It is believed by many that this is the case, but is it really true?
Let’s examine and relationship between coffee and yeast infections, and see if they are indeed linked.
The most important “ingredient” in coffee is obviously caffeine, so we’ll examine it first.
Caffeine is an stimulant alkaloid which is found naturally in the seeds of the coffee plant. Considered to be the world most widely used psychoactive drug, caffeine is consumed by more than 90% of North American adults on a daily basis.
So what does this have to do with yeast infections?
Well, in their book “Candida Albicans: A Nutritional Approach“, Rita Elkins and Louise Tenney suggest that caffeine can eliminate certain nutritional elements such as vitamin B-1, inositol, biotin, potassium and zinc. They go on to say that the assimilation of calcium and iron into the body is also hindered. This is significant because these nutrients are a crucial in aiding the body’s immune system to help fight candida, otherwise known as yeast.
Also, although they do not give reasons, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a caffeine free diet when dealing with vaginitis, another condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast.
Beyond simply caffeine, there are other factors at play when consuming coffee that can either cause or worsen yeast infections.
If you enjoy your coffee more with a bit of sugar added, then your yeast infections are likely to be even worse!
Yeast feeds on glucose, and blood glucose levels are increased whenever sugar is consumed. Even worse, caffeine causes blood sugar levels to rise even faster than by merely consuming sugar alone.
Coffee is known to be a diuretic, which means that it flushes water out of your system. While the effect is typically mild, even slight dehydration in the body can cause the vaginal walls to dry out and allow the candida to thrive more easily. The flushing out of water also typically means that you are losing some of the good bacteria which counteracts the growth of yeast.
Yes, drinking coffee can play a role in either causing or worsening yeast infections. It is due to factors including, but not limited to, caffeine, sugar, and dehydration.