Candida And Gut Inflammation


Welcome to my blog entitled ‘Candida And Gut Inflammation”.

Before we start, other blogs that you might be interested in, include:

Introducing Candida And Gut Inflammation

Candida organisms commonly colonize the human gastrointestinal tract as a component of the resident microbiota. Their presence is generally benign. Recent studies, however, show that high level Candida colonisation is associated with several diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Further, results from animal models argue that Candida colonisation delays healing of inflammatory lesions and that inflammation promotes colonisation (1).

These effects may create a vicious cycle in which low-level inflammation promotes fungal colonisation and fungal colonization promotes further inflammation (1).

Candida Colonises In Gut Inflammation.

Candida colonisation in patients suffering from GI tract disease has been documented in several situations. These include:

  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Gastic ulcers.

Crohn’s disease And Candida

The inflammation that is characteristic of Crohn’s disease (CD), a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is thought to arise as a result of dysregulated immune interactions between the host and components of the intestinal microbial flora (1).

This study demonstrated an association between familial Crohn’s disease and intestinal colonisation by C. albicans.

Ulcerative colitis And Candida

Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), another form of IBD, are also frequently colonised by Candida. For example, in one study:

many patients with long standing disease (duration >5 yr) had high level colonisation detected in stool or brush smears from inflamed mucosa.

Among the control group, individuals with diarrhea but not UC, only one person was highly colonised (1).

Gastric Ulcers And Candida

Candida organisms colonize ulcers, particularly when the ulcers are large or perforated (Table 1). In several studies, Candida organisms were cultured from gastric biopsies, brush samples of mucosa or peritoneal fluid. Colonisation was observed more frequently in older patients and in patients with hypoacidity (1).

Candida Inhibits Healing Of Gut Inflammation

To elucidate the interplay between Candida and the host during disease, animal models of GI tract disease have been employed. Taken together, these studies show that C. albicans exacerbates damage and delays healing of inflammatory lesions in animal models (1).

Inflammation Promotes C. albicans Colonisation

C.andida does not appear to evoke sufficient levels of inflammation to colonise the mouse GI tract successfully without antibiotic treatment.

However, the organism is able to exploit inflammation stimulated through other mechanisms to enhance its ability to colonise.

Since inflammation increases the likelihood of significant Candida colonisation and Candida colonisation reduces healing of lesions, these effects would produce a vicious cycle (1).

Conclusions: Candida And Gut Inflammation

As the studies discussed above show, high-level Candida colonisation is frequently observed in ulcer and IBD patients. Frequent colonization may, in part, reflect modern treatments for these conditions, which include administration of drugs such as antibiotics or immunomodulators. In addition, the presence of Candida delays healing and exacerbates disease.

This vicious cycle in which inflammation promotes Candida colonisation and Candida colonisation delays healing may impact many patients.

The effects of antifungal treatment on ulcerative colitis patients argue that reduction in fungal colonisation could be beneficial for colonised patients.

Interestingly, administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus reduced symptoms of UC in human patients .


  1. Inflammation and gastrointestinal Candida colonization (click here)
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