Can Candida Cause Depression? Is There A link?

Greetings! It’s New Zealand naturopath Eric Bakker. Author of Candida Crusher and formulator of the Canxida range of products. I’ve got a whole lot of emails here from different people mainly through the YouTube channel. I’ve had many questions from subscribers all around the world. I’ll start off with an interesting question here from a man-Manu. It looks like the surname’s Clijsters. It sounds like a Dutch guy. Manu Clijsters is from Belgian. Manu’s asking me the question: “Eric, can you please explain to us if there’s any link between depression and a yeast infection?”

Manu has written me a bit of a story about himself about depression and anxiety that he developed along with a Candida infection, and he wants to know if there’s a link between them both. He was previously not depressed. He didn’t really suffer from depression. He had a little bit of anxiety, but now he’s got quite a lot of depression and the doctors put him on medications.

Manu, there’s a huge link between depression and Candida. In fact, many neurological issues like this-conditions where people think they need antidepressants or anxiety pills or sleeping pills. Many of them actually have their root cause in gut dysfunction and in Candida and poor levels of beneficial bacteria.

Let me explain a few things here. If you want good cognition and good mood, you need to have very good digestive health. You need a very good connection between the gut and the brain. You need to have a very good balance of stress hormones and many other hormones and neurotransmitters that allow the brain to connect with the body on multiple levels.

If we look at a couple of different important hormones, for example. There’s one called serotonin, another called melatonin. There’s various kinds. There’s dopamine. Dopamine and serotonin in particular, we’re starting to learn recently that a high percentage of these hormones are in fact made in the digestive system.

They didn’t really understand until recently that the hormone called dopamine, which is the reward hormone and another feel-good hormone. In fact, up to 65 percent of it is created in the small intestine. Doctors and scientists have no idea about that. Serotonin, a very important hormone that keeps us in a very upbeat mood, is in fact made primarily in the gut. When you’ve got a yeast infection or bad bacteria, and especially as we’ll see in a minute, poor levels of beneficial bacteria, you’re going to have a lot of problems with how you think and how you feel.

Serotonin, for example, I’ve got a chart above me here, the neuroendocrine chart. I’ll take it down and show you. Here’s one of my charts I have on the wall, one of my little flow charts. You can see all these complicated lines and boxes and everything. Tryptophan, for example, is a very important amino acid that you’re going to get in your diet from different kinds of proteins. You’ll find it in dairy products, certain nuts and seeds. Tryptophan, in turn, is a precursor or it turns into 5-hydroxytryptophan, which in turn is the building block for serotonin. Serotonin itself helps the product of melatonin.

All of these hormones have one big thing in common: they all need lots of B vitamins for these conversion pathways to work properly. It’s the same with dopamine. Dopamine also needs Vitamin C, it needs iron, it needs magnesium, it needs Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B5. The B vitamins actually are made in the digestive system by beneficial bacteria. When Candida has really created a lot of problems in the gut and beneficial bacteria go down. Why does it happen? Antibiotics. They come back in again. People love to take antibiotics. They go to the doctor, “I’m not feeling good.” “Well, you need an antibiotic. It’s going to solve all of your problems.” The patient will go on an antibiotic and then again and again.

We had a patient recently that went for nine years on antibiotics. How crazy is that? Nine years. This guy’s gut was completely wrecked. When you destroy more and more of the beneficial bacteria, you will find that your depression will get worse and worse. Why? You haven’t got enough B vitamins to start with. You can’t manufacture lots and lots of different kinds of hormones that make you feel good. Your libido goes, your appetite goes, your sleep goes, everything goes when B vitamins go. One of the worst things you can do is to drink alcohol with a lack of B vitamins because that’s going to wreck your B vitamins even more.

Candida also produces a by-product called acetaldehyde, which is similar to what happens in the body with alcohol metabolism. When alcohol breaks down, acetaldehyde is produced. Acetaldehyde can help to block up receptors in the digestive system, not allowing to uptake dopamine, for example. Dopamine levels can be affected. This can create a lot of problems in the body with the way your digestive system works, the way your brain functions, the way your moods function – all because of Candida. Alcohol has a similar effect on the body: alcohol toxicity that bad Candida infection will have.

What’s the answer? Well, first thing you’ve got to do is try to eradicate the overgrowth of Candida. Get the balance back. Get the beneficial bacteria back again. That’s going to help you big time. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen over the years that were on medications for depression, and the depression lifted when their gut function improved. I’ve seen this time and again. Of course, with the depression, the gut function goes down more because these drugs often destroy the way that the gut works effectively. Then they go on more medications. It’s incredible how many people get messed up with medications.

If you’ve got a problem with depression, the first thing I tend to do with patients is look at the digestive function. Assess the stool properly for beneficial bacteria because remember they produce B vitamins to a big extent. Folic acid is also produced by beneficial bacteria. Folate is one of the most important vitamins you can have to prevent cancer. This can be another link between yeast infection and cancer. Poor beneficial bacteria and cancer, alcohol and cancer. I keep banging on about alcohol, and that’s because I’m not a big fan of alcohol. I do enjoy a glass of wine here or there or a cold beer, but it’s not something I consume very much at all.

Manu, just to answer your question: “Is there a link between depression and Candida?” There is a link between it, but you can’t say that all depression is caused by Candida. There are cases of depression which will have other causes. But if you do suffer from mood disorders or you’ve had a problem with depression of recent origin or it’s come on all of a sudden or you’ve never had depression, but now you’ve got digestive issues or a yeast infection and you’ve got depression, get it sorted and it might just hold the answer to making you feel a lot better. Thanks for your question, Manu.