Yeast, or candida, is a ubiquitous fungus that is part of your normal flora. However, it can cause opportunistic infections if you have reduced immunity. The infection can affect any part of the body, and the symptoms may be mild or life-threatening. In fact, invasive candida infections are becoming increasingly common. Your doctor may recommend antifungal medications to control the infection. Certain supplements such as iron may promote the growth of candida, so talk to a doctor before using them.
Iron And Your Body
Iron is one of the most abundant minerals in nature. Iron is essential for human life and is an important component of the red blood cells that carry oxygen to different parts of the body. Iron also helps produce energy. Your body requires 7 to 27 milligrams of iron per day, depending on your age and overall health. You can get the iron you need from foods such as red meat, poultry, legumes, green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Iron supplements may help manage conditions certain conditions related to iron deficiency. The recommended dose varies; talk to your doctor to find one that is right for you.
The Role Of Iron in Yeast Infections
The role of iron in candida infections is complex. On one hand, iron improves the immune function and increases the susceptibility of candida to antifungal medications in the laboratory. At the same time, iron also improves the virulence of the candida species, which is the ability of the pathogen to invade the host or human cells, according to the authors of the study.
Another study also points out that individuals taking iron supplements to treat anemia and related disorders have an increased risk of getting candida infections. Pathogens such as candida need free iron to invade human cells. However, a protein called lactoferrin — found in saliva, tears and the vagina — binds to the free iron and thereby prevents yeast infections. But, individuals with certain types of anemia have low levels of lactoferrin and may be more susceptible to candida infections.