A recent visitor to the this site said that his naturopath instructed him to take hydrogen peroxide internally to kill Candida overgrowth in his body. Having a background in the science field, I immediately became suspect of this advice as I was aware of the properties of hydrogen peroxide and how these could potentially be harmful if taken internally.
First, I’ll discuss hydrogen peroxide and how it works as a disinfectant and then discuss why it could be potentially harmful as well as the myths associated with its use.
Hydrogen Peroxide Properties
Hydrogen peroxide is composed of two atoms of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen (H2O2), water is H2O and although they are similar, the extra atom of oxygen causes them to behave very differently. When hydrogen peroxide breaks down it releases oxygen and water. This process is called oxidation and this violent reaction is why hydrogen peroxide can bleach things as well as kill microorganisms.
Dangers of Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Yeast Infections
Hydrogen Peroxide can be an effective way to treat fungal infections on the outside of the body, but using it internally to treat internal yeast infections hasn’t been proven effective. Beyond using it periodically as an oral rinse and a vaginal douche it isn’t generally recommended for consumption by the FDA, but there is some anecdotal evidence that it works and is used by many naturopaths.
Hydrogen peroxide can damage body tissues. When H2O2 is placed on a cut, it may disinfect the cut, but in the process skin cells are also damaged. This oxidation is not only harmful to microbes, but also to human cells and cause damage to them. Drinking solutions of hydrogen peroxide could potentially result in damage to your digestive tract and in some cases this practice has killed people when they have consumed too much.
Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Candida Myths
During my research I found many websites promoting the use of food grade hydrogen peroxide internally. All of these site’s were full of inaccurate science. They claimed that drinking it would put oxygen directly into your body. This is false, your lungs do a very sufficient job of this and studies have shown that people’s blood oxygen levels were no different after consuming food grade H2O2.
Others stated that our bodies make their own hydrogen peroxide and the immune system use this to kill microbes. Again, this isn’t proven. There was a study that showed that cells of certain fish release H2O2 when they are damaged by bacteria, which then signals the fish’s white blood cells to action. There has been no studies or evidence to support that the same process occurs in humans.
Third, the concentrations recommended for consumption would do little to kill any Candida albicans cells in your intestines. By the time the H2O2 reached your intestines it would have been mostly broken down, so it would have little effect on microbes.
Try Other Options First
Treat Candida overgrowth with a nutritious and safe Candida diet that uses natural herbs as supplements. Some Diet programs discussed on this site do recommend the use of food grade H2O2, but this would be a point of disagreement. I just don’t think there is enough evidence to warrant the use of hydrogen peroxide internally and the potential harmful effects of using it, outweigh the potential benefits. Orally and externally, this treatment is fine but Beyond that, I would advise caution.
My advice is to use a Candida diet as recommended without using H2O2 internally, but if you still aren’t getting the desired relief from yeast infections, then perhaps try the therapy only as directed. However, I think the majority of people will respond to Candida treatment without the use of food grade hydrogen peroxide.