Who should NOT be eating fermented foods…

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We’ve all heard about fermented foods, but who should NOT be eating them…


1. Folks with Candida overload

Candida is an opportunistic yeast. You are at higher risk of overgrowth if you:

  • Use antibiotic, replacement hormone therapy or oral contraceptives (estrogen encourages the growth of Candida)
  • Are pregnant
  • Obese
  • Or have diabetes

The use of Kombucha (a fermented tea drink) aggravates candida overgrowth due to the alcohol byproducts of the fermentation as well as the small percentage of sugar that is left in the drink. It is recommended that fermented vegetables are consumed rather than fermented drinks. (1)


2. Patients who are on these drugs…

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (antidepressant)

  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl)


  • Linezolid (Zyvox)

Fermented foods create drug interactions. (2)


3. Those with over active immune systems.

Another byproduct of fermentation is histamine. Ingesting exogenous sources of histamine can aggravate the triad of hay fever, eczema and asthma. Furthermore it should be avoided in those with autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto’s, Grave’s, MS, Sjorgren’s, Lupus, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid). As well as those who suffer from chronic migraines or brain infections.Who should NOT be eating fermented foods

Although small amounts of fermented foods can be beneficial, there is a proportion of the population that shouldn’t be consuming them. Don’t get me wrong, I eat sauerkraut and make & sell kombucha starter sets. However, fermented foods should not be treated as a new “superfood” or “fad” to be promoted on blogs and in health stores. As with everything else, it should be part of a balanced lifestyle.

  1. Tarry, W., Fisher, M., Shen, S., & Mawhinney, M. (2005). Candida albicans: the estrogen target for vaginal colonization. Journal of Surgical Research129(2), 278-282.
  2. Mahan, L. Kathleen., Escott-Stump, Sylvia., Raymond, Janice L.Krause, Marie V. (Eds.) (2012) Krause’s food & the nutrition care process /St. Louis, Mo. : Elsevier/Saunders,

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