The Relationship Between Yeast and Sugar by Pam

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The Relationship Between Yeast and Sugar

Yeast are a member of the Kingdom Fungi. Mushrooms are also members of Kingdom Fungi and sold in the produce section of the grocery store, but fungi are not plants. Fungi do not make their own food. They must get their food from other living things. They do not have a stomach and secrete an enzyme to digest what they are eating and then absorb their food. That includes us!

Yeast are amazing microscopic living things because they can "eat" sugar. Yeast are so happy eating sugar that companies that make pastry products study yeast to determine the perfect amount of sugar to add to the dough. During fermentation yeast turns sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. People have used Brewer's or baker's yeast in baking, winemaking and brewing for over a thousand years. The name of this yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is from the Latinized Greek meaning "sugar fungus" because it uses sugars and starches for nutrition and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide during the fermentation process. Often people are big fans of yeast's relationship with sugar - when it is used to make beer, wine, various alcoholic beverages, as well as breads, pastry, and other treats. Both yeast and bacteria are used to make Kombucha.

Yeast are the most unusual member of the Kingdom Fungi. Yeast are unicellular, or single celled, organisms and they carry out all the processes necessary for life inside only one cell. There are many different species of Yeast. According to the Center for Disease Control, Candidiasis is the infection caused by the Candida species of yeast. Candida naturally lives on your skin and inside your body in the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina without causing you any problems. You are made of 30 trillion cells but there are 39 trillion Bacteria, Viruses and Yeast that call you home. Bacteria compete with yeast for resources and naturally limit the yeast in our bodies.

High blood sugar helps the yeast outcompete the bacteria and an overgrowth, or yeast infection, occurs. People are not as fond of the relationship between yeast and sugar when they are being used as a food source by the yeast. Diabetes weakens our immune system and makes it difficult to fight off infections. High blood glucose levels result in many metabolic changes in our body. Increased blood sugar levels cause a rise in glycogen levels. Glycogen is made from the carbohydrates that you eat but do not use. In a vaginal yeast infection this results in sugar (food) for the yeast and changes the pH in the vagina which helps the yeast, not the bacteria, to grow leading to an overgrowth of the yeast.

If you have never been diagnosed with diabetes and have recurring yeast infections, you may have an impaired tolerance to glucose. It is recommended that glucose tolerance testing be done on women who have recurring vaginal yeast infections. Get your blood sugar tested.

Yeast infections can become serious and if left untreated can spread to internal organs which may be fatal. Because yeast infections are so common, we often ignore them or fail to treat them. I developed a yeast infection during chemotherapy. I could not get rid of it. I tried every medicine and treatment available. I suffered for years. I was finally able to get rid of the yeast infection when I stopped feeding the yeast!

Written by Pam
Published November 18th, 2023

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