What is brewer’s yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is an ingredient used in the
production of beer and bread. It is made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a
one-celled fungus. Brewer’s yeast has a bitter taste.
Brewer’s yeast is also used as a nutritional supplement. It’s
a rich source of chromium, which may help your body maintain normal blood sugar
levels. It is also a source of B vitamins.
Brewer’s yeast is considered a probiotic and is used to aid
What does brewer’s yeast do?
Brewer’s yeast contains small organisms (microflora) that
help maintain the proper functioning of the digestive tract.
Brewer’s yeast is a nutritional supplement and may enhance
energy levels and strengthen the immune system. It’s a rich source of:
It is also a great source of B vitamins that provide:
- thiamine (B-1)
- riboflavin (B-2)
- niacin (B-3)
- pantothenic acid (B-5)
- pyridoxine (B-6)
- folic acid (B-9)
- biotin (B-7)
What are the benefits of brewer’s yeast?
The probiotic characteristics of brewer’s yeast may make it
an effective way to prevent diarrhea. It has been used to treat other disorders
of the digestive tract, including:
Brewer’s yeast can provide energy and may help maintain
healthy skin, hair, eyes, and mouth. It may be effective at supporting the
nervous system and enhancing the immune system.
The chromium in brewer’s yeast may help control sugar levels
for patients with type 2 diabetes by improving glucose tolerance.
are the side effects of brewer’s yeast?
You should speak with your healthcare provider before taking
brewer’s yeast. Supplements such as brewer’s yeast can interact with certain medications.
The side effects of brewer’s yeast are generally mild. The
most common side effects are excess gas, bloating, and migraine-like headaches.
Stop taking brewer’s yeast and contact your healthcare
provider immediately if you experience chest pain, throat or chest tightness, or
difficulty breathing. These side effects may indicate an allergic reaction to
Brewer’s yeast is a source of B vitamins but it does not
contain B-12. Inadequate amounts of B-12 can cause anemia, so it’s important to
make sure you have sources of B-12 in your diet.
is brewer’s yeast administered?
Brewer’s yeast is available as a powder, flakes, liquid, or
tablets. It is also an ingredient in beer and some kinds of bread.
The average adult dosage is one to two tablespoons daily. It
can be added to food or mixed with water, juice, or shakes.
are the risks of brewer’s yeast?
Consult with your healthcare provider before taking any
supplements such as brewer’s yeast. No specific preparation is necessary to
take brewer’s yeast. The powdered form can be taken alone or added to food or
Your doctor may recommend that you initially take smaller
doses of brewer’s yeast in order to check for possible side effects.
Brewer’s yeast can interact with several different types of
medications. Talk to your doctor before taking brewer’s yeast if you use:
- monoamine oxidase
(MAOIs): These include tranylcypromine, selegiline, and isocarboxazid. This
type of medication is used for treating depression. The large amount of
tyramine in brewer’s yeast can cause a hypertensive crisis when mixed with
MAOIs. This reaction is an immediate and dangerous increase in blood
pressure. It can cause a heart attack or stroke.
- meperidine: This is a narcotic
pain medication. A hypertensive crisis can occur when brewer’s yeast
interacts with this narcotic.
- diabetes medications: Brewer’s yeast may lower
blood sugar levels. Taking it in combination with diabetes medications can
place you at higher risk for lower than optimum blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Consult your healthcare provider before taking brewer’s
yeast if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also use caution if you
have a central venous catheter or any of the following conditions:
You may find it helpful to make a list of any conditions you
have and medications you take in advance of visiting your healthcare provider.
That way you can work together to determine whether brewer’s yeast is a good
fit for your health needs.