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March 01, 2022

What is Brewer’s Yeast?

Brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), a unicellular fungus. It has been widely used for centuries and was very significant in the winemaking industry due to the fermentation process of beer and wine.

In addition to its significance, did you know that brewer’s yeast is also popular in the medical sector? It is because it is a powerful supplement that is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It also offers surprising health benefits, the reason why it’s also called “nutritional yeast”.

Brewer’s yeast is cultivated on grains such as malted barley which causes a bitter taste. However, there are some brewer’s yeasts that are cultivated for the use of dietary supplement. It is grown on beet and sugarcane molasses giving it a nutty and cheesy kind of flavour.


Brewer’s Yeast Nutritional Value  

As a nutritional supplement, brewer’s yeast is vegan-friendly because it contains high levels of fibre, protein and nutrients. It can supply the daily needs of the body to help support our general wellbeing. Nutritional yeast contains 16 out of 20 amino acids and 14 valuable minerals which include the following:

  • Chromium is essential in the production of insulin and used as an aid in weight loss. It is much easier for people to build their muscles and burn fat.       
  • Selenium contains powerful antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Also, plays a vital role in metabolism, immune system, thyroid health and memory improvement. 
  • Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body and is essential in the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia and different chronic diseases. Also, boosts immunity and energy metabolism. 
  • Calcium helps in the development of bones and teeth. It also lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and risks of having bone diseases like osteoporosis. 
  • Copper is an essential nutrient for the development of skeletal structures and the formation of collagen. Also, proven in the reduction of pain and inflammation related to arthritis. 
  • Magnesium is important in bone formation and muscle activity. It also reduces high blood pressure and prevents stroke. Also, improves lung function, heart and mental health. 
  • Zinc helps in detoxification and protection of the liver from any chemical damage. Also, boosts the immune system and treats age-related macular degeneration, chronic disease and diarrhoea. 
  • Phosphorus is vital in bone health, nerve conduction and energy production. Also, improve digestion, metabolism, kidney and cognitive function. 
  • Potassium reduces risks of having strokes as well as heart and kidney diseases. Also, lowers blood pressure, enhances muscle strength and boosts metabolism. 


    B Vitamins in Brewer’s Yeast

    Brewer’s yeast is widely known as a rich source of B vitamins. It actually includes all the B vitamins excluding B12 (cobalamin) and we know that each B vitamins play different key roles and functions in the body.

    Unfortunately, our body does not store excess B vitamins that’s why it needs to be continually restored by eating foods or taking supplements rich in B Vitamins. Here are the following B Vitamins we could get from taking nutritional yeast and their benefits for our body:

    • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) increases the body’s energy levels by turning carbohydrates into the energy our bodies need. It also gives us a positive mental attitude and a healthy nervous system.
    • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps boost immune system because it is essential in repairing tissues and fighting disease. It is also proven to be effective in the treatment of migraine headaches.
    • Vitamin B3 (niacin) helps lower high cholesterol levels in the body while boosting the levels of good cholesterol which helps in the reduction of heart disease.
    • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is known as the “anti-stress vitamin” and contains a substance called coenzyme which plays a vital role in cellular metabolism and adrenal function.
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps improve vision and support brain health. The production of it also helps in the treatment of depression as well as premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
    • Vitamin B7 (biotin) promotes healthier skin, hair and nails and is essential in the manufacturing of DNA and RNA. It also improves blood glucose control and helps in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and diabetic neuropathy.
    • Vitamin B9 (folate) promotes healthy pregnancy, protects the baby against birth defects and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer. It also helps in the formation of healthy white and red blood cells.


        How to take Nutritional Yeast

        It is better to consult first your healthcare provider before taking any supplements such as brewer’s yeast which comes in the form of flake, tablet, liquid and powder. 

        The use of the supplement is not recommended for children this time since there are still no known literature reports about the use of it in paediatric populations.

        However, the average recommended dosage range for adults is one to four tablespoons daily which can be added to food, juice, shakes or water.

        To prevent flatulence and other side effects, you could start with one tablespoon and work slowly up to four tablespoons.


        Side Effects of Brewer’s Yeast

        Sensitive individuals could experience intestinal discomfort and flatulence. While hypersensitive individuals could experience allergic reactions to brewer’s yeast. Also, people who have an overgrowth of intestinal yeast should avoid taking this kind of product. 

        Crohn’s disease and celiac disease patients should also avoid taking brewer’s yeast because some brands contain gluten and could only worsen their condition. 


        Precautions of Brewer’s Yeast

        There are also precautions if you’re taking different types of medications since it could interact with brewer’s yeast. Talk to your healthcare provider if you use:

        •  Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

        MAOIs include isocarboxazid, selegiline, pargyline, phenelzine and tranylcypromine which are used for treating depression. Brewer’s yeast contains a large amount of tyramine which could lead to “hypertensive crisis”. When mixed with MAOIs and narcotic pain medication such as meperidine it could result to the rapid increase in blood pressure that could lead to stroke or heart attack.

        • Diabetes medications

        Taking brewer’s yeast with diabetes medications could lead to hypoglycemia wherein your blood sugar level decreases below normal levels. So, it is very important to monitor your blood glucose levels closely.

        • Anti-fungals

        Medications for fungal infections may reduce yeast activity and the effectiveness of brewer’s yeast since it is a type of fungus.

        Now that you already know that brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast contains numerous health benefits, you should make it as part of your daily diet. All you need to do is consult your healthcare provider to know the right dosage you need to take. 

        Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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