Brewer's yeast is derived from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae fungus, which is a common yeast for beer making. The University of Maryland Medical Center states this form of yeast is a good source of B-complex vitamins, protein, chromium and selenium. When consumed as a nutritional supplement, brewer's yeast has many proposed benefits, yet only a few of the advertised benefits are proven to be effective through scientific research. Before starting a brewer's yeast supplementation routine, discuss the use of this supplement with your physician.
Initial studies suggest brewer's yeast may lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol. A study published by the "British Journal of Nutrition" found brewer's yeast inhibited cholesterol synthesis within rat livers. Upon the conclusion of this study, researchers believe the cholesterol lowering benefits of brewer's yeast may be due to the substance nicotinamide riboside. Further research in humans is required to determine the true effectiveness of brewer's yeast on cholesterol levels.
The use of brewer's yeast for diabetes dates back to 1853 when a Bristol physician prescribed brewer's yeast to a diabetic patient. After 6 weeks, the patient experienced relief from diabetic symptoms, such as excessive sugar in his urine. It is believed through modern research brewer's yeast helps improve glucose levels by increasing the amount of chromium in the body. Chromium is known to improve glucose tolerance within patients with type 2 diabetes and may also improve insulin sensitivity. The University of Maryland Medical Center states brewer's yeast may also be an effective treatment plan for those with high blood sugar.
Brewer's yeast may indirectly help you lose weight by supporting the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which will help increase energy levels. This supplement also contains high levels of protein, which may help promote muscle development. Through its energy-enhancing qualities, brewer's yeast may indirectly aid in weight loss; however, the University of Maryland Medical Center states supplementation with brewer's yeast is just as effective at eliminating body fat as undergoing a healthy diet and regular exercise.
To consume brewer's yeast for its health benefits, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons with 8 ounces of water or juice one time per day. The most common side effects of this supplement include gas, and if you are prone to yeast infections, you should not consume brewer's yeast.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Brewer’s Yeast; Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D.; March 2009
- “British Journal of Nutrition”; A Fraction Derived from Brewer’s Yeast Inhibits Cholesterol Synthesis by Rat Liver Preparations in Vitro.; E.S. Holdsworth; March 1991
- PeaceHealth; Brewer’s Yeast; December 2009
- “British Medical Journal”; Brewer’s Yeast and Diabetes; Roger Rolls; April 1977
- Spine Universe; Brewer’s Yeast; Susan Spinasanta, Vincent Traynelis, M.D.; February 2010