Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is brewer's yeast? Why do we need it?
Brewer's yeast (often called nutritional yeast) was
originally a byproduct produced by the brewing of beer. It
differs from live baker's yeast in that its live yeast
cells have been destroyed, leaving the nutrients behind.
it is still used to brew certain beverages, brewer's
yeast is now grown as a separate product and is prized for
its nutritional value.
Brewer's yeast is looked upon favorably because it contains
high levels of many vital nutrients, including most of the
B vitamins, 16 amino acids and 14 different minerals. Brewer's
yeast also has a high protein content (one tablespoon provides
4.6 grams of protein), making it a valuable source of protein
for vegetarians; high quantities of phosphorous; and high
levels of chromium, which can lower blood glucose levels and
low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels.
How much brewer's yeast should
Brewer's yeast can be taken in juice of water; four
tablespoons per day are recommended. Most health care providers
suggest that people taking brewer's yeast start will
a small amount (one teaspoon), then progress to four tablespoons.
What are some good sources of brewer's
Brewer's yeast can be found at many supermarkets and
health food stores. It is available in flake, powder, tablet
and liquid form.
What can happen if I don't get enough
There are no known studies documenting the lack of brewer's
yeast in a normal diet and its impact on the human body.
What can happen if I take too much? Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?
Large doses (>four tablespoons per day) may cause gas
in some subjects. If you have frequent yeast infections, you
should avoid brewer's yeast. People with osteoporosis
should avoid brewer's yeast because of its high phosphorous
content. If you take a yeast supplement, you should also take
- Bentley JP, Hunt TK, Weiss JB, et al.
Peptides from live yeast cell derivative stimulate wound
healing. Arch Surg 1990;125:641646.
- Hegoczki J, Suhajda A, Janzso B, Vereczkey
G. Preparation of chromium enriched yeasts. Acta Alimentaria
- Li Y-C. Effects of brewer's yeast on glucose
tolerance and serum lipids in Chinese adults. Biol Trace
Elem Res 1994;41:341347.
- Rabinowitz MB, Gonick HC, Levin SR, Davidson
MB. Effects of chromium and yeast supplements on carbohydrate
and lipid metabolism in diabetic men. Diabetes Care 1983;6:319327.
- Shils M (ed.) Modern Nutrition in Health
and Disease, 9th edition. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins;1999, pp.1628-1629.