BREWER'S YEAST Overview Information
Brewer's yeast is a kind of yeast that is a by-product of brewing beer. Dietary supplements containing brewer's yeast often contain non-living, dried yeast. People use brewer’s yeast to make medicine.
Brewer's yeast is used for diarrhea, the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections, influenza, swine flu, loss of appetite, acne, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), recurring boils on the skin (furunculosis), and type 2 diabetes. It has also been used as a source of B vitamins, chromium, and protein.
How does it work?
Due to the chromium content of brewer's yeast, there is interest in using it for lowering blood glucose in people with diabetes. Chromium may help the body use insulin more effectively and this can lower blood sugar levels.
Additionally, brewer's yeast seems to stimulate chemicals (intestinal enzymes) that could help relieve diarrhea.
It also might help fight bacteria that cause infections in the intestine, as well as improve the body’s defenses against viral lung infections such as flu and the common cold.
Brewer's yeast is a source of B vitamins and protein.
Possibly Effective for:
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Taking a specific brewer’s yeast preparation (Sillix Donna by Giuliani) that also contains vitamins and minerals by mouth might decrease symptoms of PMS.
- Swelling of the colon (colitis) due to the bacteria Clostridium difficile. There is a report that taking brewer's yeast by mouth for 4 months along with vancomycin for 30 days may help treat colitis caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile and prevent recurrence.
- Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking brewer’s yeast containing chromium by mouth for 8 weeks can reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It may also reduce the need to use certain diabetes medications.
- High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking brewer’s yeast containing chromium by mouth for 8 weeks can decrease blood levels of total cholesterol and increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
- Upper respiratory tract infection, including the common cold and flu (influenza). Early research shows that taking a specific brewer's yeast product (EpiCor by Embria Health Sciences) reduces the risk of the common cold or flu in healthy people who recently received flu shots. This product also helps symptoms resolve faster.
- Loss of appetite.
- Other conditions.
BREWER'S YEAST Side Effects & Safety
Brewer's yeast seems POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth short-term. It can cause headache, stomach discomfort, and gas (flatulence).
Not enough is known about the safety of long-term use of brewer’s yeast. Stick with short-term use.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking brewer’s yeast by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Yeast allergy: People who are allergic or sensitive to yeast might experience itching and swelling.
Crohn’s disease: Brewer's yeast can make Crohn's disease worse. Don’t use brewer’s yeast if you have Crohn’s disease.
Diabetes: Taking brewer’s yeast that contains chromium can lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take medications to lower your blood sugar, adding brewer’s yeast might make your blood sugar drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar carefully.
Major Interaction Do not take this combination
- Medications for depression (MAOIs) interacts with BREWER'S YEAST
Brewer's yeast contains a chemical called tyramine. Large amounts of tyramine can cause high blood pressure. But the body naturally breaks down tyramine to get rid of it. This usually prevents the tyramine from causing high blood pressure. Some medications used for depression stop the body from breaking down tyramine. This can cause too much tyramine in the body and dangerously high blood pressure.
Some of these medications used for depression include phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and others.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Medications for fungal infections (Antifungals) interacts with BREWER'S YEAST
Brewer's yeast is a fungus. Medications for fungal infections help reduce fungus in and on the body. Taking brewer's yeast with medications for fungal infections can reduce the effectiveness of brewer's yeast.
Some medications for fungal infection include fluconazole (Diflucan), terbinafine (Lamisil), itraconazole (Sporanox), and others.
BREWER'S YEAST Dosing
The following dose has been studied in scientific research:
- For premenstrual syndrome (PMS): A specific brewer's yeast preparation in combination with vitamins and minerals (Sillix Donna, Giuliani) has been used.