Supplement Forms/Alternate Names
- Dried Yeast Fermentate; Faex; Faex Medicinalis; Levure De Biere; Medicinal Yeast; Saccharomyces cerevisiae ; Saccharomyces boulardii
Principal Proposed Uses
- Protein Supplement; Treatment for Various Forms of Diarrhea , including Traveler’s Diarrhea, Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea, and Acute Diarrhea
Brewer’s yeast, also known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae , is commonly used in baking and the fermentation of beer; hence, the common name. Brewer’s yeast is rich in nutrients like chromium , B vitamins, protein, selenium , potassium , iron , zinc , and magnesium . It is the byproduct of beer brewing and can be grown on hops. Hops are the dried flowers that give beer its bitter taste. The yeast is separated from the beer after fermentation and processed. Aside from hops, the yeast can also be cultivated on other plants, like sugar beets.
Brewer’s yeast, along with its close cousin Saccharomyces boulardii , is considered a probiotic. Probiotics are foods or dietary supplements that contain organisms, like bacteria or yeast, which provide health benefits for humans. Along with brewer’s yeast, another example of a probiotic is yogurt with live and active bacteria cultures.
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- Traveler’s diarrhea
- Acute diarrhea from any cause
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Clostridium difficile colitis
- Lactose intolerance
In addition to its probiotic benefits, Brewer’s yeast has been used as a protein supplement and is promoted as an energy and immunity enhancer.
This article covers both S. cerevisiae and S boulardii .
diarrheaClostridium difficile S. boulardii C. difficile
There has also been interest in studying the effectiveness of brewer’s yeast for losing weight , lowering cholesterol , and preventing colds and flu . However, it is still uncertain whether it is effective in these situations. 2,4,7
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Brewer’s Yeast?
Determining the effectiveness of brewer’s yeast, as well as other probiotics, is hampered by the fact that many studies use combinations of differing bacterial and yeast strains. This makes it difficult to know whether only one or all of the components are needed for a beneficial effect. Nevertheless, a number of studies focusing only on S. boulardii or S. cerevisiae have shown beneficial effects.
S. boulardii C. difficile
Helicobacter pylori , a common bacterium present in the stomach and upper intestines of some people, is associated with an increased risk of peptic ulcers. Treatment for H. pylori usually involves more than one antibiotic to suppress the bacteria. While there is little evidence that S. boulardii can help treat H. pylori , it may effectively reduce the side effects associated with standard treatment for this condition.
H. pylori S. boulardii S. boulardii
Cold and Flu
Always talk to a doctor before taking any supplement or medicine.
Interactions You Should Know About
Antidepression MedicationsMonoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Brewer's yeast has a substance called tyramine in it. Tyramine can interact with MAOIs and cause very high blood pressure which can be dangerous (hypertensive crisis). This can lead to a heart attack or stroke .
Pain MedicationMeperidine (Demerol)
Taking brewer’s yeast while taking Demerol may cause hypertensive crisis.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -