Brewer's yeast, which occurs naturally as a by-product of the brewing process, has many valuable nutrients that can provide several health benefits and prevent future health problems. Brewer's yeast can also be made from crops such as sugar beets to specifically produce natural brewer's yeast. It has a very bitter taste and is available in liquid, powder, and 650 mg tablet form.
Brewer's yeast, which is different from torula or nutritional yeast, is derived from a fungus called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. It is available in dried form, and includes all of the sixteen essential amino acids. Brewer's yeast also contains over fourteen minerals, including GTF (a biologically active form of chromium called glucose tolerance factor), protein and the vitamin B complex (except B12). Brewer's yeast is not considered an essential nutrient, even though it is the best source for chromium.
Brewer's yeast is usually a by-product of ingredients of a brewing company. Ingestion of brewer's yeast changes the microbial flora present in the large intestine. This is helpful in treating many episodes of diarrhoea and other internal infections. Brewer's yeast also helps with fatigue and sleep problems because it contains niacin and Vitamin B6, which help to produce serotonin, a natural sleep aid. Brewer's yeast helps to fight fatigue by using the B complex vitamins to help release the energy of complex carbohydrates.
The major vitamins contained in brewer's yeast and their healing properties include:
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Thiamin releases energy from dietary carbohydrates, and helps regulate the heart and nervous systems.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Riboflavin helps to maintain healthy skin and, and regulates the digestive tract through the release of energy from carbohydrates in the diet.
Niacin (vitamin B3): Niacin releases energy from dietary carbohydrates and helps to maintain healthy skin, and to regulate the digestive tract and nervous system.
Brewer's yeast also contains pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), and folic acid (B9).
Many health benefits come from the use of brewer's yeast:
• It is a good source of RNA (ribonecleic acid), which can help to slow the ageing process and help prevent age-related diseases.
• It helps to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats for more efficient use by the body.
• It helps to maintain muscles.
• It contains chromium that helps to regulate blood sugar.
• It helps to decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
• It contains glucan which helps improve the healing of wounds and eczema (when made into a paste for topical use) because it assists with the growth of capillaries and skin cells.
People who take monomine oxidase inhibitors should not use brewer's yeast; nor should anyone suffering from gout. Vegans should remember that brewer's yeast does not contain B12, which is available almost exclusively from meats and dairy products.
Doctors should be consulted first by diabetics, persons susceptible to yeast infections, and pregnant or nursing women.