Categories: Foods

Benefits of Brewer’s yeast and side effects

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Discover the benefits of brewer’s yeast and its side effects.

A journey through the properties of brewer’s yeast, a food supplement that is becoming more and more popular in naturist settings.

Beer, that undistilled alcoholic beverage with a bitter taste known to all, is produced massively throughout the world, as statistical portals calculate that in 2018 alone, 1.91 million hectoliters of this golden concoction were generated globally.

Benefits of Brewer's yeast and side effects


In countries like the Czech Republic, beer is so widespread from a cultural point of view that, on average, each citizen consumes 143 liters a year.

Since its conception in ancient Mesopotamia (3100 BC), this alcoholic beverage has accompanied human beings in celebrations, meetings, meals, and many other social contexts throughout history.


Beyond the concoction resulting from the fermentation of barley grains with yeast, there are other products related to a beer whose uses vary drastically concerning the drink.

This is an example of brewer’s yeast since its consumption and administration for therapeutic purposes are clearly on the rise. Today we tell you everything you need to know about her.

What is brewer’s yeast?

Before addressing the properties of the compound, it is of essential importance that we know the agent that produces it. In this case, we are dealing with Saccharomyces boulardii, a strain of the well-known brewer’s yeast, that is, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

It is a unicellular fungus that, despite being closely related to brewer’s yeast, has sufficiently different taxonomic, metabolic and genetic characteristics to be separated from it.

Even so, the supplements that concern us here are known by the general population as “brewer’s yeast”, since making a distinction spinning so fine can lead to more confusion than relevant information.

Scientific studies have shown that Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic microorganism, that is, it helps restore intestinal flora.



It is still necessary for us to know more about the relevant element since its properties are explained based on its nutritional composition. Briefly, let’s see what makes brewer’s yeast so special by looking at its dietary properties :

Brewer’s yeast contains proteins with all the essential amino acids, that is, those that must be ingested with the diet.

It also has glutathione, a tripeptide with antioxidant properties.

It contains vitamins, mainly B1, B2, B3, and B6. These participate in very important reactions in the body.

It contains beneficial trace elements for the patient, such as selenium and chromium.

Fiber represents 18% of the supplement’s dry matter, which is why it is considered to have a prebiotic effect, in addition to being a probiotic itself.


Although the presence of vitamins and minerals does not tell us much (since many foods have similar nutritional values), the high percentage of fiber does catch our attention.

As has been shown on multiple occasions, the fibers in prebiotic foods promote the growth of “good” intestinal bacteria, which favors the absorption of compounds in the digestion process and prevents the colonization of other potentially harmful pathogens.

Benefits of brewer’s yeast

We are going to expand on this point because we must be very careful with general statements and what is being sold to us as consumers.


Based on the US National Library of Medicine and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (TRC), we’re going to show you what brewer’s yeast can and can’t do. Let’s go there.

First of all, we are not denying the effectiveness of brewer’s yeast against these diseases, but, of course, there is not enough scientific evidence to make a resounding statement on the subject.

This supplement has not been shown to help against amoeba infections, cholera, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, heart failure, high cholesterol levels, irritable bowel syndrome, jaundice, colitis, and many other conditions.


Although in some of these cases (such as Crohn’s or irritable bowel syndrome) it has been observed in preliminary research that it improves the lives of patients relatively in conjunction with certain drugs, it is certainly not a solution miraculous in itself.

We increase in this “efficacy scale”, as it seems that brewer’s yeast can help in acne processes, diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics, diarrhea caused by bacteria, and against Helicobacter pylori infection.

Although research has confirmed the efficacy of these supplements, it is a fact that ancillary antibiotics and other additional drugs are required to combat the disease in question. Of course, brewer’s yeast by itself does not cure pathologies.

As it has confirmed vitamin B, this supplement is also considered a good hair and nail revitalizer, as well as a possible solution as an acne treatment.

Matter of caution

As you have seen, we do not get our fingers caught with blunt statements. It is confirmed that Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic, as it helps fight pathogens that cause gastrointestinal diseases and, in addition, its high fiber content promotes the proliferation of other “good” microorganisms.

Even so, this does not mean that in the case of diarrhea caused by an enteric bacterial infection, brewer’s yeast is going to be the definitive solution.


The studies and medical portals are clear: its efficacy has been proven, but always as an accessory complement accompanied by an antibiotic treatment focused on primarily combating the pathogen causing the clinical picture.

How to take it and considerations

Yeast can be found in powder form in most food chains and, luckily, it can be consumed without any prior cooking. Thus, it is an excellent addition to soups, pasta, yogurts, milk, or even a glass of water. According to most portals, 1-2 tablespoons a day is enough to start noticing its effects.

On the other hand, brewer’s yeast can be purchased at health food stores in capsule form. In these cases, its consumption is recommended three times a day throughout the three large meals. This value may vary, but the package insert will indicate the safe mode of ingestion in each case. Here are some specific examples:

In patients with diarrhea caused by antibiotics, the consumption of 250-500 mg, 2 to 4 times a day, for two weeks is recommended.

In patients with diarrhea caused by bacteria, 1 gram can be administered twice a day for four weeks together with the administration of antibiotics.

In cases of traveler’s diarrhea, the administration of 250-1,000 milligrams every day for a month can be considered.


As considerations, people with a depressed immune system, the elderly, and pregnant women should be a little more careful than the rest of the general population when consuming this supplement.

There is some concern in the medical field since it is theorized that these supplements, in weak patients, could lead to fungemia (the presence of fungi in the blood). This possible risk has not yet been fully quantified, but when in doubt, prevention is better than cure.


As we have seen in these lines, brewer’s yeast brings clear benefits and has other possible properties that have yet to be demonstrated but, of course, it is not a magical supplement.

Diarrheal symptoms can be combated by ingesting Saccharomyces boulardii, but always using a primary medication that directly addresses the cause of the problem.

It should also be noted that the National Library of Medicine of the United States places its period of uninterrupted administration at a maximum of 15 months, that is, we are not dealing with a supplement that is recommended to be taken for life.

Here we have learned that brewer’s yeast can be a positive complement to some clinical conditions, but that it will never replace conventional treatment


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