Brewers Yeast: 8 Health Benefits, How to Take & Side Effects

Updated in December 2023

Brewer's yeast is a natural yeast that contains high amounts of B-complex vitamins (like folic acid and vitamin B3) and minerals (like potassium, magnesium and phosphorus). These nutrients can help to increase muscle mass and strengthen the immune system. 

Brewer's yeast is also considered to be a probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are found in the intestines that help to keep the gut healthy by managing conditions like constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. 

This nutritional fungus is sold in its inactivated form and is also known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It can be purchased at pharmacies and natural health in powder or capsule form. 

Imagem ilustrativa número 3

Health benefits

The main benefits and uses of brewer's yeast include:

1. Maintaining gut health 

Brewer's yeast contains great amounts of beta-glucan, a fiber that helps to add volume to the stool and promotes easy bowel movements.

Because it is considered to be a probiotic, brewer's yeast can also be used to maintain intestinal flora health. It can improve digestion and help to manage certain health conditions, like constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and lactose intolerance. 

2. Helping to prevent diabetes

This type of yeast is rich in chromium, a mineral that increases the sensitivity of insulin cells, which are responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. 

In addition, brewer's yeas has great amounts of fiber, which reduce how quickly sugar is absorbed and balanced blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should consult their doctor, however, before using brewer's yeast.

3. Strengthening the immune system 

Because it contains B-complex vitamins and minerals, brewer's yeast can help to strengthen the immune system and prevent the development of illnesses like the flu, allergies, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. 

4. Helping to reduce cholesterol 

The beta-glucan present in brewer's yeast helps to reduce the absorption of cholesterol at an intestinal level. this ban help to regulate LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. 

5. Promoting muscle gains

Due to its quantity of carbohydrates and protein, Brewer's yeast can boost physical performance and increase muscle production, leading to more muscle mass gains. 

Brewer's yeast also contains high amounts of magnesium, potassium and calcium, minerals that participate in the contraction and formation of muscle tissue. 

6. Facilitating weight loss 

Because it contains great amounts of protein and fiber, brewer's yeast can keep you full and reduce overeating throughout the day, which can lead to weight loss. 

In addition, brewer's yeast is low in fat, making it a great supplement for weight loss.

7. Improving skin health 

Brewer's yeast contains B-complex vitamins and minerals (like chromium, selenium and zinc) which can facilitate the treatment of acne, eczema and psoriasis. The minerals present in brewer's yeast can also stimulate collagen production, which can keep skin firm and elastic. 

8. Combating fatigue

Because it has great amounts of carbohydrates and protein, Brewer's yeast can help to combat mental and physical fatigue. 

Nutritional information

The following table outlines the nutrients in 100 g of brewer's yeast, which is equivalent to 6.5 tablespoons of powdered brewers yeast: 

Component

Quantity in 100 g of brewers yeast

Energy

228 calories

Protein

21.8 g

Fat

8.8 g

Carbohydrates

42.3 g

Fiber

16.9 g

Vitamin B1

0.7 mg

Vitamin B2

1.5 mg

Vitamin B3

77.2 mg

Vitamin B5 8.5 mg
Vitamin B6 55.1 mg

Vitamin B9 (folate)

3010 mcg

Calcium

2.5 mg

Cromium 5900 mcg

Potassium

7.4 mg

Magnesium

3.1 mg

Zinc

11.9 mg

It is important to keep in mind that to obtain all the health benefits brewer's yeast has to offer, it should be incorporated to a healthy, active lifestyle.

How to take

To consume powdered brewer's yeast, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons to cake batter, bread dough, soups, sauces, yogurt, milk, juices and water.

Brewer's yeast can also be found in capsule or tablet form. The recommended dose is up to 6 capsules per day with meals. Nonetheless, the recommended quantity varies depending on your individual health goals and necessities, which is why dosing should be indicated by a doctor or registered dietitian. 

Side effects

Excess consumption of brewer's yeast can cause stomach discomfort, gas, bloating and headache. 

Contraindications for use

Brewer's yeast should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women without their doctor’s knowledge. There are no scientific studies to support the safety of brewer's yeast in children, therefore you should speak to your pediatrician first. 

Diabetics should consult their doctor before starting brewer's yeast supplementation, as this substance can greatly reduce blood sugar levels and cause hypoglycemia. 

People with a gluten intolerance should avoid consuming Brewer's yeast, as it is a sub-product of beer and may contain traces of gluten that is used in beer production. 

People who are allergic to yeast, who take medications for for depression, who have Crohn’s disease or have a compromised immune system should consult their doctor before taking brewer's yeast.