Brewers yeast powder is a nutritional supplement that has many potential health benefits.
It is made from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae fungus which is used to ferment beer and bread.
Brewers yeast contains protein, B vitamins, chromium, and other minerals that can provide energy, improve digestion, and support overall health.
What is Brewers Yeast?
Brewers yeast refers to strains of yeast used in the beer brewing process. The yeast eats sugars present in the grains and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which is what gives beer its fizz.
The type of yeast used for brewing is Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the same species of yeast used in baking. However, different strains have been cultivated over the years to produce flavors and aromas specific to certain beer styles.
Once the fermentation process is complete, the leftover yeast sediment (or "trub") settles at the bottom of fermentation tanks. This yeast is then collected, washed, dried and processed into nutritional supplements.
So brewers yeast powder that is sold as a supplement contains concentrated, deactivated yeast cells along with B vitamins, protein, minerals and other nutrients.
Key Takeaway: Brewers yeast powder is made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast left over after beer fermentation. It contains a variety of nutrients including protein, B vitamins and minerals.
Nutrition Profile of Brewers Yeast
Here is an overview of the nutrition found in a typical serving of brewers yeast powder:
- Protein - rich source containing all 9 essential amino acids
- Chromium - helps maintain normal blood sugar levels
- B vitamins - including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, and folate
- Minerals - such as phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium
- Fibre - promotes healthy digestion and gut bacteria
- Nucleic acids - support immune function and cell repair
So you can see that brewers yeast powder packs a nutritional punch. It contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds.
Adding just a tablespoon or two into your daily routine can help fill potential gaps in your diet.
Key Takeaway: Brewers yeast is rich in protein, B vitamins, chromium, minerals, fiber and more - making it a nutritious supplement.
|% Daily Value
Benefits of Brewers Yeast Supplements
There is some research showing brewers yeast may offer certain benefits:
1. Blood Sugar Control
Multiple studies have found chromium supplements, including brewers yeast, may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation especially for those with diabetes or insulin resistance.
The chromium in brewers yeast enhances the effects of insulin so your cells can absorb glucose from the bloodstream more efficiently. This leads to more stable energy levels and reduced diabetes risk over time.
Just be mindful that brewers yeast can also lower blood sugar too much when combined with medications for diabetes. Consult your doctor to discuss safe dosage levels.
2. Increased Energy
Consuming brewers yeast powder on a regular basis may help fight fatigue and increase your daily energy levels.
It provides a steady supply of B vitamins which help convert the food you eat into usable fuel. Thiamine and riboflavin are particularly important for producing cellular energy.
The combination of B vitamins, minerals like iron and magnesium, plus its protein content can help maintain consistent energy over time. So adding some to your morning shake or smoothie can help start your day off right.
3. Immune System Support
The beta glucans and nucleic acids found in the cell walls of brewers yeast may help boost immune response. These compounds stimulate infection-fighting cells and antibodies.
A few studies show that taking brewers yeast consistently can slightly reduce the number of seasonal colds or flu bouts among adults. The antioxidant activity also helps fight damaging free radicals.
So adding a sprinkle to meals here and there can strengthen immune defenses especially during cold winter months. Just don’t expect major protection against severe illness.
4. Digestive/Gut Health
Brewers yeast has prebiotic fiber that feeds healthy bacteria in your intestines. The improved gut flora helps destroy pathogenic bacteria and enhances nutrient absorption from food.
There is also evidence showing brewers yeast supplements can prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It helps restore normal bowel function by populating the intestines with beneficial microorganisms.
Through these mechanisms, brewers yeast powder promotes overall digestive health and regularity. It may also relieve symptoms of certain gastrointestinal issues like IBS, Crohn’s disease and lactose intolerance although more research is still needed.
Key Takeaway: Potential benefits of taking brewers yeast powder include better blood sugar regulation, increased energy, immune support, and improved digestion/gut health.
Is Brewers Yeast Safe?
For most healthy adults, brewers yeast powder is very safe to take on a regular basis. Side effects are generally mild, with gastrointestinal issues like bloating or gas being most common.
However, there are a few precautions to be aware of:
- May interact with MAOI antidepressants - causes dangerous spikes in blood pressure
- Can enhance effects of diabetes medications - increased risk of hypoglycemia
- Contraindicated for those with crohn's disease or IBS due to potential GI irritation
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should exercise caution until more research available demonstrating safety
Always consult your doctor before taking brewers yeast supplements if you are being treated for any health conditions or take prescribed medications. Start slow with small doses and monitor how you feel.
How to Take Brewers Yeast Powder
Brewers yeast powder has a very bitter, yeasty flavor. It's not very palatable on its own. So most people prefer mixing it into foods or drinks to mask the taste.
Here are some simple ways to add it into your daily routine:
- Smoothies - blend 1-2 teaspoons into your favorite fruit or veggie smoothie
- Juices - stir some into fresh pressed juices or lemon water
- Yogurt - sprinkle on top of plain greek yogurt
- Oatmeal - mix into your morning oats along with cinnamon, fruit, nuts etc.
- Salad dressings - whisk some into olive oil and vinegar
- Soups - swirl into bone broths, tomato soup, chili etc.
The standard supplemental dosage is around 1-2 tablespoons per day. But you can start small with 1 teaspoon daily and work upwards from there.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when taking brewers yeast powder as the fiber content can be dehydrating.
Key Takeaway: Mix brewers yeast powder into smoothies, juices, yogurt, oatmeal or soups to mask bitter taste. Standard dosage is 1-2 tablespoons daily but start small. Stay hydrated.
Is Brewers Yeast the Same as Nutritional Yeast?
While brewers yeast and nutritional yeast both belong to the Saccharomyces family, they are produced differently with some key distinctions:
|Byproduct of beer brewing process
|Cultured specifically as nutritional supplement
|Contains bitter, yeasty flavor
|Natural umami, nutty, cheesy flavor
|Deactivated yeast cells
|Killed by heating process
|High mineral content (chromium, selenium)
|Fortified with vitamin B12
So while both provide protein and B vitamins, nutritional yeast is considered more palatable with a taste resembling cheese. It won't impart much flavor when added to foods.
Whereas brewers yeast has a strong bitter taste and is taken more for its blood sugar and digestive benefits. The two cannot be used interchangeably.
Does brewers yeast need to be refrigerated?
No. Since brewers yeast is deactivated, it has a very long shelf life at room temperature. Store the powder in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place like the pantry. It should maintain full potency for up to a year.
Where can I buy brewers yeast powder?
You can find brewers yeast powder at most large supermarket chains, vitamin stores, health food stores or online retailers like Amazon. When comparing products, check the expiration dates and nutritional labels.
What's the difference between brewers yeast flakes vs powder?
There is no nutritional difference between brewers yeast flakes and powder. Flakes may be easier to sprinkle onto foods but generally cost a little more. The choice comes down purely to texture and personal preference.
Can brewers yeast cause breakouts or acne?
In rare circumstances, brewers yeast may provoke an inflammatory immune response in those susceptible to skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Try eliminating it for a few weeks to see if symptoms improve. But most people tolerate it without issue.
Brewers yeast powder is an excellent source of nutrients like protein, chromium, B vitamins and more. It offers many evidence-based health benefits including blood sugar control, increased energy, immune support and improved digestion.
Just be mindful of potential medication interactions and start with small doses to assess tolerance. Mixing the bitter powder into smoothies, juices or yogurt can help mask any unpleasant flavors.