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What is Brewer's Yeast?

Overview: Brewer's yeast is an active yeast used to make beer and can also be grown specifically to make nutritional supplements. It is a rich source of minerals (particularly chromium), protein, and the B-complex vitamins. Brewer's yeast is bitter in taste and should not be confused with baker's yeast, nutritional yeast, or torula yeast as these forms of yeast are low in chromium. Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. It occurs naturally in the environment and is an important contributor to human health. Some experts estimate that as many as 90% of Americans don't get enough chromium in their diet.

Uses General: Brewer's yeast is often used as a source of B-complex vitamins and chromium. The B-complex vitamins in brewer's yeast include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), and H (biotin). These vitamins help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which provide the body with energy. They also support the nervous system, help maintain the muscles used for digestion, and promote the health of skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.

Stress: Some consider B-complex vitamins to be important during times of physical and/or emotional stress. Therefore, a healthcare professional may recommend using brewer's yeast as a source of B vitamins for ongoing or recurrent illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or depression.

Injury: Similarly, the B complex is considered an important nutrient following an injury. Therefore, sources of vitamin B may be recommended during recovery, for example, from a wound or a burn.

Diabetes: Some studies suggest that chromium supplements may help individuals with diabetes. This condition is characterized by abnormally high levels of sugar in the blood. People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulina hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily lifeor cannot use the insulin that their bodies produce. Chromium may reduce blood sugar levels as well as the amount of insulin needed by individuals with this condition. Given that brewer's yeast is a rich source of chromium, this may prove to be a valuable nutritional supplement for people with diabetics, particularly because brewer's yeast is more easily absorbed than other sources of chromium.

High Cholesterol: As stated earlier, brewer's yeast is an important source of chromium. This mineral can help lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels in the blood and raise HDL ("good" cholesterol) levels. In addition, some experts suggest that other factors found in brewer's yeast also help lower cholesterol.

Weight Loss: Although some studies suggest that chromium may improve lean body mass and reduce body fat, its effects are minor compared to those of exercise and a well-balanced diet.

Available Forms: Brewer's yeast is available in powder, tablet, and liquid forms. How to Take It: Pediatric: There are no known scientific reports on the therapeutic use of brewer's yeast in children. Adult: 4 Tbsp/day dissolved in juice or water. If this amount causes gas (which can occur in individuals with diets low in B vitamins), begin with 1 Tbsp/day and slowly increase dosage.

Precautions: Because supplements may have side effects or interact with medications, they should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare provider. Individuals with frequent yeast infections should avoid taking brewer's yeast as this supplement may aggravate symptoms.

Possible Interactions: If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use brewer's yeast without first talking to your healthcare provider. Antidepressants, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) Brewer's yeast contains a significant amount of tyramine, a substance that should be avoided by individuals taking antidepressant medications known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Examples of MAOIs include phenelzine, tranylcypromine, pargyline, selegiline (also used for Parkinson's disease), and isocarboxazid. This interaction may lead to "hypertensive crisis," a rapid and severe increase in blood pressure that is characterized by nausea and vomiting, headache, and irregular heartbeat. This reaction may even result in a heart attack or stroke.

Narcotics for Pain: As with MAOI antidepressants, brewer's yeast may also lead to "hypertensive crisis" if taken with meperidine, a narcotic medication used to relieve intense pain.

BEST SELLER:
Lewis Labs Brewer's Yeast 100% Pure

STAFF PICK:
Kal's Nutritional Yeast Flakes



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