Health Benefits of Brewer's Yeast

Brewer's yeast is commonly harvested from hops during beer-making.

Brewer's yeast is commonly harvested from hops during beer-making.

Brewer's yeast is often considered a health food because it's easy to digest and is high in nutrients, according to Jonny Bowden, author of "The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth." But packed with protein, B vitamins, chromium, selenium, potassium and zinc, it's a veritable superfood. The bitter taste can be off-putting, but it comes in powders, liquids, flakes and capsules, offering a variety of ways to incorporate brewer's yeast into your diet.

Aids Fertility

If you and your partner are thinking it's baby time, brewer's yeast can be a beneficial addition to your trying-to-conceive program. Brewer's yeast contains para-aminobenzoic acid, a compound that can stimulate the production of estrogen and lower follicle-stimulating hormone -- the hormone involved in mature egg production -- levels. According to Dr. Spence Pentland of Qi Integrated Health in Vancouver, Canada, brewer's yeast is good for your partner, too, because it's a good source of zinc -- a natural sperm-count booster.

Contains Chromium

Chromium is an essential nutrient you get through diet or supplementation. Chromium can maintain healthy blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics, aid weight loss and lower cholesterol. Brewer's yeast may be beneficial for treating acne, likely because of its high chromium content. Your body has a hard time digesting chromium, but brewer's yeast improves absorption.

Anti-Aging Properties

Aging is inevitable, but brewer's yeast might be a drop from the fountain of youth. It works by preserving the function of telomeres -- stretches of DNA found at the end of chromosomes. They help protect DNA as cells replicate, but also shorten with each replication. This shortening process might be a contributing factor to aging. A specific protein in brewer's yeast helps preserve telomeres and might slow the effects of aging.

Improves Depression

Since brewer's yeast is a good source of vitamin B-6, it might be effective against depression, according to "Quick Access Patient Information: On Conditions, Herbs and Supplements." Brewer's yeast might ease irritability, stress and fatigue as well.

Warnings

University of Maryland Medical Center reminds you to monitor your blood sugar levels while using brewer's yeast to ensure they don't drop too low. You also shouldn't use brewer's yeast if you're taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or meperidine, due to the risk of an interaction causing excessively high blood pressure. There are no scientific studies to determine the effect of brewer's yeast on children, so steer clear for the little ones.

 

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