Brewer’s Yeast has been available as a nutritional supplement for many years.  It is a by-product of beer making.  Brewer’s Yeast is a particular variety of the single cell fungus/yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.  Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is the same yeast used in bread making.  This yeast is a living organism that feeds on the sugars of the grains used to make beer or bread and ferments them into carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol.  In beer making, varieties of this yeast are used that produce more alcohol while in bread making varieties are used that produce more carbon dioxide gas to make the bread rise. 

        In bread making, the yeast remains in the bread but is deactivated in the baking process.  In beer making, the yeast is removed and heated to deactivate it. It is then dried and made into a powder or flakes.  It is this powdered or flaked yeast that is the Brewers Yeast supplement available at health food stores.  What makes this yeast very nutritious is that while it is in its living and active form, it takes up a number of proteins, minerals and vitamins from the grains and other ingredients used in beer making.  These nutrients remain in the dried yeast and when this yeast is consumed as a food supplement, it provides the body with these nutrients. 

       Brewer’s Yeast is an excellent source of nucleic acid.  Nucleic acid is necessary for proper cellular development.  Brewer’s Yeast is high in the trace mineral chromium which must be present in order for insulin to do its work of removing glucose from the blood into the cell.  The chromium found in Brewer’s Yeast occurs as glucose tolerance factor (GTF).  It is in this form that the body is able to use this mineral to help regulate insulin levels and thereby regulate blood sugar levels. Therefore, Brewer’s Yeast can be very helpful to those with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) as well as those with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).  Some research indicates that the GTF chromium found in Brewer’s Yeast is more effective than simply supplementing with a isolated chromium supplement.

      Brewer’s Yeast is a good source of the trace mineral selenium.  Selenium is necessary to the body’s production of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that is important to controlling free radical damage to fatty tissue in the body.  Brewer’s Yeast is rich in many of the B-vitamins but is lacking vitamin B-12 unless it is added.  Brewer’s Yeast has been found to be an excellent source of protein and can have up to 50% of its weight in protein.  It has all the essential amino acids necessary for building proteins in the body.  Essential amino acids are those that must come from the diet as our bodies don’t make them.

       Brewer's Yeast is a strong source for Beta Gluten's.   Beta glucans are chains of glucose molecules that are important to immune function. They stimulate macrophages, neutrophils and T-cells into action against bacteria, viruses, parasites and even tumors and cancer cells. Beta Gluten's can also be found in various grains.  Oat meal and oat bran is a good source of Beta Gluten's.   


       Brewer’s Yeast contains a sizeable amount of a substance called tyramine.  This substance can negatively interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s) which are medications used to treat depression.  When this happens, it can cause an undue raise in blood pressure.  This same negative interaction can occur with users of Brewer’s Yeast and the pain relief drug Demerol.  Those on MAOI’s or Demerol should avoid Brewer’s Yeast.


       Nutritional Yeast is made from the same Saccharomyces Cerevisiae fungus/yeast as used in the brewing industry.  The difference is that with nutritional yeast, the Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is not obtained from the brewing industry but is grown on molasses or some other medium.  As is true with making Brewer’s Yeast into a nutritional supplement, Nutritional Yeast is deactivated, dried and made into a powder or flakes.  Like Brewer’s Yeast, Nutritional Yeast is a good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and an assortment of other nutrients, all of which are derived and processed from the medium it is grown on. 

       While B-vitamins are produced as the yeast grows, makers of nutritional yeast often add additional B-vitamins to boast B-vitamin levels.  B-12 is most always added because, like Brewer’s yeast, B-12 does not naturally occur in these yeasts.  Red Star Yeast Company is the primary producer of Nutritional Yeast.

       While Brewer's Yeast is a good natural source of the minerals chromium and selenium, Nutritional Yeast is not unless it is fortified with these minerals.  Both Brewer’s and Nutritional Yeast are a good source of the mineral magnesium. Brewers Yeast has a decent amount of potassium whereas Nutritional Yeast has less of this mineral.


       Candida Albicans is a yeast organism that inhabits our intestinal track and needs to be held in check by friendly bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifida bacteria.  Candida receives its nourishment primarily from simple carbohydrates in the diet.  Overgrowth of this organism can lead to many health problems.  Some believe that eating Brewer’s or Nutritional Yeast can aggravate an existing candida yeast overgrowth.  While this is a possibility, it has not been shown that eating a deactivated yeast product enhances the growth of candida. 


       If you are trying to regulate blood sugar, Brewer's Yeast is your best choice because of its significant amount of GTF chromium.  If it is mainly B-vitamins you want, Nutritional Yeast may be a better choice since most Nutritional Yeast products are B-vitamin fortified and will also include B-12.  Both Brewer's and Nutritional Yeast will provide an excellent profile of amino acids for protein and an array of trace minerals.

       Above all, both Brewer's and Nutritional Yeast offer you food grown nutrients which the body will utilize very well.  Both types of yeast products will provide a significant amount of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids the body needs on a daily basis.  Both Brewer’s and Nutritional Yeast are available at Milk ‘N Honey.