What is the nutritional value of brewer's yeast?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
The nutritional quality of brewer's yeast depends on the host on which the yeast was grown and can, therefore, vary significantly from one supplier to another. The only way to know precisely what you're getting is to read the label carefully.

In general, brewer's yeast is an excellent source of high-quality protein comparable in value to soy protein.

Approximately 40 percent of the weight of dried brewer's yeast consists of protein that includes all the essential amino acids. Plus, like soybeans, brewer's yeast is rich in lysine, which makes both of these foods excellent supplements to cereals, whose proteins are generally low in lysine. A tablespoon of nutritional brewer's yeast can provide 8 g of protein for a mere 58 calories.

Depending upon the way in which it is grown, in addition to its high-quality protein, brewer's yeast can also be a good to excellent source of a number of important trace minerals, including chromium, selenium, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. For example, while the brewer's yeast that is a by-product of beer making may contain 1 or 2 parts per million (ppm) selenium, commercial high-selenium brewer's yeasts may contain as much as 2,000 ppm selenium, 75 percent of which is organically bound. A tablespoon of nutritional brewer's yeast typically provides at least 32 mcg of selenium, 57.5 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of this trace mineral, along with around 95 mcg of chromium.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.