Is it safe to consume brewer's yeast?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
The high purine content of brewer's yeast makes it unsuitable for people with gout, kidney disease, or arthritis. About 20 percent of the crude protein nitrogen in yeast is in the form of purines. If consumed in large amounts -- more than three tablespoons of nutritional yeast daily -- these purines can cause problems in anyone, since a high intake can result in elevated blood levels of uric acid. When blood levels of uric acid are high, it tends to crystallize and precipitate in joints, where it can cause gout or arthritis. In addition, high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream stress the kidneys.

Since the chromium-niacin combination found in chromium-enriched brewer's yeast may affect blood glucose and insulin levels, people with diabetes or hypoglycemia should consult their doctors before supplementing their diets with these forms of brewer's yeast.

Some people may be allergic to brewer's yeast. In a study using an elimination diet to treat 60 migraine patients, brewer's yeast was found to be one of the foods likely to contribute to the initiation of a migraine.

Brewer's yeast is not related to Candida albicans, the typical culprit in vaginal yeast infections in women. The nutritional and chemical profile of brewer's yeast depends on the medium on which it was grown. Therefore, purchase organic brewer's yeast when possible.
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Dietary Supplements

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d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

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.