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Is it safe to use brewer's yeast?

Saturday, 20 October 2007
Answered by: Dr. Rishi Parashar
Consultant Dermatologist,
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. I am a 28 years old female. I have heard about brewer's yeast being beneficial in keeping skin in a good condition. I have acne and my skin is rough and scarred. Is it safe to use brewer's yeast? I have dysentry and often get mild vaginal infection if I do not use disinfected toilets seats.

A.  Brewers yeast, also known as bakers yeast, Faex medicinalis, levure de bière, and medicinal yeast, is included in a class of probiotics or biotherapeutic agents defined as live microbial supplements, which beneficially affect a host by improving its natural microbial balance. Brewers yeast is available as a supplement in a number of commercial preparations. It is increasingly being included in fermented milks and food products and can also be designated a nutraceutical. Dosage varies from 1 gram per day to 6 grams daily (orally), depending on indications for use. For example, the typical dose for preventing diarrhea is 250-500 mg 2-4 times a day. The dose for treatment of recurrent diarrhea is 1 gram daily for 4 weeks. In Crohn's disease, the recommended dose can be as high as 250 mg 3 times a day for 9 weeks. The most common use for Brewers yeast has been for antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), travelers diarrhea, rotavirus diarrhea in children, infectious diarrhea such as amebiasis, and general digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, relapsing Clostridium difficile colitis, and bacterial overgrowth in short bowel syndrome. Fewer data are available for its other uses, including vaginal Candida albicans yeast infections, high cholesterol levels, premenstrual syndrome, furunculosis, and adolescent acne. It is considered likely ineffective for gastrointestinal colonization by C. albicans in patients with cystic fibrosis. Adverse reactions include migraine-like headaches, intestinal discomfort and flatulence, hypersensitivity reactions such as urticaria, itching, local or general exanthemas, and Quinckes edema. Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem. In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may be self-diagnosis. If you do not know what you really have, you can not treat it!

A.  Brewers yeast, also known as bakers yeast, Faex medicinalis, levure de bière, and medicinal yeast, is included in a class of probiotics or biotherapeutic agents defined as live microbial supplements, which beneficially affect a host by improving its natural microbial balance. Brewers yeast is available as a supplement in a number of commercial preparations. It is increasingly being included in fermented milks and food products and can also be designated a nutraceutical. Dosage varies from 1 gram per day to 6 grams daily (orally), depending on indications for use. For example, the typical dose for preventing diarrhea is 250-500 mg 2-4 times a day. The dose for treatment of recurrent diarrhea is 1 gram daily for 4 weeks. In Crohn's disease, the recommended dose can be as high as 250 mg 3 times a day for 9 weeks. The most common use for Brewers yeast has been for antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD), travelers diarrhea, rotavirus diarrhea in children, infectious diarrhea such as amebiasis, and general digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, relapsing Clostridium difficile colitis, and bacterial overgrowth in short bowel syndrome. Fewer data are available for its other uses, including vaginal Candida albicans yeast infections, high cholesterol levels, premenstrual syndrome, furunculosis, and adolescent acne. It is considered likely ineffective for gastrointestinal colonization by C. albicans in patients with cystic fibrosis. Adverse reactions include migraine-like headaches, intestinal discomfort and flatulence, hypersensitivity reactions such as urticaria, itching, local or general exanthemas, and Quinckes edema. Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem. In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may be self-diagnosis. If you do not know what you really have, you can not treat it!

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