06 September, 2011
Brewer's Yeast & Pregnancy
Brewer’s yeast, a type of nutritional supplement, is high in chromium and other nutrients that are important for the body. Brewer’s yeast differs from other types of yeast, such as baking yeast or nutritional yeast. Adequate nutrition is important during pregnancy, when your body has the added load of your developing baby. You may get some of the vitamins you need during pregnancy by taking brewer’s yeast.
Brewer’s yeast is actually a fungus, an organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is often used to make beer, hence the name, but may be part of other nutritional supplements. Brewer’s yeast contains many different vitamins, including B-complex vitamins, such as thiamine, niacin and riboflavin, as well as the mineral selenium. While its flavor may be bitter, it is safe for adults, including pregnant women, to use as a supplement.
Although brewer’s yeast is a good source of many B-complex vitamins, following a healthy diet is the best way to get adequate nutrition if you are pregnant, rather than relying on supplements. Brewer’s yeast has several B-complex vitamins, which are important during pregnancy. Vitamins B-1 and B-2 can help support your energy level, niacin promotes healthy skin and vitamin B-6 may help to reduce the effects of morning sickness. Brewer’s yeast does not contain all B-complex vitamins, so check labels carefully. For example, brewer’s yeast is not a source of vitamin B-12, which some people who are vegans may need during pregnancy.
Brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of chromium, containing approximately 60 mcg in each tablespoon. Chromium is important during pregnancy, as the body breaks down food such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins for digestion. Additionally, chromium works to stabilize blood sugar levels, which may be a factor in gestational diabetes. Pregnant women need approximately 30 mcg of chromium each day to support good health, and brewer’s yeast can meet your nutritional needs for this mineral.
If you are pregnant and want to add extra vitamins to your diet through brewer’s yeast, talk with your doctor about how much you should be taking each day. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most adults can take brewer’s yeast in powder, flakes or liquid form; 1 to 2 tablespoons are enough each day. If you are taking prenatal vitamins, medications or other supplements, talk with your doctor about the safety of adding brewer’s yeast to your diet to avoid any interactions.
- Hosseinzadeh, P., Javanbakht, M. H., Mostafavi, S. A., Djalali, M., Derakhshanian, H., Hajianfar, H., … Djazayer, A. (2013, October). Brewer’s yeast improves glycemic indices in type 2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4(10), 1131-1138
- Moyad, M. A. (2008, February). Brewer’s/baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and preventive medicine: Part II. Urologic Nursing, 28(1), 73-75. Retrieved from
- Saccharomyces cervisiae. (2007)
- Vitamin B12: Dietary supplement fact sheet. (2016, February 11)
- photobac/iStock/Getty Images