Nutritional Yeast: The Good and the Bad and What You Need to Know If You Seek a Stronger Immune System

Posted February 21, 2008. There have been 22 comments

All your questions answered on nutritional yeast, including what you might NOT know about brewer's and baker's yeasts and which yeast is actually an immune system booster!
At Body Ecology we teach about microflora... the beneficial bacteria and yeast in your inner ecosystem that are essential immune system boosters.

It is important to know about bacteria and yeast because they can play a very important role in helping you live a longer, healthier life.

Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus and Saccharomyces unisporus are the dominant beneficial yeasts found in  Body Ecology's Kefir Starter that you are unlikely to get anywhere else.

Perhaps one of the first things you should know is that there are good and bad bacteria and there are good and bad yeast (aka fungi).

Examples of good bacteria are acidophilus and the bifidus family of bacteria (B. breve, B. longum, B. infantis, and B. adolescentis, etc). Salmonella, Clostridium difficile and Klebsiella are examples of badbacteria.

Good yeast and bad yeast are discussed in more detail below. Our goal here is to help you understand the difference between good yeast and bad yeast... and to clear up some of the misunderstanding about them. This confusion is preventing many from obtaining the excellent advantages that come when we eat foods and drink liquids containing these beneficial, medicinal yeast.

CANDIDA ALBICANS - ONE VERY BAD YEAST

It is estimated that over 80% of us struggle with the common pathogenic yeast called Candida albicans. It can be found growing and causing inflammation in our bloodstream and in our organs. Candida is a single cell organism, like all yeasts, that thrives on the abundant amount of sugars found in the modern diet. Candida robs your body of essential nutrients like iron and other minerals and helps keep your blood very acidic.

Many foods we eat are also making our blood more acidic including any food with sugars, wheat, dairy, glutinous grains, and all processed foods. These foods create havoc in our intestinal environment and encourage the overgrowth of yeast and bacteria pathogens.

Unless its source of food is eliminated, Candida Albicans can take over and slowly destroy your digestive system, your immunity, and drain you of your energy and health. Many symptoms like fatigue, headaches, eczema, dandruff, cradle cap in babies, hormone imbalances, vaginal infections, jock itch, stomach upsets and foggy thinking can be attributed to candida.

While candida albicans is an example of a harmful yeast, It's important to know that there are also yeasts that are very beneficial for your health.

Just because a food or drink contains yeast, this does not mean that it is necessarily a damaging yeast. Nor will yeast in your food necessarily cause an increase in a systemic yeast or fungal infection. In fact, there a certain yeast obtained in the foods or drinks you eat that are, indeed, very beneficial.

But some are certainly not... especially when they are wild yeast... so we'd like to clear up some of the confusion.

Wild, airborne yeast found in naturally fermented kombucha and in sourdough breads can be a problem for someone with a pathogenic candida infection.

The probiotic foods and drinks we recommend have beneficial yeasts in them that help build your immune system and fight candida.

Bread, beer, distilled spirits, and many processed foods that are made with yeast cannot be eaten by someone with a yeast infection. If you have a yeast overgrowth or infection in your blood, intestines, or birth canal you will be very sensitive to foods containing yeast. Basically, your body does not wantmore yeast. Obviously these foods often have unhealthy amounts of sugar or additives in them as well. They push the environment of your blood toward acid and this is conducive to the overgrowth of candida.

In fact, we get many questions about whether brewer's yeast and baker's yeast found in our everyday foods are okay on the Body Ecology program. Our answer is usually NO, we don't recommend it. But the answer is not a simple yes or no. There's a lot more to explain and we'd like to clear up some of the misunderstanding and mystery about yeast.

Please share this information with others who will benefit from it and help us clear up all the unfortunate confusion...

YEASTS 101

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is perhaps the most common of the yeast. Some might say it is the most important yeast because man has used it for thousands of years in baking bread and brewing of beer and wine and ethanol production.

Brewer's yeast, Ale Yeast, Top Fermenting Yeast, Budding Yeast are some common names for S. Cerevisiae. While it is not the only yeast used in beer making, S.Cerevisiae is used to produce sweeter, fruitier ales. During the fermentation process it rises to the top of the fermentation barrel or vat and is therefore called a "Top Fermenting Yeast". Top fermenting yeast are not able to ferment some types of sugar, and the resulting beer is sweeter.

But here's where even more confusion comes in... Nutritional Yeast and yeast extract are also sourced from S. Cerevisiae.

YEAST ADDED BY MAN AND YEAST PRESENT IN NATURE

Nutritional yeast, packages of baker's yeast for bread baking and brewer's yeast for the making of beer and wine are readily available to purchase.Yeast extracts are often used in foods like salad dressings, sauces, seasonings on potato and corn chips and bouillon cubes to enhance flavor of stocks etc.

There are also wild yeast in nature and these airborne yeast cause "wild fermentation" of bread, beer, Kombucha, Kvass etc.

All of the above types of fermentation are usually not well tolerated by someone with a yeast infection or overgrowth. They are not part of The Body Ecology System of Health and Healing.

Cultured vegetables, young coconut kefir, milk kefir and all the products made by the Grainfield's Flora Ferm process are quite different. This includes the TOP-RECOMMENDED Cocobiotic, Innergy Biotic, Dong Quai, and BE Wholegrain Liquid.

We'd like to explain why:

When you make Cultured Veggies, Young Coconut Kefir and Milk Kefir the Body Ecology Way - be sure to read Which Fermented Food Starter Should You Use For What?
-- you will be adding beneficial yeast and other useful bacteria. (See more below)

All products made by the Grainfield's Flora Ferm process are not added yeast at all. In fact, they couldn't be more natural. The two strains of yeast present in the Flora Ferm process are S. Boulardii and S. Cerevisiae

Yes, It's there again... S. cerevisiae is a part of the Flora Ferm process too.
But let's look deeper...

These two are naturally present... along with other beneficial bacteria... on fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes. They don't need to be added, they are simply there.

The yeast play an important role in the fermentation process. They "kick off" the fermentation and help get it started. Other friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus bacteria are the predominant strains and they feed on what the yeast produce. It's a cruel world out there in an ecosystem and eventually the good bacteria kill off the yeast before the fermentation process is completed.

The end result, however, is a positive one for us humans since the finished product is now loaded with B vitamins and enzymes from the dead yeast cells. The amount of yeast remaining is measured with each batch produced and is usually below 1% of the total microflora count. Yet even those very low yeast levels help create the effervescence we all love.

OTHER BENEFICIAL YEASTS YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT

Question: "Why do Grainfield's and Body Ecology list the yeast as an ingredient on the InnergyBioticCoco-Biotic and other probiotic liquids bottles if so little are present? "

Answer: Because they are always present in natural fermentation and we want you to know that this is not a controlled laboratory process but one designed by Nature. In fact, we are proud of our natural organic fermentation process.

A discussion of beneficial and even "medicinal" yeast would not be complete without a more thorough understanding of a real star, the quite popular, Saccharomyces boulardii. You find S. boulardii in all of our probiotic liquids.

S. boulardii:

  • Is an immune system booster because it stimulates your body's production of antibodies
  • Helps reduce the likelihood of antibiotic associated diarrhea
  • Helps controls candida
  • Helps controls the potentially fatal Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection, which is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in the world.
  • Research shows that S. Boulardii is even more effective than the leading drug for tackling C. difficile... a bad guy... commonly found in children with autism.

TWO LITTLE-KNOWN, BUT IMMUNE BOOSTING, NUTRITIONAL YEAST STRAINS

Just as important, yet not as well-known in the beneficial yeast department, are the two powerful immune system boosters found in our Body Ecology Kefir Starter.

Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus and Saccharomyces unisporus are the dominant beneficial yeasts found in our kefir starter that you are unlikely to get anywhere else.

Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus acts as a prebiotic (food for good bacteria) for other beneficial bacteria in your system, and it's a powerful immune system booster.

The same goes for the hardy Saccharomyces unisporus (S. unisporus), which is related to the super-yeast mentioned above, S. boulardii.

These two dietary yeasts may be why kefir has been considered by many to be one of the best health tonics around.

As a matter of fact kefir's history dates back thousands of years. Populations who drank kefir were known for their exceptional health and longevity. Kefir translated to "feel good" in Turkish.

Milk Kefir is traditionally made with cow's milk or goat milk. If you can obtain a source of raw milk, this is best. Raw milk contains live enzymes and beneficial microflora if it is from healthy grass fed animals. However, even pasteurized milk is improved by fermentation since the enzymes destroyed when the milk is heated are added back again. The protein and the fats in fermented milk are, once again, more digestible.

Note that milk kefir and dairy are not recommend in the initial stage of the Body Ecology Diet because many people are sensitive to the milk protein, casein. Also, the milk sugar, lactose, in milk from cows and goats will feed the candida and a yeast infection to become more severe. Casein, the milk protein is difficult to digest so we always suggest fermenting the milk. In the later stages, or once you conquer your candida infection and your inner ecosystem is re-established, you may be able to gradually add milk kefir to your diet... but only IF IT WORKS WELL IN YOUR BODY!

YOUNG COCONUT KEFIR

Because so many people do poorly on dairy foods, Donna Gates created an amazing probiotic beverage that you can make at home by adding our Body Ecology Kefir Starter to the water found inside the young coconut.

This potassium-rich water is an important part of The Body Ecology Diet. It helps cleanse the liver and kidneys while nourishing the adrenals and the heart. People of all ages have reported an improvement in the energy, their moods, their skin, their joints and their hormones. They feel happier and digest their food better as well.

Parents of autistic children have reported a noticeable improvement in their children's symptoms once they begin drinking the young coconut kefir. Their doctors, pleased with the results, now recommend it to other children with autism.

Whether you make kefir with raw, organic milk, or add it to fresh, unpasteurized coconut water to make Young Coconut Kefir, you'll be nourishing your health with one of the most amazing, natural sources of important vitamins, minerals, proteins and pro-biotics you can find anywhere.

See how to make Young Coconut Kefir , and read more about Kefir Starter , which you can use to make it.

CREATE A HARMONIOUS WORLD INSIDE YOUR INTESTINES

To obtain the most benefit from your fermented foods and drinks the friendly bacteria and yeast found in pro-biotic foods and beverages should be very compatible with each other. Indeed, it is essential that the colony of microflora inside your intestines work synergistically together reinforcing one another's efforts. We like to think of them as an amazing "inner settlement" of microscopic "superheros" that do very important work.

At Body Ecology, we recognize the importance of repopulating our intestines daily with immune boosting microflora that are not only compatible with your intestines, but are also harmonious with one another. This symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship can best be obtained when you eat probiotic foods and liquids. They contain the friendly flora that not only help create a healthy inner ecosystem but also thrive and survive there.

In other words, the microflora in our starters and probiotic liquids work together to help populate your intestines with beneficial bacteria AND encourage the survival, implantation, and growth of newly added friendly microflora.

WHAT'S WRONGE WITH THE OTHER PROBIOTIC FOODS, SUPPLEMENTS AND DRINKS I CAN BUY?

Many of the probiotic drinks and supplements on the market today are not ORGANIC and are not NATURAL. They are processed in ways that destroy the beneficial bacteria they might have had in them, and DO NOT CONTAIN THE AMOUNT OF MICROFLORA THEY CLAIM ON THEIR LABELS. But it's not necessary enough to have high counts of microflora...

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER!!!

If you want to re-colonize your intestines with a healthy inner ecosystem, it is not HOW MANY MICROFLORA in a food or supplement that is important, it is HOW HARDY THEY ARE.

In other words billions are not necessarily the best. HOW VIABLE AND ROBUST AND ENDURING they are is what counts!

Ask these questions: WHAT IS THEIR SURVIVAL RATE? CAN THEY SURVIVE, THRIVE AND MULTIPLY INSIDE YOU?

BE SURE TO READ:

Probiotic Liquids and Foods versus Probiotic Supplements: Which Is Better?

AND

Why Dannon Activa and Other Mass-Market Probiotic Products are Not Recommended.

Sources:

M.A.F. Belem, B.H. Lee "Production of Bioingredients From Kluyveromyces
marxianus Grown on Whey: An Alternative"
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a727154515~db=all

Rebekah (Pearl) Anast " Land of Milk and Honey"
http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/nc/topics/general-view/archive/2006/june/21/land-of-milk-and-honey/

Post Categories: General Health

22 Comments

  • Blood pH: Dairy, meats, glutinous grains don't make the blood more acidic. Homeostatic controls enforce a strict blood pH typically between 7.35 and 7.45. Anything below 6.8 equals death. Acid forming foods make the interstitial fluids , saliva , bodily fluids and tissues more acidic. It's a systemic thing. Candida thrive in an acidic environment because fermentation is more optimal at a lower pH.

    Posted on Aug 24 at 4:34 pm

  • No one can give you one answer to fit all your concerns. Let your body tell you what it needs. Two very powerful indicators are taste, and how what you eat feels moving through your body. So when you eat nutritional yeast does it taste WONDERFUL to you? Excellent step1- next, does your body eliminate the byproducts with ease? If yes again, then this is good for you.
    We have to get back into our bodies and quiet our mnds and let the body guide us.
    That is where the answers are- not on this forum.

    Posted on Aug 2 at 8:53 pm

  • Are nutritional yeast flakes allowed or no? not clear in the article

    Posted on Aug 1 at 1:37 pm

  • Can anybody tell me when the best times of the day is, or before or after meals or workouts, to take something such as Kefir, Kombucha, or other fermented drinks? Also a general way to keep from getting Candida?

    Posted on Jul 16 at 10:15 am

  • I would go with natural yeast anytime. Our bodies can almost handle anything natural but a lot of people are having health problems because of the processed foods that we eat everyday. I would argue that cancer will wipe us out unless people stop thinking more about the money they can make but instead think about health of the consumer or think natural yeast. Thanks for sharing and peace to you.

    Posted on Jun 27 at 9:30 am

  • Is there any side effect in the over consumption of yeast

    Posted on Jan 16 at 4:43 am

  • I too am searching for more info about Nutritional Yeast Flakes......I recently had anaphylaxis which was caused by an allergic reaction to something either I ate or inhaled. I was rushed to the emergency room. I use it all the time and had mixed it with olive oil and cayenne pepper to top my popcorn. I also added some mixture that I had prepared 2 days prior.....so I am wondering if it reacted and fermented somehow to cause such a reaction. We need more information on how it is made, side effects (very limited explanation given) please!!!!!

    Posted on Dec 10 at 9:35 pm

  • Your article is somewhat confusing: so is bakers yeast good for your or not? Is it possible to bake bread without yeast? Thanks for sharing.

    Posted on Oct 6 at 12:10 am

  • Does anyone know if vitamins that state something like "magnesium (as yeast)" are good for you or bad for you?

    Posted on Jul 8 at 9:15 pm

  • Hi I'm Molly, recently I was diagnosed with a yeast overgrowth.
    Not to sound like and alcoholic or anything but I just turned 21 and would like to know the harm of me having a drink
    Every now and then and what type would be best.I follow my diet quite well on a daily basis. Help would be appreciation.

    Posted on Apr 10 at 7:17 pm

  • I am confused. I have been searching for an answer to a question I have regarding nutritional yeast flakes, and can't seem to get any information. Can someone please help me: Is there whey OR casein protein in nutritional yeast flakes?? I have an allergy and can't seem to figure out if this is the culprit for my "breakout" or not. Thanks.

    Posted on Apr 10 at 6:34 am

  • Hello ! Just read the article on nutritional yeast and brewers yeast, I am not clear on it. I was told brewers yeast could really help with my low blood sugar. I have had fungal issues and don't want to fuel them anymore. If I could afford it, I would just buy your products, but I cannot. That being said, is brewers yeast or nutritional yeast alright to take?

    Thank You

    JaySun

    Posted on Mar 27 at 7:19 am

  • A major clarification that has helped me: the pH of the bloodstream HAS to stay about 7.4 or we would die. So foods don't actually affect the pH of our blood, they affect the pH of the other liquids in our body. To compensate for the acidifying affect many processed foods (such as the ones you mentioned) WOULD have on our blood, our body pulls alkalizing minerals out of our bones and other areas to neutralize it so that our bloodstream doesn't become acidic.
    Hence, we can take the pH of our urine or saliva and have a general idea of how well we are keeping our body packed with health-promoting food because if we are eating alkalizing (high in minerals) foods, our body wont have to pull minerals out of our urine and saliva sources, leaving those acidic.

    Posted on Feb 16 at 2:06 pm

  • @ Kelly Shultz: I am by no means an expert, but my understanding is that only Saccharomyces cerevisiae and NOT other strands in the Saccharomyces 'family' are correlated with the intestinal immune disorders you mentioned. The particular strand used in the Body Ecology Kefir starters is Saccharomyces unispores, and I can't find anything suggesting a correlation between this specific strand and antibody development correlated with immune disease. If you've heard otherwise, please do share, but it seems there is no reason for concern with the strand used by BE.

    Posted on Aug 25 at 1:20 pm

  • Nutritional yeast is fine because it's been deactivated or killed. What this article is trying to say, and not very well, is that taking the same strain of active yeast (brewers yeast) full strength as a dietary supplement is probably a bad thing; however, the same yeast used in combination with other probiotics to produce fermented beverages containing active cultures (like the one they're selling) may be healthy.

    Posted on Aug 16 at 4:43 am

  • "Yes or no on Nutritional Yeast?"

    The page seems to discourage it (not part of the system, not well tolerated ...)

    The truth seems to be that nutritional yeast would not seem to especially infect anyone since it is deactivated. Here is where I see it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast
    http://lesaffre-yeast.com/five-steps.html

    Posted on Jul 12 at 2:26 pm

  • The bottom line is "buy OUR yeast product because the others are all killing you"

    Posted on Jul 4 at 6:45 pm

  • What you put about kombucha tea and yeast infections is completely inaccurate. It does the opposite for yeast infections, you need to do your research before posting things like this.

    Posted on Jun 5 at 7:36 pm

  • I am in the process of being evaluated for Crohn's, and there is a VERY STRONG correlation between the presence of anti-saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies and Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis, and also, I believe, to a degree, Celiac disease.

    I am interested in the research and thinking behind Body Ecology's use of them as ingredients in fermented drinks that are health promoting. Are they considered healthy only for those without any immune issues or gut damage from prior inflammation? Any info would be appreciated.

    Posted on May 31 at 5:41 am

  • i agree with Sandy...please clarify...

    Posted on Mar 29 at 9:27 pm

  • I agree - I've been made to understand that since Brewer's and Nutritional yeast are actually killed from the brewing or other process to get it to the point of being in a bottle as a supplement that it has no effect on your system, such as aggravating a candida overgrowth. Could you please explain? Thank you!

    Posted on Mar 8 at 4:01 pm

  • This thread is a TAD confusing.

    So yes, or no on Nutritional Yeast? A straight answer would be great. :)

    And by nutritional yeast I mean the good kind that you could find in a supplement product like
    Vital Scoop by Bauman Nutrition.

    Posted on Feb 13 at 12:48 pm

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