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S. cerevisiae, also known as Brewer’s or Baker’s yeast, has great nutritional properties. It also has proven probiotic properties – it’s good for the skin and wound healing and combats various infections.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the yeast commonly referred to as brewer or baker’s yeast. This microorganism has been instrumental to winemaking, baking, and brewing since ancient times.

S. cerevisiae is a veterinary probiotic widely used in animal nutrition (R). Although several S. cerevisiae strains have proven probiotic potential in humans, only the related S. boulardii is currently licensed for use as a human probiotic (R).

The commercial product known as “nutritional yeast” contains the inactivated S. cerevisiae. This product is high in protein, fiber, and B vitamins, especially folic acid.

Health Benefits of S. cerevisiae

1) S. cerevisiae Produces Folate

S. cerevisiae is a rich dietary source of folate (R).

S. cerevisiae was shown to increase the folate contents of rye flour-water mixtures (R).

2) S. cerevisiae Degrades Phytate

Phytic acid (phytate) is found in many cereal grains, oilseeds, legumes, flours, and brans. It forms insoluble complexes with minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium, and lowers their bioavailability. Humans lack the enzymes for phytate complex degradation (R).

By degrading phytate, S. cerevisiae can improve the absorption of iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus (R,R).

3) S. cerevisiae Degrades Mycotoxins

Agricultural products, food and animal feeds can be contaminated by mycotoxins, specific toxins produced by fungi. These toxins can lead to various diseases in humans and livestock.

Studies report that S. cerevisiae fermentation can degrade mycotoxins (R).

Furthermore, S. cerevisiae also possesses the ability to bind mycotoxins. S. cerevisiae improved weight gain and reduced genotoxicity of aflatoxin in mice fed with contaminated corn (R).

4) S. cerevisiae is Beneficial for the GI Tract

S. cerevisiae strengthens epithelial barrier function (R).

Oral treatment with viable or heat-killed S. cerevisiae strain prevents bacterial translocation, protects intestinal barrier integrity, and stimulates immunity in mice with intestinal obstruction (R).

S. cerevisiae May be Beneficial in Cancer Patients with Mucositis

Gastrointestinal mucositis is a major and serious side effect of cancer therapy. S. cerevisiae reduces oxidative stress, prevents weight loss and intestinal lesions, and maintains the integrity of the mucosal barrier in mice with mucositis (R).

S. cerevisiae May Ameliorate IBS

In one clinical trial, S. cerevisiae reduced abdominal pain and discomfort in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (R).

In another trial, however, S. cerevisiae had no beneficial effect on IBS symptoms and wellbeing. However, it seemed to have some effect in the subgroup with constipation (R).

S. cerevisiae May Ameliorate IBD

S. cerevisiae improved symptoms in mice with acute ulcerative colitis (R).

S. cerevisiae reduced inflammation, restored barrier function, and inhibited colitis in mice (R).

5) S. cerevisiae Combats Infections

Vaginal administration of S. cerevisiae positively influences the course of vaginal candidiasis by accelerating the clearance of Candida (R).

Treatment with S. cerevisiae decreases proinflammatory cytokines, inhibits weight loss and increases survival rate in mice with typhoid fever (caused by Salmonella enterica Typhimurium) (R).

S. cerevisiae beta-glucan reduces microscopic lung lesions and virus replication rate in pigs with pneumonia caused by the swine influenza virus (SIV) (R).

S. cerevisiae supplementation increased antibody titers and leucocyte counts and resulted in a decline in parasitemia in Trypanosoma brucei infected rats (R).

S. cerevisiae, when administered orally, colonizes the bowel of healthy volunteers and can potentially replace resident Candida species (R).

6) S. cerevisiae May be Beneficial for Dental Health

S. cerevisiae, as monotherapy or as an adjuvant, accelerated the tissue-repair process and ameliorated periodontitis in rats (R).

7) S. cerevisiae is Good for the Skin

S. cerevisiae extract (SCE) is used in cosmetics, where it reduces oxidative stress and improves skin conditions. It was shown to enhance skin moisture and skin microrelief in volunteers (R).

8) S. cerevisiae Promotes Wound Healing

Topical treatment with a water-insoluble glucan from S. cerevisiae enhanced venous ulcer healing in humans. In a patient who had an ulcer that would not heal for over 15 years, this treatment caused a 67.8% decrease in the area of the ulcer (R).

9) S. cerevisiae is Beneficial in Pregnancy

Preeclampsia is associated with impaired antioxidant defense that results in maternofetal complications. S. cerevisiae scavenged nitric oxide radicals and decreased oxidative stress in red blood cells and alleviates stress status in the preeclamptic fetus (R).


  • S. cerevisiae can favor a Th1 response (R).
  • S. cerevisiae increases IFN-γ (R, R), IL-5 (R), IL-10 (RR, R) and IL-12 (R).
  • S. cerevisiae both increases (R) and decreases (R) TNF-α.
  • S. cerevisiae both increases (R) and decreases IL-6 (RR, R, R).
  • S. cerevisiae decreases IL-1α (R), IL-1β (RR), IL-8 (R, R), CCL20, CXCL2, CXCL10 (R) and the neutrophil chemokine KC (R).
  • S. cerevisiae increases IgA (RR), NO (R) and PPAR-γ (R).


S. cerevisiae is consumed on a daily basis worldwide. Although it is generally safe, in rare cases, S. cerevisiae may cause infections (R) and allergic responses (R).

Anti-S. cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) have been found in many autoimmune diseases in which increased intestinal permeability occurs, including type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, and others (RR, R). High ASCA were also found in obesity (R).

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

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  • Leigh

    Jarrow’s brand of S. Boulardii will solve intestinal problems very quickly.

  • Sam

    So you’re saying this yeast is good god you. What if someone has a food sensitivity to it, confirmed with a number of blood tests, brewer’s and baker’s yeast? Oddly enough, I don’t (for a few years now) consume any leavened products, no gluten, and no store bought items (I look through the labels), but it still shows up. Any take on it?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      I would say avoid for a few months and try it back. Maybe you have a yeast overgrowth or are exposed to mold. Also, mushrooms could do it.

      Nattha @ Team SelfHacked

      1. Sam

        Yeah, someone told me about mushrooms, but they’re full of beta glucans and other beneficial components for the immune system.

        I was forced to immerse myself into health (after completing business degrees) because of personal health problems and a family history of colon cancer. Pubmed became my google, but I’m still trying to peace together what to do. A significant shocker(I kind of expected it) came after I researched and basically almost forcefully made a doctor to test my stool. I actually paid, initially, to directlabs for Genova’s comprehensive GI panel.

        I’m a regular guest on and Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple, two totally opposite spectrums. Don’t know who to trust.

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Well, guess what? Pubmed isn’t omnipotent either. Clearly there are more standards and procedures to what can go on Pubmed than what goes on blogs, but new findings are published every single day. I myself have years of unpublished data from my PhD waiting to be written and submitted to a journal. After all, it comes down to trying things yourself and seeing what works.

          Genova’s GI panel is a great test, but the urine organic acids is a more sensitive test to detect a fungal overgrowth. However, if you have many antibodies against fungi, that is also a great indicator that you may have some. (I’ve never tested an organic acid test on a client and not found a fungal overgrowth.) I’m not diagnosing anyone on here. Just stating my own experience. What really matters is that all lab test results have to be correlated with symptoms and history, so if you feel fabulous and happy where you are, you might not need to do anything. ~Nattha @ Team SelfHacked

          1. Sam

            not really, otherwise i wouldn’t be reading this. Stomach issues still persist. Gloating. I totally understand and agree with the diagnostician clause.

            reply icon
          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            You can make an appointment with I ( or Joe ( and we can help you figure this out.

            reply icon
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