The hallmark of Type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. The function of insulin is to help sugar enter into the body’s cells so it can be converted and used for energy. Although the pancreas frequently makes a normal or above normal supply of insulin, the muscle and organ cells are resistant to it and unable to take in sugar. Sugar remains outside the cells where it causes high blood sugar levels.
Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, looked at brewer’s yeast food supplements as a possible way to help control blood sugar levels. Their study, reported on in October 2013 in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, included 84 Type 2 diabetics between 40 and 52 years of age. It was found the diabetics given six 300mg tablets of brewer’s yeast per day showed improvements that were not seen in any of the diabetics given a placebo.
Over a twelve week span, the participants taking the yeast showed:
- lowered fasting blood sugar levels,
- better blood sugar control, and
- improved insulin sensitivity.
From this information it was concluded dietary supplementation with brewer’s yeast in conjunction with regular treatment could be of benefit in controlling Type 2 diabetes.
Workers at the University of Maryland suggest brewer’s yeast’s high chromium content could be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels. In 2010 Current Diabetic Reports published an article suggesting chromium supplementation could be beneficial in Type 2 diabetics with high fasting blood sugar levels.
Brewer’s yeast, also known as baker’s yeast also contains:
- some zinc, copper, and iron, as well as
- some B vitamins.
It is also known to provide the B vitamins:
- riboflavin, and
Sources vary as to whether it contains vitamin B12. (Red Star nutritional yeast is a known source of vitamin B12).
Two tablespoons of brewer’s yeast contains about 100 calories.
Yeast is a type of fungus, so anyone allergic to fungi should avoid it. Little is known about possible effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Individuals with Crohn’s disease should not take yeast because it can make this disease worse.
Brewer’s yeast is available in pills, capsules, and powder. The powder form can be sprinkled onto popcorn, where it is said to give the popcorn a cheese-like flavor. It can also be added to soup, noodles, pancakes, or mashed potatoes (easy on the portion sizes). Brewer’s yeast can be sprinkled over vegan pizza in place of cheese. Sprinkle it on just after removing the pizza from the oven.
Nutritionfruition.com suggests making a tasty shake with vegan milk, chocolate, brewer’s yeast, flax seeds, green tea leaves, almond butter, and ice cubes.
Ask your doctor or dietitian how you can incorporate brewer’s yeast into a healthful diet designed for good nutrition and diabetic control.