Brewer’s yeast is a type of yeast that comes as a byproduct in beer production. It is often used as an ingredient in lactation products with its ability to increase breastmilk supply. While it is considered generally safe for moms and babies, brewer’s yeast also has subtle side effects. It was observed that it could increase gassiness and fussiness in some breastfed babies. Moms taking brewer’s yeast may also experience its mild side effect that includes bloating, gas, and headache.
What is a brewer’s yeast?
Brewer’s yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the resulting byproduct of the beer fermentation process. It is a one-celled fungus that is harvested and pasteurized during beer manufacturing.
It is also deactivated, meaning it only contains non-living yeast or what is called a postbiotic. Brewer’s yeast is mainly considered a nutritional supplement instead of a pantry item, and thus, is available only in drug stores and health food stores.
As a nutritional supplement, brewer’s yeast effectively treats irritable bowel syndrome or IBS and other stomach problems.
One of its astounding properties is being a galactagogue or its ability to boost breastmilk production. And for many years, it became a mainstay in lactation products and popular among lactating mothers.
Brewer’s yeast health benefits
The brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of protein that makes up about 52% of its weight.
It can also provide the body with the essential B-complex that supports cell metabolism and improves overall health. Its chromium content reinforces insulin making it useful in lowering blood sugar levels for the treatment of diabetes.
But among its many uses, brewer’s yeast is most effective in promoting gastro health by increasing the stomach enzymes.
Thus, it is useful in the treatment of various health problems like:
- Infectious diarrhea
- Stomach flu
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Some heart problems
Brewer’s yeast and gas
Few studies back the science of milk production in brewer’s yeast.
However, breastfeeding moms who used it often swear by its effectiveness in boosting their milk supplies. Thus, more and more mothers trust the benefits they can get from their lactation cookie treats.
Yeasts, however, are a terrible culprit in producing excess air bubbles. It results in flatulence, bloating, and mild headaches. Breastfeeding moms may pass this to their babies and increase their gassiness.
So moms should observe the changes in their baby’s behavior after eating anything with brewer’s yeast in them. When your baby gets cranky and fussy, it may not be the best galactagogue to use.
You can try other alternative home remedies for increasing your breastmilk supply instead.
How to use brewer’s yeast
Moms may get low milk supply from time to time, especially if she is not on full-time breastfeeding.
Supplementing with formula tends to decrease milk supply as well as infrequent baby feedings.
Relying on food supplements for increasing breastmilk supply is a smart move. However, be cautious as these products are not without side effects.
When starting with brewer’s yeast for lactation, get started with a low dosage and gradually increase it as tolerated. You can add it to your smoothies, oats, cookies, or other baked goods.
Since there is no fixed dosage, experts recommend not going beyond 3 tablespoons per day.
Will brewer’s yeast cause yeast infection?
No, brewer’s yeast is different from Candida albicans, the pathogenic yeast that causes infections. Brewer’s yeast contains inactive yeast that is deactivated during its manufacturing process and cannot cause yeast infections.
How much brewer’s yeast can I consume in a day?
Experts ruled out not going over three tablespoons of brewer’s yeast powder per day. If consuming tablet supplements, do not go for over eight tablets.
Brewer’s yeast is a galactagogue trusted by most mothers for increasing their breastmilk supply, like a Mother’s Milk Tea. Therefore, it is often incorporated in drinks and treats that breastfeeding moms consume in hope of boosting their milk production.
While users reported its effectiveness, they also noticed uncomfortable side effects like increasing their and their babies’ gassiness.
If taking brewer’s yeast seems to stir up gas and even colic in your child, it is better to discontinue using it. You can try other alternatives for boosting your milk supply, like frequent feeding and ensuring proper latching.
Have you had any experience with brewer’s yeast? Share your experience in the comment section below for other moms to know!