Selected Podcast

Brewer’s Yeast: The Answer to Shedding Stubborn Belly Fat?

No, beer is not the secret to losing weight. One ingredient may certainly help, however. Brewer’s yeast, or saccharomyces cerevisiae, is commonly used in winemaking, brewing, and baking. It’s also been used to treat a handful of health issues including boils, infections, acne, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and even type-2 diabetes. In the quest to raise bigger and better chickens, one group of researchers accidentally discovered in 2007 that brewer’s yeast might also help lower belly fat.  

Yes, It Started with Chickens

The study, published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, split chickens up into two groups; one was fed a normal diet, while the second group had a normal diet supplemented with the yeast. In just seven weeks, the chickens that were given the saccharomyces diet experienced a significant decrease in fat, specifically around the abdominal area.  

Since then, further studies have been conducted in an effort to determine what exactly might have caused this. Could it be a specific compound or protein within the yeast organism that has this effect? If so, can that protein be isolated and turned into something more concentrated for human consumption?  

Can Humans Benefit from Brewer’s Yeast?

One study seems to have gotten closer to the answer. Originally published on the NutraIngredients website, the study gathered 54 obese men and women and split them into two groups. Both groups ate a controlled diet, and participated in walking exercises for 10 weeks. One group consumed 0.5 grams of saccharomyces 30 minutes prior to eating breakfast or dinner every day.

Results showed the brewer’s yeast group lost an average of six pounds over the 10-week period, while the group that didn’t have any yeast only lost an average of 1.8 pounds; even though everything else remained the same. The most interesting result of all is that each group’s lean body mass stayed the same, which meant that muscle tissue didn’t drop during the six-pound weight loss. When an obese individual loses weight, it’s common for muscle loss to occur along with fat loss, but the muscles here remained well preserved.

Listen in as Dr.  Mike discusses this study and the impact brewer's yeast may eventually have on weight loss in humans.

Alonso is a long-time health and wellness advocate who loves to write about it. His writing spans the scope of blogs, educational magazines, and books, both on and offline.