Is Eating Yeast Bad for You?

Many cultures use fermented foods and beverages to provide or enhance taste and nutrition in their diets. The predominant species used for fermentation is baker’s yeast, also known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Typically, yeast-fermented foods and beverages are not harmful to humans, but they can cause life-threatening conditions to individuals suffering from chronic diseases. Consult your doctor or a professional dietitian before using yeast as a dietary aid; get your doctor’s approval before taking supplements of any kind.

Fermented Food and Beverages

Research published in 2003 in the journal “FEMS Yeast Research” examined the use of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain of yeast in the production of fermented foods and beverages in Africa. Author Lene Jespersen found that non-alcoholic starchy foods, alcoholic beverages and fermented milk produced through spontaneous fermentation with S. cerevisiae have improved nutritional value and probiotic effects and inhibit other detrimental microorganisms. Jespersen concluded that yeast will also inhibit the occurrence of enzymes that lead to the degradation of food and beverages.

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Traditional Turkish Foods

Fermented foods and beverages are significant sources of nutrients beneficial for maintaining health and preventing diseases. A study published in 2011 in the journal “Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition” looked at lactic acid bacteria and yeast used in traditional Turkish fermented foods and beverages, including fermented milk products, cereal-based fermented foods, non-alcoholic beverages and fermented fruits, vegetables and meats. The study concluded that these food and beverage products are an important component in healthy diets in Turkey and elsewhere.

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