The effects of yeast in the body frequently relate to having some type of fungal infection. Candida albicans is a form of yeast that can cause infections. However, 80 percent of humans live with this type of yeast in their bodies with no effect. (Reference 1) Some types of yeast that are purported to have a healthy impact on the body, and nutritional yeast is a food supplement popular with those on a vegetarian or vegan diet. (Resource 2)
There are several types of infections that commonly occur related to the natural presence of Candida albicans. Included among these are vaginitis, oral thrush and several types of common baby rashes. These types of infections usually occur when the immune system has been weakened by disease or drugs or when antibiotics have disturbed the body's natural balance when fighting microorganisms. (Reference 2)
Yeast syndrome is identified as poor health with such symptoms as fatigue, headache and poor memory. This condition is blamed on the overgrowth of Candida albicans in the intestines. There are dietary plans that emphasize eliminating sugar, flour, yeast and cheese from the diet to curtail this yeast and improve health. Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic, however, says there is little evidence to support the diagnosis of this syndrome or the validity of the purported health benefits. (Reference 3)
Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is the product of yeast grown on rice and has been historically consumed in several Asian countries because of its medicinal qualities. The Mayo Clinic reports red yeast rice appears to lower LDL cholesterol and has benefits related to coronary heart disease and diabetes. However, these results have not been standardized and are not considered predictable. (Resource 1)
Nutritional yeast, commonly know as brewers yeast, is a powered and often added as a condiment to foods to enhance nutritional value and taste. This is a deactivated yeast, which is a source of B vitamins, amino acids and other minerals. Note that you should never consume active (baking) yeast as a supplement because it will continue to grow in the intestines and actually deplete vitamin B in the body. Sundance Natural Foods reports that nutritional yeast also helps regulate blood sugar, which is important for diabetics and people who have issues with low blood sugar. (Resource 2) Nutritional yeast is also available in pill form, so it can be taken in exact doses, and affects the body with regard to digestive issues, acne and atherosclerosis. (Resource 3)
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