Excerpted From “Downeast Dog News”, Augusta, ME 2012
Brewer’s Yeast is a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae that is used to make beer. It has also been used for years as a nutritional supplement and an aid in treating some chronic diseases.
In general, Brewer’s yeast is a good source of Vitamin B-complex, chromium, and selenium. The B-complex vitamins in this yeast are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid pyridoxine, folic acid, and biotin. B-complex is used by the body to breakdown carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which provide the body with energy. They also support the nervous system, digestive muscles, and keep their skin, hair, mouth, eyes, and liver healthy.
Chromium is a mineral that has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Selenium ans Vitamin E is used to support and build muscles. This is true in people and dogs.
Other studies suggest Brewer’s Yeast may help lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol in people but not in dogs. Brewer’s Yeast is a good source of protein and is an energy boost.
From all the studies in humans, it has been found that Brewer’s Yeast is a great antioxidant and that applies to dogs as well. This is beneficial in several ways. By supplementing your dog’s diet with Brewer’s Yeast, his coat will be healthier and shed less. It will help boost his immune system which will aid in reduction of parasites, inside and out.
When a dog is stressed or extremely hyper, Brewer’s Yeast may calm him down. The reason is the good source of vitamin B-complex. B vitamins are depleted rapidly when the dog is stressed. By adding a good source of vitamin B-complex, like Brewer’s Yeast, to the diet, your pooch may suffer less from separation anxiety, and other stressed induced anxieties.
Overall Brewer’s Yeast is a safe and beneficial supplement. Some of the literature says it works as a parasite repellent because it makes the skin taste bad to the parasite. The jury is out on this. While some people say it reduces fleas and ticks, some studies say it doesn’t. What we do know is that Brewer’s Yeast boosts the immune system and the stronger our dog’s immune system is, the fewer parasites and illnesses he gets. So add it to your food and your friends food.
Judith K Herman DVM,CVH
Animal Wellness Center, Augusta, ME