Taking brewer's yeast, a one-celled fungus often used to make beer, to treat acne can be very effective, but it does have some drawbacks as well. Research has shown that brewer's yeast can work very well at clearing acne, probably due to the high level of chromium it contains. It can serve as a natural alternative to acne medications and is readily available in several forms as a dietary supplement. On the con side, using brewer's yeast for acne can be risky for people with certain condition, including those with yeast allergies, those prone to yeast infections, or those taking certain medications. Also, though most people tolerate it well, brewer's yeast can cause side effects, particularly if one takes too much.
The effectiveness of brewer's yeast for acne is typically attributed to its high chromium content. The mineral is known to help stabilize blood sugar levels by improving both insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Studies have shown that controlling the glucose levels of those with severe acne with brewer's yeast can greatly improve their complexions.
Another pro of taking brewer's yeast for acne is that it offers a natural option for treatment. Acne sufferers are often dependent on medications, both topical and oral, and may even need to take prescription drugs. Taking brewer's yeast may help them avoid this. It is readily available in flake, powder, tablet, and liquid forms. In addition to chromium, it also contains protein and a number of B vitamins that are important for overall good health.
Some medical conditions may make it impossible for sufferers to use brewer's yeast for acne, as can taking some types of medication, so it is probably best to check with a doctor before starting a regimen. Those who are allergic to yeast should avoid it, and it may lead to yeast infections in those who get them often. People with Crohn's disease may not be suited for use of the supplement. Since it can lower blood sugar, it may cause hypoglycemia in those taking diabetes medication. It can also lead to a dangerous increase of blood pressure in those taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, and the narcotic meperidine.
Using brewer's yeast for acne can also cause some unpleasant side effects. The most common, gas and bloating, are typically rather mild but may cause discomfort, particularly if one takes too much. Excessive use can also lead to severe headaches similar to migraines.