Yeast Spreads and Mood Disorders

Yeast spreads are foods that are derived from the brewing industry, and which are designed to be added to bread and toast. Two of the most common brands include Vegemite and Marmite, but most supermarkets sell their own branded versions. These products use the waste products of the brewing industry to create a dark coloured spread that is very high in B vitamins. Often the products are fortified with additional B vitamins. A deficiency of B vitamins has been shown to increase the risk of mood disorders including forms of anxiety and depression. Studies have suggested that eating yeast spreads may reduce the risk of anxiety in some individuals, and this effect is likely most evident in those who have anxiety caused by low levels of vitamins. In particular, B vitamins have been shown to help regulate stress levels and intakes of B vitamins in those who are stressed may have significant benefits. As stress is a primary cause of anxiety, this may explain the benefit of yeast spreads. Yeast spreads can therefore act as a significant source of B vitamins and may have specific benefits on the mental health of the consumer. 

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Mikkelsen, K., Hallam, K., Stojanovska, L. and Apostolopoulos, V.  2018. Yeast based spreads improve anxiety and stress. Journal of functional foods. 40. 471-476

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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