How Vitamins B6, B12 and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Can Boost Your Health and Help With Erectile Dysfunction

(2,830 words excluding references)


The B Vitamins and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae can improve your health with just a supplement a day. We’re going to look at each of them in detail but let’s start by seeing how they can help with the distressing problem of erectile dysfunction.

Viagra doesn’t always work…

Many men believe that Viagra will help with their erectile dysfunction and in most cases, it does. But what if Viagra doesn’t work for you? Hitting this wall can be devastating and may mean that men choose to live with erectile dysfunction instead of going back to their Doctor and saying it didn’t work.

Researchers have found why Viagra doesn’t work for everyone and because of this, there is now a simple work-around.

Scientists at the University of Rome [1] performed a study on 75 men who suffered from erectile dysfunction. The men took Viagra for 2 months. 18 of those men had no result with the Viagra. Tests showed that those men had one thing in common. Every one of them had high levels of homocysteine (which also meant that they had a higher risk of developing cardio vascular disease which can cause heart attacks and strokes).

Those 18 men all took Viagra, Vitamin B6 and folic acid for the next 6 weeks. 16 of them (88.9%) saw a significant improvement in their erectile function. All 18 of them lowered their levels of homocysteine which also lowered their risk of developing cardio vascular disease.

If Viagra hasn’t worked, it’s worth asking your Doctor to check out your homocysteine levels. If they’re high, try taking Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements.

Suggested safe dose

100 mg each day of Vitamin B6 (make sure it’s the pyridoxal-5-phosphate form

3,000 micrograms (3 mg) daily of methyl folate

3,000 micrograms (3 mg) daily of Vitamin B12 (the methylcobalamin form)

Split the dosages so that you take some in the morning and some last thing at night. If this works, you may be able to take lower doses but get your homocysteine levels measured again before dropping down.


Vitamin B6 (also called pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine) is a water soluble vitamin. It was only discovered in 1934. Paul Gyorgy – a Hungarian Doctor – discovered a substance that cured skin disease in laboratory rats and named it Vitamin B6. [2] [3]

What Does It Do?

B6 is a very important Vitamin. It is involved in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemical enable the brain and nerve cells to communicate with each other. It also makes sure that fats, carbohydrates and proteins are metabolized (broken down and used by the body) properly. It’s also essential for the immune system to function efficiently.

It has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of injuries involving nerve compression (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), pre menstrual syndrome (PMS), depression and arthritis. Using B6 supplements are also helpful for memory loss, diabetes, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), kidney stone, acne and atherosclerosis. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin B6 Deficiency?

People who are not getting enough Vitamin B6 may have inflamed skin (dermatitis), cracked and sore lips, an inflamed and sore tongue and mouth, depression, insomnia and even convulsions.

How Much Vitamin B6 Does An Adult Need Each Day?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is –

Adult men aged between 19 and 50 1.3 mg daily

Adult men aged over 50 1.7 mg daily

Adult Women aged between 19 and 50 1.3 mg daily

Adult Women aged over 50 1.5 mg daily

Pregnant Women 1.9 mg daily

Women who are breast feeding 2 mg daily

The current recommended maximum daily intake is 100 mg.

How Much Vitamin B6 Does a Child Need Each Day?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is

Infants should have 0.1 mg daily

Children aged from 7 to 12 months should have 0.3 mg daily

Children aged from 1 and 3 years of age should have 0.5 mg daily

Children aged from 4 to 8 years old should have 0.6 mg daily

Children aged from 9-13 years should have 1 mg daily

Teenage males aged from 14-18 years old should have 1.0 mg daily

Teenage females aged from 14-18 years old should have 1.2 mg daily

Which Foods Are Good Sources Of Vitamin B6?

Brewer’s Yeast is a good source (more about that later). Other foods rich in B6 include (in alphabetical order):

Avocadoes, bananas, carrots, cheese, dried apricots, dried prunes, dried raisins, eggs, fortified cereals, halibut, herring, lean beef, lean pork, milk, peas, potatoes, salmon, spinach, sunflower seeds and swordfish.

Can You Take Too Much Vitamin B6?

Yes. As mentioned before, the current recommended maximum daily intake is 100 mg. If high doses of Vitamin B6 are taken regularly, the levels in the body may become toxic. This may cause nerve damage. The first signs of this are numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. If you get those symptoms, stop taking Vitamin B6 supplements immediately. If you don’t, the nerve damage may become irreversible.

Other signs that you’re taking too much B6 include sensitivity to light (especially sunlight) which may manifest as skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and a loss of appetite. Again, if you have any of these symptoms, discontinue Vitamin B6 supplements right away.

Contra Indications to Taking Vitamin B6 Supplements

If you are taking levodopa medication for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, you should not take Vitamin B6 as it can reduce the effect of that medication.

If you’re taking penicillamine for kidney stones, lead poisoning, arthritis or any other condition, you should not take Vitamin B6 as it may stop the penicillamine working.

If you’re taking birth control pills, HRT or ‘estrogenic’ herbs or supplements you should not take Vitamin B6 supplements as they may interact with all of the aforementioned.





Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin or cyanocobalamin. It’s a water soluble vitamin and is the biggest and the most complicated of all the Vitamins.

What Does It Do?

Vitamin B12 has an effect on the development and maintenance of red blood cells. It is also involved with the maintenance of nerve cells and the normal myelination (sheath-like covering) of nerve cells. Having the nerve properly sheathed prevents the loss of electrical signals travelling along the nerve and thus allows nerves to function correctly. Vitamin B12 also helps with the production of both DNA and RNA as well as the creation of neuro transmitters in the brain.

What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is so important to the body that even a slight deficiency can lead to anaemia which may cause shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, a feeling of weakness in the muscles and heart palpitations. If this is not rectified, it can lead to pernicious anaemia which can present with loss of memory, confusion and even the symptoms of dementia.

Other signs of a slight Vitamin B12 deficiency may include numbness in the hands and feet, bleeding gums, sores in the mouth, nausea, diarrhoea and a loss of appetite.

The symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency tend to accumulate slowly and so they may not be diagnosed for a long time.

Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing A Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Natural Vitamin B12 is only available in our diet from animal foods. Therefore, people who eat no animal products such as strict vegetarians may develop a deficiency. Vegan children are especially at risk from a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other people at risk are those who can’t absorb Vitamin B12 from their intestines. This would include elderly people and those with certain intestinal disorders.

Pregnant women are also at risk.

The absorption of Vitamin B12 and subsequent deficiency may also occur in

People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol

People taking antibiotics

People using medication to control levels of stomach acid

People taking the medication Metformin for the control of Type 2 diabetes

Smokers – nicotine can lower levels of Vitamin B12 in blood serum

People taking potassium supplements

People taking high doses of Vitamin C supplements

How Much Vitamin B12 Does An Adult Need Each Day?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for

Children aged 14 years and over should have 2.4 mcg daily

Adult women and adolescent pregnant females should have  2.6 mcg daily

Adult men and adolescent breast feeding females should have 2.8mcg daily

Men and women aged over 50 years should have 25 – 100 mcg daily

Anyone who is unable to absorb Vitamin B12 via their intestines should take a Vitamin B12 supplement in an oral spray or a tablet that dissolves under the tongue (called a sublingual tablet).

How Much Vitamin B12 Does a Child Need Each Day?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for

Infants from the age of 0-6months should have 0.4 mcg daily

Infants from the age of 7 – 12 months should have 0.5 mcg daily

Toddlers aged from 1 – 3 years should have 0.9 mcg daily

Children aged from 4 – 8 years should have 1.2 mcg daily

Children aged from 9 – 13 years should have 1.8 mcg daily

Which Foods Are Good Sources Of Vitamin B12?

Natural Vitamin B12 can only be made by bacteria. It is only found in its’ natural form in animal and animal-related products. Synthetic forms of Vitamin B12 are added to some foods including fortified cereals.

Good sources of Vitamin B12 include (in alphabetical order) canned sardines, dairy products, eggs, herring, mackerel, meat (especially liver), poultry, shellfish, smoked salmon, trout and tuna.

 Can You Take Too Much Vitamin B12?

Unlike Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 is safe and not toxic in large doses. Large doses of Vitamin B12 are safe because the body takes what it needs and excretes the rest. If the body isn’t getting enough Vitamin B12, it stores what little there is in the liver. These stores can last for almost a year.

Contra Indications to Taking Vitamin B12 Supplements

You should not take Vitamin B12 supplements if any of the following apply –

You have been diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Atrophy

You have been diagnosed with Atrophic Gastritis

You have had your stomach surgically removed

Tests show that you have low levels of potassium in your blood

You are allergic to Cobalt Cobalamin or any derivatives of it.


Saccharo…what? Let’s break down that lengthy name – which will also help to understand what this is and what it does.

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is a name derived from Latin and Greek.

If you thought the ‘saccharo’ part had something to do with sugar, you’re right. The ‘myces’ end to the word means ‘mold’ or ‘fungus’. So Saccharomyces means sugar mold, or sugar fungus.

The second word ‘cervisiae’ is derived from Latin and means ‘of beer’.

So, altogether, the name simply means ‘sugar fungus of beer’ – probably better known to you as Brewer’s Yeast.

What Is It?

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of beer, wine and bread. Brewer’s Yeast is made from the dried cells of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and is a by product from the brewing industry.

It’s a rich source of all the B complex vitamins as well as protein, all of the essential amino acids and minerals.

Other names for Brewer’s Yeast

Baker’s Yeast, Dried Yeast Fermentate, Faex, Faex Medicinalis, Levadura de Cerveza, Levure, Levure de Biere, Levure de Bière Inactive, Levure de Boulangerie, Levure Fermentée, Levure Médicinale, Levure Sèche Déshydratée, Medicinal Yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. cerevisiae.

The History of Brewer’s Yeast

Single celled yeast microbes are probably the oldest of all ‘domesticated’ organisms. Grinding stones and baking chambers have been found in ancient Egyptian ruins, showing that they knew and understood the use of yeast for rising bread.

Drawings as old as 4,000 years have been found of ancient bakeries and breweries. [4]

In 1690, a Dutchman called Anton van Leeuwenhoek first saw yeast under a microscope but did not recognise the cells as being alive. [5]

In 1857, the now famous French microbiologist, Louis Pasteur, published a study showing that alcoholic fermentation was not caused by a chemical catalyst as most believed – but by living yeast. He demonstrated that if oxygen was bubbled through a yeast broth, it would make cells grow more but it prevented fermentation. This was given the name ‘the Pasteur effect’.

By the late 18th Century, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae had been identified as a ‘top fermenting’ yeast.

The Dutch has been selling Saccharomyces Cerevisiae to use for making bread since 1780 and around 1800, it was produced in a cream form in Germany. In 1825, a method of removing the liquid from the cream was developed and years was then sold in blocks.

What Does It Do?

Brewer’s Yeast is a natural probiotic as it contains microflora and so it’s a good way to inhibit diarrheoa and other digestive tract issues such as

diarrhea suffered as a side effect of taking antibiotics

diarrhea suffered by travellers

irritable bowel syndrome

colitis caused by clostridium difficile

lactose intolerance

It has a high nutritional value and can boost energy, maintain health in skin, hair, eyes and mouth, support the nervous system and improve the function of the immune system.

It is also good for helping to treat –

The common cold


Upper respiratory tract infections



Swine flu

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – when combined with other vitamins and minerals

Brewer’s Yeast and Diabetes

Brewer’s Yeast is high in chromium. The body uses chromium to help the body to use insulin effectively which helps to lower the levels of sugar in the blood. Studies are being done to see if Brewer’s Yeast may help people with Type 2 Diabetes by improving their tolerance to glucose.

NOTE: If you have diabetes, don’t attempt to treat it yourself with Brewer’s Yeast. Always consult your Doctor before taking any type of supplements.

Brewer’s Yeast and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Brewer’s Yeast is known to be a good source of the B Vitamins but it does not contain B12. If you didn’t know this and have been relying on a Brewer’s Yeast supplement for your B12 intake, you need to take an additional B12 supplement to avoid deficiency of that Vitamin. 

Which Foods Are Good Sources of Brewer’s Yeast?

Some types of bread, some beers and some wines contain brewer’s yeast but it is more often taken in the form of a supplement. This may be in powder form, as flakes, in a liquid or in tablets. 

Brewer’s Yeast as a Nutritional Supplement

Brewer’s Yeast supplements are a rich source of chromium, selenium, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

It is a also a very good source of the B vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9) and biotin (B7).

Can You Take Too Much Brewer’s Yeast?

When used in the short term, Brewer’s Yeast is generally safe (see Contra Indications below) although it known to sometimes cause headaches, stomach discomfort or gas.

Contra Indications to Taking Brewer’s Yeast Supplements

MAJOR CONTRAINDICATION: Depression medications can interact with Brewer’s Yeast and can be very dangerous.

This is because Brewer’s Yeast contains tyramine. In large amounts, this chemical can cause high blood pressure. The body naturally breaks tyramine down and prevents this BUT some depression medications prevent the body breaking it down. This can lead to too much tyramine in the body and blood pressure going dangerously high as a result.

NEVER take Brewer’s Yeast supplements if you are on medication for depression.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: If you suffer from either of these, do not take Brewer’s Yeast supplements as they can make your condition worse.

60 – 70% of patients with Crohn’s Disease and 10 – 15% of patients with Ulcerative Colitis have antibodies against Brewer’s Yeast. 

Fungal Infections: If you are taking medication for a fungal infection, such as Diflucan (fluconazole), Lamasil (terbinafine), Sporanox (itraconazole) or any other, you need to know that taking Brewer’s Yeast with these medications can prevent the benefits of the supplement. This is because Brewer’s Yeast is a fungus and the medication will work to inhibit it.

It is not advisable to take Brewer’s Yeast for long periods of time as not enough studies have been done on the long term effects of it as a supplement. This is especially important if you are pregnant or breast feeding.


1. Lombardo, F., Tsamatropoulos, P., Piroli, E., Culasso, F., Jannini, E. A., Dondero, F., Lenzi, A. and Gandini, L. (2010), Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction Due to C677T Mutation of the MTHFR Gene with Vitamin B6 and Folic acid in Patients Non Responders to PDE5i. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7: 216–223.

2. Paul Gyorgy (1934) “Vitamin B2 and the pellagra-like dermatitis in rats,” Nature, vol. 133, pages 498–499.

3. György P, Eckardt RE; Eckardt (September 1940). Further investigations on vitamin B(6) and related factors of the vitamin B(2) complex in rats. Parts I and II. Biochem J. 34 (8–9): 1143–54.

4. Phillips T. “Planets in a bottle: more about yeast”. Science@NASA.

5. Huxley A (1871). Discourses: Biological & Geological (volume VIII): Yeast Collected Essays.


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