Is Nutritional Yeast Low in Histamine? Debunking the Controversy



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I’m a Naturopath, MTHFR & Methylation Specialist. I’m dedicated to helping you achieve your health goals so you can live a vibrant & fulfilling life

Is Nutritional Yeast Low in Histamine? Debunking the Controversy


When it comes to histamine intolerance, one food that often sparks debate is nutritional yeast. Many people question whether nutritional yeast is low in histamine and suitable for a low histamine diet. In this article, we will explore the controversy surrounding nutritional yeast and shed light on its histamine content.

Understanding Histamine and Nutritional Yeast

Certain foods naturally contain histamine, and bacteria produce it during fermentation. Histamine intolerance occurs when the body has difficulty metabolizing or clearing histamine, leading to adverse symptoms. Consequently, those with histamine intolerance often need to follow a low histamine diet.

Debunking the Contention

1. Yeast Production of Histamine:

While some yeasts have the ability to produce histamine through an enzyme called histidine decarboxylase, the yeast strain used to produce nutritional yeast, saccharomyces cerevisiae, does not possess this enzyme. Therefore, it is unlikely that nutritional yeast contains histamine due to yeast production.

2. Manufacturing Process:

The production of nutritional yeast involves a drying process that deactivates and destroys the yeast cells. As a result, nutritional yeast lacks activity and histamine content, ensuring its safety for individuals with histamine intolerance.

3. Yeast Extract vs. Nutritional Yeast: ​​

It is important to differentiate between yeast extract and nutritional yeast. Yeast extract undergoes a different processing method and can be high in other biogenic amines that compete with histamine. Additionally, yeast extract acts as a DAO inhibitor, which is undesirable for those following a low histamine diet. However, the relevance of nutritional yeast to histamine intolerance is still a topic of debate.

Considerations and Individual Reactions

While people generally regard nutritional yeast as low in histamine, it’s crucial to acknowledge that individual tolerance and sensitivity to histamine can differ. Some individuals may still experience symptoms when consuming nutritional yeast due to factors beyond histamine content, such as the presence of naturally occurring monosodium glutamate (MSG).


People generally consider nutritional yeast low in histamine, primarily because the saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain used for its production lacks the histidine decarboxylase enzyme. However, individual reactions may still occur due to other factors. As always, it is best to listen to your body and seek professional advice when making dietary decisions.

Remember, understanding your own body’s unique response to different foods is crucial for managing histamine intolerance effectively.


This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice.

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