Baker’s yeast comprises strains of yeast commonly used as leaven in baking bread and other bakery products. Baker’s yeast was examined as a dietary supplement in patients with cancer for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation.
Wenk, R., Bertolino, M., Ochoa, J., Cullen, C., Bertucelli, N., & Bruera, E. (2000). Laxative effects of fresh baker’s yeast. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 19, 163–164.
To determine whether the consumption of fresh baker’s yeast (FBY) reduces constipation in opioid-treated patients with advanced cancer.
FBY is a fungus most commonly used in the kitchen for raising dough. In Argentina, FBY is available in a paste form that can be mixed with liquids and meals. It is used as both a food supplement to provide vitamins, and a bowel regulator.
Patients initiated opioid therapy and concurrently received a daily dose of FBY in the morning for 15 days. FBY was dissolved in water at room temperature, with the option of mixing it with the patient’s favorite food. The initial dose was 6 g once a day in the morning. If patients did not have a bowel movement (BM), the dose was doubled daily until laxation occurred. The maximum dose was 50 mg. If no BM occurred within three days, a stimulant laxative was added to the treatment. If no BM occurred within an additional two days, an enema was ordered. Results were assessed daily by phone.
FBY was effective.
The cost of FBY as an intervention was low, at $2.50 per 15 days.