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Old 07-06-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Gluten Free vs Allergy to Brewer's Yeast

My sister has a number of food allergies, many of which are in line those associated with GF/Celiac. However, in addition to these she is also allergic to things like mushrooms and (she has been told) brewer's yeast. My initial thoughts were that maybe this latter allergy was because a lot of yeasts are propagated in wort, which in turn has ingredients that she is allergic to.

However, it occured to me as I was brewing her her first GF beer that maybe her allergy to Brewer's Yeast has more to do with her allergy to mushrooms -- some sort of fungal connection -- than wort?

Does anyone have any experience with this?


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Old 07-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #2
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Allergies are always, always, always a reaction to protein. You can develop an allergic reaction to probably any kind of protein, but some are fairly common. An actual allergy doc could probably explain why.

Celiac is an auto-immune response caused by a genetic defect. It is not, technically, an allergy. If you do not carry the celiac gene defect, you can never develop celiac disease.

There are other kinds of wheat and other grain sensitivities, but "associated with" is a sciency sounding way of saying that people who complain of A sometimes complain of B.

Allergies are acquired - typically due to exposure of one sort or another. Celiac is a gene that a small number of people have, which is a matter of breeding and luck, and whether that gene is expressed is a matter of luck. Once expressed, there is no evidence that it ever goes away, and unlike allergies there is no exposure treatment that can reduce the sensitivity.

Yeast is a fungus but not closely related to edible mushrooms.


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Old 07-10-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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Who told her she was allergic to brewer's yeast, and what kind of test did they do to determine that? Does she react to wine, cider, or sake? If the allergy is to yeast, then it's possible no non-distilled alcohol will ever be tolerable for her, but if she can tolerate any non-distilled alcoholic beverages, then it's not an allergy to yeast. Many yeasts are propagated without gluten-containing substrates.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
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Brewer's yeast is not the same as brewing yeast. Brewer's yeast is a nutritional supplement in powder or pills, marketed to "natural food" nuts and hippies, made from dead yeast, not a live microorganism swimming happily in your beer. Could be significant difference there for allergies, especially if the brewer's yeast is bred on gluten rich food.
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