Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Is Vegemite Bad For You?



Short answer

Vegemite packs a lot of sodium and if you have allergies to yeast, it can be bad for you. Other than that, just a bit of vegemite can have many positive effects on your health.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Vegemite - a former substitute for Marmite - has a distinct umami aroma that some would liken to soy sauce. It is actually made from discarded brewer's yeast and is a dark paste that Australians like to use to spread on toast. Vegemite is quite healthy as it is very high in B vitamins such as folate and thiamin (50% of the daily value for each) as well as niacin and riboflavin (25% of the daily value). Among these, folate is especially important during pregnancy for ensuring proper fetal development while thiamin upholds an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system. 

Containing such minerals as iron, potassium, selenium, and zinc, Vegemite is also beneficial to your skin, eyes, bones, and cells. Perhaps the only direct downside of Vegemite is that it has a very high sodium content - 10% of the daily value per teaspoon. Most people don't eat globs of the stuff, but doing so could lead to hypernatremia (excess sodium in the blood). Hypernatremia is a very serious condition that can cause-- among other things-- fatigue, dehydration, and even seizures. 

Another concern about Vegemite - at least in parts of Australia where aboriginals have banned alcohol - is that it can be and is being used to brew alcohol. This has led to fears that Vegemite may contribute to alcoholism. This is, of course, more a social issue than it is an issue with Vegemite itself. Furthermore, some people may be allergic to brewer's yeast, which in this case an allergic reaction to Vegemite can cause swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat. 

Possible short-term side effects

  • allergic reaction
  • gas
  • queasiness
  • dehydration (if overconsumed)
  • fatigue (if overconsumed)

Possible long-term side effects

  • hypernatremia and related symptoms

Ingredients to be aware of


  • good source of various nutrients

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Marmite Yeast Extract

  • Rich in B vitamins
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Umami flavor booster
  • Long shelf life
  • Bundle pack convenience
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 02-21-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 02-21-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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