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Brewer's Yeast is a natural source of protein and several B-vitamins. It is produced by cultivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on malted barley in the production of beer. After fermentation, the yeast is separated from the beer, roller dried and debittered. NOW Foods Brewer's Yeast delivers the natural nutrient profile found in genuine whole foods.
This product contains no sugar, salt, starch, wheat, corn, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Medical reports dating back to 1853, as well as modern research, indicate that chromium-rich brewer’s yeast (9 grams per day) can be useful in treating type 2 diabetes.1, 2 In recent years, chromium has been shown to improve glucose levels and related variables in people with glucose intolerance and type 2, gestational, and steroid-induced diabetes.3, 4 Improved glucose tolerance with lower or similar levels of insulin have been reported in more than ten trials of chromium supplementation in people with varying degrees of glucose intolerance.5 Chromium supplements improve glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes,6 apparently by increasing sensitivity to insulin.7 Chromium improves the processing of glucose in people with prediabetic glucose intolerance and in women with diabetes associated with pregnancy.8, 9 Chromium even helps healthy people,10 although one such report found chromium useful only when accompanied by 100 mg of niacin per day.11 Chromium may also lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (risk factors in heart disease).12, 13
A few trials have reported no beneficial effects from chromium supplementation.14, 15, 16 All of these trials used 200 mcg or less of supplemental chromium, which is often not adequate for people with diabetes, especially if it is in a form that is poorly absorbed. The typical amount of chromium used in research trials is 200 mcg per day, although as much as 1,000 mcg per day has been used.17 Many doctors recommend up to 1,000 mcg per day for people with diabetes.18
Supplementation with chromium or brewer’s yeast could potentially enhance the effects of drugs used for diabetes (e.g., insulin or other blood sugar-lowering agents) and possibly lead to hypoglycemia. Therefore, people with diabetes taking these medications should supplement with chromium or brewer’s yeast only under the supervision of a doctor.
1. Herepath WB. Journal Provincial Med Surg Soc 1854:374.
2. Offenbacher EG, Pi-Sunyer FX. Beneficial effect of chromium-rich yeast on glucose tolerance and blood lipids in elderly subjects. Diabetes 1980;29:919-25.
3. Anderson RA. Chromium in the prevention and control of diabetes. Diabetes Metab 2000;26:22-7 [review].
4. Martin J, Wang ZQ, Zhang XH, et al. Chromium picolinate supplementation attenuates body weight gain and increases insulin sensitivity in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2006;29:1826-32.
5. Anderson RA. Chromium, glucose intolerance and diabetes. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:548-55 [review].
6. Evans GW. The effect of chromium picolinate on insulin controlled parameters in humans. Int J Biosocial Med Res 1989;11:163-80.
7. Gaby AR, Wright JV. Diabetes. In Nutritional Therapy in Medical Practice: Reference Manual and Study Guide. Kent, WA: 1996, 54-64 [review].
8. Anderson RA, Polansky MM, Bryden NA, Canary JJ. Supplemental-chromium effects on glucose, insulin, glucagon, and urinary chromium losses in subjects consuming controlled low-chromium diets. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;54:909-16.
9. Jovanovic L, Gutierrez M, Peterson CM. Chromium supplementation for women with gestational diabetes. J Trace Elem Exp Med 1999;12:91-8.
10. Anderson RA, Polansky MM, Bryden NA, et al. Chromium supplementation of human subjects: effects on glucose, insulin, and lipid variables. Metabolism 1983;32:894-9.
11. Urberg M, Zemel MB. Evidence for synergism between chromium and nicotinic acid in the control of glucose tolerance in elderly humans. Metabolism 1987;36:896-9.
12. Lee NA, Reasner CA. Beneficial effect of chromium supplementation on serum triglyceride levels in NIDDM. Diabetes Care 1994;17:1449-52.
13. Hermann J, Chung H, Arquitt A, et al. Effects of chromium or copper supplementation on plasma lipids, plasma glucose and serum insulin in adults over age fifty. J Nutr Elderly 1998;18:27-45.
14. Sherman L, Glennon JA, Brech WJ, et al. Failure of trivalent chromium to improve hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 1968;17:439-42.
15. Rabinowitz MB, Gonick HC, Levin SR, Davidson MB. Effects of chromium and yeast supplements on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic men. Diabetes Care 1983;6:319-27.
16. Uusitupa MI, Kumpulainen JT, Voutilainen E, et al. Effect of inorganic chromium supplementation on glucose tolerance, insulin response, and serum lipids in noninsulin-dependent diabetics. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:404-10.
17. Anderson RA, Cheng N, Bryden NA, Polansky MM, Cheng N, Chi J, et al. Elevated intakes of supplemental chromium improve glucose and insulin variables in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes1997;46:1786-91.
18. Gaby AR, Wright JV. Nutritional protocols: diabetes mellitus. In Nutritional Therapy in Medical Practice: Protocols and Supporting Information. Kent, WA: 1996, 10.
1. Schellenberg D, Bonington A, Champion CM, et al. Treatment of Clostridium difficile diarrhoea with brewer's yeast. Lancet 1994;343:171-2.
2. Izadnia F, Wong CT, Kocoshis SA. Brewer's yeast and Saccharomyces boulardii both attenuate Clostridium difficile-induced colonic secretion in the rat. Dig Dis Sci 1998;43:2055-60.
Brewer’s yeast is the dried, pulverized cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of fungus, and is a rich source of B-complex vitamins, protein (providing all essential amino acids), and minerals, including a biologically active form of chromium known as glucose tolerance factor (GTF). Brewer’s yeast is usually a by-product of the brewing industry and should not be confused with nutritional yeast or torula yeast, which are low in chromium.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.