Chromium, brewer’s yeast – revisit

chromium and brewer’s yeast – revisit

Q: Does debittered brewer’s yeast have the same chromium value as brewer’s yeast?

A: No. The debittering process removes the chromium, and some other trace minerals.

Debittered brewer’s yeast still has many good things…particularly B complex vitamins

If you want brewer’s yeast specifically for the chromium content, you have to look for non-debittered, which can be tricky to find. The best thing is to look at the nutritional labeling and see if it lists chromium. If it doesn’t specifically list chromium, there is a good chance it is actually debittered after all.

Another strategy is to look for a natural “chromium gtf”(glucose tolerance factor) suppliment and read the label closely. Make sure the “chromium gtf” is from a specially grown / processed variety of brewer’s yeast that leaves the chromium intact and standardizes the tablets to a set amount of chromium. 200 mcg is a common dose. Puritan’s Pride and Twinlab both have products like this, and I’m sure there are others out there if you search. Just read anything labeled “chromium” carefully so you don’t wind up with processed chromium piccolinate or one of the other non-yeast, non-biological chromiums on the market.


Policy page HERE. All information for entertainment and personal enrichment only.





Q&A: Does Debittered Yeast Have Chromium?

Q&A: More on brewer’s yeast – revisit


Q: Does “debittered” brewer’s yeast contain chromium?

A: Nope.

It’s that simple. The de-bittering process takes out chromium from brewer’s yeast. Other strains of yeast (they are all basically the same species of one celled fungus.)

Baking yeast isn’t a source of chromium anyway… and is best used for just that, baking. Think of them as Alton Brown’s burping sock puppets on “Good Eats”  (love that show). They are “active”…some of the wee beasties are still alive to ferment your dough. Let them live! And burp! nd make wonderful things in your kitchen.

There is also “nutritional yeast”. It has a stronger flavor, but adds a wonderful cheesy element to soups and sauces without adding the fat and calories of actual cheese – if you are into that kind of thing. It’s a wonderful culinary tool for vegans. I think this is the stuff they use in vegemite and marmite. I’ve never had the privilege of trying either spread, but after having nutritional yeast, I imagine it is actually kind of tasty. They could definitely wake up your morning toast. I’ve used a powdered blend of brewer’s and nutritional yeast in vegetable broth until I could find a non-debittered yeast tablet.  Definitely had a zing to it. I can see where the flavor wouldn’t be for everyone. Brewer’s yeast alone is much milder in my opinion.

“Brewer’s yeast” that you find in health food and supplement stores is a little bit of a misnomer. It is, like nutritional yeast, INactive – the wee beasties have done their brewing duty and expired. It is like harvesting a mushroom. It isn’t alive anymore, but boy does it taste good. I like to think of nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast supplements as itty bitty one celled mushrooms…you know, food. The yeast you actually brew with…in making beer for example…is more of the active burping sock variety. The “brewer’s yeast put into tablets has already done its burping and is now the harvested mushroom kind of thing.

The up side is actual brewers yeast does contain all sorts of lovely trace minerals, like chromium, selenium and others to go along with the B vitamins and iron. The down side is that brewer’s yeast has trace minerals…which can give it a pretty funky flavor. That’s why the debittering process came about in the first place. Originally, most people used brewers yeast as a source of iron, back when meat was only for the wealthy and leafy greens were not available year-round. Back then iron deficiency anemia was more common. The trace minerals were less of a concern and gladly purged to get a better-tasting iron source.

In the first-world nations, where meat, greens and whole grains are now abundant, the chromium in non-processed brewer’s yeast is the part we want. Often marketed as “glucose tolerance factor” or “chromium gtf” chromium in yeast form is easily absorbed, inexpensive, natural and according to several studies effective too. (University of Maryland has an excellent list of supporting research HERE).

So whether you choose dibittered brewer’s yeast or unprocessed brewer’s yeast depends on which part of the yeast you want to use. For iron intake and B vitamin supplimentation, either form will do. For chromium supplimentation, only the NON processed, NON-debittered form will work.

It is a challenge to find this non-debittered form…even some tablets labeled as “natural” are still debittered, since the yeast itself is a natural food and the debittering process is fairly ‘natural’ too. Powders are more likely to be non-debittered than tablets.

BUYER BEWARE! Read, read, read those labels! Reputable manufacturers will list  the trace minerals in their product, so if there is no chromium listed, it is better to assume it is a debittered product. If it has chromium, it should list chromium, and what form the chromium takes.

Be cautious when you see the term “chromium” or “gtf” as well. Non-biological chromium is very abundant, so take care to read. If you are looking for brewer’s yeast, make sure the “gtf” isn’t chromium piccolinate or chromium nicotinate.

MEDICINE TAKERS BEWARE! There are some medicine that can block chromiums absorption and other medicines where chromium changes the medications absorption and action. Please read this fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health for more information.

It seems very easy to process chromium right out of foods, so chromium deficiency may ironically be on the rise in industrialized nations where processed food are a large part of the diet. Brewer’s yeast to the rescue! Just like it used to help with iron deficiency and B-vitamins, now it can safely help with chromium deficiencies.

Broccoli, grapes and whole grains also contain chromium – so eat your veggies and whole grains, and you are less likely to need chromium supplementation in the first place. For those with special needs, like glucose intolerance, extra may be needed. However, those with diabetes or other health concerns should coordinate using chromium suppliments like brewer’s yeast with their doctor.

If you are healthy, though, brewer’s yeast is just wee tiny food with a big health impact.

Ph of Debittered Brewer’s Yeast

Q&A: What is the ph of debittered brewer’s yeast?


I love to answer questions and know what your are thinking.

Please don’t hesitate to send free “ask the expert” questions. It makes writing the blog a kajillion times more fun!

But since that hasn’t caught on yet, I often read the top search terms, for ideas for blogs that are timely and relevant to my much appreciated readers (HINT: if you don’t find what you are searching for in the blog…please keep trying. I’ll get the hint and create what you are looking for eventually!)

But sometimes, I will wonder why anyone would want to know that? Holistic Health is a very practical, pragmatic thing. So you learn something, now, what are you going to DO with that tidbit of knowledge? Science for science sake, tight focus on numbers above all else…that’s allopathic type stuff.

I keep seeing an interest in th ph of debittered brewers yeast. From what I’ve found, it depends on how it is processed…how they “debitter” it:

Debittered Brewer’s Yeast seems to be largely neutral (ph around 7), especially if it microfiltered instead of akalai washed. BUT the  process removes many of the trace minerals that are part of natural brewer’s yeast benefits. Chromium and selenium are key examples. Unless you are only looking for B-complex supplimentation, natural forms of the brewer’s yeast has more to offer despite the taste. It is bitter, but persoanlly I don’t mind the taste: I like dark stout and european beers. Obviously that is the taste the yeast evokes. Some powders really aren’t bad, having an almost cheesy kind of flavor. If I didn’t have to keep my intake very precise for my own health reasons, I’d be cooking with the stuff…it would add a fantastic richness and depth of flavor to sauces and gravies. Hmm, bet it would add some zing to fondue or nachos too. Anyway, NATURAL non-processed, non-debittered seems to be the way to go, especially if you are interested in any of the glucose tolerance that can be associated with chromium. You can read more in my original brewer’s yeast post HERE.

There is some interest in brewer’s yeast in conditions where the ph of the intestinal tract has been altered by medication or disease. As I understand it, the benefit comes from the B-comples vitamins in the yeast that are present in both yeast types. As I understand it, an overly acidic gi tract can result in a reduction in certain types of “good bacteria” like acedopholis. This decrease in the ‘good guys’ can affect levels of B vitamins, and taking brewer’s yeast would replace what is lacking while at the same time (through probiotics) helping the ‘good bacteria’ return to normal levels. This is true of both natural and debittered brewers yeast. If this is the effect you want, then debittered makes the most sense if taste is an issue.

I don’t see how the ph of the yeast itself would have any role to play in it’s benefits. The only known adverse effect from Brewer’s Yeast that I’ve found (it’s basically food, like mushrooms) is some stomach upset that comes from difficulty digesting the proteins, not from the yeast’s ph. It is possible to be allergic to the yeast, so do not take it if allergy symptoms emerge (see links below). Headache is rare with it, but can happen. Brewer’s yeast should not be used if you are taking MAOI medications or Demeral type medications.

Additional Sources:


All information in this post and blog is for general interest, entertainment and personal enrichment only: Can not diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease and can not replace professional medical care. Use at your own risk. Age 18 and over please.