HEALING Polycystic kidney disease one bite at a time.

Chromodulin: Lower Carb Cravings, Triglycerides And Blood Sugar

or: How I stopped gaining weight on carb days

A couple of months ago I went to a Lindt chocolate factory outlet and couldn‘t resist buying a couple of really high quality bars that did however contain an appreciable amount of sugar. I found two of those bars lying around my house recently and decided that it was time to indulge on one of my carb days.
I‘ve been known to gain quite a lot of weight whenever consuming even smaller amounts of sugary carbohydrate. So I bit the bullet and ate almost a whole bar of chocolate and yes, the next day I saw the expected weight gain of about 1.5 pounds. Jeez!

Während des Lockdowns blieben diverse Absatzkanäle für die Lindt-Schokolade zu. (Archivbild)

I decided to eat the other bar the next day so that I would not be tempted again in the future and my weight loss will not be further impaired. On this day I also tried a couple new supplements. I ate the rest of the bar from the day before plus a whole new bar and went to bed fearing the scale for the next day.
In the morning to my total surprise I had not gained any weight. I was totally flabbergasted and immediately tried to find out what caused this change. After a little bit of thinking I remembered that I had taken some kind of chromium which I read about in the context of improving blood sugar levels and I was curious if that might‘ve been the cause. So, in the name of science, I bought yet another chocolate bar and did another experiment. I opened it in the evening, popped a capsule and started eating it. To my total surprise, after about two thirds of the bar were gone I was satisfied and the thought of eating the rest of the bar was not very appealing to me. That was a striking difference as I normally always have to restrain myself to be able to leave part of the bar on the table.

The next day, I had actually lost a little weight. The experiment was a success!

Of course I‘m not the first person to discover these effects even though I‘m pretty shocked that I only find out about this now.

In the 1970s, researchers discovered that giving brewers yeast to diabetic mice produced resensitization to insulin and dramatic improvement of their diabetes. It was later discovered that a certain molecule in the Yeast that also contained chromium was responsible for the beneficial effects.

Since then there have been many efforts to isolate this molecule. Past efforts have resulted in the naming of something called GTF, which stands for glucose tolerance factor. Another attempt at naming the substance was Chromodulin or LMWCr, which stands for low-molecular-weight chromium-binding substance. However, the exact structure of the molecule still remained elusive up until 2016. Arakawa et al. Were finally able to isolate the molecule and describe its structure, which is comprised of Glutamic acid (4), Aspartic acid (1) and Glycine (2). This small peptide has the ability to bind to chromium very effectively and at multiple sites.

While the human body produces its own Chromodulin whenever the building blocks are present, especially the glycine contained within the molecule has become rare in human diets. Most notably bone broth or collagen supplements are good sources.
However, the necessary chromium to bind to it and make it active can be hard to come by these days. One out of four Americans over the age of 50 essentially have no detectable chromium in their body, the same goes for basically all patients dying of atherosclerosis. Let me say that again, so it really sinks in. Essentiall all Atherosclerotic deaths are related to chromium deficiency. This was even tested in rats. No chromium equals plaques. Chromium supplementation equals no plaques.

Our societal chromium deficiency can be either the result of insufficient intake or a high rate of urinary excretion. So what does Chromodulin actually do and why do we lose it?

Whenever we eat carbohydrate or otherwise want to utilize glucose in our cells, we need insulin. And insulin, without the help of Chromodulin is heavily impaired in its function. When Chromodulin  is present, it potentiates Insulins effects- and gets used up and excreted in the process.
More Carbs = more Chromodulin usage.
Once it gets used up it is excreted and Insulin stops working efficiently – so I gain weight.
When enough Chromodulin is present, Insulin works efficiently. This is the reason why diabetic rats saw such a profound effect.

The terms GTF and Chromodulin are used synonymously.

For PKD this means we can use Chromodulin to our advantage and appreciably lower our blood sugar on ketogenic and especially on carb days. This could have a double effect on your carb days since you can utilize them better for their actual intended functions such as HPA axis and hormone rebalancing- and lower cyst promoting blood glucose in the process. Since your cells can now utilize carbs correctly, you will feel more satisfied – which will drastically reduce carbohydrate cravings. But that‘s not all, Chromodulin has actually been shown to lower triglycerides, LDL and circulating fatty acids showing that it helps cells to metabolize all fuel, not just glucose. This is great news for increasing overall health. Lower triglycerides will move us away from inflammation and that is something that we can all benefit from.

So, first and foremost we should make sure to consume adequate amounts of glycine in the form of collagen or bone broth and also make sure our chromium requirements are met. There is no RDA in place for chromium but statistically speaking an average daily intake is somewhere between 50 and 200 µg. Bulletproof High chromium foods include Oysters, egg yolk, liver, kidney and nuts. Some vegetables also have an appreciable chromium content.

Now, looking at this chart I personally should not be needing chromium supplementation since I‘m exceeding the upper end of the range for standard intake on most days. However, production of peptides such as Chromodulin can be dependent on many different factors and for some reason I seem to be benefiting from supplementing with yeast based chromium. I suspect this is because of preformed Chromodulin through the fermentation process but it is also possible that just the increased amount of chromium available to me is the reason for the effect. I for one will keep supplementing with yeast based chromium on many days, especially when I eat carbohydrates.
The ability to actually use them for energy and not immediately store them as fat is a very liberating concept. Who knows what other benefits this will have in the long term.

Now, chromium is excreted through the kidneys and if function is impaired this can be an issue. Chromium supplementation has been shown to be very beneficial for the kidneys in diabetic mice. However, there are three case reports of renal dysfunction secondary to chromium picolinate supplementation. Two of the three cases supplemented many times over the upper range. (They took between 600 and 2400mcg per day for months on end)
Keep in mind that this form of chromium does not contain the essential component which is the Chromodulin peptide. One of these cases was tested and had chromium blood levels three times over the upper limit which was consistent with his high intake.

So as always, proceed with caution, check for interactions with your medications and see what works best for you. If you want to try Chromodulin, it is not sold explicitly as a supplement but there are some brands that sells „Chromium GTF in a Yeast matrix“ and I believe this also contains Chromodulin since this molecule is produced in yeast fermentation.

This is the brand I use:


Always check the back, it has to say its sourced from yeast.