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Chromium and Diabetes

Common Names: chemical element symbol Cr and atomic number 24

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that occurs naturally in small amounts in some foods, including brewer's yeast, lean meat, cheese, pork kidney and whole grain bread and cereals. It is poorly absorbed by the human body but is known to play an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein.

Important Research and opinions on Chromium and diabetes.

Yale study on Chromium and Biotin
We were interested to see a report from last month on a study of chromium plus biotin to help in managing diabetes.
The study, conducted by Yale University researchers, found that daily supplementation with these two items improved glucose tolerance by 15 per cent, compared to placebo. The investigation focused on the glycemic control and blood lipids of 36 overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes. Reporting the results in the journal Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, lead author Gregory Singer concluded that supplementing with chromium and biotin on a daily basis improved blood sugar control and cholesterol metabolism in diabetes patients on an antidiabetic treatment regimen, and could be considered as an adjunct to conventional oral diabetes therapy.
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USDA study reference on chromium and diabetes
highly refined diet that contains too few micronutrients has been recognized as the dominant factor in the rising incidence of diabetes and other insulin related conditions. Among the missing micronutrients, chromium has the greatest impact on insulin response. Until recently, few physicians recognized the importance of supplementing chromium in the management of diabetes. However, research at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed that chromium plays an important role in amplifying insulin response in diabetics.

Chromium deficiency and diabetes
Here is the ultimate case of a whole specialty of medicine which could be wiped out by universal chromium supplementation Nevertheless these facts are kept secret and away from the public for purely economic reasons. Additionally, in 1985, the medical school at the University of Vancouver, BC, Canada stated that "vanadium will replace insulin for adult onset diabetics.” ....Chromium works together with insulin in providing sugar to the cells for energy. If chromium levels decrease then sugar delivery to the cells from insulin decrease accordingly.
Modern medical terms such as “insulin resistance” and “insulin sensitivity” should be replaced by “gross chromium deficiency”. It is not that insulin is “resistant” or lacks “sensitivity,” but rather that insulin is lacking a vital – in fact essential – component for sugar metabolism that is this mineral chromium.

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Chromium clinical study
Chromium deficiency causes insulin resistance, and supplementation with adequate chromium overcomes that resistance. (There are, however, other causes of insulin resistance that are not chromium-based and thus not overcome by chromium supplementation.) In a four-month, double-blind study carried out in China, 180 people with Type II diabetes were given twice-daily doses of either placebo, 100 mcg chromium picolinate or 500 mcg chromium picolinate. In measurements at two and four months, the group with the daily intake of 1,000 mcg chromium showed consistent improvement in biochemical indicators. They had significant reductions in blood-glucose and insulin concentrations two hours after a glucose load, fasting glucose and fasting insulin (measurements taken long after a meal, typically first thing in the morning), and glycosylated hemoglobin (a marker of long-term glucose control; lower is better). At 200 mcg per day, there was no improvement in fasting or two-hour glucose, but fasting and two-hour insulin decreased as much as with 1,000 mcg chromium picolinate per day. Glycosylated hemoglobin also fell, but less than with 1,000 mcg chromium picolinate daily. Thus, chromium—particularly the higher dosage—favorably affected biochemical indicators of diabetes.
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The mechanism of action of Cr involves increased insulin binding, increased insulin receptor number, and increased insulin receptor phosphorylation. In summary, supplemental Cr has been shown to have beneficial effects without any documented side effects on people with varying degrees of glucose intolerance ranging from mild glucose intolerance to overt Type 2 DM.
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