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Can Chromium Help Diabetes?

Chromium Picolinate Side Effects

Chromium Picolinate Side Effects

What Is Chromium Picolinate? Chromium picolinate is a chemical compound that's sometimes used as an alternative therapy or as a nutritional supplement. However, no studies or medical research have proven any significant benefit from using chromium picolinate. Some people use chromium picolinate in an attempt to treat chromium deficiency, control blood sugar, improve depression in people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), lower cholesterol, or to aid in weight loss. But any alleged benefit from using chromium picolinate is largely anecdotal and not supported by scientific data. Chromium picolinate is available over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription; it's also found in many multivitamin supplements. Chromium is a mineral that's known as an "essential trace element" because only very small amounts of it are necessary for human health. Many foods have small amounts of chromium. Meat, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables are the best sources. Chromium picolinate works with insulin in the body to metabolize carbohydrates. It's made by combining chromium with picolinic acid. The acid helps the body absorb chromium. Chromium Picolinate Warnings You should not use chromium picolinate as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by your doctor. While the supplement is used by some people to manage different conditions, there's little or no evidence for its effectiveness. For example, a 2011 study published in the journal Endocrine Practice found that chromium picolinate use had no effect on glucose or insulin concentrations, insulin sensitivity, or cholesterol levels among people at risk of type 2 diabetes. Similarly, an analysis of several medical studies (published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition) reviewing the use of chromium pi Continue reading >>

Chromium

Chromium

What is chromium and what are some chromium benefits? Chromium is a metallic element that humans require in very small amounts. It is an essential part of metabolic processes that regulate blood sugar, and helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy. Chromium also appears to be involved in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Two forms are commonly available as supplements: glucose-tolerance factor (GTF) chromium and chromium picolinate. Why is chromium necessary? Chromium enhances the actions of insulin and is necessary for maintaining normal metabolism and storage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Inadequate intake of chromium has been linked to the development of glucose intolerance, a condition seen in type 2 diabetes. Chromium can also help raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, and may play a role in preventing heart disease. What are the signs of a chromium deficiency? An estimated 25-50% of the U.S. population is mildly deficient in chromium, a greater incidence of deficiency than is found in almost any other developed country. The industrialization of the American food supply chain, reflected in very low soil levels of chromium and the loss of chromium from refined foods, especially sugar and flours, probably contributes to this. Dietary chromium has a low absorption rate, which becomes even lower with age, so the elderly are especially at risk. Life threatening clinical deficiency may be rare, but deficiency is common. Because adequate dietary chromium helps to maintain insulin sensitivity, chromium deficiency can contribute to the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Even mild deficiencies of chromium can produce problems in blood sugar metabolism, and contribute to other symptoms such as anxiety Continue reading >>

Role Of Chromium In Human Health And In Diabetes

Role Of Chromium In Human Health And In Diabetes

Despite widespread use by patients with diabetes and anecdotal reports in the past regarding its efficacy, until recently, data in humans concerning chromium’s effects on insulin action in vivo or on cellular aspects of insulin action were scarce. Consequently, significant controversy still exists regarding the effect of chromium supplementation on parameters assessing human health. Furthermore, elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which chromium supplements affect carbohydrate metabolism in vivo is necessary before specific recommendations can be made regarding its routine use in the management of diabetes. This review focuses on providing current information about this trace mineral’s specific mechanisms of action and clinical trials in patients with diabetes. Chromium, one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust and seawater, exists in our environment in several oxidation states, principally as metallic (Cr0), trivalent (+3), and hexavalent (+6) chromium. The latter is largely synthesized by the oxidation of the more common and naturally occurring trivalent chromium and is highly toxic. Trivalent chromium, found in most foods and nutrient supplements, is an essential nutrient with very low toxicity. The interest in chromium as a nutritional enhancement to glucose metabolism can be traced back to the 1950s, when it was suggested that brewer’s yeast contained a glucose tolerance factor (GTF) that prevented diabetes in experimental animals (1). This factor was eventually suggested to be a biologically active form of trivalent chromium that could substantially lower plasma glucose levels in diabetic mice (2). Interest regarding chromium administration in patients with diabetes was kindled by the observation in the 1970s that it truly was Continue reading >>

Can Chromium Help With Diabetes?

Can Chromium Help With Diabetes?

Chromium is an essential mineral—just to clarify, chrome metal is made by electroplating a very thin layer of the mineral chromium onto metal or plastic—and while chrome may be useful for your car’s bumper, it is not useful for your overall health! Chromium appears to be necessary for the optimal function of insulin. There is a relationship between being low in chromium and an increased risk for diabetes and high blood sugar—and an increased risk for high triglyceride levels, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels.[1] Many people are low in this essential mineral—particularly the elderly, those who are physically very active, pregnant women AND those people who consume high levels of sugar and sugar-filled foods. Chromium: The Basics Chromium (Cr) in the body is generally in its trivalent form, or Cr3+. Cr3+ is thought to act as a cofactor for a protein known as chromodulin. Chromodulin is believed to enhance the signaling activity of insulin after insulin binds to the cells of the body. The enhanced signaling activity of insulin would result in increased uptake of blood sugar by cells, thus decreasing the level of sugar in the blood.[2] There are a lot of “unknowns” regarding chromium, but it is believed that men over the age of 14 are adequately supplied (Adequate Intake) with about 35 mcg/day while women over the age of 14 are adequately supplied with a bit less—about 24 mcg/day. Higher amounts of chromium are needed in pregnancy (29 mcg/day) and breastfeeding (44 mcg/day), but it is not known if gestational diabetes is related to low chromium levels during pregnancy. Adults over the age of 50 require about 30mcg/day while children require lower amounts based on their age. There is another form of chromium—the hexavalent form, or Cr6+. This form Continue reading >>

What Is Chromium Beneficial For? Blood Sugar, High Cholesterol & More

What Is Chromium Beneficial For? Blood Sugar, High Cholesterol & More

Chromium, a type of chemical element that’s actually a hard and brittle metal, is a trace mineral needed by the body in small amounts for healthy functioning. What is chromium most well-researched for in regard to promoting health? Blood sugar and diabetes control, heart health, weight management and brain health are all known benefits of chromium. Chromium plays a role in the insulin-signaling pathways that allow our bodies to control the amount of sugar we take in, helping balance blood glucose levels and giving us stable energy. Research also shows that chromium can help protect DNA chromosomes from damage, which means chromium may be able to halt cell mutations that can lead to various chronic diseases. In addition, chromium is associated with longevity and improved cardiovascular health due to its role in metabolizing fats, in addition to proteins, carbs and other nutrients. According to the National Institute of Health, there are two types of chromium: 1) trivalent (chromium 3+), which is considered “biologically active” and can be found in foods, and 2) hexavalent (chromium 6+), which is considered toxic and unsafe for humans, so it’s used in industrial applications and isn’t meant to be acquired from foods. (1) What is chromium found in? Chromium is naturally present in many whole foods, including brewer’s yeast, certain kinds of meats, vegetables, potatoes and whole grains. Chromium enters the body mostly through diet since it’s stored in soil and rocks that penetrate the crops we wind up eating, plus in smaller amounts in the water that we drink. Drinking tap water supplies some of our chromium, as does cooking in stainless-steel cookware. What Is Chromium Beneficial For and How Do We Get Enough? According to the USDA, chromium deficiency isn’t Continue reading >>

Can Chromium Supplements Help Control Diabetes?

Can Chromium Supplements Help Control Diabetes?

Can Chromium Supplements Help Control Diabetes? Have you been tempted to try chromium supplements to help control your diabetes? If so, youre not alone. Many people with type 2 diabetes (which results from insulin not working as it should, added to by decreasing insulin production over time) have increased chromium supplement use in recent years. In 2002, sales of chromium supplements were estimated at $85 million; more recent estimates place this number closer to $100 million. An essential trace element, chromium is needed by the body in minute concentrations to help process carbohydrates, protein and fat and has long been thought to improve the action of insulin: In clinical research conducted in 1957, brewers yeast was found to prevent an age-related decline in the ability of rats to maintain normal levels of sugar in their blood and chromium was identified as the active ingredient in brewers yeast. Since that discovery, a number of researchers have examined the effects of chromium supplements for type 2 diabetes and other ailments. There is also considerable interest in whether supplemental chromium may help treat the pre-diabetes state. However, the research thus far is inconclusive. No large, randomized, controlled clinical trials testing this have been reported in the U.S., although a recent report this year from France suggested a possible positive effect. The French researchers presented a meta-analysis of data (an examination of multiple previously published reports) looking at 875 total participants ranging in age from 30 to 83 years old, with eight to 24 weeks of follow-up. Four different doses of supplemental chromium preparations were tested in these studies. Compared to preparations without chromium, preparations containing the supplement showed no effec Continue reading >>

Supplementation With Chromium Picolinate: Therapeutic For Diabetes And Pre-diabetes

Supplementation With Chromium Picolinate: Therapeutic For Diabetes And Pre-diabetes

Supplementation with a form of the trace mineral chromium called chromium picolinate is prudent nutritional therapy for your patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes. To give you an overview of why I say this, most of the studies involving supplemental chromium for type II diabetes have shown positive results of one type or another. However, when chromium picolinate, which is the most bioavailable form, has been used, all of the studies have yielded positive results (in blood sugar, blood insulin and/or blood lipid [cholesterol and triglyceride] readings).[i] One of these studies, a 1997 study involving 180 type II diabetes patients in China, is a classic: it documented “spectacular” results in diabetes patients who took 500 mcg chromium picolinate twice daily. After four months, nearly all of the diabetes patients no longer had traditional signs of diabetes. Their blood sugar and insulin levels dropped to near normal—something that medications could not achieve. Even more importantly, the “gold standard” diagnostic measure of diabetes—blood levels of hemoglobin A1c (sugar-damaged proteins that age cells)—also dropped to normal.[ii] A follow-up study by some of the same researchers monitored 833 type II diabetes patients who took 500 mcg chromium picolinate twice daily: a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels and in post-meal blood sugar levels was found during the ten months of the study. No negative side effects were shown from taking the supplements. In addition, more than 85 percent of the patients reported improvements in the common diabetic symptoms of excessive thirst, frequent urination and fatigue.[iii] Although the incidence of type II diabetes is increasing in record numbers, many people don’t yet have diabetes but are at high ris Continue reading >>

Should I Try Chromium Tablets?

Should I Try Chromium Tablets?

I take metformin twice a day and, after breakfast, six or seven supplements I've seen mentioned on TV. Now I've ordered chromium GTF because it's reported to help with blood glucose control. Would you recommend these tablets, especially for those who have heart disease, as I do? John T. Foster, Jr., Jacksonville, Florida Chromium is an essential trace element that is associated with carbohydrate and lipid (fat) metabolism. Chromium is sometimes referred to as "glucose tolerance factor" (GTF), but GTF is actually a complex of various compounds, of which chromium is thought to be the active component. Some evidence shows that taking chromium picolinate can decrease blood glucose, insulin levels, and A1C and increase insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes . But not all the evidence is positive, and some studies have been inconclusive because of their small size or other factors. There is wide interest among people with diabetes about the role of various dietary supplements, herbs, and other "natural" products that may influence blood glucose levels and diabetic control. However, use of such products is largely a case of "buyer beware." This is primarily a result of a law enacted in 1994 called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). David Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has said that DSHEA "does not require that dietary supplements be shown [by manufacturers] to be safe or effective before they are marketed. The FDA does not scrutinize a dietary supplement before it enters the marketplace." In other words, the law lets manufacturers market herbal products without having proved their safety and efficacy. The FDA can only remove such products from the market later if problems happen to be detected. Contr Continue reading >>

Chromium: Cause Of Cancer Or Miracle Cure?

Chromium: Cause Of Cancer Or Miracle Cure?

Chromium: Cause of Cancer Or Miracle Cure? According to some reports, chromium picolinate can lower insulin requirements. In fact, some people swear by it, and there are athletes that take more than 800 mcg of the substance every day. Unfortunately, there remains the question of whether over-the-counter chromium pills are safe. Some researchers affiliated with the FDA fear that taking chromium supplements could increase the risk of cancer. However, R. Keith Campbell, RPh, CDE, says that chromium is not a panacea. The New York Times recently reported that an FDA study showed chromium did indeed cause chromosome damage in human cells in lab tissue. Critics of the study argue that the results were misleading, since the levels administered in the research were higher than what a person would be exposed to under normal conditions. Mark F. McCarty, research director of chromium distributor Nutrition 21, says, The doses associated with chromosome damage were 3,000 times the recommended amount. Thats 60,000 mcg of chromium a day, and I dont think anyone would want to take that much. Data presented about this in the popular press was totally misleading. The recommended daily allowance for chromium is 50-200 mcg per day, but Diane Sterns, a researcher involved in the FDA study, says that chromium accumulates in the body, which means that over time a person could be exposed to such high levels. Chromosome damage has been shown to cause cancer. Says Campbell, While no one would say at this point that chromium causes cancer, since it has shown chromosome damage, the risk is possible. In a 1993 issue of DIABETES HEALTH, S. Robert King, M.S., a frequent contributor to the newspaper, said, Chromium deficiency in humans leads to high insulin resistance and then to diabetes. However, he Continue reading >>

Chromium Supplements For Glycemic Control In Type 2 Diabetes: Limited Evidence Of Effectiveness

Chromium Supplements For Glycemic Control In Type 2 Diabetes: Limited Evidence Of Effectiveness

Chromium supplements for glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: limited evidence of effectiveness R.B. Costello, J.T. Dwyer, and R.L. Bailey are with the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. J.T. Dwyer is with the School of Medicine and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. R.L. Bailey is with the Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. Search for other works by this author on: R.B. Costello, J.T. Dwyer, and R.L. Bailey are with the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. J.T. Dwyer is with the School of Medicine and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. R.L. Bailey is with the Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. Search for other works by this author on: R.B. Costello, J.T. Dwyer, and R.L. Bailey are with the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. J.T. Dwyer is with the School of Medicine and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. R.L. Bailey is with the Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. Search for other works by this author on: Nutrition Reviews, Volume 74, Issue 7, 1 July 2016, Pages 455468, Rebecca B. Costello, Johanna T. Dwyer, Regan L. Bailey; Chromium supplements for glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: limited evidence of effectiveness, Nutrition Revi Continue reading >>

Chromium And Diabetes

Chromium And Diabetes

I last wrote about chromium in 2006. Although more than 10 years have passed, the topic still remains relevant and controversial. If youve been taking chromium and youre convinced that its helped your diabetes control (apart from medication , healthy eating , physical activity , weight loss , and potentially any other supplements that you take yes, you need to consider their effects on your blood sugars, too), then it may make sense to continue taking it as long as youre taking a safe amount. But all these years later, is there anything new to add about chromium? Is it really helpful in managing blood sugars? Or are the chromium claims mostly hype? If youre a newbie to diabetes or diabetes supplements, you may not be familiar with chromium. At first glance, chromium sounds vaguely like it might be related to a chrome bumper or bathroom sink fixture. Close, but not quite. Chrome is a thin layer of a certain form of chromium (hexavalent) thats applied to a metal object. Hexavalent chromium is toxic and a carcinogen. The form of chromium that is biologically active and found in food is called trivalent chromium. According to the National Institutes of Health, chromium is known to enhance the action of insulin. Way back in 1957, a study done with rats showed that a compound in brewers yeast prevented an age-related decline in the rats ability to keep their blood sugars at a normal level. A couple of years later, chromium was identified as being the ingredient in the yeast, and was subsequently termed a glucose tolerance factor. How does chromium work to lower blood sugars? Chromium is a trace element, meaning that the body requires extremely small amounts. Thanks to the rats and the brewers yeast, researchers discovered that chromium helps the body to maintain a safe blood Continue reading >>

Chromium: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, And Warning

Chromium: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, And Warning

Chromium is a mineral. It is called an "essential trace element" because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. There are two forms of chromium: trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. The first is found in foods and supplements and is safe for humans. The second is a known toxin that can cause skin problems and lung cancer . Some people try chromium for body conditioning including weight loss , increasing muscle, and decreasing body fat. Chromium is also used to improve athletic performance, to increase energy, and to prevent age-related mental decline. Chromium is used intravenously (by IV) as a supplement in nutritional IV drips. Chromium deficiency. Taking chromium by mouth is effective for preventing chromium deficiency. Diabetes. Some evidence shows that taking chromium picolinate (a chemical compound that contains chromium) by mouth, either alone or along with biotin, can lower fasting blood sugar, lower insulin levels, and help insulin work in people with type 2 diabetes . Also, chromium picolinate might decrease weight gain and fat accumulation in people with type 2 diabetes who are taking a class of antidiabetes medications called sulfonylureas. Higher chromium doses might be more effective and work more quickly. Higher doses might also lower the level of certain blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in some people. Early research suggests that chromium picolinate might have the same benefits in people with type 1 diabetes, people who have diabetes as a result of steroid treatment, and people with diabetes the develops during pregnancy. However, researchers are looking carefully at the results that show chromium might be effective for treating diabetes. It might not help everyone. Some researchers think that chromium supplemen Continue reading >>

Chromium

Chromium

Chromium -- specifically, trivalent chromium -- is an essential trace element that's used by some people as a supplement. Perhaps most importantly, chromium forms a compound in the body that seems to enhance the effects of insulin and lower glucose levels. However, it also had risks and its use is somewhat controversial. Some studies have shown that chromium supplements may be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (prediabetes). There’s good evidence that chromium can lower glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, although not all studies have shown a benefit. It may be that chromium works better if someone is chromium deficient, which is usually only seen if a person has poor overall nutrition. Other studies have also found that chromium may help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is linked to insulin resistance. Chromium supplements have also been studied for their effects on cholesterol, heart disease risk, psychological disorders, Parkinson's disease, and other conditions. However, the study results have been contradictory or unclear. Some people use chromium supplements to build muscle or trigger weight loss. Some chromium studies have shown these benefits, but others have not. Experts don't know how much chromium people need. So there is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for chromium. Instead, experts came up with a minimum amount of chromium that people should get. Adequate Intakes (AI) of Chromium Women, aged 19-50 25 mcg/day Women, aged 50 and older 20 mcg/day Men, aged 19-50 35 mcg/day Men, aged 50 and over 30 mcg/day Many people get more chromium than that. However, no one knows exactly how much more is safe. Some researchers suggest that 1,000 micrograms a day should be considered the upper limit. Excessive do Continue reading >>

A Scientific Review: The Role Of Chromium In Insulin Resistance.

A Scientific Review: The Role Of Chromium In Insulin Resistance.

Abstract Chromium is an essential mineral that appears to have a beneficial role in the regulation of insulin action and its effects on carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Chromium is an important factor for enhancing insulin activity. Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes have lower blood levels of chromium than those without the disease. Insulin resistance is the common denominator in a cluster of cardiovascular disease risk factors. One out of every five Americans has metabolic syndrome. It affects 40% of people in their 60s and 70s. Insulin resistance, with or without the presence of metabolic syndrome, significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance is present in two serious health problems in women; polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and gestational diabetes. Several studies have now demonstrated that chromium supplements enhance the metabolic action of insulin and lower some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, particularly in overweight individuals. Chromium picolinate, specifically, has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Dietary chromium is poorly absorbed. Chromium levels decrease with age. Supplements containing 200-1,000 mcg chromium as chromium picolinate a day have been found to improve blood glucose control. Chromium picolinate is the most efficacious form of chromium supplementation. Numerous animal studies and human clinical trials have demonstrated that chromium picolinate supplements are safe. Continue reading >>

Chromium For Diabetes Type 2 - Usage, Benefits And Effects

Chromium For Diabetes Type 2 - Usage, Benefits And Effects

Dietary supplements have been recognized as an important weapon to counteract the symptoms as well as causes of type 2 diabetes ; not only by practitioners of alternative medicine but also by mainstream medical physicians. Functional medicine practitioners have also been using supplements to reduce the stress of side effects of prescription anti-diabetic drugs that cause both short-term and long-term health complications due to removal of vital nutrients from the body. Chromium has garnered a lot of interest, in recent times, with people with diabetes type 2 as it has been reported that chromium picolinate has been found to lower blood glucose levels. Chromium is an essential mineral that helps insulin regulate blood sugar level in our body. All metabolic reactions of chromium are insulin dependent. Adequate chromium consumption decreases our requirement of insulin and improves our blood lipid profile. Chromium is used by the body to make Glucose Tolerance Factor, a biologically-active compound that enhances activity of insulin by as much as three times. This activity has led to studies that show the importance of chromium for diabetes type 2. What Does Research Say About Chromium and Diabetes? The earliest study that showed the effect of chromium supplementation in decreasing symptoms of diabetes was done in the 1970s, when a patient was given supplemental chromium . Within two weeks, the patient showed distinct improvement in signs and symptoms, blood sugar levels improved and insulin requirements were greatly reduced. These and many other studies implicated chromium as a critical cofactor in insulin action. In a study with Chinese subjects with Type 2 Diabetes, patients that received a chromium picolinate diabetes dosage of 500 micrograms (g) twice per day of chromi Continue reading >>

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