GDAs (Chromium – Part 3 of 3)


In closing, we have one study from Ghosh et al looking at supplementation within indian populations and another from Kleefstra et al looking at supplementation within the western population (4, 5.) The first study from Ghosh begins discussing the limited amount of knowledge we have on the role of micronutrients and adverse cardiovascular risk (especially in India.) Their objectives were to (1) evaluate chromium status in Indian subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus, (2) assess the effect of chromium picolinate (200 &mgr;g trivalent chromium twice daily) administration on glycaemic control and lipid profile in these subjects and (3) comment on the possible mechanism of any beneficial effect noted above. Fifty subjects were studied in a double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover fashion, with each treatment arm (chromium/placebo) lasting 12 weeks and 4 weeks’ wash-off period in between. 50 healthy age- and sex-matched volunteers served as controls. Serum chromium level appeared to be higher in the general population in our country compared to western countries (36.5-59.5 nmol/L as compared to 2.3-40.3 nmol/L) However, the local diabetics were found to have a lower serum chromium level than the healthy controls (32.3 nmol/L against 44.7 nmol/L; p < 0.0001) and a mean increase of 3.5 nmol/L was noted after 12 weeks of chromium supplementation that was, expectedly, not seen in the placebo phase (p < 0.0001).Significant improvement in glycaemic control was noted in the chromium-treated group (DeltaFasting serum glucose = 0.44 mmol/L, p < 0.001; DeltaPost-prandial serum glucose = 1.97 mmol/L, p < 0.001; Deltaglycated hemoglobin = 0.01; p = 0.04, in comparison to placebo) This was accompanied by a significant greater fall in fasting serum insulin in the chromium-treated group, p < 0.05.The change in lipid parameters (total serum cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides) did not show significant difference between the chromium and placebo groups.Clinically significant hematological, renal or hepatic toxicity were excluded by routine hemogram, serum urea, creatinine, alanine amino transferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase estimations.In conclusion, chromium supplementation seems to improve glycaemic control in type 2 diabetic patients, which appears to be due to an increase in insulin action rather than stimulation of insulin secretion. The second study began stating just how unknown the possible toxic effects of chromium picolinate are. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of chromium treatment in the form of chromium yeast on glycemic control in a Western population of patients with type 2 diabetes who were being treated with oral hypoglycemic agents. In this 6-month, double-blind study, patients with moderate glycemic control, being treated with oral hypoglycemic agents, were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or treatment with 400 microg of chromium daily in the form of chromium yeast. The primary efficacy parameter was a change in A1C. Secondary end points were changes in lipid profile, BMI, blood pressure, body fat, and insulin resistance. No differences were found for the change in A1C between the intervention and placebo groups, nor were any differences found between the groups for the secondary end points. There is no evidence that chromium in the form of chromium yeast is effective in improving glycemic control in Western patients with type 2 diabetes who are taking oral hypoglycemic agents.

As you can see, chromium holds promise in improving glucose utilization as a glucose disposal agent for more than just physique based athletes. In terms of actual application I advise everyone to purchase a cheap glucometer and measure their fasted and fed glucose levels, record those numbers, then implement chromium with the same meals at a dosage of 1,000 mcgs (beginning with two to three meals per day.) At that point you can gauge how well or how poorly you metabolize chromium and will know if you need to increase, decrease, or possibly not even implement chromium but instead, utilize a different glucose disposal agents as our biological inter-individuality will cause drastic differences in our metabolic responses.


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