The Following Content Provided by my Business Partner USANA, The Cellular Nutrition Company
Chromium is an essential mineral known to potentiate insulin action. Recent reviews of chromium supplementation in humans have shown chromium to improve the efficiency of insulin and blood lipid profiles in most test subjects. Chromium is believed to exert this action by binding with nicotinic acid and amino acids (e.g. glutathione: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine) to form an organic complex called glucose tolerance factor (GTF). GTF is thought to initiate the disulfide bridge that allows insulin to bind to its receptor on cell membrane surfaces. The exact structure of GTF is not known, but complexes with good biological activity have been synthesized from chromium, niacin, and glutathione.
While the absorption of chromium is relatively poor, chelating chromium with various amino acids (or their derivatives) appears to increase its bioavailability. Ascorbic acid also promotes the absorption of chromium.
Chromium concentration in foods is variable, but the best food sources are generally fruits, vegetables, and grain products. Seeds, legumes, and dark chocolate can also contain dietarily significant amounts of chromium.
Since dietary chromium is poorly absorbed, adverse effects are not seen with typical dietary and supplemental intakes.
The Following Content Provided by University of Maryland Medical Center
Chromium is an essential mineral that plays a role in how insulin helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to change sugar, starches, and other food into the energy you need for daily activities.
Some evidence suggests that chromium supplements may help people with diabetes lower blood sugar levels.
People with diabetes either do not make enough insulin, or cannot properly use the insulin that their bodies make. As a result, glucose or sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
As many as 90% of American diets are low in chromium. But it's rare to be truly deficient in chromium. People most likely to be deficient in chromium include:
· The elderly
· Those who do a lot of strenuous exercise
· Those who eat a lot of sugary foods
· Pregnant women
Low chromium levels can increase blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), cholesterol levels, and increase the risk for a number of conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Good food sources of chromium include:
· Whole grain breads and cereals
· Lean meats
· Some spices, such as black pepper and thyme
· Brewer's yeast
Clinical studies suggest that chromium supplements may be helpful for the following conditions:
· Weight Loss and Obesity
· Strength Training
· Heart Health
One small study found that chromium picolinate improved symptoms of depression in people with atypical depression. But a larger studt found that chromium didn’s help. More research is needed.
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The Following Content Provided by Linus Pauling Institute
Chromium was first discovered in 1797.
Chromium competes for one of the binding sites on the iron transport protein, transferrin.
Chromium uptake is enhanced in animals when given at the same time as vitamin C (5). In a study of three women, administration of 100 mg of vitamin C together with 1 mg of chromium resulted in higher plasma levels of chromium than 1 mg of chromium without vitamin C (3).
Compared to diets rich in complex carbohydrates (e.g., whole grains), diets high in simple sugars (e.g., sucrose) result in increased urinary chromium excretion in adults. This effect may be related to increased insulin secretion in response to the consumption of simple sugars compared to complex carbohydrates (3).
Impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes mellitus
Early controlled studies in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance have reported that chromium supplementation improved some measure of glucose utilization or had beneficial effects on blood lipid profiles (23). Impaired glucose tolerance refers to a prediabetic state and is currently defined by the presence of impaired fasting glucose (fasting plasma glucose concentration of 110-125 mg/dL) and impaired glucose tolerance status (plasma glucose concentration of 140-199 mg/dL during a two-hour challenge test with a 75-g oral glucose load) (24). Impaired glucose tolerance is associated with modest increases in risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as other traditional microvascular complications of diabetes (25). Current estimates suggest that up to 70% of individuals with impaired glucose tolerance may eventually develop type 2 diabetes (26).
Impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes are associated with adverse changes in lipid profiles and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies examining the effects of chromium supplementation on lipid profiles have given inconsistent results. While some studies have observed reductions in serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride levels or increases in HDL-cholesterol levels, others have observed no effect. Such mixed responses of lipid and lipoprotein levels to chromium supplementation may reflect differences in chromium nutritional status. It is possible that only individuals with insufficient dietary intake of chromium will experience beneficial effects on lipid profiles after chromium supplementation (4, 5, 30).
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose concentration) and insulin resistance. Because resistance to insulin is usually associated with a compensatory rise in insulin secretion, circulating insulin concentrations in type 2 diabetic subjects may be higher than in healthy individuals. Yet, the resistance of peripheral tissues (especially liver and skeletal muscle) to insulin also implies that the physiological effects of insulin are reduced.
Few studies have examined the effects of chromium supplementation on gestational diabetes, a condition that is estimated to affect 4.6% to 9.2% of pregnant women in the US (43). The occurrence of gestational diabetes during pregnancy is associated with insufficient insulin secretion and glucose intolerance of variable severity (44). Peripheral insulin resistance usually increases in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Because elevated maternal blood glucose concentrations can have adverse effects on the developing fetus, women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of pregnancy complications (45). After delivery, impaired glucose tolerance generally reverts to normal glucose tolerance. However, nearly one-third of women who have had gestational diabetes develop postpartum glucose intolerance (prediabetes or type 2 diabetes) (46, 47).
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The Following Content is Provided By WHFoods
You might think by looking at the chart above that chromium is a mineral mostly missing in the food supply. However, it would definitely be wrong to draw this conclusion. Chromium is provided by every food group—including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts/seeds, seafood, meats and dairy—so it is definitely not a missing mineral in our foods. However, chromium is present in many foods in very small amounts (1-2 micrograms or less). In fact, our rating system only calculated one excellent source of chromium. So we think about this mineral as one that you obtain by eating an overall healthy diet rather than any specific foods.
Role in Health Support
Blood Sugar Control
A key role for chromium in the body is related to control of blood sugar. There is a signal molecule called low-molecular weight chromium binding substance (LMWCr) involved in blood sugar control. (You may also hear this molecule being referred to as chromodulin.) Although it has a long name, LMWCr it is a tiny molecule, built from just a few amino acids.
We have seen evidence of chromium deficiency leading to abnormally high blood sugar as well as evidence that restoring chromium supply back toward normal or higher can enhance blood sugar control even in some people with diabetes. Research studies of this kind underscore the importance of LMWCr and chromium for blood sugar balance.
Healthy diets like the World's Healthiest Foods eating plan tend to be associated with low risk for type 2 diabetes. Strong chromium nutrition is one of many reasons this would be true.
Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing
Researchers have looked at the chromium content of prepared and convenience foods, and the amount of chromium loss varies substantially with the type of food and the type of processing. There do appear to be some patterns, though.
Cooking vegetables, at least lightly boiling or steaming them, does not appear to deplete excessive amounts of chromium. We've seen studies showing loss of approximately 5-30% chromium from vegetables cooked in this way
Relationship with Other Nutrients
Vitamin C enhances the absorption of dietary chromium. For instance, women absorbed more chromium from a supplement when they were simultaneously given 100 mg of vitamin C—about the same amount you'd find in a serving of chromium-rich broccoli. While we believe this supplement study was very helpful for understanding the relationship between chromium and vitamin C, getting both nutrients from a whole, natural food is definitely the approach we recommend.
The complete article can be Read Here.
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