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A relationship between chromium status and insulin resistance is known to exist in humans,23 and various studies in animals have demonstrated a link between chromium deficiency and insulin resistance.24 The benefits of chromium supplementation on serum glucose, lipids, and insulin resistance have occurred in both diabetes types, with a dose-dependent effect.25 One study that examined the effects of high-dose chromium supplementation (with a calculated reference dose of 70 mg per day) noted the occurrence of DNA fragmentation.26 Despite a few anecdotal reports of chromium toxicity, and the tendency of chromium to accumulate within the kidney tissues, no other side-effects have been reported in the literature. Chromium as a treatment cofactor in insulin resistance is supported further by research that implies that a lack of, or low amounts of, ingested chromium may be associated with glucose and insulinregulation disorder. Thus, using a chromium supplement may help to prevent these occurrences.27 However, despite the established role of chromium in regulation of glucose and

Potential Lifestyle Factors Contributing to Metabolic Syndrome

High-fat diet

High consumption of refined sugars and

High-carbohydrate diet


High glycemic-index foods

Micronutrient deficiencies (calcium,

Low-protein diet

magnesium, chromium, vanadium)

Low consumption of vegetables

Lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyle

or fibers

High stress level

insulin resistance, much controversy exists as to which form of chromium is most effective, and ongoing research in this area continues. Chromium picolinate produces significantly more oxidative stress and DNA damage compared to niacin-bound chromium, which has been demonstrated to be more bioavailable and efficacious and for which no toxicity has been reported.25

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