monitoring blood glucose levels closely.
GI gastrointestinal researchers compared fasting blood and second-morning urine samples between 93 patients with type 2 diabetes and 33 healthy controls. The researchers found that mean serum chromium levels were approximately 33% lower and urine levels were almost 100% higher in the patients with diabetes versus the controls.16 In addition, while subjects who did not have diabetes showed a negative correlation between fasting levels of plasma chromium and insulin, no such correlation existed in the subjects with diabetes. Moreover, the authors noted, based on their work over several years, that, in the early stages of diabetes, an inverse relationship between plasma chromium and glucose levels has been observed, which disappears after two years. The authors suggested that chromium loss over years may worsen an already existing chromium deficiency in patients with type 2 diabetes and contribute to their insulin resistance.
In a recent review,17 more than a dozen clinical trials in patients with type 2 diabetes have shown positive results from supplementation with chromium. The multiple benefits reported include improved fasting glucose, improved glucose tolerance, decreased insulin levels 60 minutes after eating, decreased glycosylated hemoglobin levels, and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL). These metabolic improvements seem to be caused by several mechanisms, including an increase in the number of insulin receptors in insulin-dependent cells, such as adipocytes and hepatocytes, and an increase in phosphorylation of the insulin receptor, which results in increased sensitivity of receptors to insulin. With regard to this second mechanism of action, an increased phosphorylation of insulin receptors, there is now some elucidation of how
Some patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes have experienced complete reversal of their diabetes with niacinamide.
chromium might act at a very basic molecular level. According to one recently proposed model,18 four chromium ions are needed to bind to a low-molecular-weight oligopeptide so that the resulting complex of the oligopeptide and chromium can assume the correct geometrical shape needed to bind to the phosphorylating portion of the insulin receptor. A potentially important suggestion made in this model is that, in order for the bioactiveform of chromium to release its chromium ion to enter a cell, the chromium must first undergo a reduction reaction, which may generate hydroxyl radicals. These hydroxyl radicals from chromium reduction have been shown to cause DNA damage.19 Although current evidence is lacking, it may be beneficial to include antioxidant support with high-dose chromium supplementation.
While there are occasional studies that do not report benefits of chromium supplementation in glucose metabolism,20 these studies typically use a dose of chromium that is less than 200 mg per day or use a form of chromium, such as chromium chloride, which seems not to be asbioavailable as chromium polynicotinate or picolinate. A reasonable dosage range for chromium supplementation, suggested in the literature, would be 200-1000 mg per day, with greater benefit expected from the larger dose. It is also important to educate patients about research demonstrating that simple sugar consumption increases theamount of chromium excreted in the urine.21
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...