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Does Chromium Picolinate Help With Diabetes

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What Are The Side Effects Of Chromium Picolinate

Chromium For Diabetes

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficulty breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using chromium picolinate and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • thinking problems, trouble concentrating
  • problems with balance or coordination or
  • liver problems–nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice .

Common side effects may include:

  • headache
  • sleep problems or
  • mood changes, feeling irritable.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How Does Chromium Lower Blood Sugar

The benefits of chromium for blood sugar control are believed to be due to its effects on insulinit binds to insulin receptors and enhances insulin activity. Chromium may also increase the number of insulin receptors and improve beta-cell sensitivity in the pancreas.

If this explanation seems a little vague, its because the precise mechanism of action is still under investigation. What is clear, however, is that chromium is essential for carbohydrate metabolism. Low chromium status is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, numerous studies involving individuals with diabetes have shown that boosting levels with supplemental chromium improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.

The study that really piqued interest in chromium as a useful supplement for blood sugar concerns was a clinical trial published in Diabetes in 1997. Men and women with type 2 diabetes were randomly divided into three groups and assigned to take 100 mcg or 500 mcg of supplemental chromium or placebo capsules twice a day for four months. The high-chromium group had the greatest improvements. After four months, their fasting blood sugar averaged 128 mg/dL, compared to 159 mg/dL in the placebo group. A1C also improved, and cholesterol levels declined as well.

The Takeaway: Chromium Picolinate

Chromium is an essential nutrient, but most people get enough chromium from their diets. If you are a senior citizen, have type 2 diabetes, or experience issues with insulin sensitivity, you may consider supplementing chromium picolinate for its health benefits.

Chromium supplements dont benefit everyone equally, but they are unlikely to cause any serious problems. If you want to lose weight, chromium may help you reduce your body fat and retain more muscle mass, especially combined with a ketogenic diet.

As part of a supplement regimen, low to moderate doses of chromium picolinate may enhance the effects of other supplements on fat loss, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance.

Have you tried chromium supplementation? Wed love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

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Biologic Actions Of Chromium

How chromium serves as a cofactor for insulin action is not fully understood. From several in vivo and in vitro studies , it was initially thought that chromium potentiated the actions of insulin as part of an organic complex, GTF. More recent studies have suggested that chromium may function as part of the oligopeptide lowmolecular weight chromium -binding substance , which is composed of glycine, cysteine, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid. The interaction of chromium with LMWCr and the manner in which this complex influences insulin metabolism is considered in greater detail below.

Chromium May Reduce Blood Glucose Levels

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The most bioavailable form of chromium is chromium picolinate. And supplementation of chromium picolinate in diabetic patients has shown some pretty impressive results.

Several rat studies have shown chromium intake prevents hyperglycemia . And in terms of clinical trials in humans, there have been a few.

In 71 poorly controlled type 2 diabetics, researchers gave them 600g/day chromium picolinate over a 4 month period. They were eating the typical American Diabetes Association diet , and still took their regular medications. The results showed that the supplemented group had reduced fasting glucose of 31.0mg/dL , reduced post meal glucose by 37.0mg/dL , and they had a 1.9% lower A1c compared to just 1% in the non supplemented group.

A Chinese study conducted in 180 diabetic patients administered either placebo, 100 mcg or 500 mcg of chromium picolinate twice daily for the duration of 4 months, found that at the conclusion of the study, those being supplemented at 500 mcg had improvement in all of their outcomes!

Their fasting and post meal blood glucose levels decreased, insulin levels decreased and their levels of A1C also dropped.

The same researchers conducted another study whereby chromium picolinate was supplemented in 833 poorly controlled diabetic patients, 500 mcg daily. All diabetics in the study were on medications or taking insulin. The fasting and post meal glucose improved in 90% of people.

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Chromium Supplements Appear To Improve Glucose Sensitivity In Diabetics

Ed Susman

The presentations described the genetic and molecular mechanisms of how chromium picolinate reduces glucose resistance, as well as how the supplement can reduce glucose levels.

“I’m not diabetic,” said Dr. Zhong Wong, MD, research assistant professor at the University of Vermont in Burlington, “but I sometimes have higher glucose levels than I want. I have been taking chromium myself because I think it helps.”

Dr. Wong used gene microarray GeneChip technology from Affymetrix to determine which genes are upregulated and downregulated in human skeletal muscle. “That gene expression analysis suggests that chromium picolinate may down-regulate genes in human skeletal muscle that are potentially involved in cellular insulin action, specifically tumor necrosis factor AIP6 and ubiquitin-associated proteins,” he said those proteins are implicated in dysfunctional insulin production.

“We think that chromium picolinate can influence a person’s diabetic treatment so that levels of insulin required may be reduced,” he said.

“Chromium treatment lowered HbA1c and improved the lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes in poor metabolic control in a Western society,” he said in his poster presentation. But the study did not reveal significant differences between the chromium groups and those who took placebo.

The University of Vermont studies were supported by grants from Nutrition 21, a marketer of chromium.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

Decreases The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

With such positive results on blood glucose levels and insulin response, its no wonder that chromium helps diebetic patients in some studies.

In one study of over 62,000 adults, there was a 27% lower likelihood of having diabetes among people who took supplements containing chromium.

People with diabetes have lower tissue levels of chromium compared to people without diabetes. And theres a correlation between low circulating chromium levels and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Not all scientists agree that chromium decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes. One study of 60 adults concluded that chromium supplementation was unlikely to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

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Why Do People Take Chromium

Some studies have shown that chromium supplements may be helpful for people with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance . Thereâs 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 , 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.

Before Using This Medication:

Diabetes – The Chromium Connection

Before taking chromium picolinate, see your doctor. If you have specific medical issues, you ate unable to utilise chromium picolinate.

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Allergy to skin products.
  • Mental illness.
  • Thyroid disease.
  • Or using steroid medicines . It is unknown if chromium picolinate is harmful to the developing foetus.

If you are pregnant, do not use this product without seeking medical counsel. Chromium picolinate may enter the breast milk and cause damage to a newborn. While nursing, do not use this product without seeking medical counsel. Do not give your kid any medication or health supplements without first visiting a physician.

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Can I Take Chromium Picolinate If Im Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

It is not known whether chromium picolinate will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.

Chromium picolinate may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Is Chromium Picolinate Bad For Kidneys

Chromium may elevate the risk of renal failure or liver damage. If you have any of these diseases, do not use chromium without consulting a doctor first.

To sum up, Chromium Picolinate can play an important role for people suffering from chromium deficiency. It is proven to be essential to our bodys ability to metabolize carbohydrates and other essential nutrients. Which eventually can lead to improvements in:

  • Insulin response and lowering blood sugar levels
  • Glucose absorption

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How Should I Take Chromium Picolinate

When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to use chromium picolinate, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

Check your blood sugar carefully if you are diabetic.

The recommended dietary allowance of chromium picolinate increases with age. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. You may also consult the National Academy of Sciences “Dietary Reference Intake” or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Dietary Reference Intake” listings for more information.

Chromium picolinate may be only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very carefully.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Chromium Acts As An Antioxidant

NewLife Chromium Picolinate to manage diabetes

There are increased levels of oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes. Oxidative stress is where dangerous free radicals travel through the bloodstream threatening to attack healthy cells and triggering inflammatory reactions.

Chromium supplementation has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in diabetic patients. This likely occurs due to chromiums potent antioxidant activities. Basically, chromium binds to these unstable free radicals preventing them from doing damage to your bodys cells.

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Preserves Lean Body Mass

There are a lot of diets that can help you lose weight. But not all of that weight is always body fat you can also lose muscle mass. Especially when youre restricting calories.

Losing muscle mass while dieting is harmful to your metabolism. Chromium supplementation can help preserve lean body mass during weight loss and may even increase muscle mass.

In one study, obese people who followed a very low-calorie diet for eight weeks lost less lean body mass when they also took 200 micrograms of chromium picolinate per day.

Two hundred micrograms of chromium per day also increased muscle mass in people who were not engaging in resistance training or attempting to lose weight.

Another study found that healthy people eating their usual diet had better body composition after 90 days of supplementing 400 micrograms of chromium picolinate per day.

In competitive swimmers taking 400 micrograms of chromium picolinate per day for 24 weeks, the supplement increased lean mass by 3.5% and reduced body fat percentage by over 6%.

What Is The Best Way To Take Chromium Picolinate

Consult your doctor if you are thinking about using pharmaceutical supplements. You may also seek the advice of a doctor who is knowledgeable in the use of herbal supplements. If you decide to use chromium picolinate, follow the package directions or the instructions of your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Use no more of this product than is specified on the label. Check your blood sugar levels often if you have diabetes.

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Factors Affecting Chromium Levels In The Body

A 1986 study published in the journal, Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental investigated the effects of diets rich in simple sugars on chromium levels. The 37 participants recruited for this study ate a nutritionist-formulated balanced diet for the first 12 weeks of the trial. Thereafter, they were given high sugar diets for another 6 weeks.

The study showed that the sugar-rich diet increased chromium excretion from the body by as much as 300% when compared to the reference balanced diet.

The study found no difference in the extent or rate of chromium loss between men and women.

Another study published in the journal, Clinical Physiology and Biochemistry, in the same year also reached the same conclusions. This study also identified physical and emotional stress as well as pregnancy and strenuous exercise as other factors that can increase chromium loss in diabetics.

What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Chromium Picolinate

This Is How Chromium Can Help Diabetes

Before using chromium picolinate, talk to your healthcare provider. You may not be able to use chromium picolinate if you have certain medical conditions.

  • liver disease
  • diabetes
  • an allergy to leather products
  • mental illness
  • a thyroid disorder or
  • if you use steroid medicine .

It is not known whether chromium picolinate will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are pregnant.

Chromium picolinate may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this product without medical advice if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

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Side Effects Of Chromium Picolinate

The following are the side effects of chromium supplements:

  • Watery stool
  • Process of judgment, coordination, and thinking gets abnormal

The following are some chronic side effects:

It is not clear on whether the chromium supplements cause kidney or liver damage, but it is advisable to not consume these supplements if you have a kidney or a liver ailment. Those who have behavioral or psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia must be careful while taking these supplements. It is said that chromium affects the chemistry of the brain and this can worsen these psychiatric conditions.

Chromium Picolinate Supplements To Help Manage Diabetes Is A Discussion Worth Having With Your Health Care Practitioner

WASHINGTON, D.C., Diabetes is a devastating disease without a cure, and one that increasingly affects older Americans. The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 17 million U.S. adults over the age of 55 suffered from diabetes in 2012. Because diabetes increases the risk of developing other serious health conditions, such as coronary heart disease , prevention is the best option. But for those who do develop diabetes, lifestyle changes can help people manage the disease.

In fact, lifestyle changes, combined with proper medical care, are the only ways to prevent the alternative of debilitating, life-threatening and also financial effects associated with diabetes on both individual and societal levels. This November, Diabetes Awareness Month presents an opportunity to learn about new healthy lifestyle habits for those with diabetes and to strive for smart prevention.

A healthy lifestyle for diabetics must emphasize healthy diet and plenty of exercise, said Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition. It requires working very closely with your doctors and opening up a dialogue with them about using all the tools at your disposal, one of which may be supplementation.

Multiple studies have found that chromium picolinate supplementation* by diabetics can help reduce their high blood glucose levels and consequently help to reduce medical events related to CHD.

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Icipants With Type 2 Diabetes

Seventeen studies with 23 chromium arms evaluated participants with diabetes . The majority found no effect of chromium supplementation on fasting glucose. Seven of the 17 studies reported a statistically significant reduction in fasting glucose , and 2 additional studies stated there were large reductions in fasting glucose but did not report statistical significance .

The overall estimate for the effect of supplementation with brewer’s yeast on fasting glucose was statistically significant but without a clear dose effect. Consistent with this, the study by Rabinowitz et al. found no significant difference in fasting glucose among participants taking two relatively low doses of brewer’s yeast . Chromium picolinate had a significant effect on fasting glucose . Across studies, doses of 400 or 1,000 g/day appear to have had greater effects than lower doses. This was borne out by one study that directly compared doses .

Among studies of chromium chloride, there was no significant effect on fasting glucose . The single study with a large effect on fasting glucose used a relatively high dose , although this study was deficient in numerous ways, including lack of statistical analysis, inadequate randomization, and a range of treatment durations .

The two studies that compared brewer’s yeast to chromium chloride found no significant difference between the two supplements .

Benefits And Risks Of Chromium Supplements

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Chromium picolinate is a popular supplement often marketed to those wanting to build muscle or lose weight. Some bodybuilders and athletes take it to enhance performance and increase energy.

Early studies suggested that supplemental chromium may contribute to weight loss and help increase muscle mass. These studies were not conclusive, but more recent studies have shown improved muscle growth or a decrease in fat mass.

In addition, the amount of weight lost was not considered sufficient to make supplements worthwhile. Some of those taking the supplement also experienced side effects, including watery stool, vertigo, headaches, and hives.

Past research was unable to confirm that supplemental chromium could benefit people with impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes, but more recent studies indicate that it may help in managing diabetes, reducing levels of blood lipids, enhancing weight loss, and improving body composition.

In one study, 96 patients with type 2 diabetes took either 400 micrograms a day of chromium picolinate, 200 mcg a day, or a placebo.

Those who took 400 mcg daily saw improvements in endothelial function, lipid profile, and biomarkers of oxidative stress, suggesting that chromium picolinate could benefit patients with type 2 diabetes.

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