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Chromium: A Possible Game Changer For Diabetics

Simone De Oliveira, RD, LDN

Nutrition Program Director

United HomeCare®

305.716.0710

unitedhomecare.com

Chromium found in “Brewer’s Yeast” has repeatedly been linked to improved A1c levels. Despite the progress in modern medicine, diabetes continues to be a significant public health issue, with many individuals struggling to maintain healthy blood glucose levels with existing treatments. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there will be over 300 million new cases by the year 2025.

A study published in the European Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Batta) first considered that chromium could enhance glucose metabolism back in the 1950s, when brewer’s yeast, a source of chromium, was discovered to contain a glucose tolerance factor that prevented diabetes in laboratory mice. Chromium is found in various foods, including wheat germ, barley, grape and orange juice, green beans, broccoli, eggs, meat, and brewer’s yeast (yes, an ingredient in “beer”). More recently, chromium has been identified as a trace mineral linked to improved diabetes management.

Studies have shown that supplementing with 600 mcg/day of chromium picolinate significantly reduced HbA1c levels compared to a control group receiving no supplementation. Furthermore, chromium picolinate notably decreased both fasting and postprandial glucose levels.

Cardiovascular biomarkers also improved after chromium supplementation including total cholesterol, LDL, and resting heart rate. All these beneficial results, however, occurred with varying dosages and after differing periods.

Chromium has few negative side effects, and therefore, no tolerable level has been established, however further research is needed to determine which form of chromium, picolinate or nicotinate, will benefit type 2 diabetics and what dosage levels will produce positive results while minimizing the risks of toxicity. The recommended daily intake for men is 35 mcg and for women is 25 mcg.

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