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A breakthrough in insulin control.

A Breakthrough in Insulin Control

A new form of chromium, patented by the United States Department of Agriculture, may prove to be of significant health benefit to consumers. Chromium Picolinate, a biologically active form of this essential nutrient, enhances the many functions of insulin in the human body. As a result, people consuming the product have experienced a variety of healthful effects.

In a study conducted by Dr. Raymond Press at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, patients with elevated cholesterol were given 200 micrograms of chromium as Chromium Picolinate. At the end of the double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, their harmful L.D.L. cholesterol had dropped 11%. The main protein of L.D.L. cholesterol dropped 16%.

Since L.D.L. cholesterol and its apolipoprotein B tend to correlate directly with risk for heart disease and atherosclerosis, the researchers are very pleased with the results of the trial. At the same time, the protective H.D.L. cholesterol and its chief protein rose 6% and 11% respectively.

Dr. Press and his associates also studied the effect of Chromium Picolinate on diabetics since their problems are also connected with insulin. After a six-week trial, their fasting blood sugar had decreased by 18% and their glycosylated hemoglobin had declined 10%.

Of less importance to total health but much more attractive to many consumers is the effect of Chromium Picolinate on fat and muscle, two more body components that are affected by insulin. Dr. Muriel Gilman of Bemidji (Minnesota) State University worked with a group of volunteers from the school's football team. They ingested 200 micrograms a day of chromium as Chromium Picolinate and also engaged in a weight-lifting program.

After six weeks, the group taking Chromium Picolinate had a 40% greater increase in muscle than those not getting chromium. At the same time, the chromium group experienced a 22% loss of body fat. The non-chromium group lost only 6% of its body fat.

There are three ways in which optimal chromium nutrition may aid dieters:

1. Better appetite control. There have been many anecdotal reports that chromium can curb sugar cravings. By promoting insulin-stimulated brain uptake of tryptophan, chromium may aid brain synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control sugar cravings.

2. Increased metabolic rate. Dr. Philip Felig has noted a vicious cycle in which impaired insulin sensitivity reduces metabolic rate, thus contributing to weight gain. This in turn further reduces insulin sensitivity. Biologically active Chromium Picolinate potentiates insulin and may help to maintain a high metabolic rate -- and thereby aid in weight loss.

3. Better protein-sparing. Insulin stimulates protein synthesis and retards protein breakdown in skeletal muscle and other tissues. Chromium potentiation of this effect could be especially valuable to dieters by burning fat -- not the protein in muscle and vital organs.

This effect is also of interest to body-builders, for whom Chromium Picolinate represents a safe and health-promoting alternative to anabolic steroids.

Studies with Chromium Picolinate have shown it to be five to ten times better absorbed and retained than other forms of chromium tested. These studies also found it to be remarkably safe. (In general, oral trivalent chromium is notable for its low toxicity; one authority flatly describes it as "non-toxic.")
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Title Annotation:chromium picolinate enhances insulin function in body
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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