What’s the relationship between diabetes and chromium?
To start, micronutrients, the name for which minerals and vitamins are scientifically known, are very important for the function of any healthy body and their deficiency can lead to acute or chronic conditions that could have been prevented with their proper supply. As expected, in the case of some diseases or conditions, these minerals and vitamins are much more important because their presence could prevent the onset of certain symptoms and complications and the effectiveness of any treatment.
In cases of diabetes, Chromium is particularly important, and the reason lies in its role of producing a substance known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF), which is necessary to ensure insulin action when metabolizing glucose. In the case of diabetes when blood sugar levels are abnormally high there is a rapid loss of Chromium through urine and feces and this accentuates its deficiency.
Chromium also offers benefits for those suffering from cholesterol metabolism problems and during the 80’s its use became popular as a facilitator in the process of weight loss when was used to high doses of 1,000 micrograms daily. Those doses demonstrated its ability to control appetite and accelerate fat utilization in individuals who were exercising and following a diet to lose weight.
Undoubtedly the best way to get nutrients is through food, but if we are dealing with a case where absorption is affected then we must resort to supplements.
Chromium is naturally found in small quantities in the following foods: poultry and beef, in cereals and whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, tea, beans, mushrooms, broccoli and red wine. It is also available in its synthetic form and ensures better absorption in the form of chromium picolinate. The recommended dose is 120 to 200 micrograms daily and its absorption is enhanced when consumed along with vitamin C and B3. However, in scientific studies done in several groups of patients with type 2 diabetes results are greater when chromium picolinate is used at high doses of 1,000 micrograms.
It is important to highlight that refined carbohydrates and sugars delay or reduce chromium absorption, and therefore it is essential to avoid these foods, not only because they are not health friendly but also because they make us gain weight and decrease chromium levels in the body.