Dietary supplementation with chromium decreased glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 according to a presentation at a meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.
Researchers from Israel studied the effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on 39 diabetic subjects, average age 73, who were recovering from a stroke or hip fracture. Although other researchers have studied the effects of chromium on diabetes, few studies have looked at the effect of chromium in an older population.
In addition to receiving standard diabetes treatment, all subjects were given 200 micrograms of chromium twice a day for three weeks. Participants were placed on a low-sugar diet of 1500 calories a day. Blood samples, dietary intake, and weight were measured before and after supplementation.
The researchers found a significant decrease in the subjects' fasting blood glucose levels, from an average of 189 mg/dL to 150 mg/dL. Their hemoglobin A1c levels also improved, an indication of long-term blood sugar control. Total cholesterol and blood triglycerides also dropped,
Chromium may work by increasing the sensitivity of the patients' insulin receptors, so they are able to use the insulin more effectively. Studies have shown no side effects from it.
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