Chromium, a trace mineral that is often deficient in adults, may help to prevent or treat metabolic problems, including obesity, glucose intolerance, and unhealthy lipid profiles, according to Georgetown University researchers. The investigators report that supplementation with niacin-bound chromium, or ChromeMate®, improved blood sugar and lipid measures in volunteers.*
Although chromium is easily obtained through diet and supplements, a significant number of adults are unknowingly deficient, and no test exists to make the diagnosis. The appearance of metabolic syndrome may be the first sign of chromium deficiency. In the body, chromium improves the sensitivity of insulin receptors, helping to promote optimal metabolism of sugars.
In this double-blind study, volunteers received 300 mcg per day of niacin-bound chromium or placebo for three months. At the trial’s end, the supplemented group had lower fasting glucose and triglyceride levels than the control group, and also had lower levels of glycosylated hemoglobin, or hemoglobin A1c, a measure of long-term blood sugar control. The niacin-bound chromium supplement was well tolerated, with no adverse effects reported.
Niacin-bound chromium supplementation may thus reduce the risk for glucose intolerance, prevent the progression of glucose intolerance to frank diabetes, improve glucose control in diabetics, and assist in managing elevated triglyceride levels.
—Linda M. Smith, RN