Chromium ingredient may have diabetes benefits: study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Diabetes mellitus Inflammation Diabetes

Supplements of niacin-bound chromium (III) may reduce inflammation
in diabetics and benefit heart health, suggests new research with

And the benefits were greater than those observed with the more established chromium picolinate, according to results presented at the American Diabetes Association's 68th Annual Scientific Session. "

This suggests that [niacin-bound chromium] is more effective form of [chromium (III) ion] in preventing vascular inflammation in diabetic rats, and thereby, can potentially reduce risk of CVD in diabetes ," wrote the researchers in their conference abstract.

If the results can be repeated in humans, it may see niacin-bound chromium establishing itself in the diabetes health market.

An estimated 19 million people are affected by diabetes in the EU 25, equal to four per cent of the total population.

This figure is projected to increase to 26 million by 2030.

In the US, there are over 20 million people with diabetes, equal to seven per cent of the population.

The total costs are thought to be as much as $132 billion, with $92 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2002 American Diabetes Association figures.

Study details The new study, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), used obese rats that were genetically modified to become diabetic by 10 to 12 weeks of age.

The animals were divided into three groups and fed the same diet.

One group acted as the control, while the other two were supplemented niacin-bound chromium (Cr-N) or chromium picolinate (Cr-P) for eight weeks.

Both chromium doses provided 400 micrograms of chromium per kg of body weight.

The cardiovascular health of the animals was assessed by measuring levels of certain compounds in the blood, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

Attendees at the scientific sessions were told that animals receiving the Cr-N supplement (ChromeMate, InterHealth) had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than the Cr-P group, which were both significantly lower than the control group.

Moreover, TNF-alpha and MCP-1 levels were lower in the Cr-N group, but not the Cr-P group, than the controls.

The study results were welcomed by Paul Dijkstra, CEO of InterHealth.

"Results of this study further confirm a comprehensive body of evidence that demonstrates the cardiovascular benefits of ChromeMate," he said.

"ChromeMate is also highly effective in helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels and body weight, which is important for people with diabetes.

Given the close link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, ChromeMate represents a triple benefit in promoting good health."

Source: American Diabetes Association's 68th Annual Scientific Sessions June 6-10th in San Francisco, Abstract 1690-P "Comparative Efficacy of Chromium-Niacinate and Chromium-Picolinate Supplementation in the Prevention of Vascular Inflammation in Type 2 Zucker Diabetic Rats" Authors: S.K. Jain, J.L. Rains, J.L. Croad

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