The American diet, high in carbohydrates and fats, has produced an overweight population that is on the path toward chronic disease. Weight gain, carbohydrate cravings and fatigue are potential outcomes of insulin resistance, a condition affecting 95 million Americans, in which insulin cannot dispose of excess sugar and fat in the blood. This sets the stage for obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Poor diet can contribute to insulin resistance, notes Philip Domenico, PhD, assistant director, technical services, at Nutrition 21 Inc. (Purchase, N.Y.), a supplier of chromium picolinate. Deficiencies in several micronutrients have been implicated, including chromium (Cr), which is a co-factor for insulin function. According to Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, Md.) researchers, high Cr status may be strongly related with good cardiovascular health (Guallar E, et al., Am J Epidemiol, 2005;162:157). FDA's recent qualified health claim regarding chromium picolinate for reducing the risk of insulin resistance supports this essential nutrient. The new health claim is specific to chromium picolinate and excludes other forms of dietary Cr. The FDA has validated the safety of this GRAS self-affirmed ingredient for use in functional bars and beverages, says Domenico.
Adequate Cr intake is questionable even from balanced diets. Only modest amounts are found in oysters, brewer's yeast, mushrooms, broccoli, organ meats, cheese and cereals. Much also is lost in processing or cooking, and exercise and stress deplete Cr stores as well. Since Cr stores are depleted by 6%-9% in every decade of age, the Cr status in seniors is of special concern. In one recent study (Campbell JD, Med Hypotheses, 2001, 57:521), the majority of 2000 subjects had low Cr status, as measured by hair analysis, supporting the need for supplementation.
Clinical studies point to Chromax[r] chromium picolinate from Nutrition 21 as being significantly better absorbed than other Cr supplements. Patent-protected Chromax is the most-studied form of Cr, proven effective for thousands of subjects in over 20 clinical trials. Chromium picolinate has been shown to increase energy, help weight management, help curb carbohydrate cravings and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Six NIH-sponsored Cr clinical studies are using Chromax chromium picolinate. Five are studying insulin resistance.
Chromium picolinate also impacts the glycemic response. Taken just before a meal, it significantly reduced the glycemic index in 77% of subjects, thus demonstrating an immediate impact (Frauchiger MT, et al., J Am Coll Nutr, 2004, 23:351). Of the multiple influences on the glycemic response, Cr is an important factor. By enhancing metabolism, it can provide real help with weight control. In managing the effect of carbohydrates, Chromax chromium picolinate deserves to be in that equation. It is the number-one form of chromium patented for glycemic control.
Due to the inadequate intake and loss of Cr during exercise and stress, and the effects of aging, food formulators and food scientists can use Chromax chromium picolinate as an effective, highly bioavailable form of Cr that is GRAS-affirmed and USP-NF grade.