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Chromium May Help Obese People Avoid Diabetes

Doctors Guide

Chromium May Help Obese People Avoid Diabetes

NEW YORK — June 30, 1997 — The results of a recent study demonstrate that daily supplementation with 1,000 micrograms of supplied as chromium picolinate significantly enhanced the action of insulin in moderately obese people with a high risk of developing type II (adult-onset) diabetes.

Insulin is the master metabolic hormone in our body and regulates blood sugar; chromium is an essential trace mineral required by humans in order for insulin to work properly. In persons with the most common form of diabetes the effects of insulin on lowering blood sugar are reduced. This decrease in effect is referred to as insulin resistance, and is now believed to be the primary defect in type II diabetes. Years before any signs or symptoms of diabetes are seen in these at-risk individuals (such as those with a family history of diabetes), insulin resistance has already taken a toll on their blood sugar control.

The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial directed by William Cefalu, M.D., director of the Diabetes Comprehensive Care and Research Program at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University. The results were presented at the 57th Annual Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association Meeting in Boston, on June 23, 1997.

The subjects were 29 overweight individuals who also had a family history of diabetes. They received either a placebo or 1,000 micrograms (1 mg) of chromium daily. After four months, insulin resistance was reduced by a statistically significant 40%, and this improvement was maintained at the end of eight months.

Also examined in these subjects (using a sophisticated imaging technique) was the amount of abdominal fat present at the beginning and end of the study. The placebo group gained 6.5% abdominal fat while the chromium group gained just 1%. This difference was not statistically significant, possibly due to the small number of persons in the trial.

“Even though only a small number of subjects were studied, the improvement in insulin sensitivity in chromium-supplemented subjects was quite significant and impressive,” noted Dr. Cefalu. “This is a potentially important finding in light of the fact that insulin resistance often precedes type II diabetes. Chromium picolinate is a nutritional supplement that can reduce risk factors for the development of diabetes.”

“Dr. Cefalu’s findings are exciting and could prove to be of great importance if replicated in future studies,” stated Richard Anderson, Ph.D., senior scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., and a leading authority on dietary chromium. “They are certainly consistent with our findings which were reported at last year’s ADA meeting: We found improved blood sugar control in a group of Chinese patients with type II diabetes who were supplemented with chromium.”


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Beneficial Effects of Chromium for Diabetics

Washington. DC (November 1, 1997)- Chromium supplements appear beneficial in the treatment of type II diabetes, suggest the results of a placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in China. The final results of a study appear in the current issue of the medical journal Diabetes.

The USDA sponsored study was designed to determine whether supplemental chromium could help in the control of type II (non-insulin dependent) diabetes. One-hundred and eighty men and women in China who were already being treated for type II diabetes received either placebo, 100 mcg (micrograms) of chromium two times per day, or 500 mcg of chromium two times per day. The volunteers continued to take their normal medications and were asked not to change their normal eating and living habits.

Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values improved significantly after 2 months in the group receiving 1,000 mcg/day of chromium. The test is a measure of how well glucose is metabolized, and is considered a gold standard in medicine. These values were lower in both chromium groups after 4 months. Fasting glucose levels were lower in the high-dose group after 2 and 4 months. Two-hour glucose values were also significantly lower for the high dose chromium group after both 2 and 4 months. In addition, fasting and two-hour insulin values decreased significantly in both groups receiving supplemental chromium after 2 and 4 months. Moreover, plasma total cholesterol also decreased after 4 months in the subjects receiving the high dose of chromium.

“These data demonstrate that supplemental chromium had significant beneficial effects on HbA1c, glucose, insulin, and cholesterol variables in subjects with type 2 diabetes. The beneficial effects of chromium in individuals with diabetes were observed at levels higher than the upper limit of the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake,” the researchers note.

Both the high- and low-dose chromium groups had a significant drop in plasma insulin just two months after beginning the supplements and a further drop at four months. People with type II, or maturity-onset, diabetes produce more insulin than normal in the early stages of the disease, because the insulin is less efficient at clearing glucose from the blood. Chromium apparently makes the hormone more efficient.

The study was a collaboration between USDA investigator Dr. Richard Anderson and Dr. Nanzheng Cheng. Cheng–a former visiting scientist in Anderson’s laboratory–and her sister Nanping Cheng, a physician in Beijing. The study participants were recruited at three Beijing hospitals.

In the U.S., it’s possible that people with diabetes would need higher levels of chromium to realize similar improvements because Americans are larger than the Chinese and eat more fat and sugar. All of these factors raise the requirement for chromium. No other studies have seen consistent improvements with 200 mcg.

Anderson also said he has maintained rats on daily doses of chromium picolinate or an inorganic form of the mineral several thousand times above the highest suggested intake for humans with no adverse effects on the sensitive organs.

There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance for chromium. The estimated safe and adequate dietary intake is between 50 and 200 mcg daily. Most Americans consume less than 50 mcg, Anderson said. He has analyzed well-balanced diets prepared by dietitians and found them to contain only about 33 mcg per day.

The study results appear in Diabetes, November 1997, Volume 46, Number 11

From chromiuminfo.org


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Chromium Supplements May Be Beneficial for Diabetics

USDA Press Release

CHROMIUM SUPPLEMENTS MAY BE BENEFICIAL FOR DIABETICS

San Francisco, CA (June 9, 1996)- People in China with type II diabetes had marked reductions in their blood sugar and insulin levels after two to four months of taking chromium picolinate supplements. And the most sensitive measure of diabetic control-hemoglobin A(ic)-dropped to normal, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study presented June 9 at the annual scientific meeting of the American Diabetes Association.

Chromium expert Richard Anderson of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service said that “the results are preliminary and need to be reproduced in the United States before chromium can be recommended for the treatment of diabetes. But they’re better than we had hoped for. Even those getting 200 micrograms (mcg) of chromium daily improved in several indices of diabetes.” That’s the upper limit of the estimated safe and adequate intake.

In the U.S., it’s possible that people with diabetes would need higher levels of chromium to realize similar improvements because Americans are larger than the Chinese and eat more fat and sugar. All of these factors raise the requirement for chromium. “No other studies have seen consistent improvements with 200 mcg.” He noted that some people with diabetes won’t respond to chromium supplements at all for reasons that are still unclear.

Anderson and Nanzheng Cheng, a physician, spearheaded the four-month study. Cheng–a former visiting scientist in Anderson’s laboratory–and her sister Nanping Cheng, a physician in Beijing–recruited 180 people with type II diabetes through three Beijing hospitals and assigned them to three groups of 60 each. All of them produced insulin; none was in an advanced stage of the disease.

One group got 100 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate at two different times each day, while a second group got 500 mcg twice daily. Dividing the supplement into two doses allows the body to absorb more, Anderson explained, because the two don’t saturate the system as much as a single dose. A third group got look-alike placebos. To ensure objectivity in the study, neither the volunteers nor the researchers knew who got which capsules.

The volunteers getting a total of 1000 mcg–or one milligram (mg)–daily improved significantly compared to the placebo group after only two months, Anderson said. By the end of four months, their average hemoglobin A(ic) was 6.6 percent compared to 8.5 for the placebo group. A normal level is usually less than 6.2 percent. The value is a measure of how much hemoglobin has sugar bound to it he said. It’s considered the “gold standard” of diabetes tests.

The low-chromium group–those volunteers getting a total of 200 mcg daily-ended the study with a hemoglobin A(ic) level of 7.5 percent–also significantly below the placebo group. But there was no significant difference in blood glucose between the low-chromium and placebo groups.

In the high-chromium group, however, blood glucose after an overnight fast was down to 129 milligrams per decaliter (mg/dL) versus 160 mg/dL in the placebo group. And it averaged 190 mg/dL two hours after eating a meal versus 223 mg/dL in the placebo group. In nondiabetic people, blood glucose is around 100 mg/dL after fasting and 120 mg/dL after a meal, said Lois Jovanovic-Peterson, a physician specializing in diabetes and a senior scientist at the Sansum Medical Research Foundation in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“These are improvements to the level of good control,” she said. “It’s as good as what we currently have available–oral hypoglycemic agents, diet and exercise. If further research confirms these numbers, chromium supplements could be an add-on therapy to current treatments to further lower blood glucose.”

In addition to improvements in blood glucose, the high-chromium group had a significant drop in total cholesterol. And both the high- and low-chromium groups had a significant drop in plasma insulin just two months after beginning the supplements and a further drop at four months. People with type II, or maturity-onset, diabetes produce more insulin than normal in the early stages of the disease, Anderson explained, because the hormone is less efficient at clearing glucose from the blood. Chromium apparently makes the hormone more efficient.

“We controlled diabetes with a nutrient–given at higher levels than can be gotten from the diet,” said Anderson. He said people with type II diabetes absorb more chromium. But they also excrete more, so their tissue levels are lower, indicating that the body has trouble using what it absorbs.

Anderson also said he has maintained rats on daily doses of chromium picolinate or an inorganic form of the mineral several thousand times above the highest suggested intake for humans with no adverse effects on the sensitive organs.

There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance for chromium. The estimated safe and adequate dietary intake is between 50 and 200 mcg daily. Most Americans consume less than 50 mcg, Anderson said. He has analyzed well-balanced diets prepared by dietitians and found them to contain only about 33 mcg per day.


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Something You’ve Never Been Told About Breakfast Cereals

In most households you will find both parents and children sitting down to breakfast and automatically filling their bowls with some breakfast cereal.

When you go to the supermarket today you will find at least one entire row filled with boxes of cereals, all different colors, shapes and flavors. Many of these cereals are full of sugar and flavors that you don’t think of as nutritious such as chocolate.

There are cereals for kids (ones they’ve seen on TV) with chocolate, sugar, marsh mellows, etc. There are cereals that are said to be the “healthiest breakfast cereals” designed to attract adults, claiming to have nutritional value or contain fiber.

But what is the truth and how are cereals made? The following was presented at Consumer Health Canada:

“Cereal makers first create a thin mud like mixture composed of water and grains. This mixture is then put into a machine called an ‘extruder’.”

“The extruder forces the grain mixture out of little holes at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the holes, the grains come out as little ‘o’ shapes, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in shredded wheat), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). Each little flake or shape is then sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal and give it crunch.”

“In his book Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt tells us that the ‘extrusion’ process used for these cereals destroys most of the nutrients in the grains. It destroys the fatty acids; it even destroys the chemical vitamins that are added at the end. The amino acids [Definition: the molecules that form proteins] are chemically altered by this process, thus diminishing and destroying their original qualities and properties.”

“This is how all the boxed cereals are made, even the ones sold in the health food stores. They are all made in the same way and mostly in the same factories. All dry cereals that come in boxes are extruded cereals [Editor’s Note: except some basic cereals such as ‘rolled’ oats or ‘steel cut’ oats].”

The rat experiments that were never published:

“Let me tell you about two studies which were not published. The first was described by Paul Stitt who wrote about an experiment conducted by a cereal company in which four sets of rats were given special diets.”

“One group received plain whole wheat, water and a synthetic vitamin and mineral solution. A second group received puffed wheat (an extruded cereal), water and the same vitamin solution. A third set was given only water. A fourth set was given nothing but water and synthetic vitamins.”

“The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on this diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived about two months.”

“The animals on water alone lived about a month. But the company’s own laboratory study showed that the rats given the vitamins, water and all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks — they died before the rats that got no food at all.”

“It wasn’t a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine.”

“Results like these suggested that there was something actually very toxic in the puffed wheat itself! Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the pressure of the puffing process may produce chemical changes, which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.”

“Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water.”

“The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.)”

“But before death, the corn flake rats developed bizarre behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the corn flakes.”

“This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted.”

“Extruded cereals sold in the health food stores are made by the same method. It may come as a shock to you, but these whole grain extruded cereals are probably more dangerous than those sold in the supermarket, because they are higher in protein and it is the proteins in these cereals that are so denatured [Definition: made unfit to eat] by this type of processing.”

Excerpted from a presentation at the conference of Consumer Health of Canada, March, 2002, given by Sally Fallon, Nutrition Researcher

Breakfast cereals are also grains and high in carbohydrates which is not a diabetic breakfast food.

Instead of having cereal, make a really nutritious breakfast of eggs (fried, scrambled, or omelet with meat, cheese or vegetables) with bacon, sausage, hamburger patty or steak. These are also low carb breakfast foods.

If you feel you must have cereal to make it through the day, “rolled oats” or “steel cut oats” are still real food. Rolled oats are traditionally oat groats (hulled or crushed grain) that have been rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then steamed and lightly toasted.

The idea that there are breakfast foods, lunch foods and dinner foods are something we learn when we are young at the dinner table and from our parents.

In fact, when you wake up in the morning your body usually tells you that it is hungry. Your body does not care whether you feed it a juicy steak and steamed broccoli or a plate of scrambled eggs. As long as it is real nourishing food, you will be on your way to improved health and vigor!


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More Reasons to Avoid Diabetic Drugs

Two more studies published in the prominent Journal of the American Medical Association have raised questions about the safety of both Avandia and Actos, two popular diabetes medications.

Avandia Side Effects

Earlier this year, a combined analysis of more than 40 studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that Avandia, made by GlaxoSmithKline, doubled the risks of heart failure and raised the risks of heart attack by 42 percent.

This finding was confirmed by yet another combined analysis by researchers from Wake Forest University. This time they limited the analysis to four long-term studies. Their findings were almost identical, and Dr. Sonal Singh, co-author of the study, said the Food and Drug Administration should consider withdrawing Avandia from the market.

“If you use Avandia to treat patients with type 2 diabetes”, said Singh, “their chance of getting heart failure due to Avandia is one in 30, and their risk of having a heart attack is one in 220. All due to the drug.”

Avandia Restricted

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety announcement to inform the public about new restrictions to the prescribing and use of rosiglitazone-containing medicines such as Avandia because of an increased risk of the drug causing heart attacks. These medicines to treat type II diabetes are also sold under the names Avandamet, and Avandaryl. Health care providers and patients must enroll in a special program in order to prescribe and receive these drugs.

Actos Side Effects

A study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, found that Actos, a similar drug made by Takeda, actually lowered the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and death by about 20 percent but, like Avandia, also raised the risks of heart failure.

Additionally, according to an FDA Warning, those who take Actos for more than a year are 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer than those never exposed to Actos.


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Tuna and Celery Snack Recipe

Ingredients:
1 can tuna, drained
2 tbsp chopped pickle
2 tbsp diced onion
1 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
4-5 celery stalks

Instructions:

Combine tuna with pickles, onion, salt and pepper and mayonnaise. Spread on celery sticks, chill and serve.


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Sweet Spicy Pecans Snack Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups pecan halves
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cayenne or other hot pepper
Stevia equal to about 3 tsp sugar (See Stevia Exchange)
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

Use a large enough skillet so the pecans are in one layer.

Melt the butter in the skillet and add the hot pepper. If you are using liquid artificial sweetener, add it now.

Add pecans to skillet and cook over medium heat. Stir every 30 seconds. After 2 or 3 minutes, stir them constantly until they just begin to brown. Watch as they can burn easily. (If the butter starts smoking call them done.)

Stir in cinnamon, salt, and powdered sweetener if you’re using it.

Remove from pan and place in bowl so as not to burn.

When they seem cool enough to taste, you can adjust the seasonings.

1 oz. (10 pecans) = 4.7 carbs


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Meals on the Run Recipe

Deli Meat Roll-ups
Take chicken, turkey, beef, ham, pastrami, etc. Take a couple of slices of meat, spread with good mayonnaise or mustard. If desired, top with a thin slice of good cheese, and roll up, jelly-role fashion. Secure with toothpicks. Put three or four or more in a plastic sandwich bag or waxed paper sack.

Food to snack on
2 celery ribs filled with 1 tablespoon of cream cheese with scallions

4 slices of hard salami spread lightly with cream cheese and rolled around a thin scallion.

2 thin slices of boiled or baked ham spread with cream cheese and chives.

2 thin slices of ham spread with spicy mustard and rolled up with thin slices of cheese.

Fresh carrot, celery, cucumber, bell pepper or zucchini sticks.

Bag of nuts – 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, walnuts, macademia nuts pecans, etc.

Natural jerky – to make natural jerky. (If you buying ready made, be sure that it doesn’t contain MSG, or nitrates.)


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Snacks for Diabetics

Healthy Snacks for Diabetics:

Celery with hummus
Celery with peanut butter
Cheddar cheese slices on cucumbers
Cheese with apple slices
Cheese Crisps
Cottage Cheese
Deviled eggs
Dill pickles and cheddar cheese (good combo)
Hard boiled eggs
Italian Frico (Parmesan Chips)
Jerky
Lettuce Roll-ups – roll luncheon meat, egg salad, tuna or other filling and veggies in lettuce leaves
Low Carb Granola
Low-carb shakes
Lunch Meat Roll-ups – roll cheese or veggies in lunch meat (read the labels for carbs on the lunch meat)
Mushrooms with cheese spread inside
Nuts
Pepperoni Chips – Bake pepperoni slices until crisp — great with cheeses and dips
Pork rinds, with or without low-carb dip
Raw veggies and low-carb dip
Ricotta cheese with nuts
Roasted Almonds
Smoked salmon and cream cheese on cucumber slices
Spread low-carb dip or spread on the lunch meat or lettuce and then roll it up
String cheese
Sugar-free Jello, alone or with cottage cheese and a sprinkling of nuts
4-ounce plain yogurt
Other cheeses (make sure to check the label of packaged cheese snacks)


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Avocado or Hard Boiled Egg Salad Recipe

Ingredients:
Salad
Hard-boiled egg
Chopped avocado
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar or vinaigrette

Instructions:

Top a typical side salad with a hard-boiled egg or 1/4 chopped avocado, drizzle with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar or 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette.

Each serving (with egg) contains: 3 grams carbohydrate

Each serving (with avocado) contains: 6 grams carbohydrate.


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