What about Chromium?

Posted by Dr. Janeel Henderson on Aug 31st 2022

What about Chromium?

I would like to share some valuable information written by Dr. Richard Gerhauser M.D. in the September 2018 VOLUME 3 Issue 15 newsletter entitled “NATURAL HEALTH RESPONSE”. To maintain accuracy, I will quote directly from the written article “miracle Mineral” Secret to Perfect Blood Sugar.

“Dr. Richard Gerhauser M.D. wrote in the September 2018 VOLUME 3 Issue 15 “The moment you’re diagnosed with a blood-sugar problem, most doctors will tell you that your days of enjoying your food are over. Almost everything we’ve been told about blood sugar is flat-out wrong!

There is a simple way to improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity—and it doesn’t involve making a single change in a healthy diet.”

The body uses the glucose from the food you eat for energy. Insulin’s job is to make sure that glucose is delivered to your muscles, organs, and brain.

Insulin is essentially the “key” that unlocks cells so that the glucose can get in. But sometimes that key stops working. Instead of the glucose getting delivered to the organs and muscles that need it, it gets “locked out” and ends up staying in your bloodstream. This is known as insulin resistance, and it’s one step before full-blown diabetes.

Insulin resistance leads to high blood sugar, higher insulin levels (because the body pumps out more to try to get the cells to respond to it), lower energy levels (because your organs and muscles aren’t getting the energy they need), and weight gain (because the rogue glucose gets stored as fat.)

There is a natural mineral that’s been shown to make that important insulin key start working again. In other words, it makes insulin more effective in getting glucose into cells…but most people with high blood sugar are NEVER told about this.

In other words, it makes insulin more effective in getting glucose into cells. That could mean lower insulin levels…lower blood sugar levels…less sugar being stored as fat… and restored energy levels.

Researchers at the prestigious Health Sciences Center Shreveport in Louisiana studied a patent-pending form of chromium that contains chromium, niacin, and L-cysteine.

After just 90 days, those taking this chromium experienced:

  • A 30% improvement in fasting insulin levels, and a 30% improvement in insulin sensitivity.
  • An increase in insulin sensitivity means that the insulin “key” is once again working, allowing the glucose to get into your muscles and organs (and keeping it out of your bloodstream.)
  • Lower fasting insulin is a result of this because it means your body isn’t making as much insulin because there’s less excess sugar in your blood.

Chromium plays an important role in activating and regulating GLUT4. This is a key glucose transporter that moves glucose from the blood and into the cell (which then uses the glucose for energy.)

Chromium enhances GLUT4 in two ways:

  1. In the cell, chromium binds to a protein that activates GLUT4.
  2. It increases the expression of the gene that regulates GLUT4, adding another way to fight high blood sugars. 

GLUT4 is important for maintaining the whole body's glucose balance. By activating GLUT4, chromium contributes to better blood sugar control throughout your entire body.

Higher blood sugar and insulin levels are a sign that your body’s energy system isn’t working properly. Chromium helps revive that process in a unique way.

Your body produces the energy it needs through the electron transport chain, (think of it like an electrical cable) that occurs in the mitochondria (the power centers of your cells). This forms a proton flow across the mitochondrial membrane, that helps activate ATP, which is a main energy source for our cells and powers most of our bodies’ functions.

In diabetics, the electron transport chain is moving too slow for optimal energy production.

Part of what allows for the electron transfer are iron/sulfur clusters in the respiratory proteins. These clusters allow for the magic of a process called quantum tunneling, where objects (like an electron) can move past barriers that in traditional physics, they would not be able to do.

An example would be throwing a tennis ball against a brick wall and having it bounce back. In quantum tunneling, when you throw the tennis ball against a brick wall, it passes through the wall.

In diabetes these iron/sulfur clusters lose their ability to quantum tunnel electrons.

Chromium is the only transition metal with antiferromagnetic properties that stabilize the properties of the iron/sulfur clusters.

These properties help restore the critical electron tunneling process, allowing the diabetic patient to become more efficient at making energy for cellular function. 

Chromium is found in numerous food sources but you’re not likely to get enough chromium in your diet to impact your blood sugar. 

Making matters worse, about 25%-50% of the population of the United States has mildly deficient levels of chromium likely the result of food processing and a depletion of this mineral in the soil with modern farming methods.” Dr. Richard Gerhauser MD. (2018). The “Miracle Mineral” Secret to Perfect Blood Sugar. Natural Health Response September, VOLUME 3|lssue 15, 1-4. 

Research Notes Additional Facts

Most of the studies done on chromium have used a form called chromium picolinate. If you are using a chromium supplement, chances are it’s in the picolinate form.

Nutrition & Dietary Consultant published an article that questioned the bioavailability of picolinate. Clinical data presented showed that increased intake of mineral picolinate caused more of the same mineral to be excreted in the urine. It was concluded that while picolinates may be absorbed, the minerals were not effectively metabolized or incorporated into the tissues (Ashmead, H.D., “picolinic Acid Chelates” Nut & Diet Consultant 11:3, Nov 1989.) 

In a double-blind study, 59 college age students (37 male, 22 female) were involved in a 12-week program. Half of the students received 200 mcg of chromium (as picolinate) per day. The other half received a placebo. Evaluation in changes in weight, (bw) the sum of three body circumference measurements (sigma c) and the sum of three skinfold measurements (sigma f) and one repetition maximums for the squat and bench press (lrm). All the group had significant increases in sigma c and significant decreases in sigma f. The only significant treatment effect found was with the female group receiving the chromium picolinate—they ALL gained more body weight than the other groups. nt. J Sport Nutr 2 (4): 343-50, 1992 Dec. 

Dr. David N. Mowat, of the University of Guelph has done extensive research with Chromium used by Life Zone. His research showed a very positive effect on both cellular and humoral immunity factors. His conclusion was the ability to decrease the cortisol levels associated with stress that are known to have negative effects on immunity. Chang, X. and Mowat DN. 1992. Supplemental Chromium for Stressed and Growing Feeder Calves. J. Animal Sci. 70:559. 

When chromium is deficient, insulin’s action is impaired with detrimental alterations to carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism. Stress has been associated with an increased urinary loss of chromium. During times of stress, more cortisol is released which stimulates increased glucose utilization. As glucose use increases, so does the body’s mobilization of insulin and chromium. Once mobilized, chromium is not reabsorbed but is lost in the urine. 

Cortisol and insulin are antagonistic to one another. Cortisol causes catabolism of protein and lipids, along with an increase in utilization of glucose. Insulin, on the other hand conveys “a store, do not release” signal in relation to carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Insulin binds to the cells’ insulin receptors which recognize insulin specifically. Only a small portion of these receptors need to be bound by insulin for maximum insulin action. These receptors have a short life, and in the presence of high concentrations of insulin, they gradually become fewer. The cell’s sensitivity to insulin becomes less, which is one basis for insulin resistance. Long term stress gives rise to continuous release of cortisol, which leads to insulin resistance-glucose intolerance. Supplementing with Life Zone’s Chromium may reduce serum cortisol by improving insulin sensitivity, which may lessen the cortisol response to stress.

Aging has also been shown to affect chromium status. Aging results in decreased absorption of inorganic chromium, a decreased conversion of chromium to GTF, and decreased tissue retention of chromium. This may be why the elderly are more prone to adult diabetes, glucose intolerance, and impaired insulin sensitivity. Gatteschi, et al., reported that moderate exercise can also cause a loss of significant amounts of chromium. The researchers stated that the increase in plasma chromium was to answer an increased muscle requirement and uptake of glucose during recovery in order to replenish glycogen stores. (Gatteschi, L, et al. “Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Plasma Chromium Concentrations” pp. 199-203. From: Sports Nutrition, Kies and Driskell (eds) CRC Press 1995.)

Dr. Mertz’s evaluation of the results of 15 research studies on impaired glucoses tolerance showed it could be improved or normalized by chromium supplementation or maintained despite reduced insulin output. Chromium will only improve impaired glucose tolerance when the impairment develops be of chromium deficiency. In this way, CHROMIUM IS AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT, NOT A DRUG. Chromium will not improve normal glucose.

Mertz also stated that based on proper studies, to date, chromium deficiency hs not been shown to be a direct contributor to the risk of cardiovascular disease, as one thought. Rather, the impact of low chromium status, through impaired glucose tolerance may lead to the disturbances in lipid metabolism which in turn could contribute to cardiovascular disease. (Mertz. W., J Nut. 123:626-633,1993)

Dr. Graff, D., et al., Submitted for publication, publication pending found Chromium salts found in most supplements are poorly absorbed. For example, Picolinic acid will not release chromium to the cells without forcing body cells to give up other essential minerals in exchange. Furthermore, picolinic acid has been shown to interfere with the metabolism nicotinate in the GTF. It has been suggested that a nicotinate and chromium complex may be the biologically active form of chromium in the body. Mertz proposed complexing amino acids to the nicotinate chromium complex to stabilize it in the gut. This procedure has been patented and is used in Life Zone’s Chromium. The bioavailability comparison to Chromium chloride and chromium picolinate found in the blood 

Chromium chloride 17.0±4.3 1 hour 2 hours 23.8±4.3 

Chromium Picolinate 29.1±9.8 1 hour 2 hours 31.2±12.8 

Chromium Patent 37.4±11.4 1 hour 22 hours 45.6±25.0 

The patented chromium outperformed against the top popular forms of chromium without any side effects 

In conclusion this patented form of Chromium also helps support reducing sugar and food craving by helping to stabilize healthy blood sugar. 

Dr. Janeel Henderson