Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chromium Ain't Dead Yet: Positive Effects of Chromium Glycinate on Glucose Metabolism and Memory Acquisition in Rats Fed High-Fat Diet

"Chromium"? Sounds familiar, eh? Not too long ago, everybody was all over supplementing with chromium picolloniate to improve insulin sensitivity, to lose fat and to gain muscle. Most human studies, however, failed to reproduce the encouraging results from rodent studies. From todays perspective fat loss and muscle gain, if they occurred would probably have to be considered an indirect effect due to improvements in insulin management, the latter, on the other hand appear to be very real and may even benefit your cognitive performance.

When an international team of scientists supplemented male Wistar rats (n = 60; weighing 200–220 g) on a high-fat (40%, high-fat diet (HFD)) diet with either chromium-glycinate (CrGly) or chromium-acetate (CrAc) at doses of 0, 40, or 80 μg/kg body weight (BW) for 12 weeks, chromium supplementation ameliorated the detrimental effects of HFD on GLUTs, and Memory (32% reduction in expressions of glucose transporters 1 and 3 (GLUTs) in brain tissue and a 27% reduction in mean percentage time spent in the target quadrant and a 38% increase in spatial memory acquisition phase (SMAP)):
Compared with supplemental Cr as CrAc, CrGly was more effective to ameliorate response variables (i.e., restoration of tissue Cr concentration, enhancement of cerebral GLUTs expressions, and reduction of the glucose/insulin ratio and SMAP) in a dose–response manner, especially in rats fed HFD. Supplemental Cr as CrGly may have therapeutic potential to enhance insulin action and alleviate memory acquisition in a dose-dependent manner, through restoring tissue Cr reserve and enhancing cerebral GLUTs expressions.
So, after all chromium certainly ain't no magic bullet, it is likely, however, that patients who suffer from obesity and diabetes, as well as athletes who have been found to be at risk of chromium deficiency, may in fact benefit from your occasional dose of supplemental chromium.