Saturday, January 15, 2011

6 Weeks of 400mcg Chromium per Day Improve Insulin Sensitivity and Lean Body Mass in Obese Children over Lifestyle Intervention Alone

Chromium, once hyped as a next generation anti-diabetes and lean mass agent, has disappeared from the best-selling lists of supplement vendors. Too few studies were able to confirm the encouraging results from rodent experiments. Possible toxicity issues put the icing on the cake and people just stopped buying it.

A very recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (Kim .2010) took another look at whether chromium, which irrefutably is a vital co-factor in insulin production and secretion, may not yet be beneficial for patients with pre-diabetes. The scientists supplemented a group of 25 obese children (age 9-12y) who participated in a 6-week diet and lifestyle intervention with 400mcg chromium chlorid a day and monitored changes in body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), BMI Z-score, waist circumference, body composition and fasting plasma glucose. The results were positive- body composition and insulin sensitivity improved:
[...] children who received chromium chloride demonstrated more positive changes versus the placebo group in HOMA (−1.84±1.07 vs. 0.05±0.42, P=.05), QUICKI (0.02±0.01 vs. −0.002±0.01, P=.05), lean body mass (2.43±0.68kg vs. 1.36±1.61kg, P=.02) and percentage body fat (−3.32±1.29% vs. 0.65±1.05%, P=.04)
Once again, chromium did not prove to be the panacea of the age of obesity, but supplemental chromium can be a beneficial co-factor in the treatment of metabolic disorders in general and diabetic complications in particular. Without appropriate life-style interventions it will however prove similarly useless as many other supplements which have been "proven in clinical studies to do XYZ"...