Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Benefits of chromium

Very small amounts of trivalent chromium, a digestible form of the very same metallic element that decorates your car and household appliances, are essential for several enzymes that you need to metabolize fat. Chromium is also a necessary partner for glucose tolerance factor (GTF), a group of chemicals that enables insulin (an enzyme from the pancreas) to regulate your use of glucose, the end product of metabolism and the basic fuel for every body cell. In a recent joint study by USDA and the Beijing Medical University, adults with noninsulin-dependent diabetes who took chromium supplements had lower blood levels of sugar, protein, and cholesterol, which are all good signs for people with diabetes. In a related study, chromium reduced blood pressure in laboratory rats bred to develop hypertension (high blood pressure), a common complication in diabetes. Right now, little information exists about the precise amounts of chromium in specific foods. Nonetheless, yeast, calves’ liver, American cheese, wheat germ, and broccoli are regarded as valuable sources of this trace element.

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