Author(s): Rabinowitz MB, Gonick HC, Levin SR, Davidson MB
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Abstract Chromium (Cr) deficiency in experimental animals and in humans sustained by prolonged total parenteral nutrition has been shown to cause diabetes mellitus. Prior trials in humans indicated that Cr supplements, in either inorganic or organic form, may improve carbohydrate utilization. We report here a clinical double-blind, random cross-over trial of inorganic chromium trichloride, a brewer's yeast that contained Cr as glucose-tolerance-factor (GTF), a brewer's yeast extract without GTF, and a placebo. Forty-three outpatient diabetic men received three of these supplements for 4 months each. Subgroups included 21 ketosis-prone, 7 ketosis-resistant non-obese, and 15 ketosis-resistant obese men. Cr levels were followed pre- and post-treatment in hair, red blood cells, plasma, and urine. Response of carbohydrate metabolism to treatment was assessed in terms of change in insulin requirements, fasting plasma glucose, plasma cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as the change in plasma glucose, glucagon, and insulin or C-peptide levels in response to a standard meal. In some men, these parameters were also measured after iv tolbutamide. Both the inorganic and organic oral Cr supplements increased measurable body pools of Cr in hair and red blood cells by about 25\%. However, fasting plasma glucose and lipids and the glucose response to either the standard meal or to tolbutamide were not significantly altered by any of the treatments.
This article was published in Biol Trace Elem Res
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals