Chromium supplements don't help lower blood sugar, new research suggests

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For years, chromium supplementation has been a recommended method for blood sugar control, but it may not be that effective after all.

A three-decade study from researchers at the University of Miami found that chromium supplements are not useful in lowering fasting glucose levels in either healthy individuals or those with diabetes.

"Some previous research reported that chromium supplements lower the levels of fasting glucose," said study author Christopher H. Bailey. "However, the effect may have been exaggerated or mistaken for the effects of other concurrent treatments, such as exercise training."

Different methodologies could have led to inaccurate results

According to the National Institutes of Health, chromium "is known to enhance the action of insulin" and is directly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. The mineral is one that humans only require in trace amounts, and it can be found in foods like broccoli, potatoes, grape juice and garlic.

Differences in methodology that previous studies have used to determine chromium's effects could have led to inaccurate results, Bailey explained.

The current study analyzed 16 previous studies on chromium that were published from 1985 to 2012, addressing the limitations of each of these research projects.

"Although chromium supplementation doesn't lower fasting blood sugar, there may be other beneficial effects on the body that require more research," Bailey said. "Fasting blood sugar is only one aspect of human health."

Source: University of Miami

 
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