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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Chromium and aging

Author
item Anderson, Richard

Submitted to: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2009
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Aging is associated with increased blood glucose, insulin, blood lipids, and fat mass, and decreased lean body mass leading to increased incidences of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Improved chromium nutrition is associated with improvements in all of these variables. Insulin sensitivity declines with age; however, people who live to be 90 or more have improved insulin sensitivity. In a study of people with type 2 diabetes, there was a dose response to the improvements in glucose, hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol, insulin, and insulin sensitivity with larger effects when consuming 1000 µg per day of chromium as chromium picolinate compared with 200 µg. Stresses associated with aging including physical trauma and glucocorticoid treatment increase chromium losses. In a study involving 50 people, supplemental chromium led to a reversal of glucocorticoid-induced diabetes often associated with treatments for arthritis, allergies and related diseases. In a study involving over 40,000 people, chromium concentrations of the hair, sweat and urine were shown to decline with age. The addition of chromium to the diet of rats led to an increase in lifespan by 33% and improved body composition, blood glucose, and insulin sensitivity. In genetic diabetic mice, markers of insulin resistance associated with aging, including phospho-c-Jun and IRS-1 phosphoserine, were improved by supplemental chromium. The increases in obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases may not be normal consequences of aging but rather suboptimal dietary patterns that are manifest with age. Improved chromium nutrition is one of the factors that leads to reversal of suboptimal health that manifests with age.

Last Modified: 12/27/2014
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