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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Anderson, Richard

Submitted to: International Symposium on Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2006
Publication Date: 5/21/2006
Citation: Anderson, R.A. 2006. Chromium, metabolic syndrome and diabesity. International Symposium on Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine. 9:134.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Suboptimal intakes of the essential nutrient, chromium, are characterized by elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance, obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL. These are also signs and symptoms of the metabolic syndrome. Improvements due to increased intake of chromium are related to the degree of insulin sensitivity with larger improvements in people with more impaired insulin sensitivity, and subjects with more impaired insulin sensitivity also require higher amounts of chromium to induce beneficial effects. Following a glucose challenge, glucose and insulin areas-under-the-curve are lower for obese rats receiving chromium than for control rats. Chromium also leads to lower total cholesterol and higher HDL cholesterol. Effects are not significant for lean rats. Membrane associated Glut-4 is also enhanced by chromium in obese rats after insulin stimulation. Decreased fat mass and increased lean body mass due to increased chromium intake have also been reported in humans and experimental animals. Not all studies have reported significant improvements, and response to chromium is dependent upon the amount and form of chromium as well as the chromium status at the onset of the studies. Studies are in progress to determine better methods to assess chromium status. The mechanism of action of chromium is associated with an increase in insulin binding to cells, increased insulin receptor number, increased activity of insulin receptor kinase, and increased phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and IRS-1. In summary, studies involving experimental animals and humans demonstrate that improved chromium nutrition leads to improvements in a cluster of abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome and diabesity.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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