One of the very first natural treatments I learned about for treating diabetes was chromium. The research showed it can help diabetics keep their blood sugar under control. But then I started hearing complaints from diabetics and their doctors that the chromium doesn't work for everyone. That's true. But there are times when chromium can work miracles.
If you're a diabetic and you have trouble keeping your blood sugar under control, even with the help of blood-sugar medication, chromium is for you. Researchers have discovered that chromium works best when you take it with an anti-diabetic medication. They found the combination improves insulin sensitivity and glucose control better than the medicine alone.
The medication also has side effects that chromium helps reduce. One of the most common is weight gain. Ironically, weight gain makes the diabetes worse. But in the study, the researchers found chromium picolinate significantly reduced this common side effect.
Chromium really is a Godsend. Here's why. More than two-thirds of people with type-2 diabetes are not at the suggested goal for their blood sugar. And, more than 80% of people with type-2 diabetes are overweight.
Being too heavy dramatically raises the risk of disease-related complications. This includes cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in patients with diabetes.
And you'll be happy to know that chromium picolinate helps reduce abdominal fat accumulation. Belly fat significantly increases your risk for diabetes and other conditions such as high oxidized cholesterol and hypertension.
Chromium picolinate is readily available in health food stores and on the Internet.
One final note: I'm not a big fan of taking drugs to help diabetes. They are necessary for some people, but they can make diabetes even worse. They typically just mask the symptoms. Metformin seems to be the lone exception here. It comes from the plant goat's rue (or French lilac) and has proven effective for decades. Talk to your integrative physician about whether you should take Metformin and/or chromium to treat your diabetes.
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Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Martin J., Z. Wang, X. Zhang, D. Wattle, J. Volautova, D. Matthews, and W. Cefalu. “Chromium Picolinate Supplementation Attenuates Body Weight Gain and Increases Insulin Sensitivity in Subjects With Type-2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. Volume 29;8: 2006.