CHROMIUM—GOLD OR GUNK?

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Blended excerpts from Potential Within A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment

Authored by Franco Cavaleri ISBN 0-9731701-0-7

Original post: February 23, 2011


This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts and reference numbering that may be out of order.


As we know, insulin resistance results in the oversecretion of the hormone to compensate for a lack of efficiency in it. In this compromised state every time a meal is eaten the pancreas is instructed to pump more insulin into the bloodstream. One of insulin’s roles is to activate the glucose transport sites that clear glucose from the blood and into the cells of the insulin-responsive tissues. Once in the cells, glucose can be used for mitochondrial energy production. Without insulin tissues starve and death becomes imminent. Higher levels of insulin promote storage of substrates like fat and carbohydrate to keep the former from being oxidized as a source of energy efficiently.


Try exercising in this insulin-resistant, hyperinsulinemic (high levels of insulin in the blood) state and you’re less likely to burn fat or even build muscle. In fact, since we all face a certain degree of insulin resistance as we age, this is one of the main reasons athletic performance and lean measures are more difficult to maintain as we get older.

The elevatedinsulin and glucose levels that arise out of this inefficiency are toxic, too.


The liver comes to the rescue by converting high levels of insulin and glucose into fat, which contributes to increased serum lipids(fat in the blood) and an uncontrollable accumulation around the waist and hips. The excessively loaded fat cells further interfere with insulin’s role by secreting hormones that impede insulin activity. Even mild states of insulin resistance can quickly progress to a worse condition and induce metabolic havoc and diabetes, a situation that must be corrected before it gains momentum.


Ageless Performance is the solution to this epidemic condition, and chromium supplementation is an integral part of the comprehensive strategy. Studies confirm that chromium supplementation can boost insulin’s capacity to regulate serum glucose. An improvement in insulin’s potential means fat can be burned more efficiently as an energy source, especially during exercise. As I’ve previously indicated, research irrefutably demonstrates that chromium status in the body tends to decline with age (56, 57, 58) and this, in part, contributes to the acceleration of biological aging.


Supplementation with chromium by Type II diabetics improves glucose control and serum-lipid variables and at the very leastreduces the drug dosage required to regulate the condition (59). In fact, more recent studies indicate that chromium helps down-regulate corticosteroid production, which decreases the catabolic damage caused by mental, emotional, and physical stress, including that induced by intense exercise (60). This is likely due to chromium’s ability to enhance glucose control and therefore reduce glucose-stress hormone reactivity in the blood, which we now know gives rise to excessive free radicals.


Supplementation with chromium is mandatory for optimal health, but let’s get something straight: the mineral isn’t a miraculous substance. It’s not a pharmacological chemical with symptom-relieving, healing properties. It’s a minuscule element required in the grand scheme of biological complexity, and just a slight limitation throws the entire works into disarray. This serves as a model for all of the factors Ageless Performance incorporates.


Deficiency results in disease. Insulin promotes the movement of amino acids into the cells for protein synthesis, further stimulating cellular protein synthesis. This is a highly important step for cell maintenance, lean-muscle restoration, and general life support. By instilling insulin efficiency, muscle is sustained better and fat is more readily used for fuel. There’s a kind of exponential dynamic that develops with chromium supplementation when the mineral’s status is deficient. The new level of chromium promotes healthier lean-muscle mass, which is able to burn more calories throughout the day while enhanced insulin efficiency allows for proper fat oxidation by muscles during exercise.


Second, insulin efficiency supports optimal thermogenic activity. All in all, the healthier dynamic promotes leaner measures with much less physical effort and a lot less dietary sacrifice. Studies show that chromium, through its activity with insulin, improves the secretion of glucagon, a hormone that slows insulin secretion to inhibit hyperinsulinemia (extraordinarily high insulin secretions). Keep in mind that hyperinsulinemia triggers an imbalanced cascade of other hormones that are responsible for inflammation, fat accumulation, blood clotting, asthma, and even cancer. This is the basis for the broad preventive and therapeutic activity of Ageless Performance—the reversal of multiple diseases by addressing a few of their common roots such as insulin resistance and nitric-oxide deregulation. The process involves biological regulation of insulin and nitric oxide—the central activity of Ageless Performance. Ageless Performance is about regulation that achieves balanced hormone cascades and mineral systems.


Again chromium is a critically important co-factor for insulin function. Once dietary needs are met, additional chromium won’t advance additional fat loss or above-normal insulin activity. That’s probably why chromium supplementation works for some but not others as a weight-loss supplement or anti-diabetic agent. Diabetics who experience no improvement from chromium supplementation likely already have healthy chromium stores, and the disease may be caused by other factors, which Ageless Performance also accounts for.


There are different forms of chromium supplements available in the marketplace, and one of the more common, chromiumpicolinate, might not be the best source. There are many studies that demonstrate picolinate’s positive effect on insulin and glucose metabolism, but there’s an equal amount of research to show that it doesn’t work as well as most experts once thought (61, 62, 63). In fact, studies like the one performed at the University of Alabama and reported in April 2000 prove that the picolinate of chromium can be quite toxic (64). The toxicity stems from the method in which the picolinate version of chromium is used in the body. It enters the cells via a mechanism that’s different from the common protein-transport-mediated chromium. This study reveals that the metabolic problem arises when chromium is released from the picolinate carrier.


This reaction instigates the extremely toxic hydroxyl radical, a potent free radical that can scald the cells and tax the body’s protective antioxidant status. Other forms of chromium don’t manifest this hydroxyl radical. The more likely individuals to use chromium supplementation are those who are in a diabetic state, those who want to lose weight, and athletes who are trying to enhance performance.


All of these individuals will experience relatively higher free-radical impositions as a consequence of their condition or lifestyle. This extra picolinate-induced hydroxyl activity only contributes to the free-radical toxicity in the body and most likely causes anincremental depletion of glutathione, creating greater susceptibility to disease.


Some studies indicate that elemental chromium (chromium only) might not be the active factor that facilitates insulin at the cell-membrane receptor sites. In fact, in the 1960s and 1970s at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, observations made by Walter Mertz and colleagues led to the discovery of a category of active molecule called a glucose-tolerance factor (GTF). The interesting finding was that nicotinic acid plus chromium or niacin-bound chromium was an active constituent in the cell membrane with regard to insulin activity. When Mertz replaced this niacin component of the molecule with picolinic acid, the activity was significantly reduced (65).


Further studies performed at the University of California resulted in similar outcomes. In 1992 the findings were announced….


Read more from books

Read another ‘Chromium’ article: Chromium Status of the aging baby boomer and how it relates to insulin resistance and depression.

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