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When you eat a meal containing carbohydrates, your pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. Insulin then binds to receptors on your cells, which allows the sugar (a.k.a. glucose) in your blood to enter the cell. Once inside the cell, glucose is used to make energy.
Unfortunately, many people these days are insulin resistant. This means that your cells don’t efficiently respond to insulin when it binds. They don’t open all their doors to let glucose in. So the sugar stays in your blood and your blood sugar begins to rise. If ignored, insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes. It’s also associated with several other conditions, including heart disease, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and high blood pressure.
However, chromium helps amplify insulin’s signal when it binds. So your cells respond and let glucose enter, which ultimately lowers your blood sugar.
Using chromium supplements to overcome insulin resistance and support diabetic patients is controversial. However, studies do exist demonstrating that chromium supplementation may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar as well as reduce the effects of oxidative stress. Thus, chromium might also have some antioxidant properties.
Due to chromium’s effect on insulin and blood sugar, it may also maintain healthy cholesterol levels and curb your appetite. In this study, healthy overweight women were given chromium supplements or a placebo. After 8 weeks, the women in the chromium group were eating significantly fewer calories and felt less hungry when compared to the placebo group.
Since chromium amplifies the effects of insulin, your pancreas is more likely to secrete a healthy dose of insulin as opposed to an excess. This is important because high insulin levels can lead to a host of problems. Plus, when your insulin levels are within a healthy range, insulin helps maintain strong bones. This may explain why studies have found that those with type 1 diabetes (an insulin deficiency) often have low bone density.
Also, there’s evidence suggesting that chromium supplementation in postmenopausal women helps reduce the urinary excretion of calcium and hydroxyproline (a component of collagen), which are both essential for healthy bones. In essence, chromium helps your body preserve calcium and hydroxyprolamine.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This video is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is strictly intended for educational purposes only. Additionally, this information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician. Dr. Osborne is not a medical doctor. He does not treat or diagnose disease. He offers nutritional support to people seeking an alternative from traditional medicine. Dr. Osborne is licensed with the Pastoral Medical Association.
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