New clinical study uncovers mechanism by which chromium picolinate may enhance insulin sensitivity

PARIS, France, August 28, 2003 (Nutrition 21, Inc. Nasdaq: NXXI) The results of a new double-blind randomized placebo controlled human trial of people with type 2 diabetes revealed a potential mechanism that may explain the ability of chromium picolinate to improve insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle the primary site for glucose metabolism. These data suggest that when chromium picolinate is added to the diet, insulin sensitivity improves for people with diabetes, a chronic disease that affects 194 million people worldwide. The findings were presented by Dr. William T. Cefalu from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, USA at the 18th International Diabetes Federation Congress.

Research suggests that the potential in vivo mechanism of chromium picolinate on insulin action in human skeletal muscle may occur by increasing the activation of Akt phosphorylation -- an intracellular insulin dependent protein that facilitates the uptake of glucose into cells.

"This study demonstrates that those individuals with type 2 diabetes who supplemented their diet with chromium picolinate had an enhanced activity of the protein compared to those who were on placebo," stated Dr. Cefalu. "As this intracellular pathway is implicated in contributing to insulin resistance, this represents a possible mechanism to explain chromium picolinate's beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity as observed in several clinical studies."

The clinical trial
The double-blind, placebo controlled trial, included two cohorts of subjects with type 2 diabetes who were treated with either sulfonylureas (a class of diabetic drugs that increase insulin secretion), or a diet program. Both groups were randomized to receive either chromium picolinate (1000 mcg) daily or placebo. The most accurate measure of insulin sensitivity, hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp studies, were used to assess the efficacy of glucose uptake on all subjects prior to randomiz


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