Type II diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolises sugar (glucose), your body’s main source of fuel, the MayoClinic explains.
With type II diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin (a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells) or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.
Luckily, you can prevent your risk of type II diabetes with chromium.
Chromium: An effective diabetes fighter
Chromium is a component of a molecule in your body called glucose-tolerance factor, which enhances the blood-sugar-lowering action of insulin.
Basically, chromium helps keep blood sugar levels normal by improving the way your body uses insulin.
While this is the case, chromium is actually a diabetes preventing mineral that most people aren’t getting enough of.
“Chromium deficiency is all too common. One dietary survey in the US revealed that 90% of US consume less than the so-called “minimum daily intake,” says Dr Wright.
Animal studies have shown that chromium deficient diets result in high blood sugar levels.
“When it comes to diabetes management, blood sugar control is often the central theme. After all, keeping your blood sugar level within your target range can help you live a long and healthy life,” says the MayoClinic.
What are your best sources of chromium?
Although the best food sources of chromium are mushrooms, brewer’s yeast and eggs, you should also take a chromium supplement if your glucose-insulin tolerance test is abnormal.
But, warns Dr Wright, the quantities you’ll find in most health food stores (usually 200mcg capsules) are much too low to provide adequate prevention or treatment of type II diabetes.
Researchers have shown that 200mcg of chromium daily is ineffective in lowering blood sugar in actual type II diabetes. But when levels are raised to 1,000mcg daily, blood sugar, serum insulin and cholesterol levels all decrease.
“My recommendation for prevention is 500mcg to 1,000 mcg (1 milligram) daily, depending on the patient’s individual needs. Preferably, you should use one of the better absorbed forms of chromium, such as chromium aspartate, chromium polynicotinate or chromium picolinate,” says Dr Wright.
In addition, chromium supplements are also useful if you want to cut down your sugar cravings. This is especially helpful if you want to eliminate refined sugar from your diet.
If your want to take chromium to reduce your diabetes risk, be sure to speak to your doctor first before you treat yourself.