The Missing Minerals - Chromium
Chromium is by far the most important nutrient involved in sugar control and its metabolism.
The single greatest cause of degenerative disease in the West is uncontrolled blood sugar and the disturbance of the insulin process. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypoglycaemia, stroke, high blood pressure etc are all related to the devastating affects of high consumption of sugar.
It is thought that a high percentage of the population is deficient in chromium and sadly, it is invariably those who are most lacking who are in most need. Sugar cravings grow when the body is deficient in chromium, and the more sugar eaten the more chromium stores are depleted. This is because chromium is needed in the system to digest sugar. If there is none available, blood sugar becomes uncontrolled and the potentially devastating affects on health begin.
DIABETES (TYPE 11)
This is the non-insulin dependant type. Although family history is certainly a factor, it develops almost exclusively from years of eating sugar and refined carbohydrates (cakes, biscuits, chocolate etc.). Research after research has shown that taking chromium picolinate can stabilise blood sugar in a matter of a few months – something not achieved by medication!.
By reducing sugar craving, chromium makes it easier to stick to a good weight reducing diet. It also enhances the calorie-burning results of exercise, making weight loss easier to achieve.
THE GREAT SUGAR LABELLING CON
When sugar cane is cut it is boiled, and on that first boiling a great part of the nutrient rich black substance called molasses is removed. The molasses contains all the minerals needed for sugar digestion, including chromium. The next boiling takes place, and even more of the molasses is removed. The boiling continues until you are left with the pure white crystals we know as white sugar. You will find in many supermarkets a sort of cream or off-white sugar labelled ‘unrefined sugar’. This simply means that tiny amounts of molasses is still present, but at this stage all the fibre has been removed together with 90% of the molasses. My view is that this is a giant con trick worked on the public by the sugar manufacturers.
Crystal white sugar should have a health warning the same as cigarettes. It is a nutrient deficient poison causing numerous health problems
All sugar has had its fibre (cane) removed, thus making it a refined carbohydrate that should be avoided whenever possible. The only sugar worthy of any note is the very dark molasses cane sugar, and even that should be consumed in the minutest quantity
A deficiency in chromium has been associated with a higher chance of developing heart problems. Not just simply by controlling blood sugar levels, which indeed makes the blood sticky, but also by helping to raise the artery clearing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). At the same time it reduces the bad, sticky LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Studies show that people dying of heart disease had no chromium in the aorta (the main blood carrying artery), whereas those dying as a result of accidents had much higher levels. Of the many nutrients that contribute to the health of the arteries, chromium is one of the most important.
|BEST FOOD SOURCES OF CHROMIUM: mcg per 100g
Picolinate, polynicotimate or brewers yeast
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
We hear so much of reducing salt intake, yet more than 60% of high blood pressure cases are a result of hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance. It would be much better if food labels boasted high chromium content and low carbohydrate.
ARE WE GETTING ENOUGH CHROMIUM?
If we eat the average diet, the answer must be No! The signs of deficiency are: dizziness or irritability if we have not eaten for 5/6 hours; the need for frequent meals; cold hands; need for excessive sleep or drowsiness during the day; excessive thirst; addiction to sweet foods.
HOW MUCH DO WE NEED?
There is no RDA (recommended daily allowance) Supplements range between 25 to 200 Mcg, with toxicity occurring if you exceed 1,000 Mg (i.e. five thousand 200Mcg)
Des Sheehan LCPH RMANN DIP IRID
Des Sheehan has been in healthcare for more than 20 years and practices Homoeopathy, Nutrition and Iridology in Rayleigh.
This article first appeared in issue 7 (Summer 2007) of Healthy Life - Mind, Body & Soul Magazine