With over 30 million adults in the United States having diabetes and another 85 million having pre-diabetes (ie, higher than normal levels of blood sugar, but not to the point of being diabetic), there is no doubt that we have a blood sugar problem in this country that affects (sadly) 45% of our entire adult population; and the future does not look any better. Fortunately, there is an essential trace mineral that plays a key role in helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and that mineral is chromium.
Although there are numerous forms of chromium, with the significant growth and interest in whole foods, one chromium source worthy of discussion is GTF high-chromium yeast, which is a fermented whole food that contains GTF an acronym for ‘glucose tolerance factor.’ GTF originally got its name when it was first discovered back in 1957 since it was found to ’not only prevent, but also cure the impairment of glucose removal when given in the diet.’ Decades of subsequent research has tempered such a statement as it appears that approximately 50% of all diabetics who ingest supplemental chromium, including GTF chromium yeast, do experience a significant benefit in terms of reducing their fasting and/or postprandial blood glucose and/or lower their insulin levels. This 50% positive response rate is quite surprising considering there are clearly other factors than just low chromium levels that affect blood sugar levels. A recent study did once again find a significant association between low chromium levels increasing one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes as those with the highest levels of chromium had a 42% reduced risk for developing diabetes (Chen et al, 2017).
One clinical (or human) trial I would like to highlight involved type 2 diabetics on insulin who supplemented their diet with just 100μg chromium daily (from 400mg high-chromium yeast) (Racek et al, 2013). Remarkably, in just two weeks their fasting blood glucose levels were reduced 25% from 151mg/dl (8.4mmol/l) down to 113mg% (6.3mmol/l). In other words, chromium supplementation for just two weeks and with just 100μg chromium daily (from high-chromium yeast) reduced their fasting blood glucose (sugar) levels to the point they were no longer termed 'diabetic,' which has been defined as, fasting blood glucose or sugar levels of 126mg (7mmol/l) or higher on two separate blood tests. Although the test subjects were still on insulin, this significant blood sugar lowering effect exerted by supplemental chromium was over and above what insulin was able to do.
The story is not over as the subjects were then given twice the initial dose (now 200μg chromium daily) for the next 6 weeks which lowered fasting blood glucose even further, lowering it to 95mg% (5.3mmol/l), a full 37% lower than when the subjects started the study which is no small matter since fasting blood sugar levels below 100mg% are actually considered normal. Not surprisingly, glycosylated hemoglobin, commonly referred to as HbA1c was also significantly reduced at both 2 weeks and even further after the subsequent 6 weeks, but not to the point of making them non-diabetic as such levels typically take longer to reduce since they measure the average blood sugar level over 2-3 months. The story though does not end there as the researchers continued to follow the diabetic subjects for another 8 weeks after stopping chromium supplementation only to find that both their fasting blood glucose and HbA1c returned to their pre-supplementation (baseline) levels, which provided further substantiation to the role supplemental chromium from high-chromium yeast played in normalizing fasting blood sugar levels.
Clearly with the increasing numbers of diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals the healthcare alone is costing this country $327 billion in direct and indirect medical costs annually, not to mention that high blood sugar levels accelerate the aging process itself and that up to 90% of all Americans are deficient to varying degrees in this essential mineral, it would behoove anyone who is interested in optimizing their blood sugar levels to consider supplementing with an all-natural, non-GMO, fermented whole food such as GTF Excell® Chromium Yeast as provided by Cypress Systems.
Chen S, Jin X, Shan et al, Inverse association of plasma chromium levels with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes: a case-control study. Nutrients 2017;9:294.
Racek J, Sindberg CD, Moesgaard S et al. Effect of chromium-enriched yeast on fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin and serum lipids levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with insulin. Biol Trace Elem Res 2013;155:1-4.
Inside our Blood Sugar Management Spotlight:
- Understanding GTF Chromium: benefits of food-bound chromium from yeast
- Formulator's Corner, by Jim Roufs, MS, RD: Blood Sugar Management
- Turnkey Formulations: Blood Sugar Management
- Research Review, by Mark Whitacre, PhD: GTF Excell High-Chromium Yeast
- Product Highlights: Best in Class GTF Chromium From Vitamin World... it's about the yeast
- White Paper: Food-Bound Chromium and the Scientific Support for GTF Excell High-Chromium Yeast
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Author Dr. Mark Whitacre is the Chief Science Officer at Cypress Systems. Dr. Whitacre has nearly two decades of executive management experience in both Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial companies, including broad international experience. Much of his career has been in the area of biotechnology and microbiol fermentation. Dr. Whitacre earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Cornell University where he studied under a world-renowned selenium scientist, Dr. G.F. Combs, Jr.